The urgency for digital innovation in urgent and emergency care

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The desperate need for digital innovation in urgent and emergency care – sparking connections and inspiring innovations

Written by Lesley Soden, Programme Director, Innovation Theme, Health Innovation Network

This winter has once again been a record-breaking one for A&E departments across the country —but not in a good way. Programme Director of Innovation, Lesley Soden, reflects on how technology, and not targets, needs to be the centre of the discussion to really support health and care providers delivering urgent care.

According to data and analysis published in the Health Service Journal earlier this month, overall type-one performance in emergency and urgent care units—the turnaround time for treating the most critical patients in A&E—has fallen nearly 11 percentage points since December 2018, while some individual trusts have experienced a year-on-year slide of between 20 and 30 per cent.

But how can anyone be surprised when in London alone, A&Es saw over 25,000 more patients in December 2019 than they did in December 2018.[1] Service expectations and pressures grow higher, while clinical staff continue to be spread thinner.

But instead of joining in the discussion on whether the targets need to change, I want to talk to you about the impact that existing technology could have on the urgent and emergency care system. Last October, at Health Innovation Network (HIN), we partnered with the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme to host an Innovation Exchange event to debate exactly the question I believe is the most important to answer – how can technology help? At the event, we brought together key stakeholders from the urgent and emergency care sector in London and creators of some of the latest innovations tackling ever-growing issues with the wait times and overall efficiency  The event sought to achieve two things; firstly, to share a deeper understanding of vital NHS needs with the health tech innovators, and secondly, to start the conversation about how digital innovations that are already transforming other areas of healthcare might be able to help.

An honest discussion

Determined not to present an idealistic view of transformation, we started the day discussing the complexities of digital innovation. There are 32 CCGs across London, each with different systems, providers, patient pathways and data flows. This lack of cohesion across the board can result in real challenges for the introduction of new innovations, particularly digital ones. For example, a product may fit into one hospital easily, but be incompatible with another. Similarly, a product may require or generate specific data that we don’t have a standard process for sharing across multiple settings. These challenges are best appreciated when you look at urgent and emergency care. It is here that speed and effectiveness can make the difference in highly pressurised life or death situations.

It was eye-opening to hear about the level of activity that the London Ambulance Service (LAS) experiences. LAS handle approximately 5,000 emergency calls every day in London and has approximately 6,000 staff, 65 per cent of them front line staff responding to emergencies. On average, the LAS responds to all Category 1 calls (the most serious of emergency calls) within 6 mins 28 seconds. In these often-chaotic situations, bandwidth, hardware and human factors such as the staff’s experience of the technology, are all integral to a successful A&E handover.

Where technology is already helping

Stuart Crichton, Chief Clinical Information Officer (CCIO) at the LAS, described one of the challenges they experienced when implementing the use of iPads. The issue lay with ensuring that paramedics remembered their most up-to-date passwords. As we all do on occasion, staff kept forgetting their login details or couldn’t access their most up-to-date credentials (a password reminder was sent to an email address they couldn’t easily access). To resolve this issue, LAS removed the need for usernames and passwords, opting instead for using fingerprint recognition, the same type of technology many people use day-to-day with smart phones and tablets. Stuart described this as an exciting breakthrough, and a simple solution the LAS believes will have a positive impact in crucial life and death situations.

Dr. Gabriel Jones, Consultant of Emergency Medicine at St George’s NHS Foundation Trust, described the lightbulb moment he had when looking around the waiting room one day and noticing that almost all the patients who were waiting were using their smart phones. In the UK, 78 per cent of adults now have a smartphone. Dr. Jones recognised this as an opportunity to try something new. They designed a digital solution and set up a pilot, known at the hospital as ED Check-in, that enables patients to input information to a secure mobile website via their smart phones while they wait. A doctor can then access that information instantly, and it follows the patients through their hospital journey, keeping clinicians informed at each stage. Sometimes, clinicians with an entrepreneurial nature can design the best solutions to challenges within their health services, which is why it’s so important that they’re included in conversations around digital innovation.

… to create positive change, it’s imperative that today’s innovators understand the complications as well so they can deliver the most appropriate digital solutions

At the event, we were lucky enough to have guest speaker Eileen Sutton, Head of Urgent and Emergency Care at the Healthy London Partnership (HLP) and London Regional Integrated Urgent Care (IUC) Lead at NHS England. Eileen is a District Nurse by background and has a range of experience across the IUC system. She identified the need to reduce the number of people turning up at A&E with conditions or illnesses that could be treated at home, by a community pharmacist or other care professionals, and the need to improve patient flow to reduce the time spent waiting to be treated upon arriving at A&E as some of the greatest challenges. We know that NHS expert staff are the only ones who really understand the high complexity and nuance of these situations, but in order to create positive change, it’s imperative that today’s innovators understand the complications as well so they can deliver the most appropriate digital solutions.

Working with the DigtialHealth.London Accelerator Programme, we were able to identify 11 companies that offer solutions to these two main challenges. We held a rigorous and open application process for innovators to attend this event, during which they had the opportunity to pitch their innovations to London NHS commissioners, trusts and other NHS expert staff.

The companies selected to present were:

To demonstrate the real-world application of the innovations, we created some fictional scenarios in which the innovators present could help to reduce A&E attendance and improve patient flow.

Scenario one: Reducing A&E attendance challenge

We discussed Ahmed, a frequent visitor to his A&E for a number of minor ailments that could be managed by a pharmacy or primary care. At his next visit, he is referred to the Health Navigator solution and assigned a Health Coach, with whom he speaks weekly. He now rarely visits A&E and has joined local classes.

And Claire, who is worried that she has a UTI. We offer her a virtual and confidential consultation via Q Doctor with a doctor at a local urgent care centre instead. The doctor refers her to the local pharmacy to use the Dip-IO test from Healthy.io, which tests positive and the pharmacist then prescribes antibiotics.

And then Bob who calls 111. He is re-directed to the MedicSpot station at his local pharmacy, where he is given a remote consultation with a virtual doctor, who takes his blood pressure checks for other vital signs.

All three patients are given the care they needed in a timely and effective manner, without the need for ambulance or a prolonged wait in A&E.

Scenario two: Improving patient flow and reducing waiting times challenge 

For our next challenge, we talked about Mary, who has multiple complex co-morbidities and goes to her local A&E when she experiences tingling in her legs. In the reception area, there are tablets with the eConsult triage system. Mary checks in using a tablet, by answering a few brief clinical questions about her symptoms. The system automatically triages Mary by her clinical symptoms within five minutes of her arrival.

While Mary is in the waiting area, she also inputs her symptoms, medication and medical history into the MedCircuit app, which helps save the doctor time and uses Mary’s wait more efficiently.

Mary sees the A&E doctor, but the light isn’t working in one of the consultation rooms. She uses the MediShout app to report this logistical issue, which links to the estates helpdesk and reports it immediately. She receives a notification that it will be fixed in two hours.

The doctor runs a full blood count test using Horiba’s Microsemi CRP device, which gives test results in four minutes. Mary is transferred to the x-ray department using the Infinity ePortering system to request a porter, saving critical time for herself and the doctors.

The A&E department also uses CEMBooks, which allows the consultant managing Mary’s case to plan her care and predict the demand for inpatient beds if this is required.

Mary deteriorates rapidly and requires a transfer to a specialist hospital. During her transfer in the ambulance, the MediVue platform provides real-time data taken from her monitor and active correspondence between the transferring doctor and the receiving hospital.

When she arrives at the specialist hospital, staff are prepared to smoothly transfer her to the appropriate unit, having already been informed of her history and symptoms.

These may be fictional scenarios, but they represent just a fraction of the real-life attendances to emergency care that technology could be helping make safer, more efficient and a better experience for both staff and patients. And most significantly, whilst time and efficiency were intended benefits of the digital solutions presented at the event, the focus of our discussions were about patient outcomes and supporting staff to deliver. Maybe if we changed the focus from targets to technology nationally too, we’d get to a clearer solution more quickly.

About the author

Lesley Soden
Programme Director – Innovation Theme, Health Innovation Network

Lesley has led the HIN’s Innovation Exchange function since 2017. She has over 20 years’ experience in the NHS and public sector working in senior business/strategy and programme management roles. Her roles have included work with transformation, contracts and commercial, programme delivery, business development/ planning, bid writing and clinical service re-design, all delivered in collaboration with a variety of partnerships. She is interested in new ways of working and maximising technology to improve patient care.

Learn more

Health Innovation Network is well placed to bring together key NHS staff and specialist innovators to help deliver the best in health and care in London together.

Save every life

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Save every life

Aileen Jackson, our Head of Mental Health, reflects on her involvement in a new national digital suicide prevention resource funded by the Department of Health and Social Care

Having spent the last few decades working extensively in the health and social care sector, I have seen first-hand the effect that use of certain language can have in particularly sensitive situations. The language used to describe suicide is often regarded as wholly negative and this was brought to light again at our recent stakeholder engagement workshop, where I was challenged on the term ‘zero suicide’.

The man who posed the challenge, like some people with enduring mental illness, lives with suicide ideation. He felt that the ambition of ‘zero suicide’ furthers the stigmatization he already experiences. The harmful thoughts he explained are very much part of his mental illness and, as such, won’t just go away.

National engagement and research on suicide prevention

The workshop in question was part of a national engagement and research project I was involved in as part of my role at the Health Innovation Network. The project, commissioned by the Zero Suicide Alliance (ZSA), was designed to find out what professionals need to know about preventing suicide and what information is already available online to assist them. The purpose of both tasks was to inform a new digital suicide prevention resource funded by the Department of Health and Social Care.

Worldwide close to 800,000 people took their own lives in 2018, and suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15 to 29-year-olds and still the biggest killer for men under 50. Every week, 12 Londoners lose their life to suicide. It does not take much imagination to work out how many others are affected by each life lost. Zero Suicide is an ambition being adopted around the UK and the world, and the Major of London announced his support for Zero Suicide in September on World Suicide Prevention Day.

The stakeholder engagement took several forms, workshops, telephone interviews and a digital survey, which gathered nearly 1,000 responses in just six short weeks.

What we are learning

The project has taught us several things. Firstly, it showed us how passionate people working in this field are about knowing more about suicide prevention. People want to be trained, to know how digital apps and research are contributing to this area of mental health, and what best practice is out there and ready to share. Perhaps most simply of all, people want to be able to know what to say if someone they encounter is suicidal.

Our research also demonstrated there are plenty of good quality national and international examples out there to support and equip professionals to build their suicide prevention toolbox. The responses demonstrated there is a need for a national suicide prevention ‘go to’ digital resource to inform and support the full range of professionals; NHS, police, fire, social care, unions, private and third sector that work so tirelessly to prevent suicide.

On a personal level, I learnt that many of us have first-hand experience of suicide, which we seldom speak about. All the learning from our project has been provided to ZSA and is informing the content and design of a new digital resource, which will be made invariably stronger by the open, honest and brave contributions that everyone involved throughout the process has made.

To learn more about this project please email hin.southlondon@nhs.net.

A thank you

Thank you to all of you who contributed so openly, you inspired us to complete this work on your behalf. Thank you to the man who had the courage to challenge us at that first workshop. You opened my mind to the life that you and your peers live, you stayed and joined in despite your anger and upset. I believe by the end you were uplifted, like me, by the sheer number of professionals in the room from all different services that wanted to understand more about how they can be better equipped to prevent suicide. By engaging with the topic, sharing your experience and your viewpoint, you helped us to ensure the experience of others like you is captured and considered.

And thank you to those colleagues who bravely shared their personal experiences of suicide. I hope you have been helped through hearing some of the other sad stories of loss, which were presented so eloquently and courageously at our workshops around the country.

Suicide touches the lives of so many of us in some way, either through relatives or friends, or through living with suicidal ideation as part of a mental illness. What we’re not always able to do is talk about it. I believe if the Zero Suicide ambition helps even more people affected to find the words and forums to talk about it, is an ambition worth pursuing.

Help us to achieve our Zero Suicide ambition

The Health Innovation Network has joined with the ZSA in its support of the Major of London’s Zero Suicide campaign. You can learn more about preventing suicide through free Save a Life training.

The aim of Save a Life is to #See #Say #Signpost

  • Identify when someone is presenting with suicidal thoughts/behaviour
  • Be able to speak out in a supportive manner
  • Empower them to signpost the individual to the correct services or support.

Take 20 mins now to Save a Life, access the training here.

Acknowledgements and further information

Thank you to King’s Health Partners for supporting our suicide prevention engagement work and to the Zero Suicide Alliance for the opportunity to contribute to the design and content of the new national digital suicide prevention resource.

This piece was originally published on 10 October 2019 on kingshealthpartners.org

New tech: Diabetes Book and Learn launch self-referral

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Technology-led service gives thousands of south Londoners quicker access to free NHS diabetes education

Today, World Diabetes Day, the NHS in south London is launching a new service for people living with Type 2 diabetes to make it easier than ever to access vital support. An innovative new service from the NHS, Diabetes Book & Learn, will now allow people to self-refer for diabetes support courses rather than go through their GP. These courses will help them manage their condition better and significantly decrease their risk of serious complications (such as blindness and amputations). The service also increases choice for south Londoners, who will be able to access expert support through face-to-face courses or online programmes and book themselves onto their choice of course via the website or by phone.

There are over 165,000 people living with diabetes in South London (QOF 18-19).

Dr Jonty Heaversedge, NHS England, London’s Medical Director for Primary Care and Digital Transformation, said: “It’s great to see south London’s NHS, GPs, hospitals and innovators working together to bring access to practical healthcare into people’s lives using everyday technology. Diabetes Book & Learn is enabling people to not only live better, healthier lives but to stay ahead of their condition and reduce their risk of serious health complications. It couldn’t be easier to learn about how to manage your diabetes if you live in south London thanks to this service.”

Dr Neel Basudev, local south London GP and Diabetes Clinical Director of the Health Innovation Network, said: “We know lots of people who are living with Type 2 diabetes across south London either weren’t offered a place on a course when they were originally diagnosed, or for many reasons, couldn’t attend one of the limited courses that were available locally.

“We expect easy booking and online services in all other areas of our lives: we order food, arrange our home insurance, do our banking, you name it, through our smartphone. In south London, we are leading the way in making sure that people can access vital support for their diabetes just as easily – it’s just a few clicks or a phone call away.

“We have opened up support for people with Type 2 diabetes. Now you can book yourself onto any one of the courses available across all 12 south London boroughs or online. I’d encourage anyone living with Type 2 diabetes to book onto a course today and find out how to better manage their diabetes and avoid serious complications.”

Roz Rosenblatt, Head of London Region at Diabetes UK, said: “Thousands of people in the south London community can book on to a course which offers significant benefits. All it takes is a few clicks on the Book & Learn website or by phone and anyone living with Type 2 diabetes in this area can join a course that will improve their knowledge and confidence, plus help them take control of their diabetes and live well for longer.”

The aim of these specifically designed courses is for people living with Type 2 diabetes to improve their knowledge, skills and confidence, enabling them to take increasing control of their condition and integrate effective self-management into their daily lives. These courses help people to take control of their diabetes through learning more about their condition and they also provide valuable peer support.

The courses have been clinically proven to have a positive impact on individuals including:

  • Lowering average blood glucose levels, thereby reducing the risk of complications
  • Reducing cholesterol and blood pressure levels
  • Improving levels of physical activity
  • Improving understanding of diabetes and self-management skills
  • Weight reduction.

Despite these benefits, attendance across south London is low. The National Diabetes Audit data shows in 2017-18, 77.3 percent of people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes were offered a place on a structured education course, but only 9.4 percent of those people attended.  There are many reasons for this major gap between those eligible and offered a place and those attendance including; limited choice in location and timing of courses being offered. Allowing people to self-refer via Diabetes Book & Learn means that people can book onto a course when and where suits them, including an option to complete a course entirely online.

Read more about this vital service at www.diabetesbooking.co.uk/about  and for more information please contact hin.southlondon@nhs.net.

 

Cutting-edge technology transforms diabetes care across south London

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Cutting-edge technology transforms diabetes care across south London

L-R: Tara Donelly, Chief Digital Officer, NHSX; Oliver Brady, Head of Diabetes Transformation, South West London Health and Care Partnership; Karen Broughton, Director of Strategy and Transformation, South West London Health and Care Partnership; Vicky Parker, Programme Lead, London Diabetes Clinical Network and Ben McGough, Workstream Lead – Digital, NHS Diabetes Programme.

South London clinicians and partner organisations gathered together at Guy’s Hospital last night (30 October) to launch a brand-new diabetes service called You & Type 2.

After receiving over £500,000 funding from the NHS Test Bed programme, the You & Type 2 service is now being piloted across south London. The service combines innovative technology, improved access to services and a personalised approach.

The ambition of the project is help people living with Type 2 diabetes to have happier and healthier lives by enabling them to have more control over their care.

Designed to provide a range of further education, support and resources, You & Type 2 enables patients to work with their healthcare provider to produce a unique care plan. Part of the service is an app that will allow patients to access and update their care plan when it suits them and receive personalised videos containing recent test results, which will prepare them for informed discussions with clinicians.

Healthcare professionals using the service can update the app in real time, offering tailored support to patients. This means they are equipped to deliver the best patient-centred care, with the support of innovative technology that is linked to personal health data and individual goals.

Thirty-five GP surgeries across south London are now piloting the service, which is expected to be rolled out more widely in 2020. Clinicians who are already using the service have reported improved knowledge and skills, alongside greater job satisfaction and increased levels of team work. So far, over 1000 patients have already created their own care plans, working closely with their healthcare professionals to make something personal and meaningful to them.

A group shot of the partners involved in the You & Type 2 service

Speaking from the service launch event last night at Guys Hospital, local GP Dr Neel Basudev, Clinical Lead for You & Type 2, said: “This is such an exciting and different way to treat people living with type 2 diabetes. We know that being diagnosed and living with a long-term condition can feel overwhelming, but by using innovative technologies and working collaboratively with patients, this service helps them to overcome difficulties and improve their overall health and happiness.

“This is an exciting opportunity and I can’t wait to see how this develops and the impact it has on people’s lives, not only in my practice, but in practices across south London.”

Victoria Parker, Programme Lead for London Diabetes Clinical Network, NHS England, said: “This is such an innovative digital service and I’m happy to be here for the launch. The NHS long term plan speaks of personalisation and patient centred care.

“This service captures the essence of the long-term plan but also pushes it to a new level, offering better care and support for those with Type 2 diabetes as well as creating a model of care for any long term condition. I am excited to see where this project goes next and for the opportunities it presents for spread and adoption across London.”

For more information on the programme visit youandtype2.org

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‘Travel to learn, return to inspire’

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‘Travel to learn, return to inspire’

Health Innovation Network’s Director of Operations, Rebecca Jarvis, is currently in Japan as part of her Churchill Fellowship exploring alternatives to care homes for older people.

Earlier this year, I was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to explore alternatives to long term institutional care for older people. I specifically chose to focus my research on this area because we have an ageing population in the UK with increasing demand on care services. Most people say they would not want to live in a care home when they become very old but they do not consider what the alternative could be, let alone actively plan for it. They carry on living in their own home which is maybe bigger than they need, but full of memories which are hard to let go of. And then crisis hits – a bad fall, or a partner dying and suddenly they can’t manage on their own, or make it to the upstairs loo, and then what? The hospital is desperate to free up the bed for the next patient, families and friends cannot provide around the clock care and suddenly there is pressure to move into a care home.

I selected Japan and New Zealand the two destinations for my Fellowship as Japan is a super-ageing society with 28 per cent of the population aged over 65, expected to rise to 38 per cent by 2015. Since the introduction of the long-term care insurance system in 2000, a range of community based alternatives to institutional care have been developed. New Zealand has a well-developed retirement village sector with some of the most advanced regulation and legislation in the world.

But this is not all about us learning from Japan. When we hosted a delegation from the International Longevity Centre (ILC) in Japan in August this year we were able to reciprocate the learning and used it as an opportunity to showcase some of the great initiatives underway in south London to support older people to remain physically and mentally active. The delegation was particularly interested in visiting reablement services, such as the Bexley reablement team where they have demonstrated particularly impressive outcomes in terms of reducing risk of frailty, and the Nelson Health Centre in Merton where the HARI (Holistic Assessment, Rapid Investigation) team of nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and pharmacists help people recover from falls and other injuries / illnesses, reducing the number of hospital visits by an impressive 50% in their pilot year alone. When it was my turn to be hosted by the ILC as part of my visit to Japan, it felt like meeting up with old friends.

On the surface, we might seem like two very different countries, but when you reflect more closely the UK and Japan actually have more in common than we think. Geographically, both are ‘island countries’ on the edge of a large continental landmass. Politically, both have constitutional monarchies and both have a closer relationship with the USA than their European or Asian neighbours. And population-wise, both countries are ageing societies which, although this is more acutely observed in Japan, means that both countries are facing significant pressures on their health and care systems.

Japan is also experiencing a declining birth rate which is resulting in what they call a ‘piggy back’ situation; essentially meaning that where previously there have been two working age adults to support one older person, there will soon only be one working age adult to support one older person, meaning economically it is more crucial than ever before to ensure that the right provisions are being put in place accommodate for this.

Whilst the problems are similar in both countries, we are tackling them in different ways. For example, the Japanese health and care system has yet to make use of social prescribing, something that has increased in popularity in the UK as a way of addressing the ‘non health’ needs that were often raised by patients when they went to their GP. This was something our Japanese delegates were especially keen to hear about. Also, unlike the UK, the voluntary sector is very different in Japan and they don’t have large national charities providing services and support. A talk by Bexley councillors, commissioners, and people working for the Bexley voluntary service council, explained to the delegation from Japan about the massive impact that even a small charity could have in terms of the support it provides to vulnerable people.

Instead, Japan has the Long Term Care insurance system, introduced in 2000, and which everyone pays into from the age of 40 and as such a range of different models of community based care have been funded to support people in he own homes and communities. I have been fortunate enough to witness some of these initiatives first hand, such as the Silverwood Ginmokusei in Chiba Prefecture, the closest I’ve seen to a true alternative to a residential care home, providing accommodation for older people, many of whom have dementia and care needs, centred around a community space and an appealing restaurant, literally jutting out into the community. Residents work in the restaurant and sweet shop, and members of the community regularly drop by for lunch and the primary school kids drop in after school on their way home.

I also visited what is described as a small-scale multifunctional nursing home called Okagami in Kanagawa Prefecture. It provides support for people who have care and nursing needs but want to keep on living in their own homes. The facility looks like a family home in a residential area. There are six small rooms around a communal area. The clients can receive a range of support from a short stay in one of the six rooms, taking part in a group activity at the day centre, using the bath or receiving care and nursing support at home. The real benefit of this kind of facility is the flexibility it brings. Some people register as clients but only use the home care service or day care service. One client is over 90 and wants to continue living on her own in her own home, but she feels a bit nervous about it, so stays overnight at the centre from Monday to Friday and goes home at weekends. Many people use this facility as a safety net. It’s there for them in case they need it and it can respond flexibly to their needs. I didn’t imagine that I would see something that could support people with such severe care and nursing needs to continue to live in their own homes. There is no doubt that if it wasn’t for Okagami, many of these people would need to be in a care home.

There are many similarities in our approach as well. Professor Yoko Matsuoka from Kasei University in Tokyo eloquently described the paradigm shift in thinking in both countries, as moving from an approach of ‘doing for’ and ‘providing services’, to ‘doing with’ and generating solutions with the community. Both countries understand that older people themselves have a wealth of experience and skills which can they can contribute to support people to age well.

It is really fascinating learning about the Japanese health and care system, and how they are not only coping with, but embracing their “super ageing” population. Next week I will be leaving Japan for New Zealand to start the second leg of my Fellowship, which has one of the highest proportions of older people living in retirement communities in the world. I am particularly interested in why New Zealanders choose to move into a retirement village community and what their expectations are of these initiatives.

The Churchill Fellowship slogan is ‘travel to learn, return to inspire’. I am learning so much about alternatives to long term institutional care for older people on my travels and am looking forward to sharing what I’ve learn when I get back. It would be fantastic if we could adopt some of these good ideas from overseas in south London. After all, as an Academic Health Science Network, we are in a good position to try something new.

Read more about Rebecca’s experiences in Japan and New Zealand by signing up to her blog.

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BBC news broadcasts special feature on ESCAPE-pain programme

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BBC news broadcasts special feature on ESCAPE-pain programme

As part of National Arthritis Week, BBC London have featured the innovative rehabilitation programme, created by our Clinical Director Prof Mike Hurley.

The special report included the fact that over 1,000 people have been trained to deliver this programme at 230 sites, including at least one in every region in England. In a boost to out-of-hospital care, an ambition of the NHS’ Long Term Plan, these trained professionals include fitness instructors delivering the programme in community halls and leisure centres, as well as hospital-based physiotherapists. ESCAPE-pain’s rapid growth over the past two years has been supported by the NHS’ innovation bodies, Academic Health Science Networks, NHS England, charity Versus Arthritis, and Sport England.

It is estimated that over 14,000 people will have taken part in ESCAPE-pain programmes across 230 sites in the UK.ESCAPE-pain is for people with chronic knee and hip pain (known as osteoarthritis, a musculoskeletal condition) and has been shown to make marked improvements to quality of life for people living with the condition. The success of ESCAPE-pain has also led to a newpilot programme for back pain being launched.

Around 8.75 million people aged 45 years and over (33 percent) in the UK have sought treatment for osteoarthritis. Despite the risk of side effects and high costs, treatment for osteoarthritis has traditionally been the prescription of painkillers, typically non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID), with little practical support.

ESCAPE-pain’sfocus on education and exercise offers people and GPs options to better manage pain associated to osteoarthritis.The programme runs for a total of 12 sessions over six weeks with participants attending two, hour-long classes a week.The classes teach people the skills they need to self-manage and reduce their pain.Each class starts with a brief discussion about pain and how it can be reduced and is then followed by an individualised exercise programme.

ESCAPE-pain creator Professor Mike Hurley said:

“Chronic joint pain is miserable. It creates a vicious cycle of severe pain, leading to prolonged rest, which leads to further muscle weakness, which leads to physical instability and fatigue. This inactivity increases the risk of co-morbidities such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. These physical health issues and disability then contribute to social isolation, feelings of helplessness, anxiety and depression, and long-term use of pain killers that people don’t like taking and haven’t been proven to work in the longer term.

“I wanted to find a better way to help people living with chronic pain and with ESCAPE-pain, we’ve shown that a combination of education, self-management, coping strategies and individualised exercise regimes can achieve better outcomes.”

David Rawlings, exercise referral specialist at gym and leisure centre, Leisure at Cheltenham, has been running the ESCAPE-pain programme at the centre with physiotherapists from Cheltenham General Hospital for over three years.

David said:

“People love it and for some it literally is life-changing. Some of the participants we have had on the course had stopped going out and participating in family life or in their community.  After attending ESCAPE-pain they become more active, are able to manage their pain and their arthritis better and build the confidence to move and become more active again.”

