NHS chief Simon Stevens launches £650,000 prize fund for innovation

Simon Stevens, NHS Chief Executive, will today (Monday 29 September) launch a £650,000 prize pot to reward innovation in the NHS.

The NHS Innovation Challenge Prize encourages, celebrates and rewards innovation driven by the frontline doctors, nurses and NHS staff who deliver care every day.  The 2014/15 NHS Innovation Challenge Prizes, worth £650,000, will be announced at the Queen’s Nursing Institute conference in London.

Ahead of the announcement, Mr Stevens said: “We have a strong track record in developing and using new medical technologies to revolutionise the way we care for and treat patients – diagnostic ultrasound, the MRI scan, the ophthalmoscope used to examine our eyes – to name but a few.  All developed or invented by British innovators and used across the world to deliver healthcare to millions of people every day.”

“We need to find new ways of working if our health service is going to be fit to face the challenges ahead and we know that those ideas come from the brilliant people working in frontline caring and research roles.”

Now in its fourth year, this year’s programme will offer prizes across seven categories including for recognising innovations that support patient safety, enhance care for those with diabetes and prevent people from dying prematurely through the innovative use of technology to speed up diagnosis or improve care.

Previous winners include Dr Neil Guha and Professor Guruprasad Aithal from Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust who were awarded £100,000 after developing a new way of detecting early stage liver disease in the community.

The pathway uses a test first developed to detect the ripeness of cheese, to identify early stage liver disease, and has proven its potential to save lives and increase detection rates for cirrhosis. If rolled out nationally, this project could save the NHS as much £74.6 million in the first year.

The NHS Innovation Challenge Prize is open to all NHS organisations in England and deadline for entry is 7 November.  For more information, visit the The NHS Innovation Challenge Prize website.