Welcome to the review of our year in 2020/21


Dr Rishi Das-Gupta
Chief Executive

It is difficult to describe the 12 months from April 2020. Certainly when the HIN was planning for 2020/21 it could not have imagined everything that would occur as a result of Covid-19. Although I joined in March 2021 it was clear that our response to the pandemic had been swift and valuable for our members and for that I want to thank Zoe Lelliott in her role as acting Chief Executive.

While this year has been unusual, our response to it has been extraordinary. The HIN planned for a normal year and got anything but. Midway through the objectives were reviewed to reflect the agile way the HIN was supporting members and partners though Covid and focus on:

  • Digitally enabled remote working.
  • Long-term conditions and self-management.
  • Evidence generation and evaluation.

And the impact of this is reflected in the support given to the system during the pandemic from specific Covid assistance to care homes with IT and remote monitoring to helping people access diabetic foot clinics, outpatient appointments for rheumatology patients and supporting pathways for oximetry at home and virtual wards. Alongside this there has also been positive outcomes from our usual work including helping the spread of the Early Interventions Eating Disorders programme nationally, demonstrating the benefits of diabetes education programmes in the workplace and screening for AF as one measure for preventing strokes.

I am also incredibly proud of the way staff at the HIN have coped with new ways of working. At the same time the pandemic has not stopped the focus on our diversity pledges (and responding to issues highlighted by the Black Lives Matter protests) and supporting the wellbeing of our staff with yoga, meditation, book clubs and more.

Covid has tested us all, but the HIN’s response has shown that even in the face of a pandemic it could be agile and support staff, members, partners and the system where it was desperately needed. While it has tested us in many ways as individuals, as an organisation and as a system, we have much to reflect on with pride. Thank you to everyone we have worked alongside this year.

Professor Richard Barker OBE
Chair, Health Innovation Network

It is difficult to summarise the last year, particularly when we are yet to understand the full ramifications. What is clear though is that while we have now seen off the immediate threat posed by Covid, we will be living with the after-effects of the pandemic for some years.

But while it would be easy to focus on the challenges ahead, our annual report gives us the opportunity to reflect on the previous 12 months. While it was difficult, I have been proud of the contributions of those in the HIN to help the wider health and care system navigate the uncertainty and ensure people were cared for whether that was through using apps, video calls for appointments, or medical devices in their homes like oximeters.

Thank you to everyone for helping each other and the system in these uncertain times. I would especially like to thank Zoe Lelliott, who was our fantastic acting CEO for two years, including throughout the pandemic and did an amazing job of steering us through that, as well as helping shape the HIN in her role before that.

We are still too close to the pandemic to grasp the lasting change it has made. However, I hope in time we are able to take stock and use the examples contained within this report to be proud of our response as individuals, as an organization and as a partner supporting the care of south Londoners.


Digitally enabled remote working

The pandemic severely restricted face to face caring and support. Here we demonstrate how our projects supported remote working, including remote consultations for those needing mental health support and the monitoring oxygen levels of patients with Covid in their own homes, or on virtual wards.

Amongst a number of HIN contributions to the local and national NHS response to Covid-19, the work of our Patient Safety and Experience team stands out as an example of the positive impact Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) can have on clinical priorities. This programme enabled patients to remain at home, supported by hospital clinicians rather than be admitted to hospital for observation in case they deteriorated.

Building on previous work in the area of managing deterioration and working alongside AHSN Network and Patient Safety Collaborative colleagues, the team played a vital part in co-ordinating the planning and implementation of the Covid Oximetry @Home and Covid Virtual Wards programmes.

Oximetry @Home involved deploying personal monitoring tools to people diagnosed with Covid-19 that could spot the signs of deterioration and allow for timely clinical intervention. The HIN was perfectly placed to support the implementation of pathways that helped patients and clinicians make use of the 72,000 oximeters that had been distributed throughout London. This new model of care posed unfamiliar challenges for clinicians treating a high-risk group of patients, but proved to be vital in avoiding unnecessary admissions, enabling hospital resources to be focused on patients with the greatest need, and helping patients to feel safe at home knowing that they would be admitted to hospital if they needed more intensive interventions.

