Applications open for the South London Care Home Pioneer Programme 2024 Cohort 6

The Health Innovation Network (HIN) South London and My Home Life England are delighted to announce that applications are now open for the South London Care Home Pioneer Programme Cohort 6 – a leadership support and professional development programme delivered free of charge to Care Home Managers, Deputies and Senior Nurses to advance their skills, facilitate personal growth and enable them to effectively manage the complex everyday issues that impact on the quality of their service.

The programme is aimed at staff working in the following settings in south London:

  • Older person’s residential homes
  • Older person’s nursing homes
  • Learning disability and mental health care settings,
  • Supported living settings

Did you know?

  • The Pioneer Programme has supported more than 120 Pioneers, over five cohorts from all 12 boroughs of South London.

The programme offers support to care home managers to:

  • Advance their leadership skills and strategies.
  • Design and deliver a quality improvement project.

The programme runs over ten months from June 2024 to March 2025 where Pioneers are guided and supported by skilled coaches and facilitators. Pioneers learn from and support each other to consider new ways to approach some of the complex issues which are part of the job.

The programme begins with four face-to-face workshops, followed by a series of six action learning sets, some delivered virtually and some face-to-face. The celebration day on Wednesday 5 March 2025 showcases the achievements of the Pioneers to the funders and other stakeholders.

‘Action learning’ recognises that individuals learn best when they learn with and from each other, by working on real problems and drawing on their own experiences. Three of the six action learning sets will provide additional support for the quality improvement project.

To apply:

  1. Read the flyer here
  2. Complete and submit the application here by Wednesday 15 May, 9 am.

This infographic highlights key feedback from Pioneers who took part in the programme in 2023.

"The programme has boosted my self-belief. I am so grateful to have been offered the opportunity, and the impact it will have for me and the home. It really made me feel valued."Pioneer, Cohort 5, Care Home Pioneers
The Pioneer Programme has allowed me to grow and reflect on my leadership style, it has provided me with the courage to take steps and face challenges and to not let my own limitations hold me back. It has helped me to embrace my uniqueness and shown me that it is the differences in me that effectively make me the leader I am and has taught me how I can use these qualities when working with my team to improve our service. Pioneer, Cohort 5, Care Home Pioneers

You can find some great examples of Pioneer projects that have been carried out by clicking on the following here. Find out more about the celebration day for last year’s cohort here .

Further information

Find out more about the programme and how to apply.

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Get in touch for more information about Cohort 6 of the Care Home Pioneers programme.

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Developing collective leadership skills to navigate ‘wicked problems’ in health and care

Overview:

For several years at the Health Innovation Network South London, we have run national Communities of Practice (CoP) Leadership Development Programmes in partnership with the Health Foundation’s Q Network,  focusing on supporting participants to develop collective leadership skills that are essential for effective cross-system change and improvement.

CoPs include a wide mix of participants from across health and social care, as well as people with lived experience. These communities and networks have proven inspirational and effective in addressing “wicked” challenges that are typically beyond the scope of any individual, profession, or organisation, through collective wisdom and shared learning.

In January, we held an in-person celebration event to mark the end of the third programme we have delivered. This event was designed and organised by the CoP Leadership programme’s participants and was attended by our Health Foundation colleagues and a range of stakeholders, including some of the participants’ organisational sponsors. It offered participants an opportunity to share key successes and learnings acquired from the programme.

A report has been written, to share insights about the participant experience of this year’s programme. It provides a summary of the key learning emerging from the programme and highlights some recommendations for future programmes.


Report Summary:

The outcomes of the report reflect a predominantly positive sentiment from those who participated in the communities of practice leadership development programme. The feedback highlights how much the participants benefited from the knowledge, networks, and resources shared, leading to a significant increase in their confidence to work collaboratively with others.

Participants particularly enjoyed the interactivity of the programme, which allowed for the sharing of ideas and the formation of connections with peers in similar roles. This aspect of the programme was frequently mentioned as a highlight, offering a valuable space for like-minded individuals to learn with and from each other. Furthermore, they appreciated the diversity of both expert speakers and learning styles, that enabled them to not only develop new ideas but also to practically apply them at their place of work.

The leadership development programme has been highly successful in achieving its goals, effectively providing valuable knowledge on how to develop and grow communities of practice, fostering meaningful connections between participants, and facilitating an environment where innovative ideas and open conversations can thrive.

“I'm delighted by the overwhelmingly positive responses from our participants. It's heartening to see the significant impact the programme has made on them, empowering them to do things differently within their Communities of Practice.” Cleo Butterworth, Associate Clinical Director, Patient Safety and Experience

Download the report

Access the Communities of Practice Leadership Development Programme final report.