Jenn Holeman, senior musculoskeletal physiotherapist at Cheltenham General Hospital leads the ESCAPE-pain programme at the leisure centre said:

“I would recommend the ESCAPE-pain programme 100 percent both professionally and personally.  It is great and I think all areas should be taking it up.  It saves the NHS money because rather than 30 minute one-to-one physiotherapy sessions up to 16 people are having group sessions with one physiotherapist and gym instructor twice a week and it relieves the pressure on GPs because it cuts down on the amount of patients seeking treatment for their symptoms.”

Recent independent evaluations have also reinforced how much money the NHS saves by taking this approach, showing that every £1 invested returns over £5 in wider health and social value through people needing to use services and medication less. Overall it equates to an estimated £1.3 million total savings in health and social care for every 1,000 participants who undertake ESCAPE-pain.

Now, Londoners with chronic back problems have been given the opportunity to access a similar self-management programme. This pilot programme available at four London Trusts and over 150 people have benefitted to date.

Matt Whitty, deputy director of Innovation and Life Sciences, NHS England and NHS Improvement says that the ESCAPE-pain programme is a: “great example of a proven, low-cost innovation that transforms lives.”

“It will mean more people with chronic joint pain getting better care in their local communities and being able to live more independently with a higher quality of life. Responding to needs through this sort of cross sector working is crucial to how we will deliver the NHS Long Term Plan,” he continued.

Sarah Worbey, health and inactivity national partnerships lead at Sport England adds:

“The Sport England Active Ageing fund supports innovative approaches that aim to tackle inactivity among older people, the ESCAPE-pain programme fits perfectly into this.

“We are pleased to have partnered with the Health Innovation Network and Versus Arthritis to enable this programme to be tested through community and leisure settings, for those who are the least active and need it the most.

“It is encouraging for us to hear how participants are making important lifestyle changes and becoming more physically active through their participation in the programme.”

Data gathered from over the last three years from more than 5,000 ESCAPE-pain participants shows consistent improvements in pain levels, quality of life, and movement.

Almost three quarters of the participants who took part in the programme (70 percent) reported to have improved their ability to take part in daily activities, 66 percent reporting pain reduction and 59 percent having a better quality of life and mental wellbeing.

Learn more about ESCAPE-pain here or find a class near you, here.

Meet the innovator: Shaun Azam

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Meet the Innovator

In this series, we’ll get up close and personal with an innovator asking them to share their thoughts and experience from their journey into the world of health and care innovation. In our latest edition, we caught up with Shaun Azam, CEFO at Sweatcoin; an app that incentivises physical activity by converting steps into points that can be exchanged for actual rewards.

Pictured above: Shaun Azam, CEFO at Sweatcoin.

Tell us about your innovation in a sentence

Through our digital app Sweatcoin, we incentivise people to be more active by converting steps into reward points that have real world value.

What was the ‘lightbulb’ moment?

Realising that modern technology makes us lazy, and as humans we need instant rewards for effort (which is why most of us struggle to go to the gym for sustained periods). Hence, our app that converts steps into points with real value.

What three bits of advice would you give budding innovators?

    1. Listen to your users! You are building your product for them, so listen and take on board what they want.
    2. Don’t test ideas, test a hypothesis – ideas are real life applications and sit above a core hypothesis. When you test a hypothesis, you also test a whole host of ideas, saving vast amounts of time.
    3. I coined an acronym for this – ABA – Always Be Adding. Everything you do should be always be adding value to the business – we’re in a digital age, so use as many tools and apps as you can to create efficiency + cost savings, so you can focus on things that will ADD value to the business. Also, delegate whenever possible.

What’s been your toughest obstacle?

Overcoming the complexity of the healthcare system – we are fortunate in that our product has the ability to improves the lives of everyone in the world. Along with this comes difficulties around ensuring our product accurately caters for these vastly different demographics.

What’s been your innovator journey highlight?

Academics at the University of Warwick investigated the impact of incentives on physical activity – they used Sweatcoin to do this. Their academic study was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine and found that Sweatcoin helped users walk +20% more each day, even after six months.

That was the moment that we realised that we ARE making the world more active, and that all the struggles were worth it.

Best part of your job now?

Genuinely improving the quality of lives of millions of people, every day. We receive countless messages from our users, informing us that Sweatcoin has motivated them to walk more, and how it has contributed to their improved physical + mental health.

Receiving these messages is truly incomparable.

If you were in charge of the NHS and care system, what’s the one thing you’d do to speed up health innovation?

I would include a line item in NHS budgets, that is designated to be spent with SME’s – this would foster the uptake of new digital solutions that have the potential to improve healthcare and patient journeys across the NHS.

A typical day for you would include..

Trying to grow and sell our product – we operate on two week ‘sprints’ – this means we aim to release new features of our product every fortnight. As you can imagine, this means countless user focus groups, product tests, and iterations.

The product is one aspect – selling it is the other! I’m a big believer in ‘people buy from people’ – so most of my remaining day is around meetings, understanding open opportunities, and communicating the value prop of Sweatcoin.

For more information, visit their website at sweat coin.com or follow them on Twitter @Sweatcoin

Making it easier for employees with Type 2 diabetes to access diabetes education courses at work

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Making it easier for employees with Type 2 diabetes to access diabetes education courses at work

In the second phase of the ‘Think Diabetes’ project, we have partnered with two London-based employers to promote diabetes structured education for employees diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Written by Don Shenker, Diabetes Senior Project Manager

Our Think Diabetes Summit held on 14 June encouraged employers to promote diabetes structured education to their workforce to support employees living with diabetes to be better informed about how to manage their condition. Our Think Diabetes report noted that less than 10% of individuals diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes who are offered structured education from their GP actually go onto access the course. One of the reasons may well be a reluctance from employees to take time off work – or not having the flexibility to fit in education around work hours.

We have recently teamed up with Transport for London (TfL) and the London Ambulance Service (LAS) to pilot access to both remote/online courses and face-to-face on-site courses for employees diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. This means any employee living with diabetes will be able to complete a course either remotely or during work time, without having to take time off. The courses will be promoted via LAS and TfL’s internal wellbeing newsletters and are being funded through the NHS Diabetes Transformation Fund.

There is good evidence that attending a structured diabetes course improves health and reduces complications by focusing on understanding diabetes, improving diet and stressing the importance of a healthy lifestyle. The pilot courses will be delivered by NHS approved providers OurPath, Oviva and Kingston NHS Foundation Trust.

In order to evaluate the pilot, we will be conducting a survey and focus group for course attendees and tracking anonymised BMI and weight data. It is hoped that around 100 employees will access a course either remotely or on-site. Key questions will focus on whether this approach via the workplace made it any easier to attend a course and what further steps employers could take to promote education for employees living with diabetes. We will also evaluate the level of demand for the courses and which category of workers have attended or asked for a course.

The pilot went live on 1 October and results will be available in March 2020.

For further information, contact Don Shenker, Diabetes Project Manager (don.shenker@nsh.net)

 

London’s Health Care Industry Booms as Millions are saved for the NHS

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London’s Health Care Industry Booms as Millions are saved for the NHS

DigitalHealth.London have launched their impact report confirming they are speeding up digital innovations across health and care in London, creating jobs and saving millions of pounds for the NHS. This supports the objects of the Government’s Long Term Plan to make digitally-enabled care the mainstream across the NHS.

DigitalHealth.London is a collaborative programme delivered by MedCity, and London’s three Academic Health Science Networks (AHSN) – UCLPartners, Imperial College Health Partners, and the Health Innovation Network (HIN). It is supported by NHS England (London) and the Mayor’s Office.

The DigitalHealth.London Accelerator is a flagship programme delivered by DigitalHealth.London to fast track innovations into the NHS and support innovators navigating the NHS system. Around 20-30 companies are selected onto the Accelerator programme each year and are given bespoke mentoring, training, networking opportunities to develop their business. This collaboration and support also enables the fast spread of cutting edge innovations into the NHS to benefit patients and support NHS staff. The Accelerator companies range in size when they begin the programme, from a single founder working on one product, to companies with in excess of 30 employees.

467 new jobs were created

Eighty-five percent of companies to have been on the Accelerator programme who participated in this report, reported an increase in their staff numbers. Of the additional jobs created by companies on both the 2016-17 and 2017-18 programmes, 30.3 percent (141) are attributed to their involvement in the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator. A total of 467 new jobs were created between August 2016 and November 2018.

“Anything we achieve as a company is in some way down to, or connected to, working with the Accelerator.” Elliott Engers, CEO, Infinity Health, Accelerator cohort 2017-2018

Over £64 million of investment raised by Accelerator companies

As discovered by the recently published report DigitalHealth.London Accelerator companies raised over £64 million of investment between August 2016 – November 2018. One company alone account for £28 million of this. Sixty-six percent said that the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator had helped them raise investment in their company.

“The DigitalHealth.London Accelerator is saving millions of pounds for the NHS while stimulating economic growth in the health care industry.  It supports innovations that will change the lives of patients, support NHS staff and create jobs.” Tara Donnelly, Chief Digital Officer of NHSx 

NHS Savings almost £76 million

The work of Accelerator companies has resulted in almost £76 million in savings for the NHS, with just over a third of this (£24.8 million) credited to the Accelerator’s support, based on information self-reported by companies involved. A conservative view that 50 per cent of the NHS savings attributed to the Accelerator are actually being realised, given that the Accelerator programme is 50 per cent supported by AHSNs (the innovation arm of the NHS) and their partners MedCity and CW+, the Accelerator programme has a return on investment of over 14 times: for every £1 spent by the NHS (via AHSNs) on the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator, £14.60 is returned, in some way, through the implementation of a digital solution. Some of these savings are made in efficiency gains, for example finding more efficient ways of supporting patients to manage their own health conditions, whilst others may help reduce inappropriate urgent care attendances by providing easier access to GP services.

Read the full impact report here.

 

The new GP contract didn’t mention innovation once. Yet the space it opens up for innovation is exciting, and we should seize it

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The new GP contract didn’t mention innovation once. Yet the space it opens up for innovation is exciting, and we should seize it

Dr Caroline Chill, Clinical Director for Healthy Ageing at Health Innovation Network looks at the potential of the new contract to support innovation.

I’ve worked in primary care for over 30 years, and have been involved in leadership and innovation for most of them. GPs have a history of being innovative with the early coded electronic health record systems being a prime example. In recent years, it has felt like this innovation has been stifled by increasing workload, staffing pressures and ever changing contractual requirements. I’ve seen innovation talked about in countless different ways and these days it seems to me that policy makers are falling over themselves to describe initiatives as ‘innovative’ or to talk about the potential to improve care through innovation but with less commitment to support the delivery of innovation in practice. So, I was fascinated to see how this would be expressed in our new GP contract which to my surprise did not mention the word ‘innovation’ at all. Not a single mention, despite the contract being extremely innovative.

An obvious area relates to support for Primary Care Networks and additional staffing. The aim of Primary Care Networks is to connect the primary care teams to help deliver more integrated and comprehensive local services, to allow new models of care to emerge and to support higher levels of self-care. From 1July, 1,259 Primary Care Networks become operational and backed by nearly £1.8 billion funding over five years with most of England’s nearly 7,000 GP practices participating.

Additionally, the interim NHS workforce plan and dubbed the “People Plan” was published in June.  This focuses on three key areas – recruiting more staff; making the NHS a great place to work; and equipping the NHS to meet the challenges of 21st century healthcare.  It re commits the government to delivering 5,000 full time equivalent GPs “as soon as possible” as well as nearly 6,000 extra nurses, and the creation of “nursing associates” offering a career route from care support into registered nursing.

The GP contract acknowledges the fact that the additional staff we need in general practice will not come from doctors and nurses alone. The money available through the contract can be used to help recruit a much broader range of professionals – Initially the scheme will meet 70% of the costs of additional clinical pharmacists, physician associates, first contact physiotherapists, and first contact community paramedics; and 100% of the costs of additional social prescribing link workers.

I think it will be down to the primary care networks to find innovative ways to recruit, train, support, mentor and part fund these new roles. This is no simple task as the existing training and skills of these professionals will need to be strengthened and adapted for working in community settings, where there is less supervision and where patients need holistic care, encompassing multiple physical, social and psychological issues.

I believe GPs will rise to this challenge and seize the opportunity. . It could be the beginning of a new, more modern and holistic way for patients to experience general practice.

Increasing the numbers of physiotherapists and other community-trained staff could lead to another important shift. Take MSK as an example which includes chronic knee, hip and back pain, has a major impact on an individual’s quality of life and society. It is the second most common reason for GP visits, accounts for around 25% of all GP consultations and is estimated that 9.3 million working days are lost in the UK to MSK problems.

An intervention that relieves chronic joint pain, called Joint Pain Advice , already exists and can be delivered by a wide range of professionals and lead to lasting improvements in pain. The model focuses on reducing reliance on painkillers through exercise and education. Trained professionals, who could be physiotherapists, community health trainers, or others provide a series of face-to-face consultations, working collaboratively with people with hip and/or knee osteoarthritis and/or back pain, focusing on supporting self-management. The programme consists of up to four 30-minute face-to-face consultations between the advisors and people with hip or knee osteoarthritis (OA) or back pain. Patients attend an assessment where they discuss their lifestyle, challenges and personal goals and then jointly develop a personalised care plan that gives tailored advice and support based on NICE guidelines for the management of OA. They are then invited to attend reviews after three weeks, six weeks and six months to access further tailored support and advice. This has the potential to reduce pressure on existing physiotherapy services and potentially reduce demand for GP follow up consultations.

To date, more than 500 patients have used the service led by physiotherapists. In a previous pilot in Lewisham, south London, they reported less pain, better function and higher activity levels. A high satisfaction rate was achieved which included reduced BMI, body weight and waist circumference and has led to fewer GP consultations, investigations and onward referrals.

In addition to the patient benefits, for every £1 spent on the programme there is a saving to the health and social care system of up to £4, according a Social Return on Investment (SROI) analysis.

Why not embed this training into these new roles? This could genuinely help deliver one of the aims of PCNs to empower people to self-care and improve the quality of life for people living with MSK pain. This one example could radically change the approach for addressing the needs of people living with MSK pain helping them to become fitter, more active and more empowered,  provided that the additional funding for primary care staffing does not result in reduced provision in other sectors.

Primary care will find countless other ways of using new staff to do more in primary care. While this doesn’t magically reduce our workload in practices, it has the potential to shift it and makes it easier for patients to access a broader range of professionals in community settings without the need for referrals to hospital.

These initiatives alone will not be enough to completely transform and modernise primary care but they are a great starting point. Change is easy to talk about but difficult and complex to enact. Even innovations that will lead to significant savings will often require upfront investment of resources, time and goodwill. The introduction of state based indemnity is very welcome to help retain experienced GPs, however,  changes to pension contributions and tax implications may have an equal and opposite effect impacting  the number of sessions doctors are choosing to work.

For me the key headlines which make the new GP contract so innovative and exciting are the significant increased staff funding, support for the development of Primary Care Networks, a five-year timeline and introduction of state based indemnity.  What we now need is the time and space to deliver.

For more blogs like this, sign-up to our newsletter today: http://bit.ly/HINSignUp

Innovation to reduce diabetic foot amputations in south London

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Innovation to reduce diabetic foot amputations in south London

Every day 23 people in England have a toe, foot or leg amputation as a result of diabetes related complications, according to NHS England. Through faster diagnosis and treatment this shocking intervention can be reduced.

In south London specialist new diabetic foot clinics known as Multi-Disciplinary Foot Teams (MDFTs) have been set up to deliver faster, local treatment to help reduce the number of people facing amputations.  Located in Queen Mary’s Hospital in Sidcup; Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich and Princess Royal University Hospital in Bromley, these services are providing urgent specialist care (within 24 hours) to people who have active foot disease. Research shows that if left untreated for long, diabetic foot infections can lead to further complications and in increasing number, amputations, which could be avoided. “Time is tissue’ when it comes to this disease.

The new clinics are being supported by consultant diabetologists, vascular surgeons and specialist podiatrists from Kings College Hospital, Guy’s and St Thomas’s and Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust, in order to improve the care that patients receive and bring it closer to their home. This also supports the existing community podiatry teams that can develop relationships with their local MDFT to streamline plans and treatment.

This innovative approach recognises it is not just podiatrists who come into contact with diabetic foot problems. It’s vital that other primary care clinicians can diagnose the condition and refer individuals to specialist treatment quickly.

The new MDFT clinics are for active foot disease only– including:

  • Any foot Ulceration
  • Acute Charcot foot (hot/swollen/painful foot)
  • Necrosis
  • Any foot Infection.

To refer, please use eRS for Diabetic Medicine (Speciality), Podiatry and Foot (Clinic Type) and Urgent (Priority) to see the spoke MDFT clinics at QEW, PRUH and QMS.  You can see the Directory of Services here, a video about the new clinics here and learn how to conduct a foot screening in primary care here.

For further information please contact Don Shenker, Diabetes Project Manager, Health Innovation Network.

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ESCAPE-pain programme reaches 200 sites

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ESCAPE-pain programme reaches 200 UK sites

This month the ESCAPE-pain programme launched its 200th site in the UK. It now operates in every region in England, with sites also operating in Wales and Northern Ireland. Over 13,000 people have attended the programme to date.

Originally rolled out by physiotherapists in hospitals, ESCAPE-pain is now also offered to people in leisure centres and gyms, church halls and community centres.

ESCAPE-pain is an evidence-based rehabilitation programme for people with chronic knee and/or hip pain, also known as osteoarthritis. It integrates exercise, education, and self-management strategies to help people live more active lives and manage their pain better. It offers an opportunity to reduce the number of GP consultations for knee and hip pain and reduces prescriptions of painkillers for these people.

The programme was developed by Professor Mike Hurley and is hosted by the Health Innovation Network. Nationwide scale-up is currently being supported by NHS England and Versus Arthritis.

ESCAPE-pain has been shown to:

  • Reduce pain, improve physical function and mental wellbeing.
  • Sustain benefits for up to two and a half years after completing the programme.
  • Reduce healthcare utilisation (medication, GP appointments, secondary care) equating to an estimated £1.5 million total savings in health and social care for every 1,000 participants who undertake ESCAPE-pain.

You can find your nearest ESCAPE-pain programme here.

How to find out more and hear personal real-life experiences here.

To find out more about ESCAPE-pain visit their website or follow them on Twitter @escape_pain

New funding opportunities for members

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New funding opportunities for members

We endeavour to make this as relevant to you as possible so please let us know if there is anything we have missed that you feel should be included.

Funder

Funding Opportunity

Eligibility

Website

Deadline

Innovation Loans for SMEs: apply for funding

Following the success of the Innovation Loans pilot programme throughout 2018, the programme is being extended to the end of 2020 with an additional £25 million available for business innovation projects in 2 further competitions. micro, small and medium-sized organisations may apply See Website 11 September 2019

EPSRC


Opportunity for Information and communications technologies researchers to pursue an experience in other disciplines and user environments.
Academic (researchers) See Website No closing date

British Heart Foundation

Research Project Grants Academic (post-doctoral researcher) See Website No closing date – applications to be submitted when ready.

British Heart Foundation

New Horizons Grants Academic (senior researcher) See Website No closing date – applications to be submitted when ready.

Nesta

An Impact investment fund investing in life-changing innovations that help tackle the major challenges faced by older people, communities and children in the UK. Companies/ Entrepreneurs See Website Ongoing

NIHR

Invention for Innovation Academic, NHS and Companies See Website Ongoing

Guys and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust (GSTT)

Bright Ideas Fund NHS (GSTT Trust) See Website Ongoing

Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 is the largest ever European funding programme for research and innovation. It aims to:

  • ensure that Europe produces world-class science
  • remove barriers to innovation 
  • make it easier for public and private sectors to innovate together.
Companies See Website Ongoing

RYSE + DigitalHealth.London Accelerator

Following last year’s successful partnership with RYSE Asset Management LLP, DigitalHealth.London is collaborating again to support digital health companies to grow their business with investment of £250k – £5m. Early stage companies  See Website 30 August 2019

Meet the innovator: James Flint

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Meet the Innovator

In this series we’ll get up close and personal with an innovator asking them to share their thoughts and experience from their journey into the world of health and care innovation. In our latest edition, we caught up with James Flint, CEO and Co-Founder at Hospify; a compliant, trusted healthcare messaging app.

Pictured above R – L: James Flint, Co-founder and CEO with Neville Dastur, Co-founder at Hospify.

Tell us about your innovation in a sentence

Available for free in the Apple and Android app stores, Hospify puts a simple, affordable alternative to non-compliant consumer messaging services like WhatsApp, Viber, Telegram and Messenger directly into the hands of healthcare professionals and patients.

What was the ‘lightbulb’ moment?

Meeting with the Head of Health for the Information Commissioner’s Office in 2015 and discovering that, while a very big chunk of the NHS was using WhatsApp to communicate while at work, once GDPR arrived in 2018 they were going to have to stop doing this.

What three bits of advice would you give budding innovators?

    1. Be prepared for the long haul. And I mean long.
    2. Keep it simple.
    3. Never miss lunch.

What’s been your toughest obstacle?

Getting sufficient funding, without a doubt.

What’s been your innovator journey highlight?

Getting on the NHS digital heath accelerator last year. It felt like we’d finally been given the official stamp of approval.

Best part of your job now?

Meeting nurses and hearing directly from them what a difference Hospify can make to their working lives.

If you were in charge of the NHS and care system, what’s the one thing you’d do to speed up health innovation?

Implement and support proper health data interoperability standards. I know this Is finally happening, but it’s still the most important single thing that needs to be done.

A typical day for you would include..

Answering a lot of email, talking to my development team, meeting or calling potential investors, networking or promoting Hospify at some kind of health event, answering customer support questions about the platform. Usually all on the same day and sometimes all at the same time!

For more information on Hospify visit www.hospify.com, Facebook, LinkedIn or follow them on Twitter @hospifyapp

ITV’s Dr Zoe Williams Joins Alison Barnes for VLCD Event

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ITV’s Dr Zoe Williams Joins Alison Barnes for VLCD Event

Last week the Health Innovation Network’s diabetes team hosted an event at St Thomas’s Hospital to speak to dieticians, GPs and other clinical professionals about the role of Very Low-Calorie Diets (VLCD) in putting Type 2 Diabetes in remission. 

The event brought together experts including; Dr Zoe Williams resident GP on ITV’s ‘This Morning’, Alison Barnes Research Dietitian for the Diabetes Remission Clinical Trial (DIRECT) as well as Alastair Duncan, Principle Dietitian at Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospital. We heard some impactful stories from patients who trailed the diet. Some spoke candidly on the positive difference it has had made to their quality of life, as well as the difficulties they faced, especially during specific times of the year. 

Social and cultural events involving food were one of the difficulties discussed. Eid, Christmas and weddings were all flagged as being possible obstacles on these diets. Results showed that patients felt a sense of anxiety when it came to returning to their normal diets. Dr Rabbani, MD at Sutton GP Service Ltd also flagged that lifestyle changes can be incredibly hard, so simply changing your eating habits after a substantial time will not happen overnight. 

The event gave rise to the complexities many people have in their relationship with food. Although positive results were seen for the individuals who used VLCD diets speaking at the event, the message was clear that it is important to take into account the many barriers that exist for others.  

For more information on future events like this, sign-up to our newsletter today: http://bit.ly/HINSignUp  

Innovative NHS exercise classes launch in Teddington to help local people with knee and hip pain

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Innovative NHS exercise classes launch in Teddington to help local people with knee and hip pain

The ESCAPE-pain exercise programme for people living with knee and/or hip pain, also known as osteoarthritis (OA), will launch for the first time in the borough of Richmond-upon-Thames next week (8 July 2019). The programme is widely available across England, operating in over 190 sites. Classes are run in a variety of locations from hospital physiotherapy departments to leisure centres and gyms, from church halls to community centres. ESCAPE-pain is an evidence-based group rehabilitation programme (12 sessions twice weekly for six weeks). It improves participants’ function by integrating exercise, education, and self-management strategies to dispel inappropriate health beliefs, alter behaviour, and encourage regular physical activity.

Thousands of people living in Richmond could be eligible to attend the programme. Official figures estimate that in Richmond, 73,645 people have osteoarthritis in the knees and/or hips.

James Pain, Clinical Specialist in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy at Teddington Memorial Hospital, said: “We see a large number of people with chronic pain in their knees and/or hips every week at Teddington Memorial Hospital.

“ESCAPE-pain is an innovative NHS programme that teaches people how to deal with their pain through simple exercises to help them live healthier and more active lives. The programme is clinically proven to help people feel better and keep moving. I am delighted that we are able to support residents in the borough of Richmond by setting up this fantastic programme.”

The ESCAPE-pain programme was developed by Professor Mike Hurley and is hosted by the Health Innovation Network. Nationwide scale-up is currently being supported by NHS England and Versus Arthritis.

Pictured above: Gillian Morgan, participating in an ESCAPE-pain class in south London being delivered by Diane Friday, Active Lifestyles Programme Manager.

Professor Mike Hurley, Clinical Director MSK Programme at the Health Innovation Network said: “ESCAPE-pain is now being delivered in every region in the country, including several sites in other parts of London. We are delighted it is starting to be delivered in Teddington.

“I hope that the many local people currently suffering with knee and hip pain find this innovative approach as helpful in making their lives better as people in many other parts of the country do. We look forward to them sharing their experiences with us.”

Gillian Morgan, 66 years old, from south London attended ESCAPE-pain courses in Beckenham, south London last year, said: “Before ESCAPE-pain my knees felt fragile, it would feel like they would give out, so although I could walk, my knees would click or give way when I was walking and I certainly couldn’t get the bus because I didn’t feel stable enough to do it. Now I can run for a bus.”

“I would recommend ESCAPE-pain absolutely to anybody who’s suffering with osteoarthritis because it’s just learning to help yourself and doing the remedial exercises that you don’t think could possibly help you, but they do.”

To be considered for ESCAPE-pain in Richmond, you will need to be referred to physiotherapy for an assessment and be registered with a Richmond GP.

Find your local ESCAPE-pain class here and read the full article here.

ESCAPE-pain: “The transformation has been huge as a result of this class”

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ESCAPE-pain: “The transformation has been huge as a result of this class”

Chris, who was diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the hip, was immobile and on medication when he was referred to the ESCAPE-pain programme. Hear about the life changing effect that attending the classes has had on him.

ESCAPE-pan is the gold standard, evidence-based group rehabilitation programme for people with knee and/or hip pain, also known as osteoarthritis.

Over 9 million people in the UK estimated to have osteoarthritis, and many of them live with chronic pain and take medication as a result of the condition. Theaward-winning exercise rehabilitation programme, ESCAPE-pain,integrates simple education, self-management and coping strategies, with an exercise regimen individualised for each person.It also aims help people understand their condition better, and to realise that exercise is a safe and effective self-management strategy, that can be used to reduce knee and hip pain, and the physical and psychosocial effects of joint pain.