After Christmas, with hospitals facing unprecedented pressure during the second wave of Covid-19, the team switched their attention to turning the vision of “Covid virtual wards” into a reality. Working at extreme pace, the team provided project management and implementation expertise to support clinicians to monitor and provide care to Covid-19 patients remotely. At peak times, this innovation supported hundreds of patients to be safely monitored on “virtual wards” outside of hospital settings.

New telephony systems using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) mean a revolution in the patient experience as part of the shift to Total Triage. Covid-19 has exposed the limits of traditional telephony systems compared to the technological jump offered by advanced telephony systems where an incoming caller’s patient record is automatically ‘popped’ up on screen, interactive voice response options route calls for remote working using staff mobiles or telephony software on their laptops. But as the HIN’s Head of Digital Transformation and Technology sets out in this video, the myriad of systems on the market means GP surgeries face a daunting challenge identifying the right system.

Hear from Denis Duignan
Learn more about the project from our Head of Digital Transformation & Technology


resource downloads

Social distancing was crucial during the height of the pandemic to prevent the spread of Covid-19. This also meant that a lot of us spent more time indoors and isolated from our family and friends. In collaboration with Contact, Help, Advice and Information Network (CHAIN) members, we developed a set of resources that provided activities for older adults during Covid-19 to support the provision of free to use dementia friendly activities for those in mental health inpatient settings, care homes, supported housing and to those living in their own homes during the national response to the pandemic.

In 2019, our Digital Transformation & Technology team brought together colleagues from Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust and the South East London Clinical Commissioning Group with the aim to improve outpatient experiences for a cohort of patients with long-term conditions.

This year, we supported three rheumatology departments across South East London to trial a new service that helps patients with rheumatoid arthritis to remotely monitor their condition. Our Evaluation and informatics team are currently carrying out an evaluation of the service.


graduates placed in 27 Trusts and healthcare organisations across the UK since 2018, with a 145% increase in yearly placements from 2018-19 to 2020-21.

Digital, data and technology roles have never been more crucial to the NHS as we work to scale up digital and clinical pathway transformation in response to Covid-19. In early 2020, our NHS Graduate Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT) scheme, commissioned by Health Education England’s “Digital Readiness” programme and supported by NHSX, expanded nationally to support every region in England by recruiting and developing top graduates in the field to become the next middle managers and beyond.

The scheme, supports organisations over two years to fill long-term technical vacancies using their “grow your own talent” model, as well as organisations developing graduates to reduce a reliance on agencies and contractors. In 2020-21, the scheme made 49 placements in 14 organisations around the country with 100 placements projected for 2021-22. The scheme began supporting Trusts with large-scale recruitment for mass transformation projects (e.g. Electronic Health Record delivery) and has become the largest scheme for recruiting and training digital, data and technology professionals in the NHS. The scheme is popular with the graduates and 99 per cent of those who started the programme are still on the programme.

Digital transformation in the NHS benefits from an inclusive workforce, and the NHS DDaT scheme works to attract diverse talent from groups which are currently underrepresented in the industry. So far, 52 per cent of graduates on the scheme are from Black, Asian & minority ethnic backgrounds and 42 per cent are female.

Find out how the NHS Graduate Digital, Data & Technology scheme can support your organisation:

  • 76% Pie Graph

    76% of scheme applicants pass the EPIC “Sphinx” qualification test, compared to 45% of applicants through NHS Jobs

  • 95% Pie Graph

    Advertise through 95% of universities across all regions in England and attract over 5,000 technical applications each year

  • 99% Pie Graph

    99% of current graduates on the scheme tracking toward Band 6/7 roles (this means that during the two year role they consistently perform at a higher band than they were recruited to)

  • 100% Pie Graph

    100% success rate in recruiting and training cyber security professionals from Band 5 to Band 6

Full-length promotional video
Hear from a range of managers and graduates about the scheme. This video was recorded in Summer 2020, soon after the scheme rebrand, renewal from HEE and announcement of national expansion.
Responding to Covid-19
Hear from David, a graduate recruited through the scheme, as he talks about recent work to support the health and care systems in their response to the pandemic.
Responding to Covid-19
Hear from Laura about how her team members recruited through the scheme have contributed during the pandemic.

Learning from evaluation

Covid-19 turbo-charged the use of remote consultations in mental health, with many services having to switch to video or telephone appointments almost overnight. But what has this meant for service users and staff, and what lessons can we take for the future?

