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Wessex Academic Health Science Network

AHSNs have been established to deliver a step-change in the way the NHS identifies, develops and adopts new technologies and to achieve partnership working and collaboration between the NHS, academia, the private sector and other external partners. There are 15 AHSNs across England, each with five key licence objectives: • Focus on the needs of patients & local population to improve outcomes, • speed up adoption, outcomes and spread of innovation. • Build a culture of partnership & collaboration. • Create wealth through co-development, early adoption and spread of new products & services. • Develop a patient safety collaborative Wessex AHSN covers a population of three million across nine local authorities, bringing together 10 CCGs’s, 11 NHS Trusts and five universities. As of April 2014 we are a company limited by guarantee, with Board Directors from our members.

29 May 2018
South East
Care, Hospitals and Hospital Trusts, Pharmaceutical, Local Authorities, Other, Emergency Services Sector, Commissioners Sector
Local Alliances:
Dementia Friendly Southampton (Southampton DAA)

1. Action Plan

1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?

The Wessex AHSN is a member organisation as described above.  It works on priorities agreed by its membership.  Dementia has been identified as one of the key priorities.  The AHSN seeks to influence all seven outcomes but  the current projects  focus on outcomes 1 to 6 with a particular emphasis on outcome 2, “ I know that services are designed around me and my needs.” In this year the two projects that are being focused on are making primary care a dementia friendly environment and supporting the 8 acute hospitals in Wessex to make accelerated progress with their action plans through the support and encouragement of others in the same situation and through spreading best practice across this area.

Wessex AHSN is part of a network of 15 AHSN’s which cover the whole of England and 10 of the AHSNs have dementia as one of their priorities.  Wessex will share the learning from any work it does across England through the AHSN network.  Dementia is on the agenda of each CCG in Wessex and within the acute sector there is a CQUIN on dementia that each hospital is working to meet.

2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?

Wessex AHSN is a relatively new organisation operating across this geography.  In order to avoid duplication and to build on the strengths of the region work is being done in high priority areas where there is an energy and commitment to change.     Persuasion and the use of influence are the key ways of effecting change.  Work has been done on the issues that are impacting on clinicians in Wessex and where there are opportunities to improve services.

There are limited resources to meet the environmental, training and education and other needs that are being highlighted. 

Member website


2. Actions

  • Collaborating: bringing partners together to work on projects, to share learning and to create opportunities working across traditional care boundaries.

    Conferences have been held in October 2014 and 2015 which highlighted work already in progress from prevention through to end of life care.  This is now being made into an interactive software tool that people can interrogate to learn more about what is in place.  This conference was jointly sponsored by Public Health England, the Strategic Clinical Network and the AHSN.  The website holding over 130 Wessex projects  can be found at www.wessexhealthlines.nhs.uk   


    2015 - Fourth Quarter Update

    A webinar on the dementia road map was held in March 2015 and further webinars are planned.  A Wessex wide dementia conference is being planned for October/November 2015 in the Southampton area. 

    the next webinar will be on Downs Syndrome and dementia and will be held on 24th February 2016

    2015 - Fourth Quarter Update

    The Wessex wide dementia collaboration conference was held on 21st October 2015 and was attended by over 160 people.  A highlight of the day was hearing from Nicci Gerrard, daughter of John  Gerrard for whom John's Campaign was named.  Workshops were held and delegates undertook to take actions as a result of attending the conference.  at the end of the morning awards were made to 4 projects which spanned the pathway and were deemed to have made a significant difference to people with dementia.  These projects and over 100 othe Weessex based ones can be found on wessexhealthlines.nhs.uk

  • Spreading the implementation of how to make primary care dementia friendly

    A pilot study completed work to make a surgery dementia friendly and this has now been evaluated.  This is now being spread across Wessex to encourage all GPs surgeries to build on the work they are already doing for people with dementia and to make their surgeries either dementia friendly or working towards being dementia friendly.  There is a bundle of actions that are needed to complete this process. 

    153 surgeries have completed the steps to become dementia friendly and 4 are undertaking this project.



    2017 - Second Quarter Update

    the project has been going very well and now 99 surgeries have implemented iSPACE and a further 68 surgeries are in the process of completing this. 

    two focus groups with people living with dementia and their carers ahve been held to get feedback on the individual surgeries. 

    the project is now being mainstreamed to each CCG and all resources are being placed on the Wessex AHSN website and links to this being provided. 

    2017 - First Quarter Update

    iSPACE - dementia friendly GP surgery project continues to spread across Wessex, there are now 174 surgeries involved, 99 have completed the work and 168are in the process of doing this. 

