NHS Innovation Accelerator programme raises £8m and benefits 3 million patients

Investors in an NHS innovation programme have increased the initial investment by eightfold.

The NHS Innovation Accelerator Programme fellows received £1m funding from the programme, which has now increased to £8m, and their innovations are being used by 68 NHS organisations and are set to benefit an estimated 3 million patients.

The initiatives, which are designed to improve patient care and help make NHS finances more efficient, include HealthUnlocked, a social network for patients and caregivers; Join Dementia Research, a programme for finding participants for dementia studies which now has 17,433 people registered; and Nervecentre, a digital platform enabling doctors and nurses to carry out patient observations, handovers and clinical assessments electronically that is now used in over 30 trusts in the UK.

Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS England’s medical director, said: “There is a real need across the NHS to speed up the process of innovation – from initial invention right through to mass uptake of the most successful across the health and care system.

“Together with their mentors, who are some of the most high-profile leaders in England, the innovation fellows will provide models and lessons for us all in how to do that.”

The NHS Innovation Accelerator Programme is run jointly by NHS England, UCLPartners, The Health Foundation and the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs).

Professor Sir David Fish, managing director of UCLPartners, said: “Innovation is all about working together to address defined needs for patients, staff and the care system – embedding and delivering innovation as we transition to place-based systems of care.

“Through access to expertise and support networks, the fellows have made tremendous progress in getting innovations into practice. This is leading to real benefits for patients and will inspire a future generation of innovators.”

Dr Mahiben Maruthappu, co-founder of the programme, said: “We are supporting the roll out of life-saving technologies in record time. The NHS is entering an innovation revolution. These results, although early, show that the NHS is ready for it.”

The most recent edition of NHE features an article by Hilary Newiss, chair of National Voices, on the importance of patient engagement in developing innovation ideas.


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