Innovation Compass

Strengthening Leadership and Accountability for innovation at Board level throughout the NHS

Providing clear unequivocal leadership on innovation at national, regional and local level is essential to creating, supporting and sustaining the adoption and diffusion of innovation. Searching for and applying innovative approaches to delivering healthcare must be an integral part of the way the NHS does business. Recognising Boards and Governing Bodies will be at different points on their innovation development journey, in September 2013, we published a practical guide for use at Board level across the NHS.

The guide is intended to be used as a resource around which a Board development programmes can be built. It identifies three key components that drive innovation adoption and diffusion; and presents a range of evidence, case studies and questions that Boards can consider, and build their own approaches, that reflect their mission, values and vision. The aim of this guide is not to provide a “one size fits all” answer, but to provide Boards and Governing Bodies with some views, case studies and processes that work elsewhere, both in the NHS and other sectors.

Innovation Compass

The Innovation compass was developed with an International Partnership. This is a diagnostic tool to:

  • demonstrate how NHS organisations and health systems are currently innovating and how they can be supported to improve;
  • develop a clearer understanding of both organisational and system readiness in relation to accelerating the process of innovation, including adoption and diffusion on a wider scale;
  • Provide patients and the public with access to information about how NHS organisations are using innovation to improve service quality and increase choice.

The innovation compass will focus on supporting organisations such as AHSNs, NHS Trusts and CCG’s and the systems in which they operate to further develop a culture, that encourages and implements innovation, at pace and scale.

This is particularly important at a time when the financial challenge is significant and there is a requirement for the NHS providers to improve the quality of healthcare in keeping with the five domains of the NHS Outcomes Framework, whilst at the same time reducing expenditure

The Innovation Compass represents a significant opportunity for the NHS at a critical time to improve upon its approach to innovation.  By drawing on best thinking from academia, industry and the NHS, an approach has been developed which is both practical and sustainable.

The tool is currently being piloted with a number of AHSNs with the aim to:

  • Test out the fitness for purpose of the Innovation Compass diagnostic
  • Raise awareness and understanding of the conceptual model and engage pilot sites and stakeholders in its further development and roll-out
  • Inform the approach and methodology to the further roll-out of the pilot