Download the report

Applications are open for the 2024 Cardiometabolic Fellowship Programme

The Health Innovation Network (HIN) South London is launching its third Cardiometabolic Fellowship (formerly Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) Prevention Fellowship). The programme will now assist primary care clinicians develop clinical skills and knowledge in diabetes and mental health care along with cardiovascular disease prevention to help improve outcomes for patients across south London.  

With six million people living with CVD in England with a combined cost of £16 billion every year, improving outcomes for at risk patients is an NHS priority. This programme will help to speed up the adoption of innovative initiatives to help prevent CVD across south London.

This free programme builds on our last two successful Fellowships and is aimed at all health care professionals working in primary care or community pharmacy in south London. The Fellowship aligns to local priorities and supports practices and primary care networks (PCNs) in meeting their Quality and Outcomes Framework targets, reducing health inequalities, and reducing risk to your patients.

Places are limited – applications close at 5pm on Friday 5 April 2024, but may close sooner subject to demand.

“I appreciate the support and guidance I have received throughout the fellowship. Being a part of this program has been an enriching experience, and I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute to improving care for the CVD patient population.”Participant from 2023 CVD Prevention Fellowship.

What does the fellowship involve?

The Fellowship Programme is Continuing Professional Development (CPD) accredited and will provide free expert clinical advice and quality improvement support to help Fellows become CVD prevention, mental health and diabetes care champions. It will also help Fellows to deliver a quality improvement project focused on CVD or diabetes in their practice or PCN. You can see examples of 2023 projects here.

Running from April 2024 to November 2024, the Fellowship will consist of:

  • 7 clinical webinars led by experts in a range of areas including lipid management, hypertension, atrial fibrillation, chronic kidney disease, heart failure, mental health and diabetes.
  • An in-person training day to help develop your quality improvement skills on Friday 26 April 2024. Attendance at this day is a requirement of the Fellowship.
  • Ongoing peer and expert sessions to support you in delivering your project, which will run May to October 2024.
  • A final in person event in to celebrate the work of the Fellowship on Friday 22 November 2024.

How to apply

Before applying please read our guidance document for more details on the Fellowship, including participation requirements and our 2024 programme schedule. 

Apply to the 2024 Cardiometabolic Fellowship by completing this short form.

Applications close at 5pm on Friday 5 April 2024, but may close earlier if spaces fill up before this time. Please don’t delay applying.

Apply to the Cardiometabolic Fellowship

Before applying please read our guidance document for more details on the Fellowship, including participation requirements and our 2024 programme schedule.

Apply now

Find out more

For more information on the Cardiometabolic Fellowship please get in touch.

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In memory: Paul Wallace

It is with great sadness that we mark the passing of Professor Paul Wallace, Health Innovation Network (HIN) South London’s Clinical Director for Digital. Paul passed away on 28 February 2024, following a long period of illness due to prostate cancer.

Paul was internationally recognised for his contributions to health and care at the intersection of clinical practice, academia and implementation science. He leaves behind a legacy of pioneering research into alcohol interventions and digital technologies in primary care, as well as driving forward the standard of evidence for digital health technologies more generally.

Paul originally began working with the HIN as Clinical Director for our alcohol programme. Much of Paul’s research portfolio was centred on the detection and management of alcohol misuse, generating more than 100 papers and book chapters on this topic. His work made particular contributions towards the development, assessment, and distribution of digital applications to reduce alcohol-related harm, being part of the vanguard for the use of digital technologies in this space.

Paul’s most recent role in the HIN began in 2017, when he was appointed Clinical Director for Digital. In the following years he brought his vast knowledge and ambition to bear primarily on DigitalHealth.London’s programmes. Initially Paul helped to assess fledgling technologies and provide advice on their evidence base; over time this focus on evidence grew into a dedicated programme which we now know as the DigitalHealth.London Evidence Generator Bootcamp. Dozens of the UK’s most promising digital health companies have directly benefitted from Paul’s support in navigating the complex yet crucial journey of evidence generation as part of the programme; countless more will indirectly benefit in years to come. Paul has left an enduring mark on Health Innovation Network and DigitalHealth.London, and his influence will live on in our work.

Paul began his professional career in primary care, practicing as a GP in north London for 20 years. He showed an early interest in clinical academia, being awarded a Medical Research Council (MRC) epidemiology training fellowship shortly after completing his specialist medical training. He went on to hold posts at the MRC, Imperial and University College London (UCL). He formerly served as National Primary Care Director for the NIHR Clinical Care Research Networks, as well as contributing to various national working groups on alcohol and acting as a senior advisor to charities Alcohol Concern and Drinkaware.

