World-best innovations supported to scale

Source: NHE Nov/Dec 17

Programme director Dr Amanda Begley introduces the high-impact innovations selected to join the 2017 NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA), addressing key challenges in primary care, urgent & emergency care and mental health.

In June of this year, the NIA launched its third international call, seeking world-best innovations to address challenges in primary care, urgent & emergency care and mental health. 

Applicants were required to demonstrate significantly greater quality outcomes (including clinical, experience and safety) for substantially lower cost, and be ready to roll out across the NHS.

Five months on, and following a robust and competitive recruitment process, the 11 innovations and their representative Fellows selected to join the 2017 NIA were announced by Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, national medical director, at a launch event held in London on 22 November.

From a new care pathway enabling home monitoring of hypertension in pregnancy to the regulatory-approved product which turns a smartphone into a urinalysis device, these innovations will be supported by the NIA to scale across England’s NHS for the benefit of patients, staff and population.

Primary care, urgent & emergency care and mental health were identified as national service improvement priorities for the NHS in the Next Steps on the Five Year Forward View, published by NHS England in March. They are also highlighted within each of the country’s 44 sustainability and transformation plans.

As an NHS England initiative, delivered in partnership with the country’s 15 Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs), this year’s NIA challenges were a clear reflection of these national priorities.

The 2017 call sought evidence-based innovations to:

  1. Help provide highly responsive, effective and personalised solutions for people with or at risk of developing urgent and emergency care needs;
  2. Ensure that people at risk of, or experiencing, mental health problems can rapidly access holistic, effective and convenient care and support;
  3. Support and strengthen primary care in its endeavour to retain high quality, satisfaction and timely access to diagnosis and treatment as close to home as possible.

The NIA’s rigorous recruitment and selection process includes an assessment phase, with all applications reviewed by at least five experts from a collegiate of over 100 assessors and by NICE.

The innovations selected to join the 2017 NIA are all currently deployed and benefitting patients locally. Through the NIA and backing of the AHSNs, each of the dedicated Fellows representing these innovations will be supported to scale nationally, to ensure that as many people, patients and staff as possible can access them.

These 11 new NIA Fellows join an existing cohort of 25 innovators who have achieved considerable traction since the programme launched in January 2015.

This success includes nearly 800 additional NHS providers and commissioners now using NIA innovations, more than £36m external funding secured, 77 jobs created, 23 awards won and 13 innovations selling internationally. 

Introducing the 2017 Fellows and their innovations

  • Alistair Martin – WaitLess: Previously an A&E general manager and urgent care commissioner, Martin joined Transforming Systems Ltd to develop real-time data solutions designed to help manage urgent care flow. WaitLess is a free app which shows patients the fastest place to access urgent care services for minor conditions. It has supported an 11% reduction in minor injuries activity in A&E where used, and has a 99.6% patient satisfaction rate;
  • Asma Khalil – HaMpton: Khalil is a consultant obstetrician at St George’s Hospital, London. HaMpton is a new care pathway which involves the use of a smartphone app for monitoring high blood pressure at home. It has enabled a 53% reduction in number of appointments for hypertension monitoring, with an average cost saving of £300 per patient per week;
  • Dave Burrows – CATCH (Common Approach To Children’s Health): Burrows is the CEO of a Liverpool-based digital health technology company. CATCH addresses the inappropriate use of NHS services when self-care would be more appropriate. This digital app gives parents trusted, understandable information when they need and want it. It has supported a 3% reduction in overall A&E attendances reported by Eastern Cheshire CCG in winter 2016-17;
  • Debbie Wake – My Diabetes My Way (MDMW): Wake is a qualified medical doctor and diabetes specialist. MDMW is a comprehensive online self-management platform for people with diabetes. It currently has over 30,000 registered users, has supported improvements in long-term blood glucose sustained out to three years, and has seen a 5:1 return on investment (based on analysis of outcome data from long-term users in NHS Scotland);
  • Karina Allen – FREED: Allen is a clinical psychologist and lead for FREED, a model of care providing a rapid early response intervention for young people with eating disorders. It has reduced waiting time for treatment by approximately 50% and improved treatment uptake by 100%. In addition, 59% patients with anorexia nervosa reached a healthy weight by 12 months (versus 17% of audit sample);
  • Katherine Ward – Having worked in healthcare for 26 years, Ward is CCO for, the first company to turn the smartphone into a regulatory-approved clinical device. turns the smartphone into a urinalysis device, empowering patients to test themselves at home with no quality compromise, and to securely share results with a clinician;
  • Liz Ashall-Payne – ORCHA (Organisation for the Review of Care and Health Application): A speech and language therapist by background, Ashall-Payne founded ORCHA in 2015. ORCHA works with CCGs and providers to develop health app portals which integrate with local systems and strategies. This allows professionals easy and clear access to a verified resource, allowing them to enhance services and outcomes by finding and recommending the best apps to patients;
  • Melissa Morris – Lantum: Whilst working at NHS London, Morris developed Lantum, a platform that uses AI and machine learning to automate the manual processes involved in organising staff to fill clinical rotas. Adopted by 35 GP federations to date, Lantum has secured £3m savings for the NHS in under five years by providing a free platform for providers to manage their existing clinical workforce;
  • Mike Hurley – ESCAPE-pain (Enabling Self-management and Coping of Arthritic Pain through Exercise): A physiotherapist by background, Hurley developed the ESCAPE-pain rehabilitation programme to help people with chronic joint pain. This six-week programme offers sustained benefits for up to two-and-a-half years after completion, and has demonstrated £2.8m annual savings in total health and social care for every 1,000 participants;
  • Myles Murray – RespiraSense: Murray is the inventor of RespiraSense, the world’s first continuous respiratory rate monitor. This device offers medical teams the ability to detect signs of patient deterioration 12 hours earlier than the standard of care. It has the potential to offer over £100m net savings in pneumonia and sepsis pathways, from 5% reduction in preventable escalations of care;
  • Olivia Hind – Oviva Diabetes Support: Hind is head of partnerships at Oviva UK Ltd. Oviva Diabetes Support is a technology-enabled, NICE-aligned programme of type 2 diabetes structured education. Outcome data demonstrates clinically meaningful improvement in diabetes treatment targets, with estimated economic savings of over £1,000 per participant due to reduced medication need and use of services.


Top image © eternalcreative

Tw: @NHSAccelerator


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