Academy team members, along with colleagues from the Kent Surrey Sussex Academic Health Science Network and the University of Surrey, travelled to Dorset Integrated Care System (ICS) recently for a learning visit.

We were looking forward to sharing the successes and lessons learned from our developing work with industry and recent successful bid for a Health Tech Accelerator. Dorset too had been on an interesting journey as an ICS, and we were keen to find out about their Digital Dorset programme and their work with digital industry partners.

We discovered that our regions had similar challenges, although Dorset’s aging population is rather more acute, with a population on target to have a ratio of 1:1 retired people to working age people in the near future!

Our key takeaways from the day were:

  • The similarities between Dorset’s “Big Space” project and our Health Tech Accelerator, with potential for more joint working
  • Their approach to engaging with digital industry partners through a Digital Health and Care Catalyst, linking with academia and their Local Enterprise Partnership
  • Their close partnership with Bournemouth University which is starting an expansion programme into increased health science research and future workforce development into ‘new’ roles such as physician assistants.