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Latest wave of funding to recognise and reward innovation

More than £90,000 is up for grabs for fresh ideas to help address England’s biggest healthcare challenges in the second wave of this year’s NHS Innovation Challenge Prizes.

The Innovation Challenge is a key part of the drive to embed innovation across the NHS, which includes the NHS Innovation Accelerator and Test Bed programmes and the new models of care vanguard sites.

Applications for the second wave of this year’s prize fund will be accepted from 12pm today and are open to anyone working in the NHS with an innovation that will improve the way that services are delivered.

The three categories in the second wave are:

  • A rehabilitation challenge for innovative and patient focused initiatives that address significant challenges in rehabilitation.
  • A rehabilitation acorn challenge to recognise smaller ideas that have the potential to make a big difference to patients.
  • A best practice adoption challenge which supports those who aspire to roll out their high impact innovations that are improving population management or safe elective surgery across the wider NHS.

The winners of the rehabilitation challenge prizes will win a share of £90,000 and receive tailored mentoring from The Allied Health Professions Federation to help take their innovations forward.

The winners of the best practice adoption challenge will receive coaching and developmental support from 3M. The successful applicants will travel to 3M’s global innovation centre in the US and meet with senior members of the research and development teams to gain insight into their approach to innovation. This includes looking at how science is applied to develop new solutions for a range of challenges such as making driving at night easier; buildings safer and consumer electronics lighter and less harmful to the environment.

National Clinical Director for Rehabilitation and Recovering in the Community for NHS England John Etherington said: “This is a great opportunity for those of you working at the cutting edge of rehabilitation to demonstrate your achievements and the clinical and economic benefits which result from treating our patients with high quality rehabilitation.”

NHS England Chief Allied Health Professional Officer Suzanne Rastrick said: “Innovation in rehabilitation services will be key to delivering transformational change set out in the Five Year Forward View.  Allied health professionals are known to be innovative and in applying for these prizes can demonstrate the really positive outcomes they deliver for people, their families and carers.”

The 2014 winners of the Rehabilitation Challenge Prize, Derbyshire Community Health Service Foundation Trust, received £75,000 to further develop their Occupational Physiotherapy Fitness for Work programme. The scheme, which supports staff to return to work as quickly as safely as possible, saved the Trust £244,800 in sickness absence costs. If rolled out across the NHS, this initiative could help save on the £13 million a year which is currently spent on missed work due to injury or illness.

Entries will be judged by an expert panel made up of clinical, industry, third sector, patient organisations and NHS England leaders. The deadline for applications is 12pm on 19 October.

For more information and key dates go to: www.england.nhs.uk/challengeprizes/

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