Since summer 2020, the HIN has worked closely with south London mental health providers, local system partners, academics and service users to try and answer these questions and disseminate best practice – this is an important part in developing towards being a true learning health system.

The project is ongoing, but key activities so far have included:

  • Two shared learning webinars attended by more than 330 clinicians, commissioners and service users.
  • Delivery of a rapid academic review of pre-Covid literature.
  • Co-production (with service users) of academic research summaries.
  • Hosting a dedicated online resource hub with materials including best practice guides and reports, which has been visited almost 3,000 times.
Hear from our Experts by Experience
Listen to service users Lana, Mel, Paul and Sarah, and Patient Public Involvement coordinator Len as they talk about their involvement in the project.

Long-term conditions and self-management

These programmes and projects looked at how to maintain safe and effective care, initially in the context of a very different model of healthcare being delivered due to the pandemic, but also demonstrate the possibilities of how to deliver care post-pandemic.

During 2020/21, DigitalHealth.London’s focus has been providing the best remote support possible to NHS staff, digital health companies and academics involved in digital transformation during the Covid-19 pandemic, while also increasing outreach to under-represented groups and those with long-term conditions.

In October 2020, 37 NHS staff leading digital transformation projects in their organisations in London and the South East were accepted onto the third cohort of the Digital Pioneer Fellowship programme. The cohort reflects the NHS workforce, with thirty per cent of the cohort identifying as being from an ethnic minority, a positive step towards better representation of ethnic minorities in leadership roles within the NHS. 65 per cent of the current cohort are female, helping to address long-term disparities in the number of women in senior positions.

The fourth cohort of companies in the highly successful Accelerator programme were helped by our NHS Navigators to pivot their products and offers in response to the changing NHS needs. The fifth cohort of the Accelerator programme was announced in November 2020 and we welcomed 20 new high potential companies tackling significant NHS and social care challenges for bespoke support over the next 12 months. To support the impact the Accelerator has had on the wider health and care sector, an interim evaluation of the programme was undertaken in April 2020, showing that for every £1 spent by the NHS on the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator, £14.50 is saved. It also estimated that 513 new jobs had resulted from the programme.

Finally, as part of the support DigitalHealth.London provides to earlier-stage companies to launch a product into the NHS market, seven digital health companies were supported in 2020 through the third cohort of the DigitalHealth.London Launchpad programme.


patients suffering with severe cluster migraines benefited from the non-invasive Gammacore

In 2020/21, we achieved 87 per cent uptake of our south London NHS trusts adopting the AAC products. These NHS England programmes accelerate adoption of innovative products designed to improve patient care and health outcomes. For south London patients this provided access to cutting edge innovations this year:

  • 35 patients suffering with severe cluster migraines benefited from the non-invasive Gammacore.
  • 248 patients with suspected coronary artery disease benefited from Heartflow.
  • For Multiple Sclerosis patients in south London our providers are in the highest quartile for prescribing of Cladribine nationally.
  • Adoption of the NICE-endorsed clinical lipids optimisation pathway has led to 74 per cent increase for patients with high cholesterol to benefit from the PCSK9I inhibitors.

These programmes represent early adoption of innovations, and we expect their use to grow in future.


resource page views

Our #OnlyHuman campaign saw our Patient Safety and Experience team work with behavioural insights specialists on a ‘nudge’ campaign to positively support frontline health and care staff to prioritise their physical health and emotional wellbeing needs during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. A suite of bespoke, editable materials were created to aid a peer-to-peer approach, which we actively encouraged our members and partners to utilise and disseminate across their various channels.


Find out how King’s College Hospital benefitted from the campaign


of 41 surveyed participants said they would recommend the programme to others

We are committed to supporting clinical innovators in the NHS who have great ideas for how to improve services for south Londoners. Chris Gumble, a Project Manager for Long Term Conditions at the South West London CCG and DigitalHealth.London (DH.L) 2020 Pioneer Fellow, leads various projects that support the self-management and prevention of diabetes and provide structured education for south London residents, as well as service delivery support to clinicians. In 2019, Chris was a recipient of a HIN Innovation Grant to fund the delivery of the Diabetes Prevention Decathlon, in collaboration with DH.L Accelerator alumni Sweatcoin.