The ESCAPE-pain programme, which is delivered in over 190 sites nationally, was originated by Professor Mike Hurley, Clinical Director for the Musculoskeletal theme at the Health Innovation Network. To find out more about ESCAPE-pain, read here.

Or if you are an exercise instructor or clinician in south London, interested in becoming an ESCAPE-pain trainer? Why not sign up to our training session today.

References
https://www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/conditions/arthritis/

Patients set to benefit from world-leading innovations on the NHS

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Patients set to benefit from world-leading innovations on the NHS

3D heart modelling to rapidly diagnose coronary disease and an advanced blood test which can cut the time it takes to rule-out a heart attack by 75% are among a raft of technological innovations being introduced for patients across the NHS.

New innovations have already reached 300,000 patients, and speaking at the Reform digital health conference in London today, NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens will announce that over 400,000 more will benefit this year from new tests, procedures and treatments as part of the Long Term Plan.

This includes pregnant women getting a new pre-eclampsia test, and cluster headache sufferers getting access to a handheld gadget which uses low-levels of electric current to reduce pain.

The new treatments and tests are being delivered as part of the NHS’ Innovation and Technology Payment programme, which is fast-tracking the roll-out of latest technology across the country, building on progress in the past two years.

The programme’s latest innovations include a cutting-edge blood test which can detect changes in protein levels in blood, allowing emergency doctors to rule out a heart attack within three hours – nine hours faster than the current rate – meaning people get quicker treatment and avoid admission to hospital.

NHS England has also confirmed that funding for 10 other new tests and treatments as part of the programme – including a computer programme that creates a digital 3D model of the heart and avoids the need for invasive procedures – will be extended, allowing more patients to benefit.

From this year, thousands of pregnant women will be offered a test on the NHS which can help rule-out pre-eclampsia – a serious condition linked to labour complications, acute pain and vision problems – and allow women either to get extra care faster, or avoid the need for further hospital trips during pregnancy.

Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, said: “From improving care for pregnant women to using digital modelling to assess heart conditions and new tests to prevent unnecessary hospitalisations for suspected heart attacks, the NHS is taking action to ensure patients have access to the very best modern technologies. It’s heartening to see the NHS grasping with both hands these rapidly advancing medical innovations.”

Plans to speed up the uptake of proven, cutting-edge treatments is being overseen by the Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC), a joint NHS, government and industry effort which aims to make the NHS the world’s most innovation-friendly health system.

Dr Sam Roberts, chief executive of the Accelerated Access Collaborative and director of innovation and life sciences for NHS England, said: “This programme has been amazingly successful at getting new tests and treatments to patients, with over 300,000 patients benefitting already, and this year we have another great selection of proven innovations.

“We will build on this success with our commitments set out in the Long Term Plan, to support the latest advances and make it easier for even more patients to benefit from world-class technology.”

As set out in the Long Term Plan, the NHS will introduce a new funding mandate for proven health tech products so the NHS can adopt new, cost saving innovations as easily as it already introduces new clinically and cost effective medicines.

Innovations being supported include:

  • Placental growth factor (PIGF) based test: a blood test to help rule‑out pre‑eclampsia in women suspected to have the condition who are between 20 weeks and 34 weeks plus 6 days of gestation, alongside standard clinical assessment. Read more here.
  • High sensitivity troponin test: a blood test that when combined with clinical judgement can help rapidly rule-out heart attacks. Read more here.
  • Gammacore: a hand-held device that delivers mild electrical stimulation to the vagus nerve to block the pain signals that cause cluster headaches. Read more here.
  • SpaceOAR: a hydrogel injected between the prostate and rectum prior to radiotherapy, that temporarily creates a space between them so that the radiation dose to the rectum can be minimised, reducing complications like rectal pain, bleeding and diarrhoea. Read more here.

Lord Darzi, chair of the Accelerated Access Collaborative, said:“As Chair of the AAC, I am delighted that four of the seven technology areas currently receiving AAC support have been selected for this NHS programme.

“This is a vital step in helping patients receive rapid access to the best, proven innovations being developed in our world-class health system.”

This is the third year of the drive to identify and fast track specific innovations into the NHS, which has already benefitted over 300,000 patients across the NHS.

The NHS’ own innovation agencies – the 15 Academic Health Science Networks across England – will take direct responsibility for accelerating uptake locally.

New funding opportunities for members

News

New funding opportunities for members

We endeavour to make this as relevant to you as possible so please let us know if there is anything we have missed that you feel should be included.

Funder

Funding Opportunity

Eligibility

Website

Deadline

RYSE Asset Management LLP + DigitalHealth.London Accelerator 

Support for digital health companies to grow their business. We are looking for innovative companies that are addressing patient demand through technology, with a view to funding those with significant potential. Early stage companies See Website 5 August, get your application in before Friday 19 July to be in with a chance of a FREE 1:1 Advisory Session with a DigitalHealth.London Senior Team Member. 

EPSRC


Opportunity for Information and communications technologies researchers to pursue an experience in other disciplines and user environments.
Academic (researchers) See Website No closing date

British Heart Foundation

Research Project Grants Academic (post-doctoral researcher) See Website No closing date – applications to be submitted when ready.

British Heart Foundation

New Horizons Grants Academic (senior researcher) See Website No closing date – applications to be submitted when ready.

Nesta

An Impact investment fund investing in life-changing innovations that help tackle the major challenges faced by older people, communities and children in the UK. Companies/ Entrepreneurs See Website Ongoing

NIHR

Invention for Innovation Academic, NHS and Companies See Website Ongoing

Guys and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust (GSTT)

Bright Ideas Fund NHS (GSTT Trust) See Website Ongoing

Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 is the largest ever European funding programme for research and innovation. It aims to:

  • ensure that Europe produces world-class science
  • remove barriers to innovation 
  • make it easier for public and private sectors to innovate together.
Companies See Website Ongoing

Meet the innovator: Lydia Yarlott

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Meet the Innovator

In this series we’ll get up close and personal with an innovator asking them to share their thoughts and experience from their journey into the world of health and care innovation. In our latest edition, we caught up with Lydia Yarlott, Co-Founder at Forward Health; a secure messaging and workflow app, connecting care workers around patient pathways.

Pictured above: Lydia Yarlott.

Tell us about your innovation in a sentence

Forward is a mobile communications platform aiming to connect healthcare professionals for the first time.

What was the ‘lightbulb’ moment?

Probably being a first year doctor on my own in an NHS ward at 2am in the morning trying to get help for a deteriorating patient and being unable to contact anyone. Poor communication leads to a real feeling of helplessness, and I want to change that for doctors and nurses everywhere. It’s hard to believe we’re still using pagers and resorting to WhatsApp to get hold of each other in hospitals, so it wasn’t so much a lightbulb moment as an increasing feeling that something had to change!

What three bits of advice would you give budding innovators?

    1. Talk to everyone, and anyone, you can about your idea. You never know what will happen next. My great friend Will worked with me as a junior doctor; he’s now with us on Forward full-time. We never would have had him as part of the team if we hadn’t spent hours on night shifts discussing the problem together!
    2. Find a Co-Founder (or several!) I couldn’t imagine doing this alone. Philip and Barney are both amazing people and amazing leaders, and it’s their drive and optimism that got us to where we are today – 5% of the doctors in the UK and growing. Whenever one of you is losing faith (inevitable at times!) the others can put you back on your feet and help you with that resilience you need in spades to be a successful Founder.
    3. Care about your problem more than your solution. Get as close to it as you can and stay there. Your solution will be wrong first time around, but as long as the problem isn’t solved, you have a chance of something really worthwhile.

What’s been your toughest obstacle?

Personal doubt!

What’s been your innovator journey highlight?

Getting our first real use cases. Watching our product change the way people work, resulting in better, faster care for patients. We have an amazing group of physios and orthopaedic surgeons using Forward to streamline shoulder surgery for patients, and another group who are using it to coordinate the multidisciplinary team in paediatric allergy. I can’t get enough of those stories because I know how tough it can be on the frontline of the NHS.

Best part of your job now?

The great privilege of working as a doctor and as a Co-Founder. I love clinical work, but I get frustrated by outdated systems, and I would hate it if I couldn’t focus on changing that. I care about healthcare at a systemic level and I want the NHS to survive, but I know that for that to be the case things will have to move forward, fast. I want to be a part of that.

If you were in charge of the NHS and care system, what’s the one thing you’d do to speed up health innovation?

Get Trusts talking to one another and sharing what they do. Incentivise knowledge transfer – both successes and failures. Share the ways in which they are working with others, including start-ups and small businesses, to foster innovation at scale.

A typical day for you would include..

A typical day being a paediatrician is just that – looking after sick children! I’m a junior doctor, so I’m still learning a lot, and working closely within a team to achieve the best outcome for the patient. When I’m at Forward, I spend most of my time meeting with the team to discuss progress and strategy, representing the clinical face of the company and the problem we’re trying to solve. The two jobs couldn’t be more different, but ultimately they are focused on the same thing – improving healthcare for everyone. I love what we’re building at Forward and I love the team – even those of us who aren’t from a healthcare background are driven by the mission to improve communication, and you can feel that energy walking into the office.

For more information on Forward Health visit www.forwardhealth.co or follow them on Twitter @ForwardHealth_

Invitation to pitch: digital workforce transformation showcase

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Invitation to pitch: digital workforce transformation showcase

We all know that the NHS is facing increasing demands on its services. Alongside the challenges of recruiting and retaining clinical professionals, there is a role for technology as a driver of productivity within the clinical workforce.

Working in collaboration with NHS England, and NHS Improvement, the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator is running a showcase event for HR Directors exploring how technology can help NHS staff and employers to improve workforce productivity, recruitment and retention.

We are looking for ten companies to present their innovations, and in particular, innovations that are already being used by NHS employers and that meet workforce challenges including:

  • Recruitment / time to hire
  • HR transactional tasks / HR productivity
  • Workforce capacity management / clinical workforce productivity
  • Retention
  • Staff wellbeing (physical and mental health)

If selected, you will give a three-minute pitch to the audience on how they could adopt your innovation(s) in their organisations. You will also participate in our “world café” session to discuss your solution in more detail. We aim to help you generate warm leads by curating a receptive audience for workforce innovations.

We are looking for innovations that are already well-developed – this is not an event for innovations at the idea stage.

Please apply to take part by downloading and completing this short form and returning it to geraldine.murphy8@nhs.net by 5pm on Friday 10 May.

Event details

  • Date and time: Tuesday 11 June, 17:00 – 20:30
  • Venue: DAC Beachcroft, Walbrook Building, 25 Walbrook, EC4N 8AF

Agenda

  • 16:30-17:00 Registration
  • 17:00- 17:05 Welcome
  • 17:05-17:15 Clinical Productivity – Andy Howlett, Clinical Productivity Operations Director, NHS England / Improvement
  • 17:15-17:25  Can technology and artificial intelligence help to improve workforce productivity and create a more agile workforce? What can be done now? – Lesley Soden, Head of Innovation, Health Innovation Network
  • 17:25-17:35 NHS Trust Case Study: Lessons from transforming our medical workforce – Alfredo Thompson, HR Director, North Middlesex Hospitals NHS Trust; Dr Frances Evans, Medical Director, North Middlesex Hospitals NHS Trust
  • 17:35-17:50 Q&A
  • 17:50-18:20 Company pitches
  • 18:20-18:30 Close – Lesley Soden, Head of Innovation, Health Innovation Network
  • 18:30-20:00 Refreshments and networking

Preventing prescribing errors in south London with PINCER

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Preventing prescribing errors in south London with PINCER

Over the past fortnight, almost 90 GP pharmacists have taken part in training on software that aims to reduce prescribing errors. PINCER searches GP clinical systems using computerised prescribing safety indicators to identify patients at risk from complications that arise owing to being prescribed multiple medicines that don’t always work together and then acting to correct the problem. The training sessions mean that GP Pharmacists in eight south London CCGs can now use the software in their practises.

“I can’t wait to use the PINCER too, to help reduce errors and adverse reactions. This will help complement our role as clinical pharmacists.” Reena Rabheru-Dodhy, Senior Primary Care Pharmacist

Prescribing errors in general practice are an expensive, preventable cause of safety incidents, illness, hospitalisations and even deaths. Serious errors affect one in 550 prescription items, while hazardous prescribing in general practice contributes to around 1 in 25 hospital admissions.

Outcomes of a trial published in the Lancet showed a reduction in error rates of up to 50% following adoption of PINCER – a pharmacist led system which acts as a risk assessment tool to identify and flag errors in general practice prescribing.

These original PINCER indicators have been incorporated into National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Medicines Optimisation Clinical Guideline (May 2015).

Mandeep Butt, Communities of Practice, who is part of the Health Innovation Network team coordinating the training was delighted by the response from the trainees;.  

I look forward to working with the amazing practice based pharmacists and technicians we have met over the last 2 weeks. Their enthusiasm was infectious!” 

Further training sessions will be happening in May and June. For more information or sign up for the training, please contact hin.southlondon@nhs.net

More about PINCER:

Developed by The University of Nottingham, the PINCER intervention developed as part of PRIMIS audit tools is led by primary care pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.

With funding and support from the Health Foundation and East Midlands AHSN, PINCER was rolled out to more than 360 practices across the East Midlands between September 2015 and April 2017.

This involved:

  • Using software to search clinical systems to identify patients at risk of hazardous prescribing
  • Conducting clinical reviews of patient notes and medication
  • Carrying out root cause analysis and providing feedback to the practice
  • Establishing action planning to improve systems and reduce risk
  • Establish action planning to improve systems and reduce risk
  • Scale up PINCER using a large-scale Quality Improvement Collaborative approach.
  • More than 2.9 million patient records were searched, and 21,617 cases of potentially hazardous prescribing were identified.

The programme is one of the interventions selected for national adoption and spread across the AHSN Network and has so far demonstrated great results in a preliminary study, where there was a significant reduction in hazardous prescribing for indicators associated with gastrointestinal bleeding, heart failure and kidney injury.

Digital innovation in cardiac rehabilitation services; the time has come…

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Digital innovation in cardiac rehabilitation services; the time has come…

Health Innovation Network partnered with the British Heart Foundation and the London Cardiac Rehabilitation Network to create an Innovation Exchange event where clinicans and innovators could discuss how digital solutions can help improve uptake of cardiac rehabilitation services, and the result was overwhelmingly positive, says Anna King.

More and more, I am approached by NHS clinical leaders looking for digital solutions to help them transform their services. Gone are the days when clinicians rejected the idea that patients would use technology. Gone are the days when they believed technology could not improve outcomes. And gone are the days when clinicians worried about their job being taken by a robot. Now instead, clinicians are asking whenthey will get the digital tools they need to improve outcomes, efficiency and patient care. Well, at least this was the fantastic response we had from the London Cardiac Rehabilitation Network members’ recent Innovation Exchange event.

At the event, the challenges that cardiac services are facing were clearly set out by key opinion leaders Sally Hinton (BACPR Executive Director) and Patrick Doherty (Director of the National Audit for Cardiac Rehabilitation), along with patient representative Rob Elvins. The challenges they all raised were uptake and access. But they also highlighted the benefits of improving outcomes and uptake in this area too.

The NHS Long Term Plan (LTP) sets cardiac rehabilitation out as an intervention that can save lives, improve quality of life and reduce hospital readmissions. It’s also recommended by NICE. However, uptake of cardiac services currently varies widely across England and only 52% of the 121,500 eligible patients per year are taking up offers of cardiac rehabilitation. If we can increase this uptake to 85% by 2028, as set out by the LTP, it will prevent 23,000 premature deaths and 50,000 acute admissions over 10 years. Furthermore, it would make the NHS amongst the best in Europe. This suggests to me there is plenty of scope to improve services to the standard we all aspire to.

Many of the cardiac rehabilitation services present at the Innovation Exchange believed – as I do – that digital solutions are the only way they will manage to significantly increase uptake with current resources. Especially as uptake is lower in women, the young and those for whom it is their only health condition; a group of patients who might find digital or hybrid rehabilitation opportunities very attractive.

Many innovators applied to contribute to the event, which demonstrates the high level of interest and potential in this area. The selected innovators proved that many of these valuable digital solutions are not only already available, but they are comprehensive rehab programmes that are well-evidenced and could bolt onto existing services right now. There were also innovators with systems in other similar areas of care, that were willing to co-develop solutions for cardiac rehab. It was fantastic to see the energy that came from get all the innovators both from services and those with potential solutions together. I am looking forward to seeing how the plans made develop over the coming months.

The Exchange closed with the panel discussing the way ahead for cardiac rehabilitation and the technology they would implement. Patrick Doherty summed discussions up by saying that you could no longer consider that you run a good cardiac rehab service unless you offered digital and home-based options for patients too. I don’t think anyone will have left the event without thinking the time has come for all cardiac rehabilitation services to have digital components, and many more of London’s cardiac rehabilitation services will be taking those important steps towards implementation.

Find out more about the companies who participated in the Innovation Exchange:

The showcasing innovators:

The exhibiting innovators:

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Digital innovation in cardiac rehabilitation essential to boost attendance rates

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Digital is helping us tackle healthcare inequalities, but the real issues are deeper and run system-wide

About the author
Anna has been Commercial Director at the Health Innovation Network since July 2013. Prior to her current role Anna was the Commercial Programme Director at the London Commercial Support Unit (Commissioning Support for London, NHS London and NHS Trust Development Authority).

Topol Review highlights potential of digital technologies to address the big healthcare challenges

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Topol Review highlights potential of digital technologies to address the big healthcare challenges

Written by Anna King, Commercial Director at Health Innovation Network.

It is not often that an independent review for a UK Secretary of State gets held up for a book launch, but such is the case when you ask a world-eminent, California-based cardiologist to review the changes required in the NHS healthcare workforce to ensure preparation for the technological future.

Dr Eric Topol, probably best known for his book, The Patient will see you now, published his long awaited The Topol Review: Preparing the healthcare workforce to deliver the digital future last month. The report highlights how digital healthcare technologies have the potential to address the big healthcare challenges as well as tackle increasing costs. The report observes that innovation will “increasingly shift the balance of care in the NHS towards more centralised highly specialised care and decentralised less specialist care”. This shift in the pattern of need and services is aligned with much of the HIN’s work and our focus on out-of-hospital care. Flatteringly, Topol also supports the ambition that the UK has the potential to become a world leader in such healthcare innovations. This is particularly exciting to hear given the work the HIN has been doing locally with DigitalHealth.London building upon local strengths in clinical care, research, education and business to boost London as a world leader in digital health.

However, Topol also offers words of caution for those impatient for new digital healthcare technologies to reach their full potential. As he observed, “it can take up to 10 years to realise cost savings, investment in IT systems, hardware, software and connectivity, as well as the training of healthcare staff and the public”.  The potential benefits of genomics moving beyond rare diseases and cancers is a good example of this. Allowing better prevention and management of conditions that could reduce costs and disease burden in the 10 to 20 year timeframe will require the NHS to have completed the “digitisation and integration of health and care records if the full benefits of digital medicine (earlier diagnosis, personalised care and treatment) are going to be realised”.

Whilst much of the report focused on the longer-term revolutionary technologies, there was also an acknowledgement that some data-driven technologies can and are being deployed today. Particularly, those with the aim of improving ease of access or remote monitoring, designed to reduce unplanned hospital admissions and decrease non-attendance rates. This is an area that we see many solutions being developed by the innovators of the NHS Innovation and DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programmes. Companies like Transforming Systems and Dr Doctor use data to improve access and system efficiency, and companies like Lumeon and Health Navigator helping improve individual patient pathways. Topol is also refreshingly realistic about the issues we see many innovators face because of “uneven NHS data quality, gaps in information governance and lack of expertise”. Potential enablers to overcome the barriers to adoption, he suggests, include: an information governance framework, and guidance to support the evaluation, and purchasing of AI products.

In the report, genomics, digital medicine and artificial intelligence were all seen to have a major potential impact on patient care, but it also showed how digital will help improve the lives of the NHS workforce. There was a helpful introduction to a number of emerging technologies, including low-cost sequencing technology, telemedicine, smartphone apps, biosensors for remote diagnosis and monitoring, speech recognition and automated image interpretation, that are seen to be particularly important for the healthcare workers.

Topol also finally puts to rest dated concerns that technology exists to replace people working in healthcare. The report clearly responds to this fear confirming that technology is intended to ‘augment’ healthcare professionals, rather than replace; releasing more time to care for direct patient care. Whilst, some professions will be more affected than others,Topol finds that the ‘impact on patient outcomes should in all cases be positive’.

At the HIN we have been supporting the development of the NHS workforce as a necessary part of the journey to digital transformation. I was pleased that Health Education England’s involvement in the Topol Report means that training and education will be modernised, as it is still very dated both in its methods of delivery and syllabus. However, this education should not focus solely on just educating new NHS staff members – but we should also be digitally upskilling the workforce we have now, and at every level. And herein lies the real complexity of the digital revolution. What Topol finds undeniable is that the roles of healthcare staff will change and new skills will be required, and it is good to see Health Education England responding to this challenge – although, it was shocking to learn that radiologist are still be taught how to develop traditional x-ray films, despite them rarely being used in the NHS!

Learning from previous changes, implementation will require investment in people as well as technology. It bodes well for the exciting wide-ranging programmes of the AHSNs, that support a learning environment, understand the enablers of change and create a culture of innovation. Programmes of ours like the Graduates Into Health Fast Track IM&T programme and the DigitalHealth.London NHS Digital Pioneers programme will play an important role in developing an agile and empowered workforce to facilitate the introduction of the new these new technologies. The report is clear that it is an exciting time for the NHS to benefit and capitalise on technological advances, and the AHSNs are well place to support this. The observation that ‘within 20 years, 90% of all jobs in the NHS will require some element of digital skills, illustrates the need for digital education revolution perfectly, even if it did raise the question what would the 10% be doing!

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New report maps the MedTech landscape for innovators in England

Top Tips for Innovators

Going digital: What it’s like for less tech savvy communities to use healthcare services

About the author
Anna has been Commercial Director at the Health Innovation Network since July 2013. Prior to her current role Anna was the Commercial Programme Director at the London Commercial Support Unit (Commissioning Support for London, NHS London and NHS Trust Development Authority).

New report maps the MedTech landscape for innovators in England

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New report maps the MedTech landscape for innovators in England

The NHS spends approximately £6 billion a year on medical technology, also known as MedTech, such as medical devices, equipment and digital tools. It is an industry that accounts for over 86,000 jobs in the UK, almost a third of which are within small companies, and supports an additional 24,600 service and supply roles.

A new report from the AHSN Network provides an essential guide for companies looking to successfully develop and roll out innovations in this complex and diverse industry, focused around the MedTech innovation pathway. It includes a foreword by Piers Ricketts, Chief Executive of Eastern AHSN and Vice Chair of the AHSN Network.

The MedTech Landscape Review will be launched formally at an event to be held jointly with one of our partners, the Association of British HealthTech Industries (ABHI), on 20 March and introduced by Piers.

In the meantime, the report is available for download here, featuring case studies, statistics and practical advice for navigating each step of the MedTech Innovation pathway.

New funding opportunities for members

News

New funding opportunities for members

We endeavour to make this as relevant to you as possible so please let us know if there is anything we have missed that you feel should be included.

Funder

Funding Opportunity

Eligibility

Website

Deadline

EPSRC

Opportunity for Information and communications technologies researchers to pursue an experience in other disciplines and user environments. Academic (researchers) See Website No closing date

EPSRC

Healthcare Technologies discipline hopping call.  Enable researchers to develop new skills and build new collaborations with other disciplines and end users so they can address the key health challenges identified in the Healthcare Technologies strategy. Academic

(researchers)

See Website No closing date

British Heart Foundation

Research Project Grants Academic (post-doctoral researcher) See Website No closing date – applications to be submitted when ready.

British Heart Foundation

New Horizons Grants Academic

(senior researcher)

See Website No closing date – applications to be submitted when ready.

Nesta

An Impact investment fund investing in life-changing innovations that help tackle the major challenges faced by older people, communities and children in the UK Companies/ Entrepreneurs See Website Ongoing

King’s College London

King’s Health Accelerator 2018 Call Open Academic

NHS

(KHP Research Staff)

See Website No deadline given but should apply as soon as possible.

NIHR

Invention for Innovation Academic

NHS

Companies

See Website Ongoing

Guys and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust (GSTT)

Bright Ideas Fund NHS

(GSTT Trust)

See Website Ongoing

Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 is the largest ever European funding programme for research and innovation.

It aims to:

·       ensure that Europe produces world-class science

·       remove barriers to innovation

·       make it easier for public and private sectors to innovate together

Companies See Website Ongoing

Funding for projects to improve the identification and management of atrial fibrillation

The BMS-Pfizer Alliance is partnering with the AHSN Network to fund projects that aim to improve the identification and management of atrial fibrillation. Healthcare organisations across the country are invited to apply for a share of the £250,000 funding. Healthcare organisations See Website 17 May 2019

SME support to evaluate innovative medical technologies: Round 4

SMEs can apply for a share of £1.5 million to support the evaluation of innovative medical devices, diagnostics and regulated digital health products.   Companies  Seen Website 3 July 2019, 12:00pm

Meet the innovator: Vivek Patni

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Meet the Innovator

In this series we’ll get up close and personal with an innovator asking them to share their thoughts and experience from their journey into the world of health and care innovation. In our latest edition, we spoke to Vivek Patni, Director and Co-Founder of WeMa Life; an online marketplace that brings customers and their families together with social care and community care service providers.

Pictured above: Vivek Patni.

Tell us about your innovation in a sentence

WeMa Life is an online marketplace that brings customers and their families together with social care and community care service providers; giving choice, accessibility and efficiency in the service procurement and delivery pathway.

What was the ‘lightbulb’ moment?

As an informal carer for my grandfather, I was immediately shocked by the lack of innovation in supporting families to find, coordinate and manage local care services for their loved one, hence WeMa Life was born. I find online marketplaces very convenient and use them for so many aspects of my life – products, clothes, hotels, restaurants – I knew a similar digital environment was needed for care services. Using WeMa Life as a customer I can search, compare, purchase and rate local care services whilst as a provider I can digitise the outdated, manual, paper-based visit records and manage my daily business activity.

What three bits of advice would you give budding innovators?

    1. Stay flexible: it’s tempting to start a business with a clear idea of how things will unfold; but this is rarely the case. Pivot and react to obstacles and have an open approach to finding the best solutions to all your problems.
    2. User experience: test your product constantly and get as much feedback as you can from all your user groups. Simple solutions sit very well in such a diverse industry.
    3. Be creative in your approach to developing tech and running your business. There are so many applications and tools to create efficiency and cost saving in finding resources, marketing and development, so use them!

What’s been your toughest obstacle?

Where I had faced the difficulty from a customer side of social care, I was less aware of the complexity in delivering publicly funded social and community care to different user groups. This meant learning the nuances of each service type/provider and creating a fluid product that would fit all.

What’s been your innovator journey highlight?

Designing the tech architecture from scratch, building an international technology development team and bringing my ideas to life in just eight months is something I am very proud of.

