The independent survey was conducted by Savanta: ComRes during summer and autumn 2019, having been commissioned by NHS England and NHS Improvement and the Office for Life Sciences (OLS) to explore and evaluate the views of AHSN stakeholders. Those inteviewed include NHS organisations, researchers, private companies, government organisations, patient and public groups and voluntary and community sector (VCS) organisations.
A key strength of Health Innovation East cited by stakeholders is their open communication approach. Several interviewees highlight the speed in which Health Innovation East staff respond to queries, commenting on the fact that they are contactable through various platforms and that they follow up their initial communication with additional support.
“We were always able to email and say, ‘We’re coming across this problem’. You get really quick responses. You could ring up the project leader whenever. They didn’t micro-manage it but they facilitated every problem to make it not a problem, so it was just a really easy way of working with them really.”
The findings describe Health Innovation East as working “collaboratively”, being “willing to listen” and treating their relationship as “an equal partnership”.
Although a strength of AHSNs nationally, stakeholders in the Eastern region are particularly likely to mention the value of Health Innovation East’s signposting facilities. Stakeholders from private companies or local government describe Health Innovation East as a useful bridge to working with the NHS and with other AHSNs across the country. This has enabled them to access new funding opportunities, specialist expertise and well-rounded knowledge as well as helping them find the right people in the NHS.
Points for development include ensuring stakeholders have a clear main point of contact and a need for greater awareness of Health Innovation East and its work.
You can read the report and all findings here.
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