Paul’s varied and significant contributions to clinical practice and academia were recognised by a number of prestigious awards and appointments over the course of his career. He was Emeritus Professor of Primary Health Care at UCL and a Fellow of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), which awarded him its President’s Medal in 2013. Paul was also a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine at the Royal College of Physicians.

In 2012, he co-founded the Foundation for Family Medicine in Palestine. Through the Foundation, Paul has played a major role in developing primary care infrastructure and provision in an area in desperate need.

Paul’s tireless determination to improve the world around him was exemplified by his enthusiasm for work in the final months of his life, helping to shape the latest Evidence Generator Bootcamp alongside playing an integral role in a number of academic projects.

Paul is survived by his wife Sabrina and his children.

“Paul contributed to the HIN over many years, and his passion for evidence generation in innovation was evident through his dedication until the end. He helped design and optimise programmes of support for innovators, and build relationships with partners nationally and internationally that are central to the HIN’s work.”Anna King, Commercial Director, Health Innovation Network South London

Developers of immersive technology for mental health to benefit from £20m investment and Innovator Support Programme

A new supportive ecosystem for UK innovators working on immersive digital mental health therapeutics is being launched.

The UKRI Mindset XR Innovator Support Programme is going to be led by the Health Innovation Network (HIN) South London it was announced today.

The full Mindset extended reality (XR) for digital mental health programme 2022- 2026 is a £20m investment which aims to treat more people with mental health needs by investing in Extended Reality (XR) and other immersive technologies; achieving transformation through the development and scale-up of emerging digital mental health therapies.

Through collaboration with experts across the UK, the HIN will deliver a programme of innovator support including:

  • Creating a networking and information sharing platform for potential collaborators.
  • Providing advice and expert support to existing and future competition applicants.
  • Delivering a programme of outreach and engagement activities to cover the whole of the UK, including the devolved administrations.
  • Facilitating knowledge sharing across a community of practice.
  • Providing tailored support for larger scale industrial research projects and smaller feasibility projects.
  • Delivering a learning package on a range of key topics.
  • Driving the conditions for change through industry-wide and health system-wide roundtables.

The collaboration brings together UK wide reach and a set of complementary skills – service user engagement, clinical research design, regulation and digital therapeutics – critical to address the challenge of bringing immersive tech to our population and staff. As part of the Health Innovation Network, we will collaborate with networks across the country, including Health Innovation North West Coast, Health Innovation South West and Health Innovation North East and North Cumbria. As well as these we will also collaborate with:

  • Hardian Health
  • Hill Dickinson LLP
  • The Health Innovation Research Alliance Northern Ireland (HIRANI)
  • King’s College London
  • MQ Mental Health Research
  • XR Health Alliance

Dr Rishi Das-Gupta, CEO of the HIN said: “Immersive technology has the potential to dramatically improve the treatment of those with mental health conditions, which is an area we know has seen increased demand and widening health inequalities.

“Working with Innovate UK and our collaborators across the UK presents an exciting opportunity to make a wide-scale difference.”

Quotes from Partners’ Spokespeople

    Hardian Health

    “Hardian is excited to be working with innovators at the cutting edge of healthtech to ensure that their novel extended and virtual reality devices are as safe, effective and performant as can be when applied across a range of medical purposes. We look forward to stretching the boundaries of what is possible with the Mindset cohort.”

    Health Innovation North East and North Cumbria

    Dr Nicola Hutchinson, CEO of Health Innovation North East and North Cumbria, commented: “We are delighted to be a partner on this important project, which will help to mobilise groundbreaking immersive innovations to address the mental health challenges facing many people in our communities. Through the Mindset programme, we’re looking forward to working with innovators in the immersive technology space in our region to support the development of solutions that will hopefully result in people with mental health needs being treated more quickly through immersive digital mental health therapies.”

    Health Innovation North West Coast

     Dr Phil Jennings, Chief Executive of Health Innovation North West Coast, said: “We’re really excited to be involved in a project that promises to deliver tangible improvements in patient outcomes.

    “The challenges are as acute in our region as anywhere in the country but there’s also an abundance of talent and creativity we can draw on. The Mindset programme will help us bring that creativity to bear on one of our most enduring challenges.”

    Health Innovation South West

    Jon Siddall, Chief Executive Officer of Health Innovation South West, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to build upon the existing novel technologies developed in, and deployed across, the South West to support those with mental health needs. We are working with our partners in the South West to maximise the impact of research and innovation in mental health care. Mindset’s innovative therapeutics offer promising digital solutions to the mental health challenges experienced by people living within our rural and coastal communities, and will enable us to drive a digitally-enabled health and care sector across our Peninsula.”

