The South West Academic Health Science Network (South West AHSN) is one of 15 AHSNs across the country set up by NHS England to spread innovation at pace and scale across the country.

As an AHSN, we are uniquely placed to connect NHS and academic organisations, local authorities, the third sector and industry, using our position to drive the adoption and spread of innovative ideas and technologies across large populations.

As the South West AHSN, our remit covers Somerset, Devon, and Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, taking in urban areas and tackling the challenges associated with pockets of deep, long-standing and increasing deprivation, an aging population, children living in poverty, and a dispersed and sometimes isolated population.

The major focus over the next five years is improving health equity through innovation. We seek to improve population health across our region by spreading innovative practice to close gaps in access to care, quality of care, opportunity for a healthy life and agency in managing individual health.

Founded in 2013, our work was endorsed in 2018 with a five-year extension to our license. This came with a clear long-term vision to drive health innovation and stimulate economic growth, meeting the goals of the NHS Long Term Plan and NHS Patient Safety Strategy.

We are an independent company limited by guarantee, governed by a board of directors made up of senior NHS leaders from across our region as well as independent non-executive directors. Our work is funded by NHS England and NHS Improvement, the Office for Life Sciences, and through contributions from our members, as well as income generated through other activities aligned to our core mission and purpose.

Read more about what we do here. To find out more about the role of AHSNs, how we differ and our shared priorities, click here.