This 10-week pilot programme (delivered both face-to-face and virtually), nominated for a 2021 HSJ Value Award for “Diabetes Care Initiative”, was designed to reduce the risk of preventable long-term conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It consists of interactive group-based learning and physical activity, for which participants can earn rewards through Sweatcoin’s incentivisation app, which tracks activity and converts it into points that can be redeemed for prizes. This programme combines practical education on healthy lifestyle interventions with a fun, secure environment for attendees, and the implementation of digital innovation keeps everyone motivated between sessions.

Find out more about the Diabetes Prevention Decathlon service and outcomes:

  • 87% completion for 31 ‘Decathletes’ in the face-to-face programme; 100% completion for 10 Decathletes in virtual programme (comparable programmes show 27% completion).

  • 38.6kg group weight loss from 27 out of 31 participants and 18.3kg group weight loss from 10 participants measured in respective pilot programmes

  • 70% of face-to-face and 100% of virtual participants from Black, Asian or minority ethnic backgrounds, with 70% and 100% respective retention rates.

  • One million steps walked by participants in a single week of the face-to-face programme with 40% overall increase in activity throughout the programme.

Diabetes Prevention Decathlon – the impact

From May 2018 to November 2020, 36.5% (713 people) of south London programme participants achieved 5% total body weight loss by the end of the programme and 11.6% of participants (227 people) achieved 10% total body weight loss.

Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme is designed to help those at risk of type 2 diabetes take charge of their health and wellbeing by learning more about their health and how to manage it well through small, simple lifestyle changes.

At the beginning of 2020, the HIN worked with Healthier You provider Xyla Health & Wellbeing to support the fully remote delivery of this service across all 12 south London boroughs. Participants received nutrition guidance and support, worked with professionals to develop individual strategies for long-term control and were advised on physical activity. Studies have shown that, for those at a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, losing between 5 and 10 per cent total body weight can reduce risk by as much as 58 per cent[1], and by November 2020, nearly 1,000 south Londoners had achieved this lifestyle change as a result of programme support.

Healthier You is committed to ensuring that all south Londoners have equal access to and support from the programme. Data shows that, across south London, programme completion rates between the least deprived and most deprived areas in each borough are proportionate to one another. In south east London, of those participants who experienced 10 per cent total body weight loss as a result of programme support, 48 per cent were from the most deprived areas in each borough as compared to 14 per cent from the least deprived.

Get in touch with our Diabetes team’s Business Support Officer sophie.mizen@nhs.net to find out more about the Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme and its successful outcomes for type 2 diabetes prevention.

1. Hamman, Richard F., Rena R. Wing, Sharon L. Edelstein, John M. Lachin, George A. Bray, Linda Delahanty, Mary Hoskin et al. “Effect of weight loss with lifestyle intervention on risk of diabetes.” Diabetes care 29, no. 9 (2006): 2102-2107.

Our Innovation Exchange builds on the HIN’s unique expertise and cross-sector connections, enabling us to identify common challenges and quickly bring people and organisations together to develop, test and spread proven innovation. In 2020/21 we matched the current challenges of the South London health and care system and design webinars to match digital innovations that could solve these challenges.

The HIN hosted two large-scale webinars: Empowering Patients to Self Manage in May and Remote Monitoring: Keeping patients safe in the community in December. We heard from local digital transformation project such as The Diabetes Decathlon which incentivised participants to exercise through the use of Sweatcoin and heard pitches from digital health companies whose innovations help with self management and remote monitoring.

Through these events we educate and inform clinicians, managers and commissioners about the latest developments in digital health that are available to them to improve patient care, make services run more efficiently and save money.

  • 124

    innovators benefitted from individual advice and sign posting (19% more than in 19/20)

  • 124

    Our innovator clinics continue to be popular with 124 new innovators seen by the innovation and clinical teams during 20/21

Diabetes Book & Learn empowers people living with diabetes across all 12 south London boroughs to effectively self-manage and take control of their diabetes through technology-led, structured education. This service has significantly increased uptake in diabetes education courses across south London by giving people the option to self-refer, as well as complete choice of any course type and venue in south London, which has included face-to-face, virtual face-to-face and digital education through providers Second Nature and Oviva.

Although face-to-face education was cancelled during the 2020/21 financial year, the HIN supported many south London providers to transition and overcome technical barriers to virtual delivery, and the uptake of digital courses grew by more than 130 per cent from the previous year.