    Hill Dickinson

    “The Mindset XR Innovator Support Programme will be a brilliant vehicle for innovators to collaborate and develop new and immersive technologies for adoption into everyday healthcare settings. Extended Reality [XR] and similar technologies have the potential to transform our current approach to treating patients accessing mental health services here in the UK. For us as specialist healthtech lawyers it’s incredibly exciting to be a part of that.”  Jamie Foster, Partner, Hill Dickinson

    Hira-ni

    “In Northern Ireland there is a distinctive mix of capabilities in digital technology and the creative industries, coupled with expertise in mental health research – so we are delighted to partner with Health Innovation Network South London to support the Innovate-UK Mindset XR programme network in this region to support innovators to unleash their potential to forge new collaborations to develop and test XR technology solutions for mental health” Joann Rhodes CEO of HIRANI.

    Innovate UK

    Dr Stella Peace, Executive Director for the Healthy Living and Agriculture Domain at Innovate UK, said: “Fostering collaboration between the immersive technology sector and mental health providers is pivotal to driving innovation to address critical challenges in mental health care. This programme, with its commitment to empowering innovators and providing robust support, will drive business growth by inspiring and unlocking innovations that make life better.”

    King’s College London

    Fiona Gaughran, Professor of Physical Health and Clinical Therapeutics in Psychiatry, King’s College London said: “We are very excited to be part of this innovative collaboration aiming to develop and scale-up new immersive digital mental health technologies. At King’s College London we have a wealth of clinical researchers who bring their patient experience right into the heart of their research to positively impact the lives of people with mental health needs and their families. We are looking forward to sharing our knowledge in this area and providing support and training across the partnership.”

    MQ Mental Health Research

    “MQ is excited to be a capacity development partner, alongside the Health Innovation Network, supporting innovators in the creation of digital therapeutic Extended Reality (XR) solutions in mental health. Specifically, and in line with what MQ stands for and strives to achieve, we look forward to helping these passionate individuals ensure people with lived experience and their needs are at the heart of their innovations and to help them along their pathway to impact.”

    XRHA

    “We desperately need to bring together science, storytelling and innovation to solve some of society’s greatest challenges. The XR Health Alliance are utterly elated be part of the Mindset program, which has the bold goals of doing exactly that. We are particularly excited to be supporting and bringing together a transdisciplinary community of patients, XR creatives, healthcare professionals and researchers to create powerful new solutions for mental health and wellbeing.”

    Notes to Editors

    Hardian health is a clinical digital consultancy helping researchers, industry and investors bring digital solutions to healthcare.

    Health Innovation North East and North Cumbria supports the health and care system to accelerate innovation which improves people’s health and the regional economy.

    It works closely with the NENC ICS and its member organisations, including the NHS Trusts and universities, across the NENC to help them identify, evaluate, adopt and disseminate transformative innovation. It works a lot with industry too, as a source of innovation and also to help industry access the expertise within the NHS that is so crucial to the development, testing and deployment of products and services that are the basis of the UK’s Life Sciences sector.

    Health Innovation North West Coast supports the discovery, development and deployment of innovations and improvements in health and care across Cheshire, Merseyside, Lancashire and South Cumbria.

    The innovations it supports are ideas, services, products and processes which improve health and the quality of care and drive costs down.

    Health Innovation South West is one of 15 Health Innovation Networks set up by NHS England in 2013.

    It exists to help transform the way health and care systems in the South West identify, adopt and spread innovation to transform lives, improve population health, and drive economic growth. Together with its local and national partners it is increasing the impact of research and innovation across the peninsula.

    An international commercial law firm that provides wise counsel and market insight, to not only help deal with the issue at hand, but to help seize opportunities and plan ahead.

    The Health Innovation Research Alliance Northern Ireland (HIRANI) was established to strengthen the Life & Health Sciences ecosystem by maintaining a clear vision and strategic direction, and to act as a single voice for the sector with a focus on promoting Life and Health sciences capabilities in Northern Ireland.

    Innovate UK is creating a better future by inspiring, involving and investing in businesses developing life-changing innovations.

    We provide targeted sectors with expertise, facilities and funding to test, demonstrate and evolve their ideas, driving UK productivity and economic growth. Join our network and communities of innovators to realise the potential of your ideas and accelerate business growth.

    King’s College London is an internationally renowned university delivering exceptional education and world-leading research. It is dedicated to driving positive and sustainable change in society and realising its vision of making the world a better place.

    Its vision is to create a world where mental illness is understood, effectively treated and ultimately prevented. With the help of its supporters and a global network of leading scientists, it is championing and funding research into mental health that will change millions of lives.

