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Oxford Academic Health Science Network designated by NHS England

New Network that has potential to transform healthcare through innovation

We are delighted to announce that the Oxford Academic Health Science Network (Oxford AHSN) has been formally designated by NHS England.

Oxford AHSN is one of 15 chosen Networks in the country and covers a population of 3.3m, including Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, including Milton Keynes, Berkshire and Bedfordshire.

The aim of the Networks is to improve patient care by putting innovation at the heart of the NHS, linking healthcare with academia, research and business.

Closer collaboration between these sectors working together, supported by the Network, will help to improve patient outcomes and health, whilst also creating economic activity within the local economies.

Although formally designated in May, the Oxford AHSN has been operating for the last few months, and has been hosted by the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust (OUH) with their Chief Executive, Sir Jonathan Michael acting as interim Chief Executive for the Oxford AHSN.

Sir Jonathan said, “Positive work has already taken place in our region in terms of creating valuable partnerships between the NHS, industry and academia.  These links will only get stronger as the Network evolves and I am pleased to announce that we have recently appointed Nigel Keen as Chairman of the Oxford Network.

“Nigel has a successful background in industry and brings this experience to the role of Chairman.  I am confident that he will continue to drive forward the Oxford AHSN for the benefit of all our patients”.

Nigel Keen, Chairman of the Oxford AHSN, said “This is an exciting opportunity to encourage the uptake of innovation in the NHS and I am pleased to be the Chairman of this new organisation.

“I know at first-hand the broad range of innovative work taking place in healthcare within our region, from research within our Universities and the NHS, to healthcare products being developed by local industry.  The Network allows us to now bring this together always with the goal of improving patient focus and care.

“Our region is home to a wealth of hospitals, Universities and life-science industries working with many talented and forward-thinking people.  The Network will act as a focal point, bringing benefits to patients by creating sustainable and equitable healthcare, and in turn,  creating prosperity for our local economy”.

Professor Richard Ellis, Dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Reading, one of the partners of the network, said “The establishment of the Oxford AHSN across the Thames Valley and the South Midlands region will provide clear routes for the outputs from the University of Reading’s health-related research, bringing direct patient benefit through closer working with industry and the many NHS bodies in the region.”

Chandi Ratnatunga, Clinical Lead of the Oxford AHSN and Associate Medical Director, OUH, said “The Oxford Network is unique in the sense that it is setting up a programme of integrated Clinical Networks, supported by a range of cross-cutting themes.  These are tailored to our local population healthcare needs with a focus on disease groups such as diabetes and mental health conditions and on patient groups such as those with chronic long-term conditions.

“We know that by working together, with the patient at the heart of everything we do, we can deliver real benefits in terms of allowing innovation in healthcare to be delivered efficiently and effectively to our hospitals, clinicians and healthcare staff”.

Notes to editors:

Further information about the Oxford Academic Health Science Network can be found via the website

For a link to the national announcement from NHS England please visit

Nigel Keen biography:

Nigel is the Chairman of Syncona Partners. His career has encompassed venture capital, industry and banking. He has a degree in engineering from Cambridge University, is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, a Fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology and has been involved in the formation and development of high technology businesses for more than thirty years. He is the Chairman of a number of high growth publicly listed companies, including Laird PLC, Oxford Instruments, Bioquell and the AIM listed company, Deltex Medical, where he is the largest private shareholder. He is also a Non-Executive Director of ISIS Innovation.

To arrange interviews please contact Elika Saedi, Communications Manager, Oxford Academic Health Science Network at or 07964 551 747