In the coming months, the Low Carb Program, an award-winning course clinically proven to reduce Hba1c and medications and support people to put their type 2 diabetes into remission, will be added as a digital provider to the platform. The HIN supported South London CCG in delivering the procurement process for this programme, which will greatly increase the south London capacity for digital diabetes education and is available on multiple convenient platforms, including an app and Amazon Alexa.

Get in touch to find out more about Diabetes Book & Learn and our portfolio of projects addressing diabetes in south London.

  • 2,302 bookings on virtually and digitally delivered courses in 2020/21.

  • Uptake of digital diabetes education grew by more than 130 per cent from 823 in 2019/20 to 1,950 in 2020/21.

Think Diabetes in the Workplace sought to assess the acceptability of offering diabetes structured education (SE) courses via the workplace in two public sector organisations. Those were Transport for London (TfL) and London Ambulance Service (LAS). Rod Watson, Senior Project Manager in the HIN Diabetes theme, sets out the project which was showcased at the Diabetes UK Professional Conference in April 2021.

Think Diabetes in the Workplace

The HIN has been collaborating with NHS England and the whole AHSN Network to rollout a programme to help with the rising numbers of young people developing eating disorders. The HIN’s National Programme Manager Early Intervention Eating Disorders, Amy Semple, explains the initiative, and gives details on how rollout is progressing.

Rapid support for those with eating disorders

South West London Health and Care Partnership (SWL HCP) and Wandsworth Community Empowerment Network (WCEN) received an Innovation Grant of £10,000 in 2019, from the Health Innovation Network (HIN) to co-produce a ‘Mass Screening’ pilot project. Although the project had to end early due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the team was still able to make a significant impact to identify hidden long term conditions and testing an innovative way to deliver health checks in community venues.

Explore more on this project:

  • Health checks in 441 people were completed across six health clinics at local Black Caribbean and Black African Churches, a Tamil temple and two mosques.

  • 61 per cent of participants were detected with a high or moderate risk of Type 2 diabetes using the Diabetes UK ‘Know Your Risk’ tool;

  • 27 per cent had a blood pressure of >140/90 indicating possible hypertension.

After winning one of our Innovation Grants, the maternity team at Kingston Hospital designed a pilot project to support women with diabetes in pregnancy (gestational diabetes). The team introduced a sugar monitoring app (GDM-Health) enabling the women to upload their sugar measurement four times a day to be reviewed in real-time by specialist midwives. The GDM-Health app was beneficial during the Covid-19 pandemic situation, by facilitating a safe reduction in face-to-face appointments, limiting unnecessary patients’ exposure to the hospital setting.

The app has facilitated a switch to remote consultations which are now 39 per cent of the total appointments across the service. From the midwifery side, 54 per cent of consultations are now conducted remotely. It has also allowed for better use of appointments and remote reviews of readings during admin time, empowering the midwifery staff to carry out many more reviews/follow-ups while having remote support from the obstetrician during clinical and non-clinical scheduled time.

  • Of the 209 patients seen in clinic, 190 were using the GDM sugar monitoring health app over an 11 week period:

  • Reduction in the number of patients booked per clinic, as many women are reviewed remotely by using the GDM app technology, or are reviewed ad-hoc using the call back service for concerns.

  • Average number of patients per clinic reduced to 14, from 16 in 2019.

The HIN-coordinated Psychologically Informed Collaborative Conversations (PIC-C) aims to equip clinicians with the skills and confidence to truly connect with patients experiencing pain.

The innovative training and supervision course – co-designed by people living with pain and in partnership with the Physiotherapy Pain Association, St Georges and Kingston Hospitals Chronic Pain and MSK teams – was piloted in 2020/21 and delivered promising initial results and evidence of changes in practice. 100 per cent of participating respondents reported they felt more confident having psychologically informed consultations and using tools and techniques to support patients’ psychological wellbeing. 96 per cent reported that the training had increased their compassion for others as well as overall work satisfaction and resilience.

A full evaluation will be published in Summer 2021.


Evidence generation and evaluation

We want to understand the impact of rapid service changes and build an evidence base for digital tools that can help commissioners, clinicians and partners take key learnings from the pandemic and enable them to make informed choices going forward. Here we have some examples of this important work.

