The first in a series of Oxford AHSN Locality meetings was held on Wednesday 13 February 2013 at Buckinghamshire New University which jointly hosted the meeting with Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust. The event was very well attended with some 40 people coming from all parts of the County and beyond – despite the snow. All sectors – Academia, NHS and business and local authorities were represented. Great enthusiasm, for the Network and for Bucks’ place in the Network, was evident from the start and throughout the meeting.
The meeting was opened by Professor Ruth Farwell, VC of Bucks New University and Professor Anne Eden, Chief Executive of Bucks Healthcare. Updates on the progress of the Oxford AHSN towards license and its activities were given by Sir Jonathan Michael, Chief Executive of Oxford University Hospitals and Vice Chair of the Oxford AHSN, Stuart Bell, Chief Executive of Oxford Health NHS FT which provides mental health services in Buckinghamshire, Mr Chandi Ratnatunga, Programme lead and Dr Nick Edwards, Wealth Creation lead.
A presentation then followed from Susan Procter, Professor of Clinical Nursing Innovation at Bucks New University and Dr Kevin Maynard, Oxford Brookes University, on the problems being faced across the NHS and society as a whole with regards to the care of the frail elderly and how the skills in the NHS, in academia and in industry and the third sector might be brought together better to meet these needs and to equip those staff in caring for this group.
In discussions that followed on all aspects of the Oxford AHSN, led by David Sines, Pro Vice Chancellor, Bucks New University, and Dr Graz Luzzi, Medical Director, Bucks Healthcare, it was agreed that Bucks should take the lead in developing an approach to a clinical network for the elderly, and that real opportunities existed to build on the richness of the Bucks’ communities in all sectors. Networking time followed during which information on events planned (e.g. the VentureFest meeting in Oxford on 18 June with a focus on innovations) was exchanged and plans discussed for taking the work forward. In particular the opportunity was taken to explore ways of engaging positively with the Bucks County Council and its enterprise and economic activities.