What we do 

Health Innovation Network is the Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) for south London, one of 15 AHSNs across England. As the only bodies that connect NHS and academic organisations, local authorities, the third sector and industry, we are uniquely placed to increase the spread and adoption of innovation across large populations, at pace and scale. AHSNs operate with three core aims: improving outcomes for patients, driving down costs and stimulating economic growth.

We work with our members (local health and care teams in south London), national commissioners (NHS England & Improvement, NHSX, Office for Life Sciences) and industry to make sure south Londoners benefit from innovations on a daily basis and to learn about what works. We don’t see innovation as solely relating to new products or technology: we’re often innovating with clinicians and others to redesign existing pathways or make other changes to the way care is delivered.

 

 

Our approach to spread and adoption

Scaling innovation is a dynamic, iterative process that doesn’t involve getting from A to B in a straight line. Over the past five years, we have developed a framework approach based on the insights of clinical academics in Implementation Science and NHS England’s Change Model. This means that whatever the unique circumstances presented to us, we can still be the catalyst for change. Our framework is based on five key principles

A unique perspective

Unlike common approaches, we don’t only look at the problem from the perspective of the innovation or the product. We start from the perspective of the local system and teams that might want to use it. This system approach and insight is our expertise. It allows us to truly understand the existing problems that innovations can solve, rather than mandating change for the sake of a good idea.

Embracing complexity

We understand that implementing even simple innovations can have a domino effect – triggering a series of changes to diagnosis and treatment, changing staff and patient roles, and revealing new patient needs. We do not underestimate the complexity of change or the sensitivity with which we need to approach transformation of any kind.

Behavioural science, not broadcast

For many years in healthcare it was assumed that innovation would spread fast and that if one person was successfully innovating, others would soon follow. We know that simply broadcasting an idea is not effective. People are complex and they make decisions on multiple levels. We use data, evidence and the principles of behavioural science to support and persuade, not demand.

A flexible approach

We have a framework grounded in academic theory, but the detail of our approach is different every time. Our members have their own set of barriers, enablers, level of knowledge, risk appetite, culture and funding mechanisms. We understand everyone’s individual environment is different and support our members and partners to find their own path to implementation based on their unique circumstances.

Collaboration

We are highly skilled in collaborative working. We are experts in building trust amongst people across different organisations. We bring people together when they face similar challenges and have learning to share. Being part of a network of AHSNs is our strength.

Read more here and here.

Our approach to innovation is designed to achieve our vision for health and care

We want a future where health innovation spreads fast. We’re building it by connecting people with great ideas, inspiring people to think differently and giving them practical support to do something new. Together, we can create a future where everyone benefits from the best in health and care.

 

Find out more about what we do

Get involved

We work with a wide range of innovators and teams across industry, the NHS, care homes, councils and universities.

Contact us to find out more hin.southlondon@nhs.net.

Our offer includes: 

− Practical support to health and care teams to adopt new ideas rapidly

− Support for innovators to develop solutions that meet NHS needs, add value to health and care delivery and drive economic growth

− Advancing appropriate evidence-base for innovations, and evaluating implementation

− Co-production support

− Sharing knowledge and experience, including through Communities of Practice

− Providing creative time and space for members and partners to think differently

− Boosting innovations that support people to live well with long term conditions

− Expertise in understanding and solving the problems faced by staff and the public and

− Capacity building, including our Graduates into Health programme