Best part of your job now?

Taking my product into the market! Now that the product is live, I am driving its use through digital marketing and sales. I meet so many interesting people on a daily basis who bring exciting new ideas to what we do – my mental technology roadmap is never ending.

If you were in charge of the NHS and care system, what’s the one thing you’d do to speed up health innovation?

I would give more opportunity and financial incentives to SME’s. There are a huge number of SME’s with great ideas and technology, they tend to be more fluid, interoperable and customisable to the needs of the NHS; they would be able to make a real change to the daily lives of providers and customers.

A typical day for you would include..

Typically, my days are devoted to technology and selling. My morning tends to be engagement with my India tech team to make sure we are always refining and innovating our solution. Afternoons will be selling, calling and meeting as many people as I can. I get energised by talking to people about what we do so I try to do that as much as possible.

For more information on WeMa Life visit www.wemalife.com or follow them on Twitter @wemalife

Top Tips for innovators

Resources

Top Tips for Innovators

Got a great innovation that could radicalise the health care system but overwhelmed by the complexity of the NHS? Lesley Soden, Head of Innovation gives her top tips on how to build relationships with NHS and local authority contacts so you can get your innovation successfully implemented.

With Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock’s increased focus on the advancements of digital and technological solutions for the NHS, the market for health innovations is booming. Whilst it is an exciting time for health tech, for innovators themselves it makes for a crowded marketplace. In addition to the competition you face, you are also expected to navigate the complex landscape of the NHS.

Getting your innovation adopted in the NHS sphere can feel like opening a sticky door that requires the hinges to be oiled continuously. At the Health Innovation Network, we are approached by about 3-4 innovators every week looking for advice and support with getting their innovation bought by the NHS. Whilst every innovation requires different proof-points, we have learnt a number of lessons through our experience of improving the take-up of the Innovation and Technology Payment products across South London, and developed some key steps that all innovators can follow to increase their chances of getting their innovation, product or service adopted.

Target the right people

Having an engagement plan to target the right people at the right time, will stop you wasting yours. For example, if the innovation helps with managing referrals more effectively then a General Manager or Operational Director will be your target audience. If your innovation addresses a patient safety issue, then the Medical Director of Director of Nursing will be the decision-maker you need to approach. Work out which part of the system your innovation will save them money and then work out who is in charge of spending for that department.

Tip: if your innovation has the potential to save money for an NHS provider don’t target commissioners. Also, Trusts often have transformation teams who could help with getting your innovation adopted if there is evidence that it will improve patient care.

Tailor your message

In general, all NHS Trusts or Clinical Commissioning Groups will have the same system pressures as everyone else. These could be A&E waiting times, or the increasing demand caused by more patients having more complex conditions. However, individual decision-makers will have different priorities that concern them on a daily basis. To make sure your message is getting heard you should tailor it to the specific pressures or problems that your innovation could help them with.  For example, the Director of Nursing will probably be concerned with their nursing vacancies and agency costs, or patient safety while the Director of Finance and Performance’s priority is more likely to be addressing long waiting lists, or meeting their savings target.

Tip: trust board reports and Clinical Commissioning Group board reports are all published via their website; by scanning these board papers you can identify their specific issues and make it clear that your innovation solves their problems.

Get clinician approval first

Don’t even think about approaching any director or commissioner if you don’t have sufficient clinician buy-in. After all, they are the people who will be using your innovation on day-to-day and will need to be convinced of its value if you want it to get implemented properly. Approach the clinical teams to highlight the clinical and patient benefits of your innovation, and test their interest, before trying to get it bought for their hospital.

Tip: you are more likely to have an impact with this audience if you show that you’ve done some research. Do the testing, build up an evidence-base and then make your approach.

Learn about procurement

Don’t underestimate the potential for procurement processes to slow down or even stall getting your innovation into the NHS. Procurement is often a lengthy process in trusts, (for very good reason given it is taxpayer money that is being spent) the complexities of which need to be understood and respected.

Tip: engage with procurement teams to understand the process for buying your innovation, so you can don’t delay getting the sign-off for your innovation being adopted.

Refine your pitch

Contrary to popular belief, products generally aren’t so good they sell themselves. I hear 2-3 pitches a week from individuals with a health innovation and the majority of them fall down at the same hurdles. Firstly, don’t start your pitch with the generalist tabloid problems with the NHS. An NHS manager hearing for the third time that week that the NHS has no money and national targets are consistently not being met they will disengage. Instead, touch upon the challenge that your innovation will solve and then give detail on how your innovation is the solution. And the devil is in the detail. All too often pitches include vague statements about an innovation rather than actual detail. The best pitches are those that give overview of the innovation, clinical evidence, quantify return on investment and give an example of past or current implementation within the NHS. Spell out the real benefits using robust data and evidence, but don’t promise you can solve all their problems if you don’t have the proof.

Tip: return on investment is extremely important to highlight early on in your pitch. For example, one company recently included the fact that a different maternity unit had commissioned their online platform because it would save them money on public liability insurance. This type of evidence is impressive, clear and makes it easy to forecast the exact numbers by which your product will make them clear savings. This will always grab people’s attention.

Show how your innovation works

This sounds simple – and it is. People don’t just want to hear about how a product works, they want to see it and even try it out where possible. If it’s a medical device, make sure you bring it with you. Or if it’s a digital solution, do a short demo to help people to visualise your innovation.

Tip: have a quick pitch on your product ready and ensure that it clearly explains how your product works. Practise a 60 second pitch for meeting potential customers on an ad-hoc basis at networking events.

Be persistent, but polite

It’s unlikely that the first email you send will result in a bulk order of your product. It’s probably unlikely it will even result in a meeting. But that doesn’t mean you should stop knocking on doors. ‘No replies’ are not the same as rejection. And rejection can sometimes be ‘not now’ rather than a straight ‘no’. If you believe your product can transform the health care system for the better, then there’s a good chance you can convince someone else of that too.

Tip: don’t assume the worst in people when they don’t respond. Your target audience are busy and overwhelmed by pitches. Maintaining your professionalism and manners at all times will always go further to getting an answer than aggressive chasing.

As I said, getting your innovation adopted in the NHS can feel like opening a sticky door that requires the hinges to be oiled continuously. If you take a hammer to it, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to repair the damage caused to relationships in the future.

Lesley Soden is the Head of Innovation within the Health Innovation Network. She has over 20 years experience in the NHS and public sector. She has worked in senior business and strategy roles in mental health and community NHS Trusts involving programme management, business development, bid writing and service re-design, all delivered in collaborations with a variety of public and private health partners.

For more information on how we work with innovators, visit our Innovation Exchange page or read about our funding opportunities here.

New funding opportunities for members

News

New funding opportunities for members

We endeavour to make this as relevant to you as possible so please let us know if there is anything we have missed that you feel should be included.

Funder

Funding Opportunity

Eligibility

Website

Deadline

EPSRC

Opportunity for Information and communications technologies researchers to pursue an experience in other disciplines and user environments.

 

Academic (researchers) See Website No closing date

EPSRC

Healthcare Technologies discipline hopping call.  Enable researchers to develop new skills and build new collaborations with other disciplines and end users so they can address the key health challenges identified in the Healthcare Technologies strategy.

 

Academic(researchers) See Website No closing date

British Heart Foundation

Research Project Grants Academic (post-doctoral researcher) See Website No closing date – applications to be submitted when ready.

British Heart Foundation

New Horizons Grants Academic(senior researcher) See Website No closing date – applications to be submitted when ready.

Nesta

An Impact investment fund investing in life-changing innovations that help tackle the major challenges faced by older people, communities and children in the UK

 

Companies/ Entrepreneurs See Website Ongoing

King’s College London

King’s Health Accelerator 2018 Call Open AcademicNHS(KHP Research Staff) See Website No deadline given but should apply as soon as possible.

NIHR

Invention for Innovation AcademicNHSCompanies See Website Ongoing

Guys and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust (GSTT)

Bright Ideas Fund NHS(GSTT Trust) See Website Ongoing

Innovate UK

Multiple funding opportunities. Companies(SME based in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland) See Website N/A

Biomedical Catalyst 2019 round 1: feasibility and primer awards

UK businesses can apply for a share of up to £3 million to explore and evaluate the commercial potential of a scientific idea to solve a healthcare challenge. Companies(SME based in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland) See Website 3 April 2019, 12.00pm

Biomedical Catalyst 2019 round 1: early and late stage awards

UK businesses can apply for a share of up to £7 million to explore and evaluate the commercial potential of a scientific idea to solve a healthcare challenge. Companies(SME based in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland) See Website 3 April 2019, 12.00pm

Health Innovation Network sign up to join the #EquallyWellUK charter

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Health Innovation Network sign up to join the #EquallyWellUK charter

In December 2018, Health Innovation Network became the first AHSN to commit to the #EquallyWellUK charter. With more than 100 organisations already signed up, including NHS England and Public Health England, the charter is one of three initiatives that seeks to promote and support collaborative action to improve physical health among people with a mental illness by signing individual organisational pledges.

Pictured above L-R: acting CEO, Zoe Lelliott; Head of Mental Health, Aileen Jackson; and Clinical Director for Mental Health, Dr Muj Husain.

For Health Innovation Network, signing this charter means that all our clinical themes have committed to ensuring that their work improves outcomes for all, including those with mental illness. A great example of a project that already does this is our work in improving the detection of Atrial Fibrillation in people with serious mental illness that you can read about here. We are also committed to introducing providers and commissioners to promising digital solutions, and evaluating their impact.

Read more about our Mental Health theme here and about the pledge here.

Tara Donnelly to take on interim Chief Digital Officer role for NHS England

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Tara Donnelly to take on interim Chief Digital Officer role for NHS England

Tara Donnelly, Chief Executive of the Health Innovation Network, has been appointed as the interim Chief Digital Officer to spearhead the mission to empower patients through the use of digital technology.

The Chief Digital Officer leads the strategy for citizen facing digital services for NHS England and is SRO for the “Empower the Person” pillar of the NHS’s Digital Transformation programme. “Empower the Person” is one of the most ambitious digital healthcare transformation portfolios in the world and includes ten key programmes: the NHS website NHS.uk, the NHS App, NHS Online (verification of citizen identity), Apps & Wearables, Personal Health Record & Standards, Digital Child Health, Digital Maternity, Widening Digital Participation, GP Online and Patient access to WiFi.

Tara will continue as the Health Innovation Network’s Accountable Officer and Board Member during the interim period. Zoe Lelliott, currently the Deputy Chief Executive for theHealth Innovation Network, will take on the role of acting Chief Executive.

Tara Donnelly said:

“I’m delighted to be joining NHS England to help deliver the fantastic digital projects set out in the Long Term Plan. The NHS has stepped up its efforts on digital over the last few years and I’m excited at the opportunity to be involved in the next stage of work. The “Empower the Person” programme is one of the most ambitious digital healthcare transformation plans in the world, including the NHS App and its potential to transform the way citizens across the country access and interact with the NHS. I’m looking forward to joining the team that’s working hard to make these ambitions a reality.”

Zoe Lelliott said:

“We have an ambitious and creative portfolio of projects here at the Health Innovation Network, designed to support NHS and care staff to improve patients’ outcomes and experience, through innovation. Taking on the leadership of this work as the CEO is an exciting prospect, and I look forward to working with our team, our members and our partners in this new role over coming months.”

Read more from our Leadership Team and about what we do in our Annual Review.

Photo credit: Emile Holba

New funding opportunities for members

News

New funding opportunities for members

We endeavour to make this as relevant to you as possible so please let us know if there is anything we have missed that you feel should be included.

Funder

Opportunity

Eligibility

Website

Deadline

EPSRC

Opportunity for Information and communications technologies researchers to pursue an experience in other disciplines and user environments.  Academic (researchers) See Website No closing date

EPSRC

Healthcare Technologies discipline hopping call.  Enable researchers to develop new skills and build new collaborations with other disciplines and end users so they can address the key health challenges identified in the Healthcare Technologies strategy. Academic (researchers) See Website No closing date

British Heart Foundation

Research Project Grants Academic (post-doctoral researcher) See Website No closing date – applications to be submitted when ready.

British Heart Foundation

New Horizons Grants Academic (senior researcher) See Website No closing date – applications to be submitted when ready.

Nesta

An Impact investment fund investing in life-changing innovations that help tackle the major challenges faced by older people, communities and children in the UK Companies/ Entrepreneurs See Website Ongoing

King’s College London

King’s Health Accelerator 2018 Call Open Academic NHS (KHP Research Staff) See Website No deadline given but should apply as soon as possible.

NIHR

Invention for Innovation Academic NHSCompanies See Website Ongoing

Guys and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust (GSTT)

Bright Ideas Fund NHS (GSTT Trust) See Website Ongoing

Innovate UK

SMEs can apply for a share of £1.5 million to support the evaluation of innovative medical devices, diagnostics and regulated digital health products. Companies (SME based in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland) See Website 30 January 2019

SME support to evaluate innovative medical technologies: round 3

 

SMEs can apply for a share of £1.5 million to support the evaluation of innovative medical devices, diagnostics and regulated digital health products.

 

Companies (SME based in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland) See Website 30 January 2019, 12:00pm

 

Innovate UK

Multiple funding opportunities. Companies (SME based in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland) See Website N/A

Why do we need a leadership programme for care home managers?

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Why do we need a leadership programme for care home managers?

Written by Don Shenker, Project Manager for Healthy Ageing.

At the first workshop day for care home managers on the Pioneer Leadership Programme last January, participants were asked to list the things they did in a typical day as a care home manager. The 14 managers listed 55 tasks they typically undertook on a daily basis – ranging from dealing with funerals, preparing the staff payroll, dealing with complaints, checking medication systems and helping to move beds.

As someone who was very new to the care home sector, I was awed by the responsibility care home managers held and the loneliness of the job at hand – providing high levels of care to some of the most frail older people in society and dealing with the myriad regulations, controls and quality checks from CCGs, local authorities and the CQC. The managers on the programme nodded in recognition when talking about missed lunches, half-drunk cups of cold tea and waking up in the night, worried if everyone in their care home was alright.

To add to this, CCGs are continuing to push their care homes to reduce the number of residents going into hospital unnecessarily and to accept new admissions to the care home even at weekends – all to ease the pressure on hospitals struggling to cope with acute demand from a frail older population. One in seven over 85’s now live in a care home and there are three times as many care home beds as there are in the NHS. To add to this pressure on the NHS, emergency admissions to hospital from care home have increased by 65% between in the last six years (2011-2017).

The Health Innovation Network and My Home Life Care Home Pioneer Programme is a free leadership course for south London care home managers which aims to develop the leadership skills and confidence needed to lead care home teams in a demanding and pressurised sector.

The programme is run over nine months, with managers using exercises developed by My Home Life to improve deep listening skills, focus on collaboration, connect emotionally, discover what is working well and embed positive change together. The principle of appreciative enquiry is adopted – starting with recognising existing strengths as a team and building on that.

The overriding sentiment managers spoke of, to a packed room of care home managers, CCG commissioners and local authority staff on their Graduation day, in November, was how the programme had helped to build the confidence they needed to make changes and improve their home.

From changing how they ran team meetings to encourage staff to speak out, to developing culturally appropriate services and initiating new ways of involving residents in decision making, the care home ‘Pioneers’ spoke of how they had achieved a transformation in themselves and in their home. The programme evaluation shows a two-fold increase in the confidence managers felt in managing their team and their home.

Having developed our original Pioneers in 2018, the HIN is now recruiting a new cohort of care home manager pioneers for our 2019 programme, with the Pioneer Graduates being trained to co-facilitate and mentor the new cohort.

At a broader level for south London, the HIN hopes to support the care home Pioneers to now co-create the solutions required for older adult care with NHS, CCG and local authority colleagues to ensure continuing high-quality care pathways for older residents/patients. Having seen first-hand the remarkable resilience, strength and knowledge gained by the 14 Pioneers, I’m confident they will go on to achieve even greater things.

To find out more information and apply for the next cohort, please click here

Meet the Innovator

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Meet the Innovator

Each issue we’ll get up close and personal with an innovator asking them to share their thoughts and experience from their journey into the world of health and care innovation. In our latest edition, we spoke to Dr Sukhbinder Noorpuri, Founder and CEO of i-GP, an online consultation platform to allow patients faster access to primary care for minor illnesses.

Pictured above L-R: Dr Sukhbinder Noorpuri with Co-Founder, Dr Aleesha Dhillon.

Tell us about your innovation in a sentence

i-GP provides digital consultations for minor illnesses, using interactive pictures and online questions. It is accessible to patients 24/7 from any device, and 90% of users can start their treatment within just one hour.

What was the ‘lightbulb’ moment?

When I was working as a GP, I met Michael, a 70 year old gentleman who waited three hours to see me at a walk in centre back in 2015. I thought that there must be an easier way to access healthcare. So I started looking into alternatives, and when I found none, I decided to go about creating one. I have been fortunate enough to have a great Co-Founder in Aleesha who has been instrumental in developing creative solutions to all the challenges that we have encountered.

What three bits of advice would you give budding innovators?

  • Have a vision and make it a big one – set your goals globally rather than just locally in the spirit of true disruption.
  • Be relentless in the pursuit of this vision and always try and learn from every experience or opportunity which comes your way – know your market, keep reading about it and stay focused.
  • Build a world class team and inspire them to believe in the company mission. Be confident in your leadership and enjoy the process. A successful entrepreneur may build a well respected company, but a successful team will change the world.

What’s been your toughest obstacle?

Healthcare innovation is very challenging because impact takes time to achieve. However, your clinical experience is really the key differentiator in the marketplace. If you genuinely feel you have a clear perspective on the problem and have created the solution then building the evidence for your product, despite being time consuming, is the clearest way to show its potential.

Some regard regulation as being a tough element of service delivery, but embrace the challenge as a well executed process is the reason you will stand out in the industry.

What’s been your innovator journey highlight?

Over the last three years, we have won or been shortlisted for 22 healthcare awards as a result of the innovations we have developed in digital care. This has led us to international recognition and the opportunity to showcase i-GP at Conferences all over the world.

Learning to adapt and raise healthcare standards has been a reflection of the dedicated team approach to the venture. However, this recognition is secondary to the feedback we receive from our patients as this is our main driving force. Impacting the patient journey to care on a daily basis  is the motivation and inspiration to transform traditional routes of service. For example last week, we treated a patient who was due to catch a flight abroad for her sister’s wedding but was suffering with a urinary tract infection. It was late at night, she was in a rush and her chosen pharmacy was closed. We managed to arrange her prescription at the chemist within the airport just before she was due to take off. When she returned she was so thankful that her trip hadn’t been ruined by illness and she had been well enough to enjoy the celebrations.

Best part of your job now?

Without a doubt, my greatest fulfilment comes from leading our team. We are all passionate about seizing this opportunity in time to showcase the good that technology can bring to healthcare and the NHS. Digital health is still very much in its early stage of adoption and even though smartphones have been commonplace for several years, we are still on the cusp of widespread digital use. The service that we implement today, we hope, will continue for many years to come.

If you were in charge of the NHS and care system, what’s the one thing you’d do to speed up health innovation?

There has been a real drive recently with Rt Hon. Matthew Hancock advocating technology to modernise the NHS. Accompanying this, are the additional Government funds being made available to trial new products. This combination offers a paradigm shift from previous regimes and as innovators, we are very much looking forward to this filtering down to provide new opportunities. I also feel it is imperative that decision makers utilise patient feedback to help determine the future course and not just rely on industry advisers.

A typical day for you would include..

Most days are very varied due to the wide scope of avenues we are exploring at i-GP. I usually like to hold key meetings in the morning with either members of the team or board to review processes and define our future strategy.

We have a schedule over the week to assign time to all the key aspects of service from marketing to patient outcomes and from technology developments to the financial structure we have adopted. Reflection is part of this process and the opportunity to network with other innovators is often on the timetable to ascertain the potential for collaboration.

Liasing with the Accelerator team and our navigator Sara is also a key part of our time as we look to integrate further into the NHS.

We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Dr Sukhbinder Noorpuri who recently won the Chairman’s Entrepreneur Award (pictured above) at the TiE Awards Wednesday 5 December. Find out more about the awards here

For more information on i-GP visit i-gp.co.uk or follow them on Twitter @wellness_igp_uk

Adventure before Dementia

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Adventure before Dementia

Written by Charlene Chigumira, Trainee Project Manager for Healthy Ageing and Patient Safety.

The Healthy Ageing team attended the 13th annual Dementia Congress in Brighton last month, and it was even more special than I had imagined it would be. 

Wednesday opened with people with dementia and their carers from DEEP (Dementia Engagement and Empowerment Project) and Tide (Together in Dementia Everyday) sharing their unique experiences with us (and inspiring the title of this post). Alzheimer’s International took the stage and shone a light on how informal carers were providing 82 billion hours of support to people living with dementia by 2015, a statistic that still surprises me. This figure is why they believe that both formal and informal carers should be viewed as ‘essential partners in the planning and provision of care in all settings according to the needs and wishes of people with dementia.’ 

The lived experiences of people with dementia and their carers were weaved in throughout the congress as they spoke in the different break-out sessions on various topics including culture, assisted living arrangements, music therapy and spiritual support. One ‘End of Life Care’ session I attended hosted by Hospice UK and Dementia UK opened with a carer explaining why every day care matters to her, and how it maintains the dignity and individuality of a person living with dementia. Subsequently, a dementia care advocate, who has the condition herself shared some of the ways it has changed her life, and how the right care can enable her to live ‘interdependently’ (with support when needed, but a degree of independence remaining). Personally, I don’t think this session could have come at a better time, as my team is currently working on a project around end of life care in care homes. I left with a deeper understanding of why co-production is so important in our project work. 

Finally, one of the many highlights of the congress was hearing Paola Barbarino from Alzheimer’s Disease International highlight the brilliant ways countries all over the world are supporting people living with dementia. Here were 3 of my favourite case studies:

1. China (The Yellow Bracelet Project) 

‘In 2012, the Yellow Bracelet Project was initiated to encourage safety and prevent people with dementia getting lost. Yellow Bracelet has now become a symbol of affection, and continues to attract attention across society’. More here

2. The National Dementia Carers Network (Scotland) 

The National Dementia Carers network in Scotland has been ‘fully involved in Scotland’s two National Dementia Strategies, including work on testing models of community support, improving acute care in hospitals and the monitoring of better support’. More here  

3. LMIC spotlight (Costa Rica) 

Costa Rica was the first LMIC to introduce a dementia plan in 2014. Asociación Costarricense de Alzheimer y otras Demencias Asociadas (ASCADA) works closely with the city council to achieve a Dementia friendly community. More here 

Language and leadership needed for the government’s new ‘tech vision’ to become reality

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Language and leadership needed for the government’s new ‘tech vision’ to become reality

The Health Secretary Rt Hon Matt Hancock recently launched his new tech vision at an event organised by HIN, on behalf of NHS England. The vision is good news for digital innovation, but there’s still much more to do. Here, our Head of Technology, Denis Duignan, highlights some of its main features.

Last week, Matt Hancock launched the government’s new bold ‘tech vision’ to a room full of SMEs and NHS digital leaders at our event in London.

He spoke with credible enthusiasm as he outlined his views on how we achieve lasting digital progress. His vision is for the NHS to lead the world in digital healthcare, just as the U.K. has been a leader in Fin Tech, as the NHS already has the essential ingredients. This recognition of the NHS’ strong points, or ‘ingredients’ was good to hear – it’s too easy for those of us working in the system to forget. But the hard part isn’t individual components – it’s connecting these ingredients up in a truly modern architecture, so that systems talk to each other and patients and staff lives are easier.

The government’s desire to learn from the past is evident in the document’s focus on getting the national and local split correct. Mandating open standards at a national level is a key part of this, as is secure identity. But we need to retain local system flexibility. The architectural principles set out in the vision are:

  •         put our tools in modern browsers
  •         internet first
  •         public cloud first
  •         build a data layer with registers and APIs
  •         adopt the best cyber security standards
  •         separate the layers of our patient record stack: hosting, data and digital services.

These are sound principles. The focus on enabling healthtech innovation is equally promising and we hope something that signals a new era of support for healthtech innovators in and outside of the NHS. That being said, although the document speaks a lot about interoperability, with open standards and APIs providing the framework for modular IT systems, how level the playing field will really be in future remains to be seen. This is especially of concern to SMEs with products that require interaction with the established principle clinical systems, where quite often they need to pay significant ‘partnership’ fees to achieve satisfactory timely outcomes.

Some of the statements will raise a few (more cynical) eyebrows: “All new IT systems purchased by the NHS will be required to meet the standards we set out and existing services will need to be upgraded to meet these standards.” While the ambition is correct, many will wait with bated breath to see how this will practically play out for certain NHS organisations, especially those where particular suppliers are deeply entrenched or those with bespoke or heavily customised systems.

The language throughout the document is clearer than many policy documents in this space and feels like a step in the right direction. It says clearly: ‘This is not an IT project’ before going on to focus on ways of working. Those of us who regularly work on tech innovation projects know only too well that as long as tech is seen as just an ‘IT project’ we will struggle to realise the full benefits. Success depends on effective change management and changes in working cultures and habits.

Changing culture is hard. Leadership helps. For that reason, it’s also positive to see the focus on leadership in the vision. At the launch event a number of people talked about leadership and the difficulty of finding genuinely tech-savvy Boards. When it comes to finance, Boards can scrutinise the numbers. When it comes to people or projects, they can look at the staff survey or project plans. With IT, it can be a case of Boards just looking to a CIO and hoping for the best. Computer Weekly recently reported that even “at Leeds Teaching Hospitals  – a great example of a forward-thinking health organisation – there are 460 different IT systems in use.”  It’s not easy for Boards to get to grips with complex legacy situations like that.

The vision is clear about the need for this to change, saying that that tech transformation needs to be driven by leaders at every level. It goes on to say ‘all health and care organisations should ensure board-level understanding of how data and technology drives their services and strategies, and take charge of the digital maturity of their organisations – in the same way that they manage their finances and the quality of their services.’ In an effort to make sure Boards take that language seriously, the government is looking to regulatory and system levers, saying it will ask the Care Quality Commission (CQC) ‘how best to reflect the standards in their inspections of NHS and social care providers, and NHS Improvement and NHS Digital to work together on the use of spend controls to enforce the use of standards when procuring new systems for the NHS, looking at additional controls for spend on systems and services that are below current thresholds.’

On workforce, the report says the aim is that skilled professionals already working in the health and care system are supported to continuously develop, and that structures are in place to make innovation and information exchange easier through empowering and creating headspace for frontline staff. While this is a fine ambition and progress is being made through the likes of the NHS Digital Academy and the HIN’s IM&T Grads into Health Programme, there is still no mention of addressing the unsuitability of Agenda of Change pay scales for this staff group or adjusting training pathways and certain curriculums to increase numbers and the baseline knowledge required to make this vision a reality.

There’s no new money attached to the document and there’s no point underestimating the sheer scale of what we need to achieve. But the proposals it sets out, the focus on leadership and the language used to tell us that this isn’t an IT project, are a strong step in the right direction.