A HIN real-world evaluation of a musculoskeletal app finds positive patient response with significant reduction in GP appointments and a 50 per cent reduction in prescriptions and referrals.

getUBetter is an evidence-based digital self-management platform for people with musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions across care pathways in England. The HIN was commissioned by getUBetter to independently evaluate an SBRI funded project to deploy an extended version of getUBetter for multiple MSK pathways to all GP practices across Wandsworth CCG. The first stage of the evaluation was to map the existing evidence base for getUBetter against the NICE evidence standards for digital health technologies. This was followed by a real-world evaluation to assess outcomes related to condition, satisfaction, behaviour change, and resource use.

An online survey was sent to getUBetter users capturing respondents’ demographic profile and app usage; experiences and satisfaction; condition-related outcomes; and changes in self-management and understanding of their condition. Resource use was determined by a pragmatic health utilisation analysis using EMIS data comparing patients with lower back pain (LBP) with non-users in a sample of GP practices.

Users reported overall high rating for the app, with good patient acceptability and friends and family test scores. The results indicate most respondents got some benefit from using the app in terms of symptoms, function, and confidence and ability to self-manage their recovery. Health utilisation analysis found compared to non-users, getUBetter users consumed four times fewer GP appointments, 20% less Physiotherapy referrals and over 50% fewer prescriptions and referrals.

The HIN’s Innovation Grant programme now is supporting the piloting and evaluation of getUBetter for patients discharged from Emergency Departments in south London.

These programmes represent early adoption of innovations, and we expect their use to grow in future.

HIN - App Quote HIN - App Quote2

An ongoing frustration for patients receiving care in multiple locations in London, or care from several healthcare providers is that their medical notes, images and medications records are not available to access electronically across sites. OneLondon is a collaborative of London’s five health and care partnerships and the London Ambulance Service, supported by us as one of London’s three Academic Health Science Networks, alongside NHS England (London region) and the Greater London Authority to transform services by joining up information to support fast, safe, effective care.

As a Local Health and Care Record Exemplar, the OneLondon programme has successfully demonstrated the safe and secure join-up of health and care information from over time and across organisations and geographies within London. This includes:

  • Designing an architecture for joined-up data across London to support individual care. The London Care Record – a single shared care record – now covers a population of 7.5 million Londoners.
  • Beginning to configure a London data services layer, using de-personalised (non-identifiable) information to support planning, improvement, and research.
  • Initiating planning for a pan-London approach to personal health records.

This work has been driven by the expectations of Londoners, including public recommendations formed as part of a large-scale deliberative Citizens’ Summit. As such, we can be confident that we are joining-up data in a way that is legitimate and builds public trust and which we will continue to support at the HIN.

For more information visit OneLondon.online or follow @OneLondon4 on Twitter.

Patients, service users, carers and the public have a vital role in shaping the delivery of health and care services. Building long term collaborative links between researchers and communities – particularly those who more likely to be affected by health inequalities such as Black, Asian, minority ethic and disabled people – helps to ensure these voices are properly heard.

Working closely with system partners and co-produced with service users, patients, carers and care home residents themselves, the HIN led the development of a new Involvement Strategy for the Applied Research Collaborative (ARC) south London, which was launched in March 2021.

At a time when health inequalities and divisions are at risk of deepening further, it is hoped the strategy will support health and care research teams across south London in effectively involving diverse groups in their work.

The Covid-19 pandemic raised a new set of challenges for care home staff and their residents, including accessing healthcare services remotely, caring for residents with complex health needs and providing palliative care for residents, often without the face-to-face support from healthcare services they would normally receive.

Remote monitoring presents a fantastic opportunity for care homes to improve care allowing staff to take, record and monitor vital signs of care home residents. This information is then stored on a digital platform, which can be accessed by healthcare professionals, such as GPs. Having access to clinical information such as temperature, heart rate and blood pressure allows care homes to spot signs that a resident is becoming unwell early and share their concerns with healthcare professionals. Care home staff, in partnership with clinical staff, can then plan and prioritise care accordingly.

The HIN supported a programme where all five of London’s sustainability and transformation partnerships (also known as integrated care systems in some areas) worked collaboratively to support the increased use of remote monitoring technology in care homes. This was part of a wider NHSX Innovation Collaborative national programme.