    A DEEP group was held with 5 couples living with dementia and their feedback is helping to contribute to the further spread of the work.

    Two focus groups have been held with patients and carers to get their feedback on the implementation of the project.



    2016 - First Quarter Update

    This project is going extremely well and has now been spread to over 70 surgeries across Wessex.  A recent funding round has encouraged more surgeries to get involved and there are now over 100 surgeries at some stage of the process.

    2015 - Fourth Quarter Update

    15 surgeries have completed the process to become dementia friendly and 27 surgeries are in train.  it is planned to spread this to Dorset and IOW in the next quarter.


    2015 - Second Quarter Update

    November 2015 - fifteen surgeries have implemented iSPACE and a further 22 are working to become dementia friendly.  Kent Surrey and Sussex SCN is planning to implement this work in this local region.  the resources to underpin this work can be found on the WAHSN website



    2015 - First Quarter Update

    Over the past three months work on starting the implementation of this project has been underway.  A leaflet and brochure have been created and are being sent to agencies across Wessex.  Thirteen surgeries across Wessex are currently implementing this work towards becoming dementia friendly surgeries.  in the next quarter it is planned to have a launch and to continue to spread this work to surgeries across Wessex and beyond.

  • A development programme with staff in the 8 acute hospitals in Wessex. The work will involve sharing best practice, supporting the spread and implementation of good dementia care.

    The development programme is an action learning set over one year to support the work already being done in each of the 8 acute hospitals.  Information describing this good practice will be placed on the AHSN website.  The challenges and issues in delivering quality care to people with dementia and their carers will be explored and a solution focussed approach adopted to support the work.  This work will be reviewed in spring 2016 to assess its impact.  It will be evaluated before and after the involvement of the AHSN.  


    this work has now been evaluated and the findings placed on the Wessex AHSN website, http://wessexahsn.org.uk/projects/47/working-with-acute-hospital-dementia-leads-to-improve-care-in-their-hospitals




    2017 - Second Quarter Update

    this project has now completed and the resources placed on the Wessex AHSN website.

    there was a successful event in November 2016 attended by Dr A Burns and representatives across the region.  the work has been spread to community hospitals in Wessex.

    2016 - Third Quarter Update

    The project has completed and the data collection is being analysed.

    a sharing event is planned for November 2016 and Alistair burns is attending this event.  Resources will be placed on the website in readiness for this event. 

    2016 - First Quarter Update

    this project has been very positive for the teams involved.  WAHSN arranged three dementia champion conferences in Dorset, Hants and Wiltshire.  the event in Wiltshire will be filmed and a film made about how to organise a champions conference.

    the project is being evaluated by Bournemouth University Dementia Institute and a round of data collection is being undertaken.

    Lymington hospital has adopted some of the learning from this work. 

    2015 - Fourth Quarter Update

    The development proramme continues and two very successful conferences for dementia champions were held in November and December 2015.  Ward based staff attended a study day to increase their knowledge and understanding of dementia and to celebrate the god work they are involved.  A particular highlight was the "music for a while" presentation by Neil Valentine from BSO who is working in 3 acute hospitals in Wessex to embed music at the bedside.

    John's Campaign has now been implemented in 5 of the hospitals in Wessex and the other 3 have plans to embed this.

    2015 - Second Quarter Update

    November 2015 - this work continues with regular meetings between the 8 hospitals in Wessex.  The work is being evaluated by Bournemouth University Dementia Institute (BUDI) and data is being collected from the 8 hospitals.  HHFT in north Hampshire and Poole Hospital in Dorset have implemented John's Campaign in their hospitals.  A film about this work can be viewed on the WAHSN website, http://wessexahsn.org.uk/videos

    2015 - First Quarter Update

    The current focus of the work is on how carers can be supported through the acute care journey and on working collaboratively across the 8 hospitals in Wessex.

  • Frailty - what actions can be taken to support people to remain in the community

    The Wessex AHSN is now looking at how to support people who are frail and how to manage these people in primary care and how to prevent hospital admissions. 

  • Hydrate in Care homes

    Hants CC is leading on a project to support their care homes to address the issue of hydration.  this takes the form of staff training from hydration champions and pursuing the techniques learnt in Farnham and Kent Surrey and Sussex.  Examples of these techniques are serving mocktails, fruit, ice lollies and holding tea parties.  Staff are trained as hydration champions and then cascade this to thier teams and colleagues in the care home.

    Being implemented