The government is currently consulting on the vision. You can take part here

If you’re working in health and care in south London and would like support with a technology innovation project, contact Denis and the team via hin.technology@nhs.net  

It’s time to put digital diabetes tools in the real world, with south London leading the way

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It’s time to put digital diabetes tools in the real world, with south London leading the way

Laura Semple, Programme Director for Diabetes and Stroke Prevention, on person-centred care planning and digital in the real world.

When it comes to diabetes, we all know that the statistics are both enormous and increasing. In south London alone there are an estimated 230,000 people living with diabetes. Nationally, the NHS spends £14 billion a year treating people with diabetes. That’s an astonishing £1.5 million every hour. And, as many of us working in diabetes treatment and Type 2 diabetes prevention in south London know, the vast majority of this is not on preventative care that will reap future benefits. It is spent treating complications, many of which are preventable if people receive the right support during the early stages of the condition.

It’s against this backdrop that we set about working with our partners, led by the South West London Health and Care Partnership, earlier this year to bid to test a new model of support for people living with Type 2 diabetes. The full team includes South London NHS commissioners and clinicians, Healum, Citizen UK, Year of Care partnerships and Oviva. Just this week, we’ve found out that our innovative bid to co-design a new support system with patients, maximising the opportunities from digital to support behaviour change as we do, has been successful and will receive more than £500,000 of public funding over 18 months.

One option would have been to try and find a digital substitute for the current way of working, insert it into local care plans and call it self-management. But too often, substituting with digital tools ticks boxes without radically improving care, because the digital tool doesn’t work seamlessly within the wider system of care.

We believe digital health tools workbest when there is a partnership between the patient, their GP and where necessary a team of specialist clinicians or coaches supervising results, coaching and encouraging. When this mix is in place the results can be powerful – weight loss, healthy blood glucose levels, increased physical activity, improved self-care because people feel more empowered and self-confident. These are just some of our biggest goals. And of course all of these bring savings in the longer term to the NHS thanks to fewer complications.

For that reason, the new south London Test Bed focuses just as much on training and care planning with primary care professionals as it does on new digital solutions. Our intervention starts by working with the wonderful Year of Care Partnerships to train GP practices to use a truly collaborative approach to care and support planning with their patients. New, co-designed care plans will be available to patients via an app and accessible to professionals across all care settings.

At this point, when the training and planning has taken place, digital can shine. Following their appointment patients receive an innovative video that presents their personal health data in an intriguing animation, explaining their individual results and what these mean for them as an individual. Using the app, patients will then access a wide range of support and resources to help them reach their goals, including with the helping hand of a dietitian coach from Oviva.

This fully integrated approach, that works with EMIS, considers the needs of primary care professionals as well as the needs of patients, right from the off. It’s not using digital as a simple substitute but placing digital as part of a wider mix in real world clinical settings.

We hope that by testing this model we’ll break down existing barriers to ‘self-management’ and show the power of brilliantly supported self-management. At its core, our aim is simple – real, lasting improvements to the lives of people living with Type 2 diabetes in South London, so that they can live the lives they want to lead without their condition getting too much in the way.

Read more about the Test Bed programme here

The power of making the invisible, visible

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The power of making the invisible, visible

Tara Donnelly recounts her experience of judging the 2018 HSJ Awards. This article was first published in HSJ on 15 October*

Recently, I spent an inspiring day, in great company, judging the Improving Care with Technology category of the 2018 HSJ Awards.

It was a privilege to hear direct from those involved about how their work was changing care, saving lives and making life simpler for clinical staff. There was a huge range of types of finalist, from small start ups, to GP practices, teams in large hospitals and mental health and ambulance services.

We heard from tremendously passionate and impressive pharmacists, doctors, physiotherapists, psychiatrists, psychologists as well as carers of people living with dementia and mental health issues. If we could have given them all a prize, believe me we would have. We also did a grand tour of the UK covering Manchester, Scotland, Yorkshire, Belfast, London and Surrey.

But for all the many differences, there stood out to me one predominant theme; the power of making what is invisible, visible.

Tools for busy mental health staff so they see the person who needs their help first, while not losing track of those who are due a contact, that prioritise patients most in need of a medicines review when admitted to hospital, using sensors and artificial intelligence to pick up problems in the home, almost before they happen, early alerts obviating the development of complications, tracking of sick children while transferring giving the clinical teams they have desperately missed, helping an anxious woman with a diagnosis of breast cancer know every step of the way forward, turning the process of tertiary referral from a messy, time consuming chore to a slick three minute procedure, saving days of doctor time every week.

These solutions are saving lives, bringing joy back to professionals and building a smarter NHS. They use highly evidenced techniques, such as clear visual management, and behavioural insights, to help busy humans make the best choice they can.

It’s the health service equivalent of the smartphone tools we now couldn’t be without in our personal lives, the maps that get us to new places, the nudges, reminders, quantification of how many steps we’ve done and the encouraging messages.

While undertaking the judging, my Apple Watch seemed to get quite concerned that I wasn’t as active as I usually am by that time of day. For me that’s mildly amusing, to be gently ticked off, for someone with depression this could be an important early indicator.

For the doctors running an e-hub for virtual consultations who were able to keep great GPs working for the NHS even when they had to move abroad, for the carer alerted to his wife’s condition change via a sensor so he could take early action avoiding an emergency admission to hospital, these technologies are game changing.

After a day of meeting these brilliant innovative staff and hearing how these great digital solutions, ranging from simple to those supported by algorithms, machine learning and AI, are already changing lives up and down the country I left with a spring in my step, and a keenness to help spread the brilliance, as all these ideas are well worth pinching (and, of course, they are all captured on the best practice database HSJ Solutions which can be accessed from the main site navigation).

So keep in mind, if you can make the invisible visible to your team, or organisation, you’re likely to help busy NHS staff improve care and love their job just a little bit more.

* https://www.hsj.co.uk/the-hsj-awards/making-the-invisible-visible/7023583.article 

Meet the Innovator

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Meet the Innovator

Each issue we’ll get up close and personal with an innovator asking them to share their thoughts and experience from their journey into the world of health and care innovation. In our latest edition, we spoke to Dr Nicholas Andreou, Co-Founder of Locums Nest, a staff bank management app; connecting healthcare professionals to temporary work.

Pictured above r-l: Dr Nicholas Andreou with fellow Co-Founder of Locums Nest, Ahmed Shahrabanian.

Tell us about your innovation in a sentence

Locums Nest bridges the gap between hospitals and doctors. Making staff vacancies easier and simpler to fill, without the expensive agency middle man.

What was the ‘lightbulb’ moment?

Working as junior doctors in the NHS and experiencing first-hand the frustrations and inefficiencies of filling gaps in the rota.

What three bits of advice would you give budding innovators?

  • Be tenacious- don’t take no for an answer, have thick skin
  • Hire people with purpose who believe in your message
  • Be kind to everyone you meet.

What’s been your toughest obstacle?

Trying to positively change an established institution, with large long-standing incumbents. Challenging the status quo.

What’s been your innovator journey highlight?

With our help, a Trust managed to staff a winter pressures ward without going to an agency. This meant they saved £1.6m in the first 10 months.

Best part of your job now?

Meeting different people in different environments; realising the NHS is enriched with experience and expertise from a vast range of backgrounds.

If you were in charge of the NHS and care system, what’s the one thing you’d do to speed up health innovation?

Open up the barriers to meeting the right people in the system to support innovation.

A typical day for you would include..

There’s no such thing! One day I could be travelling across the country for meetings, in the office for a full day product meeting or spending the day supporting our NHS clients.

Contact us

W: locumsnest.co.uk

T: @locumsnest

New funding opportunities for members

News

New funding opportunities for members

We endeavour to make this as relevant to you as possible so please let us know if there is anything we have missed that you feel should be included.

Funder   

Funding Opportunity

 Eligibility 

Deadline

EPSRC Opportunity for Information and communications technologies researchers to pursue an experience in other disciplines and user environments.

 

See Website No closing date
Innovation Connect Innovation Connect helps innovators in the health service and industry to realise their ideas and embed them into clinical practice and potential opportunities in international markets.

 

See Website On-going
Kings Health Partners Research and Development Challenge Fund ‘Fast Track’

 

See Website  Email khpresearchoffice@kcl.ac.uk at any time
Cancer Research UK Accelerator Award. This award, encourages cross-institutional collaboration to accelerate translational research. Any research discipline encouraged. See Website No closing date
EPSRC Healthcare Technologies discipline hopping call.  Enable researchers to develop new skills and build new collaborations with other disciplines and end users so they can address the key health challenges identified in the Healthcare Technologies strategy.

 

See Website No closing date
British Heart Foundation Research Project Grants See Website No deadline – submit application when ready
British Heart Foundation New Horizons Grants See Website No deadline – submit application when ready
Nesta An Impact investment fund investing in life-changing innovations that help tackle the major challenges faced by older people, communities and children in the UK See Website Ongoing
King’s College London King’s Health Accelerator 2018 Call Open See Website Should apply as soon as possible (King’s staff Internal only)
NIHIR Invention for Innovation See Website On-going
Guys and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust (GSTT) Bright Ideas Fund Teams within GSTT with ideas of commercial potential. See website On-going
UCL Enterprise Bright Ideas Awards See Website On-going
NHS England & Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI)  

Diabetes Hothouse

See Website 5 November 2018
NIHIR Digital Technologies to improve health and care See Website 6 November 2018, 1pm

From the “Mortality Aware” to the “Baby Boomer Boozers”, we all need help to cut through the app…

News

From the “Mortality Aware” to the “Baby Boomer Boozers”, we all need help to cut through the app…

A new report out today from the International Longevity Centre – UK, Cutting through the App: How can mobile health apps meet their true potential?brings together a whole range of statistics and analysis on the current state of play with health apps. It’s a good read and identifies several health apps that have been proven to reduce unhealthy behaviours.  It’s the latest report to emphasise the potential of digital health. From apps that help tackle the devastating impact of insomnia, to those that make it easier for anxious teenagers to discuss mental health as well as apps to tackle diabetes, the reality is that healthcare can be in your pocket.

The report identifies several population groups in the UK that could benefit the most from effective health behavioural change apps. These include:

  • Nearly 1 million ‘baby boomer boozers’ who are over 60, drink frequently and use a smartphone;
  • 760,000 ‘living fast, dying young’ who are under 40 and smoke, drink frequently, have a smartphone and regularly use the internet;
  • 5.7 million people who ‘just need a push’ and who eat healthy and don’t smoke, but drink moderately and rarely exercise;
  • 2 million ‘connected, healthy and young’ who eat well, exercise frequently and regularly use the internet.

While these groups are found to have a huge opportunity to benefit from health apps, the biggest barrier is the sheer volume of apps out there and the difficulty this adds when it comes to sorting the best from the rest. The NHS apps library is applauded for its approach but complexity for consumers remains.

At AHSNs, we see the way that this complexity can be a barrier for busy clinicians too. With so many digital health innovations to choose from, finding the time to assess and assure them can be incredibly tough. That’s why a key part of the role of AHSNs is to work with the NHS up and down the country to cut through this noise, and find and spread the kind of proven digital innovation that makes a difference.

If you’re a clinician and need help “cutting through the app” you can browse examples of the innovations we support, including apps, here:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/innovation/nia/

https://digitalhealth.london/accelerator/companies/

If you need advice about an innovation, contact us at hin.southlondon@nhs.net

£100k awarded to drive NHS innovations across South London

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£100k awarded to drive NHS innovations across South London

Twelve projects including schemes to meet the needs of women with perinatal mental health problems, group consultations for chronic health management and challenging conversations training for volunteers have won funding under South London Small Grants 2018.

The awards were made by the Health Innovation Network working in partnership with Health Education England. In all there were 120 applications across 45 different organisations that applied for funding.

The aim of the grants is to support innovative practice that can be spread and adopted across the Health and Social Care landscape.. The funding also aims to encourage cross-boundary working in areas of research, education and improvement in healthcare services.

In previous years, the Small Grants have enabled people across London to access small pockets of funding for research and innovation to try out their ideas, using the grant as a springboard to support their potential.

The 12 Projects that will receive funding are:

Kim Nurse, Darzi Fellow, (Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust): A collaborative project with the University of Creative Arts to create a campaign to education patients, their relatives and staff regarding the risks of deconditioning in hospital

Emily Symington, GP, (Amersham Vale Training Practice): Group consultations for chronic health management in urban deprived population in GP

Manasvi Upadhyaya, Consultant Paediatric Surgeon, (Evelina Children’s Hospital): Development of a gastrostomy care package – a quality improvement project

Vicky Shaw, Clinical Lead, (Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust): A integrated and collaborative approach to Falls training to address high levels of falls amongst residents with dementia in Lewisham Care Homes

Katherine Bristowe, Herbert Dunhill Lecturer, (King’s College London): ACCESSCare-e: reducing inequalities for LGBT people facing advanced illness and bereavement – an evidence based self-paced online intervention

Hind Khalifeh, Honorary Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist, (SLAM/KCL): Meeting the needs of women with perinatal mental health problems through partnerships between NHS perinatal mental health services and voluntary sector organisations Home Start and Cocoon

Ursula Bowerman, Operational Director/Lead Facilitator, (Project Dare/SLAM): The LGBTQ+  Dare Sessions

Estelle Malcolm, Clinical Psychologist, (NAAAPS/SLAM): Using an appreciative inquiry approach to increase the voice of adults with an autism spectrum condition in shaping psychological therapy services

Kate Heaps, CEO, (Greenwich & Bexley Hospice): Young Ward Volunteers Scheme

Michael Brady, Consultant in Sexual Health and HIV, (Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust): Delivering and evaluating a Sexual Health and Well-being service for Trans communities in SE London

Liz Bryan, Director of Education and Training, (St Christopher’s Hospice): Challenging Conversations: training volunteers to support the frail elderly and those with long-term conditions in the community who want to talk about end of life issues

Sophie Butler, Higher Trainee in General Adult Psychiatry, (SLAM): Extreme Psychiatry 2.0

Meet the Innovator

Blog

Meet the Innovator

In our latest edition, we spoke to Mike Hurley, creator of ESCAPE-pain – a rehabilitation programme for people with chronic joint pain. Mike is currently a Professor of Rehabilitation Sciences at St George’s University of London & Kingston University as well as Clinical Director for the Musculoskeletal theme at Health Innovation Network.

Tell us about your innovation in a sentence

ESCAPE-pain “does exactly what is says on the tin”, it’s a rehabilitation programme for older people with chronic knee or hip pain (often called osteoarthritis) that helps participants understand why they have pain, what they can do to help themselves cope with it, and guides them through an exercise programme that helps them realise the benefits that can be attained from being more physically active.

What was the ‘lightbulb’ moment?

Not sure it was a lightbulb moment, it was more like one of the low energy lights slowly coming on! But there were two turning points that have led to ESCAPE-pain.

The first was realising the impact of pain on people’s everyday physical and psychosocial function was as important to them as the sensation of pain itself, and that addressing these impacts is as important as minimising pain.

The second was realising the importance muscle plays in causing joint pain and joint damage. We used to think joint pain was caused by damage to joints that resulted in pain, this stopped people doing their regular activities, which caused muscle weakness and makes the joint susceptible to further damage. However, we highlighted muscles are very important for protecting our joints from abnormal movement and suggested impaired muscle function that occurs as we get older may initiate joint damage. Thus, muscle is a cause rather than simply a consequence of joint damage. If that’s true then maintaining well-conditioned muscles through exercise-based rehabilitation programmes, we might prevent or reduce joint pain and damage, and improve people’s quality of life.

Coupling the first light bulb moment – addressing the psychosocial impact of pain – with the second light bulb moment – experience and understanding of the value of exercise – gives us ESCAPE-pain.

What three bits of advice would you give budding innovators?

  1. Prove your innovation works – if people aren’t convinced it is useful to them why would they use it?
  2. Surround yourself with a team of clever, hardworking people who believe in you and the innovation.
  3. Keep your eyes on the prize – wide implementation – and be prepared for lots of ups and downs and hard work convincing the multitude of non-believers that your innovation works.

What’s been your toughest obstacle?

Some of the conversations we had with commissioners would have been laughable if they weren’t so depressing. Financial pressures mean people delivering the programme continually want to reduce the number of sessions, but we know doing that reduces its effectiveness. And even though commissioners were often convinced about the need for the programme and wanted to do the right thing, the requirement to focus on short term benefits meant that anything taking more than a year to show benefits, whether health or cost, was of little interest. Many felt unable to invest in services where the benefits are felt by other parts of the health system, for example taking the pressure off primary care. Often commissioners could hear the madness of what they were saying even as they articulated it, but that didn’t change anything. It was tough and these issues really do slow the spread of innovation.

What’s been your innovator journey highlight?

Getting the unwavering backing of the HIN. In late 2012, I was about to give up on getting ESCAPE-pain adopted clinically, because there were no channels for innovative healthcare interventions to spread across the NHS and beyond. Then I answered an email enquiring about local MSK research in south London from its newly founded Academic Health Science Network, met with the Managing Director and frankly my professional life took a new, exciting and very fulfilling turn for the better.

Best part of your job now?

There are two:

Working with the MSK team is terrific and fun. They work so hard to make it everything work. It’s a privilege to work with such a lovely group of people.

The second great thing is the kick the whole team gets from the positive feedback we get from ESCAPE-pain participants. It never ceases to make me feel very humble and honoured to be able to help people.

If you were in charge of the NHS and care system, what’s the one thing you’d do to speed up health innovation?

I’d start “NICE Innovations”, a body that would screen potential (digital, models of care and service) innovations, pick the most promising, work with innovators and the health systems to find out what works (or not), why (not), and then actively promote and incentivise the health and social care systems to adopt or adapt effective innovations. Its kind of happening at the moment but feels fragmented, so it needs to be brought together to make it more effectual and “given teeth”.

A typical day for you would include..

The great thing about my work is that there is no typical day. I usually wake about six, make a cup of tea and listen to the news on the radio before heading into the new day. That could involve writing papers, grants, presenting at conferences, attending meetings at the HIN or St George’s, lecturing, mentoring students or clinicians, figuring out how to get our MSK work seen and adopted.

Find out more about ESCAPE-pain by visiting the website at www.escape-pain.org or following them on twitter @escape-pain

Contact us

W: chc2dst.com and ieg4.com (main company website).

T: @IEG4

New funding opportunities for members

News

New funding opportunities for members

We endeavour to make this as relevant to you as possible so please let us know if there is anything we have missed that you feel should be included.

Funder   

Funding Opportunity

 Eligibility 

Deadline

EPSRC Opportunity for Information and communications technologies researchers to pursue an experience in other disciplines and user environments.

 

See Website No closing date
Innovation Connect Innovation Connect helps innovators in the health service and industry to realise their ideas and embed them into clinical practice and potential opportunities in international markets.

 

See Website On-going
The Health Foundation Efficiency research programme seeking innovative research ideas into system efficiency and sustainability in health and social care.

 

See Website 24 September 2018, 12pm
Kings Health Partners Research and Development Challenge Fund ‘Fast Track’

 

See Website  Email khpresearchoffice@kcl.ac.uk at any time
Cancer Research UK Accelerator Award. This award, encourages cross-institutional collaboration to accelerate translational research. Any research discipline encouraged. See Website No closing date
Innovate UK Various funding opportunities with the goal of improving digital health See Website

 

Earliest closing day – 26 September 2018

 

Nesta Longitude Prize –
Developing solutions to antimicrobial resistance
See Website Every 4 months from 31 May 2016- 30 Sep 2019
EPSRC Healthcare Technologies discipline hopping call.  Enable researchers to develop new skills and build new collaborations with other disciplines and end users so they can address the key health challenges identified in the Healthcare Technologies strategy.

 

See Website No closing date
British Heart Foundation Research Project Grants See Website No deadline – submit application when ready
The Health Foundation Sciana: The Health Leaders Network. Looking for outstanding leaders in health and health care policy and innovation from across Europe to join the Sciana network. See Website 28 September 2018
British Heart Foundation New Horizons Grants See Website No deadline – submit application when ready
Nesta An Impact investment fund investing in life-changing innovations that help tackle the major challenges faced by older people, communities and children in the UK See Website Ongoing
King’s College London King’s Health Accelerator 2018 Call Open See Website Should apply as soon as possible (King’s staff Internal only)
Medical Research Council The MRC is offering a number of funding opportunities See Website Numerous, earliest closing date 6 September 2018

 

NIHIR Invention for Innovation See Website On-going
Guys and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust (GSTT) Bright Ideas Fund Teams within GSTT with ideas of commercial potential. See website On-going
UCL Enterprise Bright Ideas Awards

 

See Website On going
NIHIR Digital Technologies to improve health and care See Website 6 November 2018, 1pm

People encouraged to ‘Go digital’ in new NHS short films

News

People encouraged to ‘Go digital’ in new NHS short films

A series of nine new films about digital health innovations in the NHS have been launched today, as part of #NHS70DigitalWeek.

Produced by the AHSN Network and NHS England, the films show some of the latest ways the NHS is using digital technology to empower people to take control of their health and care. They feature a range of apps and technologies that are starting to be used in parts of the NHS to help people manage conditions in more flexible ways using digital tools and services.

The NHS is harnessing the power of information and technology to empower people to take control of their own health. Waitless is a app – which combines waiting times at urgent care centres with up-to-the-minute travel information – enables patients to decide where to go to access faster treatment for minor injuries:

MIRA is a digital application that turns practical physiotherapy exercises into videogames to introduce an element of fun into rehab and recovery. It proved to be very popular among the film’s elderly participants, bringing out some healthy competition. Watch this film to learn more:

An innovative way to help women manage hypertension during pregnancy, the HaMpton app enables women like Asha and Clare to monitor their health at home. Watch this film to find out more.

This video shows how the Sleepio app records and recommends ways to improve sleep. Now it’s less counting of sheep – and more good nights of sleep – for people like Audrey and Claire:


Changing Health – a self-management app for type 2 diabetes – is empowering people like Sheinaz to better manage their condition. Watch the video to find out more:

Watch the initial launch film here:


Part of the wider work to celebrate and recognise the NHS’s 70th birthday, the videos aim to prompt people to see the NHS as a digital, as well as face-to-face service. Both the videos and the broader #NHS70DigitalWeek campaign encourage people to visit www.nhs.uk to find out more about how they can engage digitally with their health.

Tara Donnelly, Chief Executive of the Health Innovation Network and AHSN Network lead for digital health said:

“Digital innovation has become an essential part of our everyday life.Whether it is accessing the world’s song catalogue, making immediate connections with friends and family or using maps on our phones to find locations, digital tools have becomepart of thefabric of our lives and society.

“These films show that at 70 years old, the NHS is using digital health more and more, and the benefits are huge. As the innovation arm of the NHS, Academic Health Science Networks are supporting the NHS up and down the country to spread the kind of proven digital innovation that empowers people and frees up clinical time. The reality is that healthcare can be in your pocket.”

The seven examples of digital health that are featured in the series via case studies of people who have used the technology are:

  • Changing Health: digital education and coaching platform for people with type 2 diabetes
  • Sleepio: sleep improvement programme using cognitive behavioural therapy
  • My House of Memories: assisting people living with dementia and memory loss
  • MIRA: turning physiotherapy into videogames to improve adherence and make rehab fun
  • EpsMon: improving epilepsy self-management
  • HaMpton: helping pregnant women to manage high blood pressure at home
  • Waitless: aimed at helping patients to find the shortestwaiting times for A&E and urgent care

The films will be launched over a series of weeks, between 24 July and early September and will be added to this page as they become available.

Sheinaz, who uses the ‘Changing Health’programme, talks in the film about the benefits of a digital approach:

“Going to a (support) group wasn’t going to be sustainable for me, the other option was the health app. Having the app helps me maintain consciousness of the condition I have and that I have responsibility for my own health.”

Another person who took part in the filming was Audrey, who used to suffer from sleep deprivation and used the Sleepio app. She said:

“It’s amazing, it’s the sort of thing you can do when you are commuting.” After having previously been without sleep for several weeks at a time, she reports she now hasn’t had a bad night’s sleep in over a year using this product that is strongly evidenced to combat sleep deprivation.

AHSNs have highlighted digital health innovation as a priority area for the NHS in coming years, particularly in the area of long-term condition management, where there are major opportunities for supporting people in self-management and NHS currently spends 70 per cent of its budget.

Digital therapeutics work best when there is a partnership between the patient, their GP and where necessary a team of specialist clinicians or coaches supervising results, coaching and encouraging. The results achieved by the best-evidenced products are powerful – weight loss, fewer crises, lower blood glucose, increased activity, better adherence to medicine, improved self-care, better sleep and mood, fewer admissions to hospital and savings in the longer term to the NHS thanks to fewer complications. The AHSNs work to identify and help spread these innovations, supporting innovators from both the NHS and industry, as well as staff within the NHS with uptake, to maximise the opportunities for the benefit of patients.

 

Meet the Innovator

Blog

Meet the Innovator

In our latest edition of Meet the Innovator, we caught up with Simon Williams of CHC2DST, a cloud based digital solution for continuing healthcare assessments. Simon is currently the Healthcare Director at IEG4 Limited.

Tell us about your innovation in a sentence

CHC2DST supports the digital transformation of the Continuing Healthcare (CHC) Assessment process by digitising the forms used in the national framework and automating workflow processes to improve patient service, boost productivity and control CHC care package allocation.

What was the ‘lightbulb’ moment?

When we saw that a complex national process relied upon the copying and transmission of reams of paper across multiple stakeholders, it was clear that the process would be impossible to manage effectively and, that, through automation, efficiencies and service quality improvements could be realised.

What three bits of advice would you give budding innovators?

  1. Be sure the challenges you are solving are recognised within the NHS and then be prepared for a long gestation period
  2. Find some NHS body/bodies who become early adopters, with whom you can collaborate to prove the solution within the NHS
  3. Promote your innovation at multiple levels within NHS to gain ‘share of mind’.

What’s been your toughest obstacle?

Despite a direct call to action from Matthew Swindells and Jane Cummings in Summer 2017 to drive up performance against the 28 Day National Standard for decision turnaround, the biggest challenge is engaging with the CCGs who are struggling to run the existing paper-based process. From NHS England Quarterly Situation Reports for CHC, we can see that many London CCGs would benefit from digital transformation of the assessment process. We are keen to talk to the CCGs in South London. An hour invested in watching a webinar would bring the digital transformation benefits to life.

What’s been your innovator journey highlight?

When the alignment of NHS bodies came together effectively under the auspices of the Yorkshire & Humber AHSN to create a focussed, specific event targeted at an audience of CHC practitioners. NHS Strategic Improvement for CHC explained the importance of improving the area to NHS England. Cheshire and Wirral CCGs discussed their CHC transformation journey supported by our technology and through collaborative working with us. The result was a further take up of the innovation and an increased awareness amongst the 20-odd Y&H AHSN CCGs in attendance that an alternative to the status quo was available and proven to work.

Best part of your job now?