It involved working with six remote monitoring companies to implement remote monitoring in nearly one out of every two care homes across London, supporting more than 22,000 residents. Following implementation and support from care home managers and GPs we are evaluating the different methods and products for implementing and supporting remote monitoring to allow learning and best practice from each method to be shared across London. This will improve the care of not just current but future care home residents, some of our most vulnerable members of society.

People with Atrial Fibrillation (AF) are at increased risk of stroke, but a gap in detection means thousands of people across south London are not benefiting from potentially stroke-preventing anticoagulation treatment. Older adults are at greater risk, but AF is not always symptomatic, which means they may not routinely receive a pulse rhythm check to detect their AF. From 2019-2020, the Health Innovation Network embarked on a project to improve the detection and management of AF in high impact settings, supporting 30 GP practices across south London to embed AF checks alongside flu vaccination clinics, and at four residential care homes in Lambeth and Southwark. Three south London-based NHS Trusts tested the feasibility of using adhesive ambulatory ECG patch technology, which had a positive impact on stroke pathways of care. Delve into the findings from our AF team who worked across flu vaccination clinics, care homes and clinical stroke teams.

  • 21,000

    people in south London expected to have undiagnosed atrial fibrillation, which is 32% of all people with AF

  • >14%

    of people in south London who have a diagnosis of AF, are not receiving protective oral anticoagulation therapy

Older adult psychiatric in-patient activities were significantly impacted by Covid-19 due to patient isolation and staff capacity.

Following the first ‘wave’, The HIN, Getech Enterprise and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) trialled the use of Google Chrome patient devices with dementia-friendly content to support with increasing patient engagement.

The devices and activities were shown to add value to patient care and could be a helpful longer-term intervention to maximise activities and reduce isolation.


Finance and People

Our work looks at how innovation can improve the lives of patients and staff within the NHS. As an employer we want to make sure we carry that through to our own colleagues at the HIN. This section gives the details on the amount of people at the HIN and examples of the work we do to support them.

Health and Wellbeing continues to be an important part of our staff offer and particularly during what has been a very challenging time navigating our way through the pandemic, with the shift to home working and not being able to connect with colleagues in a way that we were used to.

We adapted the health and wellbeing offer to meet the changing needs of staff and listened to staff for guidance on how we could engage with them and support them during this time. This has allowed us to provide a broad range of health and wellbeing activities and awareness initiatives.

The Health and Wellbeing reps have worked closely with many enthusiastic volunteers across the organisation to produce and deliver multiple activities, supported by Natasha Curran, our Medical Director, and Andrea Carter, our Programme Director for our Healthy Ageing and Musculoskeletal Programmes, as executive and leadership team leads for health and wellbeing.

Some of the regular activities we offer are:

Yoga, Meditation, Randomised Coffee Trials, Book Club, HINPrays, Pitch Your Passion – regular “show-and-tell” sessions, Big Brews, Craft Club, Cooking Club, step challenges to encourage staff to get more physically active and quiz nights.

We have also delivered the following Awareness Campaigns:

  • HIN Pride including an eight-step guide to allyship, playlist, book list, film list and celebrations.
  • Black History Month – weekly profiles of GSTT/HIN staff and historical innovators, internal and external presentations, focussed book club, reading list, playlist, and film list.
  • LGBT+ History Month including profiles, playlist, book list, film list.
  • Random Acts of Kindness Campaign.

A number of other resources, initiatives and events have been produced or hosted:

  • Working from home guide/top tips.
  • Co-developed King’s Health Partners tips, workstation set-up advice.
  • Shared wellbeing apps and resources.
  • Hosted a presentation by a sleep consultant.
  • Facilitated a ‘Fireside Chat’ on dealing with death & difficulty.
  • Introduced Health and Wellbeing inductions for all new HIN starters.
  • Introduced Quarterly Wellbeing Weeks.
  • Promoted NHS OneYou Programme.

We have also shared our experiences with other organisations during the pandemic. To find out more please feel free to get in touch at hin.southlondon@nhs.net

As the AHSN for south London we serve one of the most diverse populations in the country, part of a global diverse city. It is of prime importance that our work improves the health and care of the diverse populations within south London and reduces inequalities. In order to do this, we need our staff to reflect this diversity. We deliver better outcomes because we are not all the same. Our belief in diversity in enshrined in our values, our commitment to be open, brave and to deliver our work together.

