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NHS England’s Medical Director Sir Bruce Keogh will today (Monday 6 July) announce the successful applicants of a scheme to make evidenced healthcare innovations more widely available to patients.
Seventeen healthcare pioneers from the UK and abroad have been identified to receive national support to roll out their technologies, processes and models of care to patients, hospitals and GP practices throughout England.
Through the fellowship, they will receive mentorship from seasoned innovators such as Lord Ara Darzi, a bursary, and support through the Academic Health Science Networks to spread these new ways of working across the country.
The innovations will help to prevent diseases, speed up diagnosis, improve safety and efficiency of services and increase patient participation in decision making, self-management and research. This will lead to better health outcomes and a more sustainable NHS.
Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS England’s National Medical Director, said: “The NHS stands on the cusp of a revolution in innovation. At its heart, innovation is the will to better, to find solutions for existing needs or new problems through more effective products, processes, technology or even the way we deliver services. Today we increase the opportunity for improving patient care by creating new conditions for ideas to thrive.”
Professor Rachel Munton, Chair of the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSN), said: “Academic Health Science Networks were established to spread innovation, and we are therefore delighted to be supporting these outstanding individuals and their innovations, as they are adopted and spread at pace and scale. The National Innovations Accelerator programme is a real opportunity not only for the innovators, but more particularly the patients and populations they serve”.
The aim of the NHS Innovation Accelerator programme is to help deliver on the commitment detailed within the Five Year Forward View – understanding how to create the conditions and cultural change necessary for proven innovations to be adopted faster and more systematically through the NHS, and to deliver examples into practice for demonstrable patient and population benefit.
The programme is hosted by UCLPartners and the Health Foundation, in partnership with NHS England and in collaboration with Academic Health Science Networks across the country. The delivery teams will to work together with patient groups to develop future strategies for innovation where diffusion is planned from the outset with patients and local communities.
Dr Mahiben Maruthappu, NHS England lead for the Innovation Accelerator programme, said: “Innovation is critical to enabling the NHS to achieve the ambitions set out in the Five Year Forward View: to ramp up the pace and scale of change, and deliver better outcomes for patients. The fellows bring a huge breadth of expertise to the programme and a passion for achieving better outcomes for patients through the adoption of innovation.”
Jo Bibby, Director of Strategy at The Health Foundation, said: “It’s hugely exciting to see the potential of this programme and its likely longer-term impact on the experience of patients. We have seen, through a number of Health Foundation projects, how creating a critical mass of experts all with a common goal can yield excellent results for our health service, its delivery and future shape.”
Professor Sir David Fish, Managing Director of UCLPartners, said: “Through such national and international partnerships we can create stronger platforms for delivering the best and latest healthcare solutions to patients and the population where it matters most to them.”
More than 120 people from the UK and internationally applied to join the programme. They included experienced innovation diffusers, leaders, founders and representatives of high impact innovative products, services, technologies and care models. Through the rigorous application process, innovators needed to demonstrate a passion and commitment for taking their innovations forward at scale.
The programme will support a broad portfolio of innovations including: devices; healthcare applications; new models of care; online resources and technology platforms covering the clinical areas of cancer, mental health, multiple sclerosis, maternity care, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, liver disease and dementia.