When people who are working very hard to manage and execute the existing assessment process see how our solution puts them in control of their workload.  The ‘lightbulbs’ go on during the demo and the feedback we receive is positive . It’s great to know that we are helping to making a contribution to improve ‘our NHS’ in this area.

If you were in charge of the NHS and care system, what’s the one thing you’d do to speed up health innovation?

For all service leads, make exploring and championing innovation part of the job description on which they are evaluated. Create a National Innovation Channel which holds approved content which can be accessed by NHS professionals to make it easier to find solutions in use in the NHS.

A typical day for you would include..

Reaching out to NHS stakeholders in AHSNs, CCGs, and NHS Executive Management to highlight CHC2DST’s capabilities to them and share results visible from NHS Quarterly Situation Reports for CHC. The data shows that CHC2DST helps to improve productivity by reducing unnecessary work activities, improves decision turnaround timeframes and improves CHC care package allocation.

IEG4 runs regular webinars to demonstrate CHC2DST to NHS Professionals working within the CHC area, without obligation. If it works for them, we help build stakeholder support and the case for change.

Contact us

W: chc2dst.com and ieg4.com (main company website).

T: @IEG4

New funding opportunities for members

News

New funding opportunities for members

We endeavour to make this as relevant to you as possible so please let us know if there is anything we have missed that you feel should be included.

Funder   

Funding Opportunity

 Eligibility 

Deadline

EPSRC Opportunity for Information and communications technologies researchers to pursue an experience in other disciplines and user environments. See Website No closing date
Innovation Connect Innovation Connect helps innovators in the health service and industry to realise their ideas and embed them into clinical practice and potential opportunities in international markets. See Website On-going
NIHR The Health Technology Assessment Programme is accepting stage 1 applications to their commissioned workstream for this primary research topic: management of orthostatic hypotension. See Website 1st August 2018, 1pm
Kings Health Partners Research and Development Challenge Fund ‘Fast Track’. See Website  Email khpresearchoffice@kcl.ac.uk at any time
Cancer Research UK Accelerator Award. This award, encourages cross-institutional collaboration to accelerate translational research. Any research discipline encouraged. See Website No closing date
Innovate UK Various funding opportunities with the goal of improving digital health. See Website Earliest closing day – 18 July 2018
Nesta Longitude Prize –
Developing solutions to antimicrobial resistance.
See Website Every 4 months from 31 May 2016- 30 Sep 2019
EPSRC Healthcare Technologies discipline hopping call.  Enable researchers to develop new skills and build new collaborations with other disciplines and end users so they can address the key health challenges identified in the Healthcare Technologies strategy. See Website No closing date
British Heart Foundation Research Project Grants See Website No deadline – submit application when ready
Innovate UK SMEs support to evaluate medical technologies: round 2 See Website 22 August 2018
British Heart Foundation New Horizons Grants See Website No deadline – submit application when ready
Nesta An Impact investment fund investing in life-changing innovations that help tackle the major challenges faced by older people, communities and children in the UK See Website Ongoing
King’s College London King’s Health Accelerator 2018 Call Open See Website Should apply as soon as possible (King’s staff Internal only)
Medical Research Council The MRC is offering a number of funding opportunities See Website Numerous, earliest closing date 19 July 2018
NIHIR Invention for Innovation See Website On-going
Guys and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust (GSTT) Bright Ideas Fund Teams within GSTT with ideas of commercial potential. See website On-going
UCL Enterprise Bright Ideas Awards See Website On going
NIHR Research and Innovation for Global Health Transformation – Call 1 See Website 1 August 2018, 13:00

Social prescribing champion training sessions

News

Social prescribing champion training sessions

Health Innovation Network are proud to be delivering ‘Social Prescribing Champion Training’ sessions in June and July in collaboration with Wandsworth and Merton CCGs. For those working health and care, based in GP practices, working with voluntary groups and/or do some signposting. Please select a date out of four options and book this fantastic opportunity.

Training dates – One half-day (four-hour) session:

Thursday 21 June 9:00 – 13:00, Book here

Friday 22 June 12:00 – 16:00, Book here

Monday 2 July 9:00 – 13:00, Book here

Friday 6 July 12:00 – 16:00, Book here

For further details, please contact Urvi Shah at urvi.shah2@nhs.net

What is Social Prescribing?

Social prescribing is a means of enabling GPs, nurses and other primary care professionals to refer people to a range of local, non-clinical services.*

*kingsfund.org.uk/publications/social-prescribing

More support and choice for south Londoners at risk of Type 2 diabetes

News

More support and choice for south Londoners at risk of Type 2 diabetes

A new collaboration will mean more choice and expert support for south Londoners at risk of Type 2 diabetes. The Health Innovation Network, NHS England, Public Health England and Diabetes UK have confirmed a new contract with ICS Health & Wellbeing (ICS) to offer 4260 free places on Healthier You: the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme across south London.

Healthier You is a nine-month behaviour change programme that helps local patients at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes to significantly reduce their chances of getting the disease. Local doctors and nurses refer people to be part of this course so that they can receive support to change their lifestyle in a friendly and supportive group environment. The behaviour change programme runs for nine months and consists of a mixture of 1:1 and group sessions delivered by specially trained Health and Wellbeing coaches, advising individuals on how to prevent diabetes by incorporating healthier eating, physical activity, problem solving, stress reduction and coping skills into their daily lives.

Across south London it is estimated that approximately 275,000 are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Under the new contract, over 4000 people are expected to benefit and choice will be improved because they will be able to access courses in any part of London including evenings and weekends.

Neel Basudev, south London GP and Clinical Lead for south London Healthier You, said:

“I am delighted that ICS will be providing Healthier You in south London for local people who are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.   This will be an opportunity to make positive, lifestyle changes and take more control of their health and ultimately help prevent them developing what is a potentially life threatening condition.” 

Operations Manager for ICS, Megan Baird, said:

“We are now the only provider across London – this means more patient choice and flexibility to attend services across multiple locations and timings to suit individual needs. We are extremely passionate about the delivery of our service to support those at risk of developing type 2 diabetes and look forward to implementing a successful programme across South London.”

ICS is the largest provider for the NHS National Diabetes Prevention Programme. With 19 delivery areas across the UK, ICS has a wealth of experience in delivering the nine month intervention effectively. Across the UK to date, ICS has received over 63,000 referrals, delivered over 30,000 face-to-face initial assessments and run over 1,200 courses. 95% our service users rate the service as Very Good or Good at 9 Months, 79% of service-users lose weight and 66% of service users accessing the service across London are from BAME groups.

Ten thousand people have already been referred to Healthier You under the previous provider, Reed Momenta.

Reducing diabetes is a priority for the NHS. It is estimated that the condition currently costs the NHS £8.8 billion every year. People wishing to be part of the programme should speak to their GP or Practice Nurse who can make a referral into the service if the person is eligible.

Health Innovation Network begins partnership with Alzheimer’s Society

News

Health Innovation Network begins partnership with Alzheimer’s Society

Health Innovation Network has committed to taking action on dementia by uniting with Alzheimer’s Society in a strategic partnership to change the landscape of dementia care forever.

Dementia is the UK’s biggest killer, with 1 million people set to be living with the condition by 2021.

Having collaborated on a number of successful initiatives including Dear-GP and the “Red Bag” scheme, Health Innovation Network and Alzheimer’s Society are launching a formal partnership to tackle dementia together.

Through the partnership we will support one another in the development of new initiatives to ensure timely diagnosis and develop practical tools to improve health outcomes for people with dementia.  Each organisation will use its expertise and networks to increase the reach and impact of successful initiatives and facilitate the sharing of best practice in dementia care across health and social care.

Zoe Lelliott, Deputy Chief Executive at Health Innovation Network, said: ‘We’re delighted to be working in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society. As one of the leading voluntary sector organisations at the forefront of championing the needs of people with dementia at a national level, we are excited about the opportunities this new partnership will bring for the benefit of people with dementia in south London’,

Tim McLachlan, Director of Local Services at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “Dementia devastates lives, slowly stripping people of their memories, relationships and identities. As the UK’s biggest killer, taking action with other charities and health organisations is vital to help us understand more about this devastating illness.

“I am delighted that the Health Innovation Network is uniting with us this Dementia Action Week. Whoever you are, whatever you are going through, no one should face dementia alone.”

Meet the Innovator

Blog

Meet the Innovator

In the first of our ‘Meet the Innovator’ series, we spoke to Asma Khalil, creator of the innovation ‘HaMpton’ (Home monitoring of hypertension in pregnancy). Asma currently works as a Consultant Obstetrician at St George’s NHS Foundation Trust.

Asma Khalil, creator of the innovation 'HaMpton' (Home monitoring of hypertension in pregnancy).

Tell us about your innovation in a sentence

New care pathway involving the use of an app for monitoring high blood pressure at home, empowering expectant mothers to be involved in their own care.

What was the ‘lightbulb’ moment?

I was having a dinner with my friend who had a heart attack and he showed me at the restaurant that he can monitor his heart rate using an App.

What three bits of advice would you give budding innovators?

  1. Do not give up
  2. Believe in yourself and your innovation
  3. Listen carefully for any feedback and think of it positively.

What’s been your toughest obstacle?

Finances. There are some small sources of funding that can make a big difference, like south London small grants, and I’d encourage people to take advantage of them. But finances are still the biggest challenge.

What’s been your innovator journey highlight?

2017 HSJ Innovation Award

NIA Fellowship

Finalist for the 2017 BMJ Innovation Award.

Best part of your job now?

The best part of any doctor’s job is when he/she helps someone who is suffering or could be going through a difficult/challenging time in their life.

When I come across a pregnant woman who used my innovation and hear her feedback (without knowing that it is me behind it).  I realise that I made a difference to this women’s life and her family. It makes me realise that my efforts are worthwhile.

If you were in charge of the NHS and care system, what’s the one thing you’d do to speed up health innovation?

I would ensure that the NHS Hospitals have innovations at the Heart of their practice and potentially link innovation with financial incentives. I would also ensure that innovations are integral part of the hospital review/rating.

A typical day for you would include..

Looking after my patients and trying my best to provide the safest and the best possible care that they deserve. It is very rewarding to be proud of what you do.

Find out more about HaMpton here.

Innovation and Technology Payment (ITP): One year on

Blog

Innovation and Technology Payment (ITP): One year on

Written by Tara Donnelly, Chief Executive at Health Innovation Network

The latest products available at low or no cost through the NHS Innovation and Technology Payment (ITP) have been announced by NHS England, and we were pleased to see some fantastic innovations that reduce the need for intervention, improve care, reduce infection rates and length of stay, and NHS resources.

Above all, we were struck by the potential for the innovations on this tariff to improve patient safety. Here at the Health Innovation Network, we want to do all we can to help NHS organisations in south London take advantage of them.

Nationally the tariff was a real success in its first year, with myCOPD leading the way. There are now more than 35,000 people actively using this great digital tool to improve their self-management and this number is increasing by 5,000 – 8,000 a month. In total almost 100,000 licences have been sold 60% through the tariff and the rest by CCGs and individual patients keen to self manage. You can read more reflections on the first year of the tariff in my related blog here.

It’s great to see the range of products available this coming year. But as an AHSN, we know that just because a product is free or low-cost that doesn’t mean it’s easy to implement, or that the internal resources are available to support implementation. We want to support Trusts as much as we can.

The support we can offer includes help with internal business cases, advice on information governance, connecting trusts to others who have used the products, advice on how to reclaim funds and use the tariff, and wider advice as needed. If you’re an NHS organisation in south London and would like to access HIN support, please do contact us at kate.covill@nhs.net and ian.knighton@nhs.net or on 0207 188 9805.

The products are:

Available completely free for 2018/19:

  • Endocuff Vision – a small device that goes onto the end of a colonoscope and improves the quality of colorectal examination.
  • SecurAcath – a device to secure lines that reduces the infection risk for patients with a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC line). This type of catheter is normally used in people needing intravenous access for several weeks or months in both inpatient and outpatient settings. The use of this device makes cleaning the site much easier and reduces complications. NICE estimates it could improve care for up to 120,000 people each year.

Available free to eligible sites that do high volumes:

  • HeartFlow – advanced image analysis software that creates a 3D model of the coronary arteries and analyses the impact that blockages have on blood flow to rapidly diagnose patients with suspected coronary artery disease. The use of the device can avoid the need for invasive investigations such as coronary angiography, usually carried out under local anaesthetic, where a catheter is passed through the blood vessels to the heart to release a dye before X-rays are taken. NICE estimates it could improve care for up to 35,000 people each year.

Available at 30% discount to eligible sites (as eligible Trusts can reclaim the difference between this product and regular sutures):

  • Plus Sutures – a new type of surgical suture coated with Triclosan, that reduces the rate of surgical site infection. 32% of hospital acquired infections are surgical site infections (SSI), most of which can be prevented. Trusts with SSI rates of above 4% in certain clinical specialties are eligible.

In an effort to tackle the problem of missed hospital appointments NHS England is also supporting the use of DrDoctor, a digital tool which enables patients view, change and schedule appointments on their smartphone, in several demonstrator sites. Almost eight million hospital appointments were missed in 2016/17, according to the latest figures. With each hospital outpatient appointment costing the NHS c£120, it means almost £1 billion worth of appointments were missed, equivalent to completing 257,000 hip replacements or 990,000 cataract operations.

We’d also like to urge readers not to forget that the original products that came into effect in April 2017 remain available at either no cost or through Trusts being able to claim a tariff, until April 2019. They are:

  • Guided episiotomy EPISCISSORS-60guided mediolateral scissors to minimise the risk of obstetric injury, these are now being used in most south London maternity units, including Croydon University Hospital, Epsom and St Helier at both hospital sites, King’s College Hospital, on both the King’s and Princess Royal University Hospital sites and St George’s University Hospital.
  • Safe arterial connector Non-injectable arterial connector (NIC)arterial connecting systems preventing the accidental administration of medicationinto an artery, these are being used successfully at Kingston Hospital.
  • VAP prevention PneuXpneumonia prevention systems which are designed to stop ventilator-associated pneumonia.
  • Web based COPD rehab myCOPDweb based application for the self-management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The scheme means that CCGs and Trusts can get the product free for their patients with severe/very severe COPD. It is proving very popular with patients with over 20,000 people having completed the online pulmonary rehabilitation programme to stay well for longer, and usage is currently being explored within SW London.
  • Day case prostate surgery UroLiftprostatic urethral lift systems to treat lower urinary tract symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia as a day case.

Another great safety innovation

As part of our role in promoting innovations that improve patient safety we are also supporting WireSafe which avoids the never event of a guidewire being inadvertently left in the patient. We know that sadly this never event has occurred in the past year in south London trusts. This ingenious and award-winning device, innovated by the doctor innovator of the NIC, makes it impossible to leave the guidewire in accidently, as you need to use it to open the closing pack. It is not free but is a low cost solution costing the average trust around £3k per year (or £5k for a very large trust).

As an AHSN Network we’ve also built an informative web page devoted to the Innovation and Technology Payment that you and colleagues can view here. Final guidance is awaited from NHS England but will be posted there once available. Free demos and training sessions are also being made available to enable staff to become familiar with and test the devices.

Contact us for support via kate.covill@nhs.net or on 0207 188 9805.

And read further reflections on the tariff here.

 

 

 

Digital innovation at scale: the story of MyCOPD and the NHS tariff

Blog

Digital innovation at scale: the story of MyCOPD and the NHS tariff

Written by Tara Donnelly, Chief Executive at Health Innovation Network

MyCOPD is the first patient-facing digital product to be awarded funding under the innovation and technology tariff. I’ve a great interest in how we support people with long term conditions to support themselves to best effect, and think it is fantastic that we have now got a digital solution at such scale within this country.

The COPD challenge

As you may know Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is the umbrella term for a range of relatively common progressive lung diseases including emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and refractory asthma. Progressive means it sadly inevitably gets worse over time. Features are “exacerbations” –  when breathing becomes exceptionally difficult and specialist assistance can be needed.

In fact, respiratory disease including the COPD group is the second most common reason for emergency hospital admission in this country, and it is highly seasonal. And we are – as you’ll be well aware – coming out of a particularly brutal winter with the worst performance in terms of access since records began in 2004.

It is also much more common in people who are vulnerable and are deprived / in lower social economic groups, with 90% sufferers having smoked and the vast majority having other comorbidities.

Although COPD is a chronic lifelong and worsening condition, it is highly amenable and responsive to self management. If people with COPD do all of the following they maximise their likelihood of living well for longer with the disease:

  • Stop smoking if still smoking
  • Undertake a Pulmonary Rehabilitation programme which is an exercise and education programme that is evidenced to make a significant difference
  • Keep doing the exercises after the programme
  • Achieve optimal inhaler technique
  • Track symptom scores regularly
  • Monitor the weather and environmental issues
  • Be able to cope well when breathless without panicking – learning and practicing mindfulness techniques can help.

It’s a long list. Challenging even for those with every advantage.

A digital approach

An entrepreneurial British Respiratory physician has developed a digital platform that covers all aspects. It uses the behavioural insights knowledge combined with great technology to make this a manageable task. The innovator, Simon Bourne, got early support from his local AHSN Wessex, also the Health Foundation, and won an SBRI grant (an R&D grant administered by the AHSN Network for promising ideas) and the product is now in use nationwide.

Examples of its amazing impact include:

  • Around 90% of people with inhalers do not have optimal technique meaning that these important drugs are unable to do their job. The tool has been demonstrated to achieve 98% optimal technique through patients watching and copying videos of how to use the particular inhaler that they have.
  • Over 20,000 patients have now completed the online Pulmonary Rehabilitation course. This is a huge number and we could anticipate that this year it will exceed those we manage to get on a Face to Face programme which is typically 15,000 – 20,000 across the NHS.

The Royal College of Physicians recently published an Audit of Pulmonary Rehab courses and demonstrated that most people have to wait over 90 days to get on a programme (60%). A very high proportion don’t attend at all, although it is a highly evidence based intervention. So complementing face-to-face classes with this online availability can only be a good thing.

In total 100,000 licences have been purchased. Part of the reason for this rapid growth is that it’s a great product but this is also a rare story of different parts of the NHS aligning with each other brilliantly and to great effect. After that early support Simon Bourne was successful at getting on the NHS Innovation Accelerator, and then made the NHS England tariff. It was one of the first products to join the NHS Apps Library, and if, as a patient, you look up COPD on NHS Choices it tells you all about it there.

The end result of all this? Tangible benefits for patients. Like Paul, a COPD patient who tells his story in this terrific short film.

Are we in the business of healing?

Blog

Are we in the business of healing?

Written by Catherine Dale, Programme Director – Patient Safety and Patient Experience at Health Innovation Network

I was recently lucky enough to present on co-designing healthcare with patients at the Beryl Institute’s US-wide conference in Chicago. I was reunited with Tiffany Christensen a Vice President at Beryl.

While at this conference on Patient Experience I found myself talking to plenty of people about the relationship between ‘patient safety’ and ‘patient experience’. It seems to me and to others that there is an artificial differentiation between these elements of healthcare and that, to most people not working in healthcare, they are inextricably linked. In order for healthcare to be a good experience, it has to be and feel safe.

One of the keynote speakers was Lee Woodruff whose journalist husband Bob was significantly injured in a roadside bomb in Iraq. In her description of the recovery of Bob and the whole family, Lee told the audience that we were “in the business of healing”. There was something about the way she put this that made me realise she meant me too, not just my clinical colleagues. It reminded me of what I learned working in PALS and regularly dealing with the concerns of patients and their loved ones.

When someone gets a letter with the wrong information on it; when the clinic staff cannot access their medical records; when the waiting room is cluttered, messy and hectic in healthcare this is not just annoying – it is frightening. People feel: “if these people are making mistakes with these things how will they get my surgery, treatment, or care for my mother right?”

As a non-clinical person working in the NHS, I had thought that my impact on people’s health was only ever indirect, but this keynote made me think about how all of our work to improve healthcare can contribute to people’s healing.

Find out about the projects that we’ve been working on in the Patient Safety team here

L to R: Allison Chrestensen, Jonathan Bullock, Catherine Dale and Tiffany Christensen (fellow presenters on co-design).

 

NHS personal health budgets – an opportunity for digital innovation?

Blog

NHS personal health budgets – an opportunity for digital innovation?

Written by Lesley Soden, Head of Innovation at Health Innovation Network

Just weeks ago it was announced that personal health budgets will be expanded for people with complex health needs. The Department of Health says that this will “put power back in the hands of patients”. Indeed, the proposed roll out of personal health budgets could achieve genuine patient power and drive bottom up demand for innovation. By funding services such as online health support and remote monitoring for patients in areas where these aren’t currently commissioned, digitalised innovations that have been shown to be clinically effective and provide cost savings could become more readily used and available across the country.

Consider the range of potential scenarios:

  • Harry has diabetes and respiratory problems. He wants to use a self-care management app to better manage his diabetes; using his personal health budget he purchases the app. Could personal health budgets help to drive innovation from the bottom up by empowering patients like Harry to have greater control over own healthcare through innovation and technology?

 

  • Priya has acute asthma and attends A&E frequently suffering from asthma attacks, she would like to manage her medication better and wants to use Aerobit, an online asthma management platform that transforms inhalers into smart devices using sensor-based technology that gives users the ability to connect them to a mobile app that reminds them to take their medication. In her local area, this app is not available through the NHS but she is eligible for personal health budgets and uses this funding to purchase Aerobit. As a result, she has had less A&E and GP attendances.

 

  • Mary is in her 80s who lives by herself in her own home, she has had several falls and complex health conditions but would like to keep her independence by staying at home. Her family are concerned that they can’t physically check on her every day. Mary, in partnership with her GP, uses her personal health budget to fund a discreet activity monitoring and alert system using sensors positioned in the home to monitor movement and temperature. Mary’s daughter can monitor her movement and keep a gentle eye on her by being notified via text or email if something out of the ordinary happens to Mary. This ultimately saves health and social care funding by keeping Mary independent for longer rather than requiring residential care.

 

  • Ahmed requires continuous physiotherapy for his rheumatic condition but struggles to travel to his physio appointments and often misses his appointments. His physiotherapist tells him about Mira Rehab which uses gamified online physio exercises but could not be paid through his local NHS physiotherapy service. Ahmed uses his personal health budget to pay for this online solution and this means his physio can monitor his use of Mira Rehab and his progress. This saves the physio time and improves Ahmed’s clinical outcomes.

The opportunity to fund assistive technologies as part of an integrated care and support package is a further example of the potential. Adults with learning disabilities could choose to buy ‘My Health Guide’, an app to help them take an active role in their health care. The app lets them record important items (text/audio/video/image) in easy-to-make ‘boxes’.

In situations like these and no doubt many others, personal health budgets could help to drive the spread and adoption of innovation from the bottom up, by using patient power to drive those solutions that meet their individual needs.

For our commissioners within the Health Innovation Network, the expansion of personal health budgets could help groups of your patients that would benefit from the many digital services that could help with self-management, remote monitoring or most importantly improved quality of life for patients.

For providers, you may discover innovative health technology to help your patients but know that your service would not fund the technology at present. If so, these personal health budgets are a possible avenue of funding.

How does it work?

Under the Department of Health proposals, the money will be paid directly to eligible patients to pay for their own healthcare for both goods and services, if their support plan is jointly agreed by their local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCGs).

In the past, personal health budgets have been criticised for wasting NHS money on unconventional treatments and ‘luxury’ items. However, the budget and care package must be agreed by CCGs with a clear healthcare need being met. The Department of Health’s evaluation in 2012 found that the costs under personal health budgets were overall cost neutral with savings in some areas. There could also be wider system benefits:

  • Reduced A&E attendances;
  • Reduced unplanned hospital admissions;
  • Reduced social care costs.

It is worth noting that The Department of Health evaluation also found better outcome indicators where pilot sites had:

  • Explicitly informed their patients about the budget amount;
  • provided a degree of flexibility as to what services / goods could be purchased;
  • Given greater choice as to how the budget could be managed.

Further information can be found here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

New funding opportunities for members

News

New funding opportunities for members

We endeavour to make this as relevant to you as possible so please let us know if there is anything we have missed that you feel should be included.

Funder   

Funding Opportunity

Eligibility

Deadline

EPSRC
 

Opportunity for Information and communications technologies researchers to pursue an experience in other disciplines and user environments.

See Website No closing date
Innovation Connect
 

Innovation Connect helps innovators in the health service and industry to realise their ideas and embed them into clinical practice and potential opportunities in international markets.

See Website On-going
NIHR
 

The Health Technology Assessment Programme is accepting stage 1 applications to their commissioned workstream for this primary research topic: management of orthostatic hypotension

See Website 1 August 2018, 1pm
Kings Health Partners
 

Research and Development Challenge Fund ‘Fast Track’

 

See Website  Email khpresearchoffice@kcl.ac.uk at any time
Cancer Research UK
 

Accelerator Award.  This award, encourages cross-institutional collaboration to accelerate translational research. Any research discipline encouraged.

See Website No closing date
Innovate UK
Various funding opportunities with the goal of improving digital health See Website

 

Earliest closing day – 2 May 2018

 

Nesta
 

Longitude Prize –
Developing solutions to antimicrobial resistance

See Website Every four months from

31 May 2016- 30 Sep 2019

EPSRC
 

Healthcare Technologies discipline hopping call.  Enable researchers to develop new skills and build new collaborations with other disciplines and end users so they can address the key health challenges identified in the Healthcare Technologies strategy.

See Website No closing date
British Heart Foundation
Research Project Grants See Website No deadline – submit application when ready
Innovate UK
Innovation loans: April 2018 open competition See Website 13  June 2018
British Heart Foundation
New Horizons Grants See Website No deadline – submit application when ready
Nesta
An Impact investment fund investing in life-changing innovations that help tackle the major challenges faced by older people, communities and children in the UK See Website Ongoing
Creative England
 

Creative England supports and invests in digital creative companies to finance business growth.

See Website Ongoing
King’s College London
King’s Health Accelerator 2018 Call Open See Website Should apply as soon as possible (King’s staff Internal only)
Medical Research Council
The MRC is offering a number of funding opportunities See Website Numerous

 

NIHIR
Invention for Innovation See Website On-going
Guys and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust (GSTT)
Bright Ideas Fund Teams within GSTT with ideas of commercial potential. See website On-going
UCL Enterprise
Bright Ideas Awards See Website On going
Innovate UK
SMEs can apply for a share of up to £8 million to continue a project’s early stage development and technical evaluation, up to readiness for clinical testing. See Website 6 June 2018, 12:00pm

 

New funding opportunities for members

News

New funding opportunities for members

Welcome to our funding opportunities section. We aim to publish a regular update of funding opportunities in health innovation, which may be of interest to our members.

We endeavour to make this as relevant to you as possible so please let us know if there is anything we have missed that you feel should be included.

Funder   

Funding Opportunity

 Eligibility 

Deadline

EPSRC
Opportunity for Information and communications technologies researchers to pursue an experience in other disciplines and user environments. See Website No closing date
Innovation Connect
 

Innovation Connect helps innovators in the health service and industry to realise their ideas and embed them into clinical practice and potential opportunities in international markets.