In 2020 we signed up to the AHSN Network’s three key diversity pledges:

  • We commit to implementing a recognised process to self-assess and improve equality performance in each of our organisations.
  • We commit to empowering and supporting our staff to be positive role models for equality and diversity.
  • We commit to understanding the impact of our work on all members of our communities and for our work to reflect the equality and diversity within these communities.

Some specific actions we have taken this year are:

  • Ensuring all new projects have an Equality Impact Assessment (EIA).
  • Appointing a Speak Up Advocate to ensure that staff can raise any concerns.
  • Including non-white panel members in all our interviews as standard and have a pool of trained panel members to help us make this possible.
  • Members of the leadership team are participating in a reverse mentoring programme.
  • All staff have received unconscious bias training.

In addition to this year’s awareness campaigns from the Health & Wellbeing team (HIN Pride, Black History and LGBT+ History Month), we ran a specific series of events in response to the murder of George Floyd. This gave a forum for all our staff, but particularly our non-white staff, to talk openly about their experiences and perspectives. We are committed to building on this work to ensure that the HIN is an actively ant-racist organisation.

We are not perfect but we are determined to keep listening, learning and improving to ensure we can be best place to work for all our staff and to better support our community.

The last year has been very challenging for us, as it has been for the whole NHS. Our response to Covid has required us to divert resources from existing projects as we focused on the pandemic. As a result we have finished the year with a small deficit. We are able to fund this from our reserves but need to renew our focus on financial stability in 2021/22 to ensure long term viability.

Going into 2021/22, our financial priorities remain to:

  • Focus on continuing to deliver value for money to our members and funders in the current, challenging environment.
  • Continue to engage across the system, building on past success and seeking new funding, as a number of key existing projects come to an end.
  • Closely monitor our cost base to ensure that we continue to be sustainable long term.
  • Be open on information about our gender and ethnicity equality information.

In line with our values, we are committed to being open with our employees, partners and stakeholders and choose to report our gender pay gap annually.

At Health Innovation Network:

The mean hourly rate for men is 20 per cent more than women. This is a change from last year when the mean hourly rate for hourly rate for women was 4.9 per cent more than men. The median hourly rate for men is 31 per cent more than women. This is an increase from last financial year, when the median hourly rate for women was 2.6 per cent higher.

The mean hourly rate for white staff is two per cent more than for non-white staff.
The median hourly rate for white staff is 14 per cent more than for non-white staff. This is the first year we have captured this information.

It is worth noting this is driven by salaries across a range of staff roles and working patterns.

Finance tables

  • Expenditure
  • £’000
  • Pay
  • Stroke Prevention
  • 97
  • Diabetes
  • 330
  • Patient Safety & Experience
  • 665
  • Healthy Ageing
  • 330
  • Mental Health
  • 233
  • MSK
  • 483
  • Innovation
  • 318
  • Diabetes
  • 407
  • Graduates into Health
  • 407
  • Technology
  • 331
  • Informatics
  • 211
  • Digital Health.London Accelerator
  • 731
  • Evaluation
  • 127
  • Techforce
  • -
  • Central Costs
  • 801
  • Corporate Support
  • 422
  • Communications
  • 407
  • Total
  • 5,716
  • Income
  • £’000
  • Core Income
  • 4,411
  • Membership
  • 444
  • Other NHS
  • 1,038
  • Universities
  • 33
  • Third Sector
  • 254
  • Escape Pain
  • 107
  • Graduates into Health
  • 502
  • ERDF
  • 579
  • Industry
  • 78
  • Techforce
  • 519
  • Total
  • 7,965

Pay gap

Mean: Men 20% higher than women (last year the mean hourly rate for hourly rate for women was 4.9 per cent more than men).
Median: Men 31% higher than women (last year the median hourly rate for women was 2.6 per cent higher).

Mean: Those who identify as white 2% higher than those who identify as being from an ethnic minority (this is the first time we have reported this figure).
Median: Those who identify as white 14% higher than those who do identify as being from an ethnic minority (this is the first time we have reported this figure).

It is worth noting that this is driven by salaries across a range of staff roles and working patterns.


Breakdown of Diversity by band