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NWC AHSN boosts NHS efficiency through SME partnerships
Dean White - June 24, 2015

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As the NHS bids to streamline costs across the country, the North West Coast Academic Health Science Network (NWC AHSN) is working closely with business to promote new, more efficient ways of working into the healthcare sector. 

Over the past year, the NWC AHSN has supported over 100 health related Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs).

report published this week by Lord Carter revealed the level of waste in the current NHS system. It estimated that the NHS spends billions on inefficient processes.

The NWC AHSN, which covers Cheshire, Merseyside, Lancashire and Cumbria, is one of 15 academic health science networks in England. One of its roles involves working with the NHS to enable innovative products to spread by supporting would-be suppliers with practical and strategic advice and support as they look to tap into the market.

Chief executive of the NWC AHSN, Dr Liz Mear, said: “One of our goals at the NWC AHSN is to accelerate innovation by enabling SMEs to grow and access the healthcare market. We work closely with Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in both Lancashire and Liverpool to identify SMEs and provide them with a platform to do business in the NHS.  Through the network of AHSNs we hope to encourage competition on a national scale and drive cost-effective innovation forward in the healthcare sector.

The network, which marked its first year of operation in December, has given intensive assistance to 15 local companies in the last 12 months. Recent collaborations include med-tech companies uMotif, AliveCor, EasySHARE and with St Helens based organisation, Leanvation.

Leanvation, which manufactures latex-free surgical gloves at a very competitive price, aims to simplify the market by providing a product that retains the qualities of latex gloves without the risk of allergy. The NWC AHSN has supported Leanvation to win national tenders, giving them advice and guidance and working with organisations who tender for such products.

Dr Jonathan Day, Managing Director, Leanvation said: “The Leanvation team found ourselves struggling to navigate and understand the complex decision trees associated with the procurement of surgical gloves within NHS Trusts following the commercial launch of the business in 2014. Gaining an introduction to the North West Coast AHSN team proved a game changer for Leanvation.

“Not only did NWC provide crucial support in making introductions to key NHS procurement staff, but they provided credibility to our proposals to NHS Trusts, having already undertaken their own due diligence of the Leanvation value proposition. Most important of all however was the support that NWC provided concerning our application to feature on at least two national NHS procurement frameworks.”

Dr Jonathan Day will be delivering a session at P4H 2015: the Procurement event for Health taking place on 9 July at the ICC, Birmingham detailing the how the Academic Health Science Network can support SME’s navigate the hurdles and often complex decision trees associated with selling to the NHS. 

With 2 weeks to go until this timely event Competefor has secured 10 complimentary places to to enable our customers to engage and network face to face with over 750 key decision makers within the NHS.  Don’t miss this fantastic opportunity to get ahead of your competition and promote your business to the people who make the buying decisions. Register free at the following link – http://www.p4health.co.uk/free-tickets