    The XR Health Alliance is dedicated to the responsible development, investment and adoption of immersive technologies in healthcare. Bridging the gap between industry, research and healthcare to unlock new cross-sector innovation and collaboration.  XRHA aims to share best practice, support and connect inclusive and diverse communities of patients, creators, researchers and healthcare professionals.

    Mental Health

    Want to find out more about our work on Mindset?

    Get in touch

    Up to 3 out of 4 Londoners now using digital tools to interact with their GP surgery

    Results from a new report from the Health Innovation Network (HIN) South London and NHS England (London) Digital First team indicate that up to three quarters of Londoners have used online consultation forms, the NHS App and GP surgery websites to access primary care services.

    More than 3,000 patients from across London contributed to the report by completing an online survey or participating in focus groups. The report indicated that most people found these digital tools beneficial as they allowed them to complete key tasks related to managing their healthcare more independently.

    Whilst most patients who responded found the three digital tools easy and convenient to use, the report also highlighted variation across London, with some patients reporting challenges with accessibility and availability of certain features. For example, 43% were not able to book a routine GP appointment online and almost a third did not have full access to their medical records via the NHS App.

    The report also highlighted the importance of continuing to tackle the root causes of digital exclusion, acknowledging that some groups underserved by digital technologies may still be underrepresented in this type of research.

    Usage of key digital tools

    The most used digital tool was the NHS App, which had been used by 87% of people who completed the survey. Generally, patients felt the NHS App was a useful source of information and they valued the ability to manage their own health through ordering repeat medication and accessing their health records.

    77% of those surveyed had used online forms to provide information about a health concern or condition to their GP. Patients highlighted that these forms often saved travel and waiting times, although a third of patients found that online forms were not always available for them to use and some reported challenges with lengthy forms to complete.

    76% of patients who contributed to the report had used a GP surgery website in the past. Most people felt that GP websites were useful for signposting to self-care and information on how to access GP services. According to some patients, the quality of GP websites had improved; however difficulties remained for others around navigation, requesting routine appointments, and out-of-date information being displayed on GP websites.

    Recommendations for improvement

    The report also details a number of priority areas for improving the adoption and user experience of digital tools in primary care. It includes suggestions for improvements based on feedback from the patients that completed the survey and attended the focus group discussions, as well as learning and best practice from areas across London.

    The recommendations include improved communication with patients about the digital tools available in primary care, driving higher standards of usability and accessibility across the sector, and taking a user-centred approach to engaging patients in service design and delivery. Based on patient feedback, the report also recommends that GP practices consider increasing the amount of time that online forms are available for patients to complete and that they explore enabling more online appointments for patients to book directly. Other suggestions included building in mechanisms to capture timely feedback from patients and making all repeat medications in the NHS App available to order.

    Additionally, the report covers a number of considerations related to digital exclusion, identifying the need for flexibility within the use of digital tools to allow for compliance with the Accessible Information Standard where patients have different communication needs.

    Discussing the launch of the report, Matt Nye, Director of Digital First Programme, NHS England (London) said:

    “This report has shown us how integral digital tools are for people using primary care services across London.

    We’ve heard that patients find the most common digital tools really helpful for accessing support in ways that suit their needs, and this provides more evidence for continuing to invest in making these channels as good as they can be.

    Optimising digital channels can often provide long-term efficiency savings for practices while improving patient choice. If we can save admin time for busy GP teams through increasing the use of digital tools where appropriate, that in turn frees up time to help people who need to use other routes to access advice or support.”

    Amanda Begley, Director of Digital Transformation at the HIN South London said:

    “It is great to now have such a rich picture about what is and isn’t working for patients when it comes to digital primary care. With the report identifying high usage rates of the NHS App, online consultation forms and GP websites, making some relatively small improvements as identified in the report could have a big benefit for patients and primary care services.

    We also need to make sure digital exclusion remains at the top of the agenda and that primary care teams get the support they need to give patients access to a full range of digital and non-digital options for how they manage their health.”

    Aurora Todisco and Faith Smith, Lived Experience Partners at the HIN South London said:

    “We are proud that we have involved such a diverse group of Londoners in this project to understand the role that digital tools play in managing some key elements of their health.

    Many of the patients we spoke to in our focus groups were really enthusiastic about digital technology, including those from potentially marginalised or digitally excluded groups.

    Continuing to work closely with a true cross-section of society will be key if we want to pave the way for solutions which work for everyone.

    We look forward to seeing the positive impact that this work will have for people and communities across the capital.”

    Find out more

    Please get in touch for more information on our work to understand patient perspectives on digital tools in primary care.

