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Survey highlights valuable impact of the Oxford AHSN

The vast majority of people who know the Oxford Academic Health Science Network (Oxford AHSN) and its work believe it is having a positive impact in the region.

Almost all respondents (95%) to an independent survey of Oxford AHSN partners across the NHS, patient groups, universities and industry said collaboration in the region was important.

Four in five (80%) of those aware of the Oxford AHSN said the organisation was building that culture of collaboration and partnership. This compares to three in five (61%) in a national survey of AHSNs carried out last year who believed the Oxford AHSN was effective at building a culture of partnership and collaboration.

Results suggest an increasing awareness and appreciation of the Oxford AHSN and its work. Around three-quarters (73%) of those who knew at least a little about the Oxford AHSN felt its team members were effective in working with them. That figure rose to 84% among partners in the life science industry.

Partners were more likely to associate the Oxford AHSN with positive values such as collaboration (71%), innovation (52%) and being informative (48%) than negative values such as bureaucratic (9%), ineffective (7%), and irrelevant (3%).

Almost all those questioned (99%) said they had heard of the Oxford AHSN, and more than nine in ten (91%) said they knew at least a little about the organisation.

The research and development programme and the programme to encourage widespread adoption of clinical innovation were the most strongly recognised (both 65%).

Professor Gary Ford, chief executive of the Oxford AHSN, said: “The results of this survey are very encouraging.

“They show that people across the NHS, universities and industry recognise the value of the work we are doing to bring people together to spread innovation, improve patient outcomes and encourage economic growth.

“It’s clear that the more people get to know us and work with us, the more they appreciate what we can do together to improve health and prosperity in our region.”

The survey was carried out by the leading research consultancy ComRes. There were 563 responses including from patients, academics, industry, NHS providers, NHS commissioners and NHS regulators. This is ten times the number who had their say about the Oxford AHSN in the 2015 national AHSN survey.

ComRes are currently conducting follow-up qualitative interviews with some of those who responded. These will be included in a final survey report due to be published in September.

The second national AHSN stakeholder survey is expected to be carried out over the next few weeks.