Who We Are

We are the Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria (AHSN NENC) and we are proud to work across a wonderful region, supporting innovation in all its forms to improve population health across the NHS and Social Care and support economic growth. Take a look at our explainer video to understand more about us…


We work with our Member Organisations including the NHS Trusts, Clinical Commissioning Group (CCGs) and Universities across the North East and North Cumbria (NENC) region to help them identify, evaluate, adopt and disseminate transformative innovation.

We work with industry too, by harnessing innovation at the source, we enable industry partners to access the expertise within the NHS that is so crucial to the development, testing and deployment of products and services that are the basis of the UK’s Life Sciences sector.

As part of a national network of 15 AHSNs, and with colleagues across the country, we collaborate to make nationally important innovation visible and accessible throughout the NHS.


Our team is made up of:

  • An active and engaged Board. The Board is made up of senior NHS, CCGs and Trust employees from across the NENC region which ensures our priorities are aligned with the regional healthcare landscape.
  • An Executive and a Core Team who provide central support for the programmes we deliver.
  • A range of networks of practitioners across the region who understand what needs to be done, are experts in their fields and are busy, as part of their day jobs, constantly improving the care system by generating, evaluating, adopting and refining the technology and processes they use.

What We Stand For

Our work focuses on these main areas:

  • Supporting Economic Growth
  • Transforming Patient Safety and Quality Improvement
  • Improving Population Health
  • Driving digital transformation.

Across all of these activities, we act as the trusted broker of cross-organisational work. We lead on initiatives such as the Patient Safety Collaborative and The Innovation Pathway which involve organisations and practitioner networks that cover the entire NENC region.

We are currently in our second licence period delivering against national programmes and regional initiatives based on local healthcare needs in the above areas. We do so on behalf of our three major funders; NHS England, NHS Improvement and The Office for Life Sciences (OLS).

Our network includes a range of collaborating organisations from across the region, representing the health care sector, business and academia. The network members are collectively committed to improving both the health and economic prosperity of the region through innovation, research and the dissemination of knowledge, as well as the adoption of new and improved products and services.