    Get in touch

    Patient Safety Collaboratives continue to support improvement across the healthcare system

    The Health Innovation Network supports the delivery of the National Patient Safety Improvement Programme through its 15 regional Patient Safety Collaboratives (PSCs). The programme supports the NHS England Patient Safety Strategy. During the first quarter of 2023/24 (April to June 2023) significant progress has been made across all five improvement workstreams. See the highlights below or download the report.


    Read more about how patient safety collaboratives are progressing National Patient Safety Improvement Programme work here in the latest activity report.

    We're here to help

    If you have any questions or would like more information about medicines safety in care homes, please contact Alison White, Head of Patient Safety.

    Get in touch

    Regional success sees south London brand go national

    We are thrilled to announce that as part of our new five year licence with NHS England and the Office of Life Sciences, that the AHSN Network has been renamed as the Health Innovation Network.

    Our national partners were so pleased with the level of impact we have delivered in south London and beyond in health and care, that when they were relicensing all 15 AHSNs they asked that our name be used for the national co-ordinating office, previously known as the AHSN Network.

    And it’s not hard to see why – when we asked teams across the health and care sector that we work with for their views on us we received some fantastic feedback, including a net promoter score of 50 (which is considered “Excellent”) and comments such as:

    • “The HIN really helped to accelerate our project becoming nationwide, which was excellent and opened doors we didn't even know were there to knock on.”
    • “The HIN meant we got extra funding, doors to different political spaces, and support to navigate the NHS systems locally not only within the local teams, but also the wider NHS systems those local services sit within. This was invaluable.”

    At a local level we have secured £1m of additional funding for the south London local health and care system so far this year. Across London we completed evaluations on Pan London Remote monitoring and led approaches to London-wide system learning including webinars on Cardiovascular Disease, Autism, Novel therapies, MSK and Anti-racism.

    Nationally our FemTech accelerator is helping 12 early stage entrepreneurs improve conditions which disproportionately impact on women and the FREED programme, which helps young people with eating disorders get early treatment has been shortlisted for a national award. Plus this quarter we have begun working with NHS Fife in Scotland on addiction, and with colleagues in North Ireland to provide leadership support. Internationally we have joined the TeleRehaB project which is looking at how AI and augmented reality can help people with balance problems after strokes.

    Dr Rishi Das-Gupta, Chief Executive of the Health Innovation Network (HIN) South London said: “Our ethos has always been on collaboration with a focus on the spread and adoption of innovation which benefits patients and NHS staff. We’re so committed that we’ve now successfully spread our name to the national team!”

    The other networks have already started changing their names to be known as the health innovation network for their area, e.g. Health Innovation East Midlands and all 15 will continue to work together as part of the national Network.

    Find out more about our work

    We support organisations across the health and care sector with the spread and adoption of innovation. Find out how we can help you.

    Get in touch

    Applications open to pilot of the South East London Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Decathlon

    News

    Post Title

    The Health Innovation Network, in partnership with South East London Integrated Care System and King's Health Partners, are launching the Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Decathlon, a lifestyle intervention pilot for people living with hypertension in South East London.

    Hypertension, alcohol, tobacco, obesity and mental health, also known as the Vital 5, are key drivers for health inequity, alongside wider determinants of health and psycho-social factors. In addition, hypertension is a key risk factor for heart disease, kidney disease and stroke. At present, in south east London (SEL) of those with known blood pressure aged 79 years and under, only 60 per cent have controlled blood pressure.

    Hypertension can be improved with lifestyle change and medication. A small drop in blood pressure can lead to a large reduction in cardiovascular risk. However in SEL, there are no commissioned lifestyle intervention programmes for people living with hypertension.

    To address this health inequity and the gap in hypertension self-management interventions, SEL Integrated Care System (ICS) and King’s Health Partners’ (KHP) have funded a pilot of the Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) Prevention Decathlon Programme. This pilot offers lifestyle intervention for people living with hypertension in SEL.

    The CVD Prevention Decathlon is a 10-week structured education programme. It aims to support people living with hypertension to reduce their risk of CVD by improving blood pressure control and other heart related risk factors. The programme includes holistic wellbeing information as well as physical activity sessions and can be delivered as a face-to-face or virtual offering. Of note, the CVD Prevention Decathlon has been successfully deployed in South West London.

    The Health Innovation Network (HIN), on behalf of SEL ICS, KHP, Clinical Effectiveness South East London and SEL ICS Cardiovascular Group, is seeking expression of interest (EOI) from prospective SEL primary care networks (PCNs) to pilot the CVD Prevention Decathlon programme.


    What does the pilot involve?

