First wave of Test Beds

Our ambitious Test Beds programme is bringing together innovators, industry and the NHS to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing the NHS, including diabetes.

Wave 2 competition

The competition to select a new set of Test Beds was launched in March 2018.

  • Over 700 people attended the Wave 2 collaboration events, connecting innovators with the NHS to explore setting up new partnerships
  • Over 8000 connections were made between industry and NHS organisations

Over 75 applications were submitted, resulting in the selection of 7 sites, with over 30 collaborators from across England

Delivery of the Wave 2 Test Beds started in the autumn of 2018.

Successful Wave 2 Test Beds

The sites receiving funding from government are:

  • Care City in London, which is bringing together market-ready diagnostics, smartphone applications and management tools to support patients with long-term conditions;
  • East Midlands Radiology Consortium (EMRAD), which is using artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve breast cancer screening;
  • Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust, who are providing patients with access to their digital health records with the aim of reducing missed appointments and duplication of clinical activity; and
  • Royal Stoke University Hospital, who are using new market-ready digital technologies to coordinate community-based clinical interventions for patients with heart failure, to reduce hospital re-admissions.

Sites focused on self-management of diabetes and being funded by NHS England are:

  • Greater Manchester Strategic Clinical Networks, who are testing a one-stop digital platform (MyDiabetesMyWay) designed to help people self-manage their condition more effectively;
  • South West London Health and Care Partnership, who are using a combination of new technologies to empower patients to take control of managing their condition; and
  • North East Hampshire and Farnham CCG, who are using digital solutions embedded within existing diabetes pathways in primary care to provide structured, ongoing self-management support for lifestyle change.

NHS Test Beds programme – initial impact and next steps

Hear what to expect with Wave 2 of the Test Beds programme, and the difference Wave 1 has made to patients, carers, clinicians and innovators involved.

Sharing learning from the Test Beds Programme

The seven Test Beds from Wave 1 of the programme pioneered learning on how to set up data sharing and information governance arrangements, as well as evaluations of real world innovations. Their experiences have been captured in learning handbooks so that future Test Beds and the wider health and care system can benefit from their learning.

Information governance learning handbook

Information governance is a key enabler which supports effective sharing and management of information in the NHS. Establishing and maintaining information governance arrangements is a crucial part of the set-up and successful operation of digital innovation projects like Test Beds. The Test Beds programme team has produced a handbook which is designed to support projects like the Test Beds which implement combinations of digital technology and pathway redesign in order to improve patient outcomes.  The information governance learning handbook is relevant for programme leaders, project managers and information governance staff working on similar projects and will enable them to:

  • Understand common information governance challenges, like those faced by Wave 1 Test Beds, and benefit from their learning
  • Plan information governance activity across a project’s lifespan
  • Access tools and guidance that can support their work

Evaluation learning from Wave 1

Evaluation is a core component of the Test Beds Programme. Evaluation is critical to gather evidence on the outcomes that innovations produce, as well as understanding how to replicate these outcomes in other settings.

The Test Beds programme team has produced an evaluation handbook which is designed to support evaluation of projects which combine digital technology with pathway redesign in order to improve patient outcomes. The evaluation handbook is designed to support a future wave of Test Bed programme directors, healthcare programme commissioners and other Test Bed project staff to:

  • Understand common evaluation challenges faced by the initial Wave 1 Test Beds and benefit from their learning
  • Plan similar evaluation activity and access tools and guidance that can support their work.