See Website On-going
NIHR
 

Health Technology Assessment Programme researcher-led primary research

See Website 25 April 2018, 1pm
Kings Health Partners
 

Research and Development Challenge Fund ‘Fast Track’

See Website  Email khpresearchoffice@kcl.ac.uk at any time
Kings Health Partners
 

Research and Development Challenge Fund

See Website 11 April 2018, 5pm
Innovate UK
Various funding opportunities with the goal of improving digital health See Website

 

Earliest closing day – 18 April 2018

 

Nesta
Longitude Prize –

Developing solutions to antimicrobial resistance

See Website Every 4 months from 31 May 2016- 30 Sep 2019
EPSRC
 

Healthcare Technologies discipline hopping call.  Enable researchers to develop new skills and build new collaborations with other disciplines and end users so they can address the key health challenges identified in the Healthcare Technologies strategy.

See Website No closing date
Dunhill Medical Trust
Research project grants See Website 11 May 2018
Innovate UK
 

Digital Health Technology Catalyst Round 2. UK businesses can apply for a share of up to £8 million to speed up development of commercial digital health solutions.

See Website 18 April 2018, 12.00pm
British Heart Foundation
New Horizons Grants See Website No deadline – submit application when ready
Nesta
 

An Impact investment fund investing in life-changing innovations that help tackle the major challenges faced by older people, communities and children in the UK

See Website Ongoing
Creative England
 

Creative England supports and invests in digital creative companies to finance business growth.

See Website Ongoing
King’s College London
 

King’s Health Accelerator 2017 Call Open

See Website Should apply as soon as possible (King’s staff Internal only)
Medical Research Council
The MRC is offering a number of funding opportunities See Website Numerous

 

NIHIR
 

Invention for Innovation

See Website On-going
National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA)
Impact Investment Fund See Website On-going
 

Guys and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust (GSTT)
Bright Ideas Fund Teams within GSTT with ideas of commercial potential. See website On-going
 

UCL Enterprise
Bright Ideas Awards See Website On going
Innovate UK
 

SMEs can apply for a share of up to £8 million to continue a project’s early stage development and technical evaluation, up to readiness for clinical testing.

See Website 6 June 2018, 12:00pm

Dr Natasha Curran joins the Health Innovation Network as Medical Director

News

Dr Natasha Curran joins the Health Innovation Network as Medical Director

The Health Innovation Network, south London’s leading innovation hub for health and care, is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Natasha Curran as the organisation’s new Medical Director.

Tara Donnelly, Chief Executive, Health Innovation Network, said:

I’m delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Natasha Curran as our Medical Director. Natasha is an extremely patient-focused clinician, with a wealth of experience in quality improvement and clinical leadership. She has also run services in both community and acute settings in pain and musculoskeletal care and brings valuable knowledge of the wider London health system.

“Her innovative and collaborative approach will be a real asset to us as we continue to grow the support we offer to our members across the Academic Health Science Network. I’m very much looking forward to working closely with Natasha on our wide range of projects to speed up the best in health and care.”

Natasha was appointed Consultant in Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine at University College London Hospitals (UCLH) NHS Foundation Trust in 2008. She was the first doctor to be awarded Fellowship of the Faculty of Pain Medicine by assessment in the same year. She led the UCLH Pain Service from 2013-2018. Natasha has a considerable publication record, has authored NICE guidance for endometriosis, is a reviewer and advisor to UCL’s Perioperative Medicine and Pain Management MSc Programmes, and represents London on NHS England’s Clinical Reference Group for Specialised Pain. Most recently, Natasha has been Clinical Lead for a partnership providing the musculoskeletal service across the London Borough of Camden.

Natasha will continue her clinical interest within the complex pain service at UCLH one day a week while working as Medical Director at the Health Innovation Network. She is also a member of Wandsworth Clinical Commissioning Group’s Governing Body.

Prof Richard Barker OBE, Chair, Health Innovation Network, said:

I’m delighted to welcome Natasha to the Health Innovation Network executive team. She brings broad clinical expertise and further credibility to our programmes. Appointments like this are further evidence that leaders in the NHS view the Academic Health Science Networks as major players in the vital transformation of the health service.”

Dr Natasha Curran said:

I passionately believe that we work more productively and more creatively when we work together. Taking up this position as Medical Director is an incredible opportunity to work across financial, clinical, geographical and sector silos to transform care and change outcomes for the better.

“Working as a clinician for the past 20 years, I have seen countless examples of incredible innovation in the NHS, across a wide range of settings and disciplines. I’m looking forward to using this expertise to help unlock innovation across south London, working closely with colleagues across the AHSN Network.”

Natasha will formally take up her role at the end of June 2018.

The Health Innovation Network is one of 15 Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) created to accelerate innovation across the NHS and social care. England’s 15 AHSNs were set up by the NHS in 2013 to work across all sectors involved in health and care – the NHS, social care, public health, universities, the voluntary sector and industry. They connect people and organisations, identifying innovative ways to do things better and cheaper.

Since 2013 AHSNs have benefited over 6m patients, with more than 200 innovations spread throughout 11,000 locations. Over £330 million has been leveraged to support health and care services, with more than 500 jobs created. In July 2017 NHS England announced that the AHSNs will be relicensed from April 2018 to operate as the key innovation arm of the NHS.

For examples of the AHSN innovation projects visit the AHSN Atlas.

New funding opportunities for members

News

New funding opportunities for members

Welcome to our funding opportunities section. We aim to publish a regular update of funding opportunities in health innovation, which may be of interest to our members.

We endeavour to make this as relevant to you as possible so please let us know if there is anything we have missed that you feel should be included..

Funder   

Funding Opportunity

 Eligibility 

Deadline

EPSRC Opportunity for Information and communications technologies researchers to pursue an experience in other disciplines and user environments. See Website No closing date
Innovation Connect  

Innovation Connect helps innovators in the health service and industry to realise their ideas and embed them into clinical practice and potential opportunities in international markets.

See Website On-going
NIHR  

Health Technology Assessment Programme researcher-led primary research.

See Website 28 March 2018, 1pm
Kings Health Partners  

Research and Development Challenge Fund ‘Fast Track’.

 

See Website  Email khpresearchoffice@kcl.ac.uk at any time
NIHR Health Technology Assessment Programme researcher-led evidence synthesis. See Website 28 March 2018, 1pm
Innovate UK Various funding opportunities with the goal of improving digital health. See Website

 

Earliest closing day –  21 March 2018

 

Nesta Longitude Prize –
Developing solutions to antimicrobial resistance.
See Website Every 4 months from 31 May 2016- 30 Sep 2019
EPSRC Healthcare Technologies discipline hopping call.  Enable researchers to develop new skills and build new collaborations with other disciplines and end users so they can address the key health challenges identified in the Healthcare Technologies strategy.

 

See Website No closing date
Dunhill Medical Trust Research project grants See Website 11 May 2018
Innovate UK Digital Health Technology Catalyst Round 2. UK businesses can apply for a share of up to £8 million to speed up development of commercial digital health solutions. See Website 18 April 2018, 12.00pm
British Heart Foundation New Horizons Grants See Website No deadline – submit application when ready
Nesta  

An Impact investment fund investing in life-changing innovations that help tackle the major challenges faced by older people, communities and children in the UK.

See Website Ongoing
Creative England  

Creative England supports and invests in digital creative companies to finance business growth.

See Website Ongoing
King’s College London King’s Health Accelerator 2018 Call Open See Website Should apply as soon as possible (King’s staff Internal only)
Medical Research Council The MRC is offering a number of funding opportunities See Website Numerous

 

NIHIR  

Invention for Innovation

See Website On-going
National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) Impact Investment Fund See Website On-going
 

Guys and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust (GSTT)

Bright Ideas Fund Teams within GSTT with ideas of commercial potential. See website On-going
UCL Enterprise  

Bright Ideas Awards

See Website On going
Innovate UK Support for SMEs to evaluate innovative medical technologies. SMEs can apply for a share of £1 million to support the evaluation of innovative medical devices, diagnostics and regulated digital health products. See Website 21 March 2018, 12:00pm

 

 

Support for the deployment of GP online consultation systems in south London

News

Support for the deployment of GP online consultation systems in south London

Since its inception, Health Innovation Network’s Technology team has been interested in how new communications technologies offer the opportunity to enhance healthcare interactions. Such interactions could include clinical consultations between a GP or specialist and a patient in general practice or hospital outpatients’ department. They could also include discussions between professionals, for instance:

  • A multi-disciplinary team (MDT) meeting in a hospital/community setting
  • A GP seeking the input of an expert specialist.

In July 2016,we undertook a review of the Hurley Group’s ‘eConsult’ (formerly ‘WebGP’) platform, in which we sought to understand the nature and extent of this particular opportunity to transform access to general practice. More recently, we have undertaken work to promote the spread and adoption, specifically, of video-based remote consultation in hospitals—often generically referred to as ‘Skype clinics’.

Given the announcement in October 2017 of NHS England’s GP Online Consultation Systems Fund, Health Innovation Network’s Technology team is now exploring how it could be of support to CCGs and GPs in south London as they progress plans to introduce or further develop provision for GP online consultation.

We are well-aware that CCGs across south London are by no means lacking in ambition where digital transformation is concerned, and many are already forging ahead with enhancements to primary care provision with online consultation solutions of one form or another at their heart. We watch these developments with great interest and excitement.

We would be interested to hear from colleagues across south London to understand your plans for offering GP online consultation, and to discuss how can best support you in this endeavour. We are in the process of engaging CCGs across the patch, but if you would like to discuss this support opportunity further now, please contact Tim Burdsey, Technology Project Manager at tim.burdsey@nhs.net We look forward to hearing from you—and to working with you, to help realise your digital ambitions for primary care and for your wider local health and care system.

New funding opportunities for members

News

New funding opportunities for members

Welcome to our funding opportunities section. We aim to publish a regular update of funding opportunities in health innovation, which may be of interest to our members.

We endeavour to make this as relevant to you as possible so please let us know if there is anything we have missed that you feel should be included..

Funder   

Funding Opportunity

 Eligibility 

Deadline

EPSRC
Opportunity for Information and communications technologies researchers to pursue an experience in other disciplines and user environments.
See Website
No closing date
Innovation Connect
Innovation Connect helps innovators in the health service and industry to realise their ideas and embed them into clinical practice and potential opportunities in international markets.
See Website
On-going
NIHR
Health Technology Assessment Programme researcher-led primary research
See Website
28 March 2018, 1pm
Kings Health Partners
Research and Development Challenge Fund ‘Fast Track’
See Website
 Email khpresearchoffice@kcl.ac.uk at any time
NIHR
Health Technology Assessment Programme researcher-led evidence synthesis
See Website
28 March 2018, 1pm
Innovate UK
Various funding opportunities with the goal of improving digital health
See Website
7 February 2018
Nesta
Longitude Prize –
Developing solutions to antimicrobial resistance
See Website
Every 4 months from 31 May 2016 – 30 Sep 2019
EPSRC
Healthcare Technologies discipline hopping call.  Enable researchers to develop new skills and build new collaborations with other disciplines and end users so they can address the key health challenges identified in the Healthcare Technologies strategy.
See Website
No closing date
Dunhill Medical Trust
Research project grants
See Website
11 May 2018
Public Health at Cambridge
Numerous open funding calls
See Website
Numerous, earliest closing date is 28 February 2018
British Heart Foundation
New Horizons Grants
See Website
No deadline – submit application when ready
Nesta
An Impact investment fund investing in life-changing innovations that help tackle the major challenges faced by older people, communities and children in the UK
See Website
Ongoing
Creative England
Creative England supports and invests in digital creative companies to finance business growth.
See Website
Ongoing
King’s College London
King’s Health Accelerator 2017 Call Open
See Website
Should apply as soon as possible (King’s staff Internal only)
Medical Research Council
The MRC is offering a number of funding opportunities
See Website
Numerous
NIHIR
Invention for Innovation
See Website
On-going
National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA)
Impact Investment Fund
See Website
On-going
Guys and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust (GSTT)
Bright Ideas Fund
Teams within GSTT with ideas of commercial potential. See website
On-going
UCL Enterprise
Bright Ideas Awards
See Website
On going
Stroke Association
Clinical Trial Project Grants over the whole spectrum of stroke research – from prevention and risk factors, through to treatment and rehabilitation in a clinical setting.
See Website
5 February 2018, 5pm

Speeding up the best in mental health together

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Speeding up the best in mental health together

Speeding up the best in mental health together with the four SIM London pathfinder NHS Trusts, South West London and St. George’s Mental Health trust, South London and Maudsley, Oxleas, Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust alongside the Metropolitan Police is a pioneering mental health project for the Health Innovation Network.

SIM London is a new way of working with mental health service users who experience a high number of mental health crisis events. SIM brings mental health professionals and police officers together into joint mentoring teams. The police officer and the mental health professional work together to provide intensive support service users to reduce high frequency and high-risk crisis behaviours.

Central to SIM is the Care and Response Plan completed by the service user, SIM Police officer and the SIM Mental Health professional.

‘SIM London is the start of a revolution for the co-production of 1st person singular care plans.’
Dr Geraldine Strathdee, Clinical Director, Health Innovation Network Implementation team

SIM developed by Paul Jennings (recipient of multiple awards) on the Isle of Wight, has gone from strength to strength in terms of the lives improved, fewer 999 calls, fewer Emergency Department attendances and fewer hospital admissions.

SIM is going national, the benefits of the involvement of the HIN in leading the London pathfinder implementation, the new sites will we be able to measure. We will share resources, highlight obstacles and solutions and capture and spread the dedication, commitment and enthusiasm we are encountering to implement the programme.

SIM London pathfinder sites are due to go live April 2018

Learn more about SIM and the High Intensity Network here.

To speak to someone about the project, please contact Aileen Jackson, Mental Health lead on aileen.jackson@nhs.net or Josh Brewster, Project Manager on josh.brewster@nhs.net

Adoption and spread of innovation in the NHS

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Adoption and spread of innovation in the NHS

Boots on the ground, local freedoms and supportive leaders: ingredients for successful spread of innovation detailed in new report.

A new report from The King’s Fund, published today and commissioned on behalf of the AHSN Network, charts the journeys of eight innovations from creation to widespread use.

From new communication technologies for patients with long-term conditions, to new care pathways in liver disease diagnosis, to new checklists for busy A&E departments, the report details the highs and lows of an innovator’s journey through the NHS.

While thousands of patients are now receiving new innovative treatments for arthritis, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and chronic liver disease, thanks to successful innovations, the report outlines the significant barriers that stand in innovators’ paths.

The case studies reveal common themes:

  • New innovations may appear simple to introduce but can have a domino effect – triggering a series of changes to diagnosis and treatment, revealing new patient needs and resulting in big changes to staff and patient roles. That’s why staff need time and resources to implement them.
  • As long as the NHS sets aside less than 0.1% of available resources for the adoption and spread of innovation, a small fraction of the funds available for innovation itself, the NHS’s operating units will struggle to adopt large numbers of innovations and rapidly improve productivity.
  • Fragmentation of NHS services remains a barrier to adoption and spread of innovation, making it harder to develop shared approaches and transmit learning across sites.
  • Providers need to be able to select and tailor innovations that deliver the greatest value given local challenges and work in the local context.

Read the report in full here.

The findings of the report will be discussed in depth at a live online event hosted by The King’s Fund on 19 January at 10am. Register and more details here.

England’s 15 AHSNs were set up by the NHS in 2013. They bring together the NHS, social care, public health, academic, voluntary and industry organisations to support the spread of innovation throughout the NHS and care. During their first licence (since 2013) they have spread over 200 innovations through 11,000 locations, benefiting 6 million people, creating over 500 jobs and leveraging £330 million investment to improve health and support the NHS, social care and industry innovators.

A manifesto for spread

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A manifesto for spread

Innovation – the word is ripe with the prospect of a better future. However for me, the most exciting part of innovation in healthcare is not the invention or discovery element, it is that crucial part of getting the idea to many hundreds or even millions of citizens to benefit their health says Health Innovation Network Chief Executive Tara Donnelly.

While we have a great reputation for discovery in healthcare in the UK, which long predates the existence of the NHS, my recent chapter in Leading Reliable Healthcare argues that there is much more we could do to achieve spread, and that a focus on this would be an important way to achieve legacy from the abundance of entrepreneurial and creative talent that exists in this country in life sciences, digital health, clinical research and process improvements.

This blog expands on this topic further, bringing in thoughts both from the chapter and elsewhere to outline ideas on a manifesto for spread that I think we need to find a way to put in place, as a matter of some urgency.

It is important to acknowledge that there is a variety in the types of innovations; from new devices to digital tools, concepts and processes can be the most significant in changing care design. The chapter starts with a working definition:

“When we talk about “innovation” in the NHS, what do we mean? In the author’s opinion, the most useful is “an idea, service or product, new to the NHS or applied in a way that is new to the NHS, which significantly improves the quality of health and care wherever it is applied” (Taken from Innovation, Health and Wealth, Sir Ian Curruthers, Department of Health 2011).

Spend on spread

Spread has a cost, it is not a free good as clinicians and organisations need some support in adopting any new intervention or product within their practice. In innovative companies they see that communicating and supporting spread really matters and invest in spread related activities. Analysis completed by the AHSN Network indicates that there is a consistent ratio that the most admired companies seem to use.

Regardless of whether you are Apple or GE or a pharma company, the spend on spread activities including sales and marketing is typically over 2.5 times your investment in R&D, so 250-300%. In the NHS, we currently spend less than 1% of our £1.2bn R&D annual spend, on actively spreading it, and this ratio simply looks wrong. It was cited recently in Falling short: Why the NHS is still struggling to make the most of new innovations, a Nuffield Trust publication.

Within the chapter, I interview a range of people to hear their perspectives, particularly on spread and diffusion. Sir Bruce Keogh observes that “the spread can be more important than the innovation in terms of making a difference to people’s lives”. He offers that perhaps the most important single technical innovation to impact the health service is the microscope, invented by the Dutchman Antonie van Leeuwenhoek (“the father of microbiology”) in 1683. But what made a huge difference to adoption was that the president of the Royal Society, Robert Hook, wrote a beautifully illustrated book in English about it called Micrographia, understanding the significance this breakthrough could have in understanding disease. His book became “the first scientific best-seller” and “captured the public’s imagination in a radically new way; Samuel Pepys called it ‘the most ingenious book that I ever read in my life”.

 

Valuing innovation as much as invention

I’m currently reading James Barlow’s comprehensive assessment of “Managing Innovation in Healthcare” where he puts the distinction between invention and innovation beautifully: “an invention is merely a nascent innovation and it may be many years before it makes it to innovation status” p43. He also quotes Schon’s succinct definition: “Innovation is ‘the process of bringing inventions into use’” p25, and I believe we forget this at our peril. James is Professor of Technology and Innovation (Healthcare) at Imperial College Business School and I’d heartily recommend his new book if you’d like to get into this topic in greater depth, details are referenced at the end of this blog.

Elsewhere – in an article entitled “We’re serious about innovation – now let’s get serious about spread” – I state “spread – meaning at scale adoption of an innovation – is the way we will move from unwarranted variation in the NHS; from pockets of poor performance contrasting with beacons of excellence, often in a single geography, to improvements at scale to touch many more lives”. Within the piece I suggested if we were really serious about it we might celebrate and reward spread activities more vigorously, for example, introducing a Nobel Prize for spread rather than only congratulating discovery. Intelligent alignment is also critically important, so that different parts of the NHS and social care systems are set up and incentivised to adopt, including but not limited to financial rewards and methods of tracking data on progress. A transformation fund for hard pressed NHS institutions keen on spread would make a real difference in the current climate. It is welcome that the Office for Life Sciences has announced it will be setting one up, particularly to help parts of the NHS adopt innovations, and interesting that this is coming from a separate part of government than health, as a result of the Accelerated Access Review.

Importantly, that’s not to give the impression the NHS wouldn’t benefit hugely from additional resource as has been articulated clearly by the CEO of the NHS, Simon Stevens. In my view, this is essential, as we face the combined demands of an ageing population and increasing chronic disease burden. But were the NHS to receive an appropriately generous financial settlement, I would like to see proper funding of spread activities, so that we can get the best well-evidenced solutions – that help patients, clinicians and often make better use of resources in the longer term – to as many people, as quickly as possible.

It is interesting to see that across the channel the French government has established 14 regional tech transfer hubs with a budget of one billion euros to draw up, including investing in the strongest digital ideas, many of them in the health sphere. Eight years ago, it also introduced a system to make certain innovations available entirely free of charge to its healthcare system, as referenced by Barlow: “Since 2010, France has operated a system for conditionally covering the full cost of selected innovative devices, services or interventions which appear promising but for which there is insufficient data on the clinical benefit.” (p218)

Reaching many patients as a priority is a sentiment agreed with strongly by all of the interviewees, Tony Young emphasises the unique opportunity we have within the NHS: “The NHS is the single largest unified healthcare system in the history of the human race. This gives us some opportunities that no one else has had the chance to do— and one of them is to innovate at scale. It’s complex and divided— but that’s what gives us the opportunity to say well let’s have a go at it. If you really want to do this at scale, then we can do this in the NHS. Recently, 103 of the brightest clinicians you could ever want to meet were selected to be a part of the Clinical Entrepreneur programme and came together for their first weekend recently. Never before has there been a cohort at such a scale of clinical entrepreneurs who’ve worked together on the planet, ever”.

Skilling up for ‘scale ups’, not just ‘start ups’

Helen Bevan draws a distinction between the skills required for start-up v scale up: “What I think is one of the biggest problems that I see now, is the issue between start-up and scale-up. We have, in my mind, a system that is primarily designed for start-up— and what we keep doing is to put in charge the kind of people that love doing early-stage invention and early innovation. They’re your pioneers, your early adopters. What we keep doing is going over and over the cycle, of start-up again to attempt to spread and scale. But we’ve only got so far. We need a lot a lot of additional thinking … and need to find the people who are good at scale-up, and put them in charge of this activity, not the people who are good at start-up”. Her addition to David Albury’s work at the Innovation Unit, in creating a “checklist for scale” is incorporated as a figure in the book.

Research and data

James Barlow highlights that spread in healthcare has been under-researched to date: “situations involving collective or organisational decisions have been relatively neglected by researchers. Finally, until relatively recently, there was little research on the adoption and diffusion of innovation in the public or non-profit sectors.” P161. The exceptions to this include pioneers such as Trish Greenhalgh of Oxford and Ewan Ferlie of King’s as well as Ritan Atun at Harvard and those in the Imperial group.

Ian Dodge adds “We’re also systemically atrocious at using data systematically. For instance, looking at population outcomes of what’s happening at the end of a service line change, getting rapid feedback, iterating. Some of the initial bit of improvement science is so vital to getting stuff off the ground, but then typically we see really poor engineering discipline, factory style, around how do you actually convert this at scale”.

Clinical innovators and spread

In the chapter, some interesting examples of where spread activity is beginning to work in the English NHS are referenced, calling out the NHS Innovation Accelerator which seeks to accelerate uptake of high impact innovations and provides real time practical insights on spread to inform national strategy. Given publishing deadlines, I wrote the chapter more than a year ago, and it is both fascinating and encouraging to see how the NHS Innovation Accelerator – a programme supported by all 15 Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) and NHS England, coordinated by UCL Partners – has gone from strength to strength in this time in terms of tangible results of achieving scale.

It is also striking that many of the innovations on the Accelerator have been developed by innovative NHS clinicians who spotted opportunities to improve care – making it safer and more effective. For instance, Simon Bourne, a consultant respiratory physician at Portsmouth Hospital devised myCOPD, an online platform that helps patients self-manage with dramatic results, Dharmesh Kapoor, a consultant obstetrician at Bournemouth Hospital invented Episcissor-60, scissors specifically designed to make childbirth safer, Maryanne Mariyaselvam, a doctor in training working in research in Addenbrookes, came up with the NIC a device that prevents tragic accidents with blood lines, Peter Young, a consultant anaesthetist at King’s Lynn Hospital created a ventilation tube that prevents the most serious complication of ITU care.

All the products referenced are now eligible for NHS England’s Innovation and Technology Tariff which began in April 2017 and enables NHS Trusts and CCGs in England to use these innovations either for free or to claim a charge per use. It is an important scheme and would be very valuable to see it expanded in future years.

Taking the myCOPD example, it is really interesting to see the impact of this support in terms of scale-up. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder or COPD is a progressive disease, meaning it gets steadily worse over time, and people living with it find that exacerbations increase and they are admitted to hospital more and more frequently. In fact, COPD is the second most common reason for hospital admissions in the country, causing a great deal of distress to people and families and costing the NHS over £800m in direct healthcare costs. Studies have also found that 90% of people with COPD are unable to take their medication correctly. The myCOPD on line platform has been found to correct 98% of inhaler errors without any other clinical intervention.

If you have COPD, there is a great deal you can do to help yourself avoid exacerbations, but it can be hard to do these things consistently, alone. The evidence demonstrates that those who manage to quit smoking, do regular exercises known as pulmonary rehab, have optimal inhaler technique and are able to resist the understandable urge to panic when breathless, do much better than those who do not. Simon’s support system for people with COPD has educational, self-management, symptom reporting, mindfulness and pulmonary rehabilitation aspects, all delivered online. Typical quotes from grateful patients include “Since I started using myCOPD, I have lost weight, my depression has lifted, and I see my GP just once a year (compared with twice-monthly visits previously). I have not needed hospital treatment for 18 months”, “last year, before using myCOPD, I had 12 exacerbations. This year I have had just two.”

The programme is now being used by over 55,000 people with severe COPD in England, which is roughly one-quarter of that population, with more CCGs and respiratory teams coming on board each week. I think it is fantastic that people living with this chronic condition that responds well to regular exercise and relatively simple interventions, now have a tool in their pocket that can help them better manage it, and it is very appropriate that this is NHS funded. What’s more, this expansion has been pacy and achieved in around 18months.

I discuss this further in a blog entitled “Finally, a tariff for digital innovations” – you can perhaps hear the note of impatience in the title – and state that while it is a much needed start, we need to go further faster and expand the scheme to accelerate the adoption of great tools like these that are essential for patients with long term conditions seeking to stay as well as possible. Funding six devices/tool types in its first year, only one of which is digital, the programme has started very modestly compared to the scale of investment of our counterparts in France for example.

 

Patient-led innovation

There have also been some great examples of patient-led innovations succeeding recently. The three London AHSNs founded Digital Health.London with MedCIty in 2016 and established an accelerator focused on spreading the best digital health solutions across the capital. On our founding cohort was Michael Seres, an incredibly entrepreneurial patient who had designed a tool to link stoma bags with smartphones via Bluetooth, to increase the dignity of the user and ensure alerts were provided when bags were reaching capacity, who is now CEO of 11 Health. The ostim-i had achieved sales in other countries but not the UK when Michael joined our programme and we were delighted that the first NHS contract has been achieved in west London. It is also available to patients to buy direct, as is the myCOPD tool. The ostim-i has been a beneficiary – as was myCOPD – of the development fund we have to support interesting UK concepts, the Small Business Research Initiative or SBRI fund – subject of my most recent blog “Why SBRI matters”.