    In collaboration with our partners Sweat Coin, Xyla, Citizens UK, the pilot will deliver weekly 2-hour sessions, where patients will participate in teams to discover how to best reduce their risks. The pilot will include a variety of behavioural change techniques, including theory sessions, games, discussions, as well as a 45-minute physical activity session that includes a variety of sports. Patients will also have the chance to win “Sweatcoins” which they can redeem in exchange for prizes. “Sweatcoins” are also ‘earnt’ by watching weekly recap videos and participating in quizzes.

    As part of the pilot, the structured education programme, delivered through partners at Xyla, is designed to help people living with hypertension:

    • Understand what cardiovascular disease is, and the risk factors;
    • Make small changes to improve health outcomes;
    • Make healthier food choices; and
    • Understand how mood can impact health.

    Each week will also include an activity session delivered by a specialist sports facilitator. This will include:

    • The opportunity to become more active through fun and engaging games; and
    • Activity suited to all levels of ability and fitness.

    About the CVD Prevention Decathlon

    The HIN, in collaboration with KHP and SEL ICS are seeking to identify PCNs interested in participating as pilot sites. A total of two PCNs will be recruited to deliver the Pilot for their population with hypertension aged 79 years and under. The pilot has the capacity of 100 spaces per participating PCN.


    How to apply


    • Before expressing interest in the pilot, please read our flyer for more details on the Decathlon.

    • Use the following link to submit your EOI.

    • Expressions of interest must be submitted by close of business on 24 November 2023.

    • Selected PCNs will be notified early December.

    • Advice and support for completing your EOI can be accessed via Claire Torkelson, Project Manager, Health Innovation Network: claire.torkelson@nhs.net.

    Apply now

    Ensuring you've read our flyer, please express your interest to the South East London Cardiovascular Disease Decathlon.

    Submit EOI

    Need help?

    For advice and support when completing your application, please get in touch.

    Contact us

    HIN appoints permanent Director of Digital Transformation

    Following a competitive recruitment process, the Health Innovation Network (HIN) South London has today (1 November 2023) announced the appointment of Amanda Begley as permanent Director of Digital Transformation.

    Amanda originally joined the HIN South London in June 2022 on secondment from Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust (GSTT), where she was Director of the Centre for Innovation, Transformation and Improvement (CITI).

    During her time as interim Director of Digital Transformation at the HIN, she has been instrumental in work to support the implementation of virtual wards across the capital, and through supporting NHS England’s London region to understand the patient experience of digital transformation by surveying over 2,000 people.

    Previously, Amanda co-founded the award winning NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA), and helped to establish the Health Data Research UK Hub for Cancer (DATA-CAN), where she worked as Director of Strategy and Partnerships.

    Following her PhD in psychology, Amanda joined the NHS as an Assistant and Trainee Clinical Psychologist. She has also worked as a commissioner and senior manager across primary, community and secondary care in south west London, as Head of Innovation at London’s Strategic Health Authority and Director of Innovation and Implementation at UCLPartners.

    Reacting to the appointment, Amanda said: “I’m passionate about how digital can enable the transformation of health and care in a way that is inclusive, improves patients’ lives and takes pressure off stretched staff. To be able to continue to do this at the HIN is fantastic.”

    Dr Rishi Das-Gupta, CEO of the HIN said: “Implementing digital transformation and demonstrating its impact can feel daunting, particularly for stretched and stressed health and care staff. Having a permanent Director for Digital Transformation means we are committed to supporting our partners in south London and beyond with this and I am thrilled that Amanda will be in this role for us.”

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    The Health Innovation Network South London has deep expertise planning and delivering a wide range of digital transformation programmes and projects. Get in touch to find out how we can help you.

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    Health economist welcomed to Health Innovation Network

    A passionate health economist with over 10 years’ experience is joining the Health Innovation Network for south London.

    Dr Anna Buylova will start in her new role at the HIN in December, moving from the Health Economics Unit. Her experience includes decision modelling, methodologies of study design and conducting health economic evaluations across a range of diseases, settings and population groups, including measuring determinants of socio-economic inequality in access to healthcare services. She is particularly interested in emerging trends in statistical methodology and in making the most of NHS data to improve care for patients.

    Before joining the Health Economics Unit, Anna worked on the evaluation of innovative medical technologies (including digital health and artificial intelligence technologies) helping the NHS adopt efficient and cost-effective medical devices and diagnostics more rapidly and consistently. This included cost utility, cost consequence, cost-effectiveness (including building de novo Markov models) and budget impact models; as well as delivery of projects funded through NHS AI Lab and Healthcare awards.

    She will be part of the HIN’s successful Insights team offering supporting on evaluation and data analytics. Currently, the team is working on health and care projects including an evaluation of virtual wards in South West London and a national pilot on hearing checks in residential schools for children with additional needs.

