The Innovation Exchange programme builds on the established Innovation pathway to support the delivery of the Accelerated Access Review (AAR) funded by the Office of Life Sciences.  AHSN Innovation Exchanges play a key role in supporting the adoption and uptake of healthcare innovation, supporting faster access to cost effective, innovative drugs and technologies for patients and citizens.

Our Innovation Exchanges have supported local priorities, bringing industry together with healthcare professionals to find solutions and demonstrate products to innovate health in primary care, theatres, genomics and digital health. These events generate stronger connections with innovations at a local level, and future exchanges will focus on cancer, mental health and healthy ageing to support our health and care system in the east of England.



Though suicide rates in the UK have been falling over recent years[1], behind every statistic there is an individual story that impacts upon our regions families and communities.  The stories describe a profound sense of loss and remind us to keep working on reducing suicide rates across our region.


Using innovation to solve our complex challenges

Eastern AHSN is working with an advisory panel of clinical experts, people with lived experience and innovators to develop and oversee an innovation exchange focussed on suicide prevention. The panel have reviewed evidence from literature reviews, national case studies and individual stories to develop three challenge statements (see right column). A challenge statement describes a complex problem we face and provides some guidance on what a good outcome would look like.

We are now looking for innovators who have potential solutions to the challenges to submit an expression of interest.  The expressions of interest will be reviewed by the advisory panel and the most promising solutions will be invited to attend a development event in the Autumn to meet representatives from the health and care system who are experiencing the challenges directly.


The most promising innovations will be those that meet our identified criteria:

  • Impact: The expected impact that the proposed solution could deliver for patients or service users and for the health and care system
  • Innovation: The level of innovation demonstrated by the solution – we are looking for products that are ready to be adopted and that demonstrate innovative approaches
  • Capacity: Demonstrated ability and capacity of the applicant to deliver the project as described
  • Replicability: The ability of the solution to be replicated across England if successful

Expressions of interest

If you believe you have a solution that would help address one or more of the three challenges identified, please contact us using the expressions of interest form.  Forms should be submitted by 21 September 2018,

Evidence centre report

To help identify and develop relevant challenge, a rapid review was commissioned which examined interventions tested in developed countries to address social isolation or despair.


I statements

To help identify and develop relevant challenge, focus groups and individual interviews were held with experts with lived experience of suicide and suicide prevention initiatives.  The interviews were used to develop I statements – a concept taken from the National Voices and Think Local Act Personal (TLAP) work on building a narrative for person centred care. The I statements can be found can be downloaded here and the original I statements can be found on the National Voices website. The Mental Health Crisis Concordat I statements are available here.

Overview of the timeline


Eastern AHSN is working with partners across the region to improve early cancer diagnosis. Our next innovation exchange aims to co-create a ‘challenge statement’ – a statement that identifies the problems preventing earlier cancer diagnosis so that we can work collectively on solving them.

Further information

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