But there are many more ideas out there, developed by patients, parents of patients and carers alongside entrepreneurs and clinicians and we need to radically increase the capacity to give them the support they need. I am encouraged that the Office for Life Sciences, part of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, is investing in creating Innovation Exchanges, hosted by AHSNs to increase the support to local innovators, with funding due early in this new year and committed to for three years. The need to provide stronger support to UK companies and ideas is felt all the more intensely given Brexit.

I conclude the chapter “While there is plenty to do, it feels as though there is reason for optimism that the entrepreneurial zeal at the heart of our health system will continue to burn brightly and that more recent learning and focus on collaboration and scale will help us to ensure that the best ideas in health and care are disseminated more widely across the NHS.”

A system for spread

A year on, I remain optimistic; we’ve had commitments made as a result of the Accelerated Access Review, it has been announced that AHSNs will be relicensed to operate as the innovation arm of the NHS and we have strong spread and progress particularly through our major collaborations – the NHS Innovation Accelerator and in the capital through Digital Health.London, NHS England has made an important start in a tariff for innovation.

However, my view is that we need many more including our regulators, politicians, NHS staff, patients and their representatives to join this movement if we are to achieve the change we need to take place, and be much bolder about our commitment to spread. To see all NHS organisations join the best in  moving beyond “not invented here” to truly rewarding adoption and diffusion activities and acknowledging that change needs support to be durable, and happens at the speed of trust.

We need our inspection regimes and regulators to really get this and understand the behavioural insights we now know about achieving sustainable diffusion and change, and leaders supporting staff through these changes not resorting to an over simplistic and non-evidence based paradigm that telling will result in adherence.

If the spread movement was to achieve this level of support across the NHS, we would then be able to enact all aspects of the manifesto for spread and with support for these principles, and the action required, including investment in supporting NHS organisations scale up innovation, and I believe it could be possible to make significant change happen quickly.

Acknowledgments

I am very grateful to all those people I’ve discussed this topic with and particularly Suzie Bailey, Richard Barker, Helen Bevan, Ian Dodge, Sir Bruce Keogh, Becky Malby and Tony Young for the generous support they have lent to the chapter and to Stephanie Kovala for all her assistance in compiling it.

Suzie Bailey is Director of Leadership and Quality Improvement at NHS Improvement, Richard Barker is Chair of Health Innovation Network and CEO New Medicine Partners, Helen Bevan is Chief Transformation Officer, Horizons Group, NHS England, Ian Dodge is National Director, Strategy and Innovation, NHS England, Sir Bruce Keogh was Medical Director, NHS England to Dec 17, Becky Malby is Professor Health Systems Innovation at London South Bank University and Tony Young is National Clinical Lead for Innovation at NHS England as well as Consultant Urological Surgeon within the NHS. Stephanie Kovala was my Business Manager and is now Project Manager within the Strategy Team at NHS England.

Author: Tara Donnelly is CEO of Health Innovation Network, the academic health science network for south London. Health Innovation Network exists to speed up the best in health and care, together with its members in south London, and is part of the AHSN Network and Digital Health.London.

Follow Tara on Twitter at @tara_donnelly1­­­­

References:

AHSN Network: ahsnnetwork.com

Al Knawy, B. Editor, Leading Reliable Healthcare, Chapter 12 – Health System Innovation and Reform, Productivity Press CRC, Dec 2017

Barlow, J. Managing Innovation In Healthcare, New Jersey: World Scientific, 2017

Castle-Clarke S, Edwards N, Buckingham H. Falling short: Why the NHS is still struggling to make the most of new innovations. Nuffield Trust Briefing Dec 2017

Curruthers, I and Department of Health, NHS Improvement & Efficiency Directorate, Innovation and Service Improvement, 2011. Innovation, Health and Wealth, Accelerating Adoption and Diffusion in the NHS

Digital Health.London: digitalhealth.london

Donnelly, T. Sept 2016. We’re serious about innovation— now let’s get serious about spread. Health Service Journal

Donnelly, T. Nov 2017. Finally, a tariff for digital innovations. Healthcare Digital

Donnelly, T. Dec 2017. Why SBRI matters

Health Innovation Network: healthinnovationnetwork.com

Creating waves across the Pond

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Creating waves across the Pond

Written by Catherine Dale, Programme Director – Patient Safety and Experience.

My friend gave the opening keynote speech at this month’s Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) National Forum in Orlando, Florida. I was moved to tears in the audience watching her.

I got to know Tiffany Christensen this April when we both taught on the IHI’s inaugural Co-Design college in Boston, Massachusetts. I was teaching the Experience-Based Co-Design approach. Tiffany shared her insights both as a life-long cystic fibrosis patient and as a professional patient advocate with a working career in healthcare improvement.

Tiffany spoke of contending with a double lung transplant which was unsuccessful, meaning she was facing imminent death. When offered a second double lung transplant, Tiffany was initially completely thrown as she had accepted the fact that she was going to die. Being offered another chance of life was an enormous challenge to her, but in coming through that experience Tiffany chose to dedicate her working life to enhancing healthcare for others. She joined a Patient and Family Advisory Council – a core part of healthcare structure in the USA – and trained in improvement methods.

When we met at the Co-Design college, she was struck by the way that Experience-Based Co-Design enables patients to have a more active and influential role in improving healthcare. This reminded me that when ‘patient involvement’ became a buzz phrase in the NHS in the early 2000s I had often wondered ‘involvement in what?’ you can’t just be ‘involved’ without context or purpose. For me the most compelling area for patients to be involved in is improving and re-designing healthcare. I am biased as this is the field of work I have devoted myself to for the past decade and a half. But I find it so rewarding that I want to provide others with that same opportunity – hence training people in Experience-Based Co-Design every chance I get!

Tiffany and I delivered a workshop ‘Co-design is Caring: Experience Meets Experience’ at the IHI National Forum with Andrea Werner from Bellin Health in Wisconsin. The participants were extremely enthusiastic about the approach. One tweeted “It was amazing! It’s all about the ‘we’ not ‘me’ – value and include the voice and experience of patients!”

It was fantastic to have this opportunity to share and encourage co-design between staff and patients. So I was incredibly proud that ‘co-design’ was a core message in the keynote discussion between Tiffany, Derek Feeley and Dr Rana Awdish

When Tiffany gave her closing thought in her keynote I found myself gently weeping: we should not consider our efforts to improve healthcare to be drops in the ocean, every one of us is a ripple and we don’t know how far that ripple will have an effect.

If, like Derek Feeley, CEO of IHI, you would like to see healthcare evolve from patient-centred care to partnership with patients you can start here or contact me for further encouragement. If we add all our ripples together we will create waves.

Pictured above: Tiffany Christensen (left) and Catherine Dale (right)

Note: Many thanks to the Point of Care Foundation, IHI and the Health Innovation Network for enabling me to attend the IHI National Forum in December 2017.

Hundreds of Londoner’s have pulse check after Mayor Sadiq Khan urges #knowyourpulse

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Hundreds of Londoner’s have pulse check after Mayor Sadiq Khan urges #knowyourpulse

With 60,000 undiagnosed with the most common type of irregular heartbeat Atrial Fibrillation (AF) that can lead to a stroke, it’s important to #knowyourpulse.

The mayor’s message was backed by NHS England Medical Director Sir Bruce Keogh who issued a video message that can be viewed here urging people to #knowyourpulse. This campaign was backed up by the three London Academic Health Science Networks who ran free drop-in pulse check’s across the capital.

A simple, 30 second pulse rhythm check – either performed manually or using one of a range of new devices – can identify AF so that treatment can be provided.

The call comes after the Mayor had a test himself for Global AF Aware Week (20-26 November). The Mayor’s message can be viewed here.

At least 9,000 people were directly alerted to the campaign through Facebook and Twitter and the video messages have been viewed more than 1,000 times.

Over 150,0000 Londoners are affected by AF and of these an estimated 60,000 remain undiagnosed. Nationally, as the most common type of irregular heartbeat, AF is responsible for approximately 20% of all strokes. Stroke survivors must live with the disabling consequences and treating the condition costs the NHS across England over £2.2 billion each year.

This year’s Global AF Aware Week message was ‘Identifying the Undiagnosed Person with AF’. Londoners are being encouraged to spread the word about irregular heartbeats and urge friends and family – particularly those aged over 65 – to check their pulse and see a GP if it is irregular.

Pulse checks can be done manually (a British Heart Foundation video and guide shows how here) or through technology, with irregular rhythms investigated further by healthcare professionals.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:

“More than 150,0000 Londoners have the most common type of irregular heartbeat, which is called Atrial Fibrillation or AF, and are at higher risk of a stroke. Not everyone with AF has symptoms and a simple pulse rhythm check could save their life.

“I’m urging Londoners to have a free, 30-second pulse check this week during international AF Awareness Week. You can do this at one of the many awareness events happening across the capital this week, or ask your doctor or nurse.”

Professor Gary Ford, Stroke Physician and Chair of the AHSN Network Atrial Fibrillation Group, said:

“More than 60,000 Londoners are unaware they have Atrial Fibrillation which is responsible for 1 in 5 strokes. We have highly effective treatments that reduce the risk of stroke in people with AF.

“During Global AF Aware Week I am urging everyone, but particularly those over 65 to have their pulse rhythms checked. This simple check could prevent a stroke, which can have a devastating impact on their lives.

“I fully support the Mayor of London in his call for Londoners to have a simple check so that we can prevent strokes and ultimately, save lives and prevent long term disability.”

ESCAPE-pain selected to join the NHS Innovation Accelerator

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ESCAPE-pain selected to join the NHS Innovation Accelerator

Professor Mike Hurley’s rehabilitation programme, ESCAPE-pain, one of 11 innovations selected to join the nationally-celebrated NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA).

Now entering its third year, the NIA is an NHS England initiative delivered in partnership with England’s 15 Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs). Since it launched in July 2015, the NIA has supported the uptake and spread of 25 high-impact, evidence-based innovations across 799 NHS organisations.

Each of the new innovations joining the NIA in 2017 offer solutions to key challenges in Primary Care, Urgent and Emergency Care and Mental Health. ESCAPE-pain is a rehabilitation programme for people with chronic joint pain. It is proven to reduce pain for patients and help them to understand their condition, at lower cost to healthcare organisations.

ESCAPE-pain’s recruitment onto the NIA follows an international call and robust selection process, including review by a collegiate of over 100 assessors and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

Ian Dodge, National Director for Strategy and Innovation at NHS England, said: “Since it started the NHS Innovation Accelerator has continued to deliver for patients and the taxpayer. It’s just one of the ways that the NHS is getting its act together to provide practical help for innovators with the best ideas. From a small investment, we are already seeing very big benefits – safer care for patients, better value for taxpayers, new jobs created and export wins.”

ESCAPE-pain was recently awarded £392,000 of funding from Sport England. With 36% of over 55’s inactive the funding will support the expansion of the programme and its combination of pain coping strategies and tailored exercise techniques for each individual that takes part. Read more about how this funding will further help spread the adoption of ESCAPE-pain to community settings here.

The 11 innovations selected to join the NIA in 2017 are:

CATCH – Common Approach To Children’s Health: Addressing the inappropriate use of NHS services when self-care would be more appropriate, the CATCH app gives parents appropriate and understandable information when they need and want it, via smartphone or tablet.

Dip.io: App which turns a smartphone into a clinical device, providing patients with clinically accurate urine analysis from home in a matter of minutes.

ESCAPE-pain: ‘Enabling Self-management and Coping of Arthritic Pain through Exercise’ or ESCAPE-pain, is a six-week group programme delivered to people aged 45+ with Osteoarthritis (OA).

FREED: The FREED ‘first episode rapid early intervention service for eating disorders’ model of care provides a rapid early response intervention for young people aged 16 to 25 years with short (three years or less) first episode illness duration.

Home monitoring of hypertension in pregnancy (HaMpton): New care pathway involving the use of an app for monitoring high blood pressure at home, empowering expectant mothers to be involved in their own care.

Lantum: A cloud-based tool built to help NHS Providers fill empty shifts in clinical rotas.

My Diabetes My Way: Low-cost, scalable, comprehensive online self-management platform for people with diabetes.

ORCHA: ORCHA works with CCGs and Providers to develop health app portals, allowing professionals easy and clear access to a verified resource. This enables them to enhance services and outcomes by finding and recommending the best apps to patients.

Oviva Diabetes Support: A fully remote, technology-enabled programme of type 2 diabetes structured education, combining 1-to-1 support from a registered dietitian with evidence-based online educational materials and use of the Oviva app to support behaviour change.

RespiraSense: The world’s first continuous respiratory rate monitor, enabling medical teams the ability to detect signs of patient deterioration 12 hours earlier than the standard of care.

WaitLess: Free, patient-facing app which shows patients the fastest place to access urgent care services for minor conditions.

For more information about the NIA, visit www.nhsaccelerator.com

Health Innovation Network awarded ‘excellence’ level of London Healthy Workplace Charter

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Health Innovation Network awarded ‘excellence’ level of London Healthy Workplace Charter

 

Following the success of the Health Innovation Network’s (HIN) ‘Commitment’ and ‘Achievement’ award, we are pleased to announce that the HIN has been awarded top level of ‘Excellence’ in the London Healthy Workplace Charter following an assessment which took place on 31 October. The Charter gives recognition to organisations that have put in place a range of systems to support employees, and create opportunities to cultivate happier and healthier workplace.

With approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK experiencing a mental health problem each year1 and 8.9 million working days lost due to work-related musculoskeletal disorders in 2016/172, organisations have become more proactive in ensuring staff wellbeing is at the forefront in all that they do. The HIN has been leading the way with various initiatives that have been specifically put in place to support its workforce, such as:

  • Free yoga and mindfulness classes
  • Standing up desks
  • Mental health awareness training
  • Access to showers to encourage physical exercise, such as cycling to work
  • Book and running clubs
  • Opportunities to trial and feedback on wellbeing apps, such as, Headspace, My Possible Self and LiveSmart.

For more information on the charter, please contact Eric Barratt on ericbarratt@nhs.net

Sources

  1. https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/statistics-and-facts-about-mental-health/how-common-are-mental-health-problems/
  2. http://www.hse.gov.uk/news/index.htm

AHSN’s feature at Patient-Centred Pharmacy event

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AHSN’s feature at Patient-Centred Pharmacy event

It’s fast approaching the Pharmacy Management National Forum which has chosen Patient-Centred Pharmacy as its theme. The forum, which is free to NHS delegates, focuses not only on the use of medicines but also their impact on patient care and the resources of the NHS. The event, which is in its sixth year, is on 10 November and returns to the Novotel Conference Centre in West London

The forum is supported this year by a number of contributions from Academic Health Science Networks around the country. The day allows a choice of Satellite Sessions from a selection of 24, plus ample time in the Innovation Zone where colleagues will be demonstrating their advances.

The Health Innovation Network is providing the following sessions:

  • Patient Centred inhaler technique assessment and adherence support led by pharmacists using RightBreathe – Mandeep Butt and Dr Azhar Saleem
  • AF work being developed nationally by all the AHSNs – Helen Williams
  • An experience based co-design approach to pharmacy services – Catherine Dale
  • “Walk in my Shoes” – an experiential learning exchange project between GPs and Pharmacists – Cleo Butterworth

Yorkshire and Humber AHSN:

  • Polypharmacy Project (Funded by the Health Foundation) – Tony Jamieson & Chris Ranson

Innovation Agency:

  • Electronic Transfers of Care to Community Pharmacy – Learning from regional adoption – Andrew Shakeshaft (Head of Programmes, Innovation Agency, Academic Health Science Network for the North West Coast); Hassan Argomandkhah (NHSE and Chair of LPN Merseyside); Matt Harvey (Chief officer, Liverpool Pharmaceutical Committee); Kevin Noble (Managing partner Pinnacle Health Partnership) and Sally Wright (Researcher, Liverpool John Moores University)

The full list of the sessions can be found here.

Keeping active is a vital part of keeping steady

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Keeping active is a vital part of keeping steady

Written by Dr Adrian Hopper, Clinical Lead Falls Prevention & Aileen Jackson, Senior Project Manager for Health Ageing

Strength and balance, Strong, Straight & Steady and improving Mind and Body were some of the key messages given to our south London delegates who attended the Health Innovation Network’s Falls Prevention and Mildly Frail Older Adults workshop on Wednesday 18 October.

Delegates from health and social care, voluntary and leisure sectors heard how falls in older adults are really common. One third of people over 65 years of age will fall. These falls may cause a serious injury such as a broken hip or head injury which requires hospital treatment, but most falls go undetected and unreported but are likely to contribute to the individual’s confidence; ultimately, leading to social isolation and yet more serious falls. Some falls are “just” an accident, but for others a fall is caused by early changes, such as worsening balance, vision or dizziness that can be improved.

There is an established evidence base for the exercise and interventions that can really make a significant difference for strength and balance. Public Health England will be publishing a return on investment study later this year to evidence the cost savings of the interventions. Bone health is crucial to the falls prevention agenda and the National Osteoporosis Society are also due to publish evidence on beneficial exercise for people with Osteoporosis late 2018/19.

Speeding up the spread and adoption of evidenced good practice is a key mission for the Health Innovation Network and our event showcased the brilliant examples that exist in south London , including embedding vision tests in Falls Prevention services, reducing waiting times through innovative triage, sustaining exercise, video games, digital physio prescribing, allotments and gardening, London Ambulance and Fire Service initiatives.

Finally, do download Age UK staying steady booklet and all become ambassadors for the Strength and Balance message.

Are you or do you know someone over 65 who has had a fall or has a fear of falling? Check your balance – are you feeling more unsteady? Is it getting more difficult to do everyday tasks? If you are unsteady you can get better by exercising. This involves doing simple strength and balance exercises (mostly standing) for about 20 mins two or three times a week or more which reduces falls by 30% and will give you confidence to go out of doors again and live life.

Follow #StrengthAndBalance on Twitter or our watch our video for all the highlights from the event.

Patient Care Packs save time and money

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Patient Care Packs save time and money

Written by Patient Care Packs

We’ve known that nurses and patients alike really value the small bag of toiletries that we supply, because the feedback is always wonderful. However the feedback, although really great to hear and read, is qualitative at best and doesn’t really enable nurses to release budget to procure the Patient Care Packs (PCP’s) for their patients and wards.

So, in collaboration with the HIN (Health Innovation Network) and the University of Leicester, a trial of PCP’s took place over winter 2016-17 to do some quantitative research to really pin down the numerical impacts that PCP’s provide for busy, under resourced, nursing staff.

The HIN’s South London members King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust and Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals and a mental health service for homeless people run by South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, all took part in the trial.

Nursing staff gave the packs to patients.  Each pack contained a feedback card and nursing staff also completed a short survey. 262 patients and 68 nursing staff completed surveys. Additionally, University of Leicester colleagues used observational techniques to understand the impact the packs had on patient and staff experience.

The evidence tells us that nurses spend more than 25 minutes per day obtaining essential items, or people survive without, having a negative impact on their well being, and impeding nursing ability.

The research really showed just how valuable the packs are, with 84% of nursing staff saying that it saved them more than 25 mins a day, which enabled more effective nursing and saved the cash strapped NHS £1066 for every band 4 nurse.

“It’s a brilliant idea that saves us time and allows us to provide care and support to patients…” Matron, Lewisham & Greenwich Trust.

98% of nursing staff reported that they would like to continue to provide the packs to their patients. This additionally impacted job satisfaction, with 9 out of 10 nurses reporting an increase, as it also promoted greater interaction with patients (93% of nurses reported this was the case).

“Patients Care Packs served as an ice breaker between myself and the patients to develop a good rapport,” Senior Nurse, Epsom and St. Helier.

Patients also welcomed the packs, with 94% reporting that Patient Care Packs made them feel more comfortable during their stay.

If you would like to read the full report, you can download it here

If you would to discuss your specific needs and start realising the benefits of PCP’s, contact us by phoning 0116 251 3941 or email us on info@personalcarepacks.com

HIN out and about in London

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HIN out and about in London

Find out what our HIN team has been up to recently, and some events we’ve taken part in or led.

Technology & Informatics

On 13 September, our T&I team visited Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust, just outside of Manchester. They learned about an innovation set up by the hospital called Digital Health Centre aimed at reducing the number of unnecessary attendances at Tameside Hospital’s A&E department through the use of Skype. The learning pilot, which has extended the number of local care and residential homes involved, focuses on when patients within the homes become unwell, staff will have the option to Skype a dedicated registered nurse at the Trust who will be on hand to give expert advice and guidance throughout a video conversation. This has already reduced the number of attendances to A&E. The team learned about innovative techniques being used in other parts of the country, and took on board the advice provided by the team to aid some of their projects.

Musculoskeletal (MSK)

Supported by Arthritis Research UK, the MSK theme successfully organised the annual ESCAPE-pain conference which was held on 11 September as Guy’s Hospital. Sarah Ruane, Strategic Lead at Sport England to our very Innovation Fellow, Andrew Walker took to the stage to present to a full room of delegates who were keen to share best practice and ideas. Read more on the event here.

Alcohol

Paul Wallace, Clinical Director for the alcohol theme presented a paper at the International Network on Brief Interventions for Alcohol and Other Drugs Conference in New York on “Use of SMS texts for facilitating access to online alcohol interventions – a feasibility study”. This is a presentation of the pilot project undertaken with three GP practices in Kingston.

ESCAPE-pain conference: Learning from each other

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ESCAPE-pain conference: Learning from each other

(Image: Sarah Ruane from Sport England presenting to a full venue)

The annual ESCAPE-pain conference was held at Guy’s Hospital on 11 September. Supported by Arthritis Research UK, the conference aimed to provide a learning and sharing opportunity for current and prospective providers. It brought together providers from NHS and leisure sector settings, commissioners and private practitioners.

After a warm welcome from Zoe Lelliott (Director of Strategy and Performance, HIN), Andrea Carter (Programme Director, HIN) and Professor Michael Hurley (Clinical Director, HIN) provided an update on ESCAPE-pain and future plans.

Speaker round-up

  • Sarah Ruane (Strategic Lead – Health, Sport England) presented on Sport England’s initiatives that support their new strategy ‘Towards an Active Nation’, and in particular, their insight into motivating inactive older adults to achieve recommended physical activity levels
  • Adrienne Skelton (Director of Strategic Development, Arthritis Research UK) presented on the charity’s new strategic focus on quality of life and commitment to increasing adoption of effective interventions, such as ESCAPE-pain
  • The team at East Surrey and Caterham Dene Hospitals presented their case study on how they engage patients and encourage them to continue exercising after ESCAPE-pain. They also brought along a recent ESCAPE-pain participant, Chris, who shared her heartwarming story about how ESCAPE-pain has changed her life
  • Zoe Zambelli (Project Support Officer, HIN) presented on learnings on a review of ESCAPE-pain clinical outcomes and data collection processes
  • Andrew Walker (Innovation Fellow, HIN) presented his research on the spread and adoption of ESCAPE-pain, including the challenges of programme scale-up and sustainability
  • The team at Cheltenham General Hospital and The Cheltenham Trust presented on the benefits of their partnership, how they achieve a high retention rate and their future plans
  • Amy Semple (Senior Project Manager, HIN) presented on Joint Pain Advisor, highlighting how its different from ESCAPE-pain, the delivery models and its impact.

ESCAPE-pain is currently running in over 30 sites across the UK. As our partnership with Arthritis Research UK develops, we expect an accelerated roll-out of sites before the year ends.

Follow tweets from the conference: @escape_pain and #ESCAPEpainConf

For more information, visit www.escape-pain.org or email hello@escape-pain.org

 

Older Adults recover well from common mental health conditions

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Older Adults recover well from common mental health conditions

We all need to do more to recognise older adults who may have depression and anxiety; older adults engage well with IAPT (including digital IAPT interventions) and most importantly they recover well, evidence shows that the recovery rate of older adults is better than working age adults. These were the key messages given to a capacity audience at the recent Health Innovation Network’s Improving Older Adults Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) event which took place on 19 September. All these points seem relatively simple, so why can’t we quickly fix this problem?

It seems everyone has a part to play, we should not be treating older adults as a homogeneous group 65 – 100 years old is a large age span and perceptions and needs will be different.

The third sector, housing and social care organisations have significant role in facilitating referrals to IAPT and ensuring older adults are aware that depression and anxiety can be resolved through talking therapies. We should encourage older adults to share their experience of IAPT and we need all to listen. IAPT services need to train their staff to work with this large older adults age range and liaise more closely with their secondary mental health colleagues particularly the memory service who are diagnosing people with dementia.

Finally, our very busy GPs who are often the gateway to supporting referrals to IAPT services. Think always that chronic health conditions go hand in hand with mental health issues, don’t just refer the physical issues, address both mind and body to make sure the older adult is enabled to maximise independence and live a happier life.

Aileen Jackson, Senior Project Manager Healthy Ageing and Mental Health lead, Health Innovation Network

Where are all our graduates?

Where are all our graduates?

Insight

Recruiting into entry level positions in health has been a real problem for years. When I first started the Graduates into Health programme, one of things that struck me was the high number of managers – regardless of organisation type or business function – that kept saying they just couldn’t recruit to band 3 – 5 roles.

They would place an advert on NHS jobs and 180 applicants would apply. It would take three days to go through short-listing, and if they managed to get five candidates scheduled for interview, most wouldn’t turn up and for those that did, they just didn’t have the skills. This meant having to re-advertise.

All this time and energy to find a suitable band 3-5 role. This just wasn’t working.

Businessman with his team

The other thing that struck me was how we got inundated at University careers fairs from graduates once they started to realise the NHS could have a career for them in IT, HR, Finance etc. And the thanks we got for helping them find their first role out of them was heart-warming.

The NHS doesn’t have a brand issue – it’s working just fine. What we didn’t have was the right mechanism to get to our graduates. That’s where we were falling down. We now have a solution, we have a mechanism that is working, and it’s so very simple. It’s Graduates into Health programme.

We have over 1,000 students and graduates on our books, clambering to start their career in the NHS/healthcare sector and have access to 1,000s more across London and South East. They want to work with us, we just need to pick them up, before some other employer does – don’t we deserve to have the brightest talent coming out of our universities?

Written by Graduates into Health programme manager Louise Brennan

Health Innovation Network Annual Review now available

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Health Innovation Network Annual Review now available

We’ve had a busy year here at the Health Innovation Network and we’re pleased to share an extended online edition of our annual review which showcases a selection of the work from our clinical and innovation themes.

More and more we are witnessing first-hand how innovation is improving care for people in South London and saving money. Join us as we reflect on the highlights of our programmes, which are cultivating and spreading innovation across the NHS, locally and nationally.

We would like to say a special ‘Thank You’ to our partners who have worked with us throughout the year.

Download our annual review here.