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Partners positive about the role and impact of Oxford AHSN

Oxford Academic Health Science Network ComRes survey report August 2016The vast majority of Oxford Academic Health Science Network stakeholders believe it is having a positive impact in the region.

Four in five (80%) of the 563 respondents in an independent survey of Oxford AHSN partners, carried out by the leading research consultancy ComRes, agreed that the network is building a culture of collaboration and partnership. This compares to three in five (61%) in a national survey of AHSNs carried out last year.

The latest results suggest an increasing awareness and appreciation of Oxford AHSN and its work with a diverse range of partners across the NHS, patient groups, universities and industry.

Almost two-thirds (64%) of respondents said the Oxford AHSN added value to their work and around three-quarters (73%) of respondents who knew at least a little about Oxford AHSN felt its team members were effective in working with them.

The report states: “Value is seen to be added primarily through the collaborative focus of the AHSN, creating connections stakeholders report would not have occurred without the AHSN.

“The Oxford AHSN … is critical to developing a more innovative, safe and cost-effective health system in the region.

“Stakeholders have seen the AHSN’s impact in their own work creating positive outcomes in their region, citing numerous examples.

“The Network’s reputation as an innovator comes through, with more than a third of stakeholders using words like innovation, innovative, entrepreneurial, forward-thinking and visionary to describe Oxford AHSN.”

Key findings included:

  • Oxford AHSN is perceived to be a strong network with a good understanding of its stakeholders
  • Stakeholders see a genuine need for Oxford AHSN
  • Stakeholders are highly positive about Oxford AHSN events and networking opportunities

However, the full impact of Oxford AHSN was not yet appreciated everywhere and there were some concerns that it was ‘Oxford-centric’.

Comments from people taking part in the survey included:

  • “They keep us informed, they participate, they share, they include us in appropriate networks or events.”
  • “There’s a greater sense of networking collaboratively across the AHSN area that would’ve existed before.”
  • “They’re listening, they’re identifying challenges and they’re trying to help us solve the problems associated with those challenges.”
  • “Without the likes of the AHSN small companies would really, really struggle to get any traction with the NHS.”
  • “If they weren’t there, I think we’d find it really difficult to do that all by ourselves.”
  • “The AHSN are a world class example of how collaboration should exist in health and social care.”
  • “What we’ve got there is a team that has got a huge wealth of information, great number of contacts, (and a) great understanding of comparative data between organisations.”

The aim of the survey was to gauge stakeholder awareness and perceptions of Oxford AHSN, their relationship with it and their evaluation of its effectiveness and impact.

Professor Gary Ford, Chief Executive of Oxford AHSN, said: “The results of this independent survey are very encouraging. They show that our stakeholders across the NHS, universities and industry recognise the value of the work we are doing to spread innovation, improve patient outcomes and encourage economic growth.

“We recognise there is still work to do in developing the network’s engagement with some of our partners. We will continue to focus on identifying opportunities where clinical innovation can improve outcomes and add value to the NHS.”

ComRes interviewed 563 Oxford AHSN stakeholders online between 13 May and 10 June 2016. This was followed by 20 in-depth interviews. Participants included patients, academics, industry, NHS providers, NHS commissioners and NHS regulators.

ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Full data tables are available here.

You can read the ComRes report here.

The 563 responses amount to almost ten times the number (58) who had their say about the Oxford AHSN in a national AHSN survey carried out last year. A second national AHSN survey for NHS England has just closed and short report this autumn.