The 2015-16 NHS Innovation Challenge Prizes were awarded on 28 January 2016 at Anglia Ruskin University.

Three key projects were awarded main Challenge Prizes in the categories of Cancer, Rehabilitation and Best Practice Adoption. A further 11 projects were awarded “acorn” prizes to support the development and rollout of smaller-scale ideas.

Cancer Challenge winner: Barnet Hospital, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

Barnet Hospital will receive £100,000 plus support from MSD, to further develop its innovative way of performing lung biopsies. A new approach to carrying out lung biopsies means that patients can leave hospital just 30 minutes after undergoing the potentially life-saving test – rather than the minimum four-hour stay needed in other UK hospitals.

By adopting new techniques and using new equipment, the service has increased ten-fold the number of biopsies it carries out each year, giving more patients early access to the latest lung cancer treatments.

By drastically reducing the number of people being admitted as in-patients following biopsy the service has also slashed its costs by around 90% per patient.

Read more information about the Cancer Challenge winner.

Rehabilitation Challenge winner: Breathe Arts Health Research

Breathe Arts Health Research will receive up to £50,000 in funding, plus a dedicated mentoring package, from AHPF to further develop Breathe Magic Intensive Therapy Programme for young people aged seven to 19 who have hemiplegia (paralysis of one side of the body).

The programme is run over two weeks in summer, and based on the Hand-Arm Bimanual Intensive Therapy (HABIT) programme, which follows NICE best-practice guidelines, but the difference is that this innovative programme is delivered as a training course in magic! The fun programme is very effective, with some young people showing 80% improvement in hand and arm function following the programme, clinically-significant motor skills improvements maintained after six months, and better psychological wellbeing across families.

Read more information about the Rehabilitation Challenge winner.

Best Practice Adoption Challenge winner Brighton and Sussex University NHS Foundation Trust will receive an intensive, high-level package of support from 3M, including dedicated mentorship, and work at the company’s global customer innovation centre in Minnesota.

Their Virtual Fracture Clinic allows 100% consultant review of complex fracture x-rays every weekday morning, with patients using easily-removable immobilisation boots instead of temporary plaster casts. Patients are then called and e-mailed with their diagnosis, and instructions on how to care for their injury before they are called back to hospital for further treatment. The system has halved costs, freed up staff time, and is more convenient for patients.

Read more information about the Best Practice Adoption Challenge winner.

Feedback from previous winners has shown that tailored training and mentoring is often more valuable to innovators than cash funding, so this year the focus has shifted towards more in-depth professional support.

Over the last four years the NHS Innovation Challenge Prizes have helped to identify and spreads proven innovations, promoting a culture of invention and driving adoption of the best ideas.

Previous winners

Find out more about previous winners of the NHS Innovation Challenge Prizes:

Previous award ceremony brochures