    Dr Andrew Walker, Head of Insights at the HIN said: “Being able to demonstrate the financial impacts of innovations and new models of care is a crucial part of evaluating public sector programmes so it’s exciting that Anna will be joining our team.”

    Dr Buylova said: “I’m looking forward to using my skills to highlight what models of care provide best value for money in the NHS so we can promote the spread and adoption of innovation quickly.”

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    Supporting webinar to raise awareness about the use of Urgent Community Response services in south east London

    Our Community and Care Home Programmes Team has been supporting South East London Integrated Care System (ICS) to increase awareness of Urgent Community Response services amongst care homes and telehealth (pendant alarm) services.

    On 10 August 2023, Health Innovation Network supported South East London integrated care system colleagues to bring together over 60 staff drawn from care homes, telehealth services and London Ambulance Service at a webinar chaired by Helen Smith from south east London’s Community Provider Network.

    The webinar featured presentations from each of the Urgent Community Response providers in south east London, namely Bromley Healthcare, Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust, Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust and Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.

    Clinical case studies were used to demonstrate the wide range of conditions that the services can support.

    A recording of the webinar and the presentations are available. Another webinar is planned to take place in November 2023.

    Please also see here for South East London’s Urgent Community Response services booklet which gives contact details and further service information.

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    Health Innovation Network Publishes Anti-Racism Evaluation

    In 2020, in response to the murder of George Floyd and the stark health disparities highlighted by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Health Innovation Network embarked on a programme of organisational change to become an actively anti-racist organisation.

    This aimed to create a psychologically safe environment that increases staff confidence in having conversations about race and racial inequality, and in knowing how to speak up and address concerns of racial inequality and discrimination.

    To evaluate the success of this activity an independent evaluation was commissioned. The evaluation aimed to establish the overall impact of the project, identify where it saw the most impact, judge the extent to which HIN staff members feel confident in talking about race and racism, and understand whether the organisation is positively impacting on the experience of staff within the organisation and race-related health inequalities.

    The evaluation used a qualitative approach of semi-structured interviews. The feedback received suggested a positive response to the anti-racism programme, agreement that it had created open spaces for dialogue and a strong desire to continue the work in future.

    However, continued challenges were identified. This included discomfort and emotional exhaustion caused by some of the discussions, concerns that the leadership team is still predominantly white and continued experience of microaggressions within the organisation.

    In total, 21 interviews with 18 members of HIN staff were conducted between March and May 2023. Ten of the interviewees were white and eight were members of the global majority, and they reflected all hierarchical levels of the HIN, male and female staff and a variety of age groups, years of service at the HIN, teams and roles.

    Read the full evaluation report

    Early Intervention Eating Disorders (FREED) National Spread Programme has been shortlisted for an HSJ Award 2023

    A mental health programme which has benefitted 1000s of young people with eating disorders has been shortlisted for a prestigious national HSJ Award.

    An early intervention eating disorder model which originated in south London has helped over 2,000 young people has received national recognition today (Monday, August 14).

    It has been announced that the First episode Rapid Early intervention for Eating Disorders (FREED) model aimed at 16 to 25-year-olds developed by South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) and King’s College London (KCL) has been shortlisted for a 2023 HSJ Award.

    The model provides swift access to specialised, evidence-based treatments tailored to youth, incorporating developmental considerations with a focus on early intervention. In 2020, it was selected by the Academic Health Science Network as a national programme, with the Health Innovation Network, the AHSN for south London, managing the rollout. To date, the programme has benefited 2,722 young people, leading to full early recovery in approximately 65% and halving the need for costly and disruptive in-patient treatment. The model has now been implemented in over 50 eligible mental health trusts in England, leading to estimated NHS savings of £12.1 million.

    Dr Rishi Das-Gupta, the Chief Executive of the Health Innovation Network (HIN) said: "I’m pleased that the HIN has been able to support the spread of FREED. We know that eating disorders impact the lives of many young people and that intervening early is extremely helpful. This programme exemplifies how we can innovate in care delivery to reduce health inequalities and enhance access to services for our local communities - and reaching over 2,000 patients since the start of the programme is a mark of the impact of the teams delivering the service."

    Ulrike Schmidt, Professor of Eating Disorders at KCL and Consultant Psychiatrist at SLaM who has led development and evaluation of FREED said: “Adoption of our programme by the AHSN/HIN has turbo-charged our ability to make FREED available to young people in all parts of England. We are now working to spread and improve the evidence-base for FREED further, both nationally and internationally.”

    Danielle Glennon, Head of FREED and Head of Psychology & Psychotherapy at SLaM who alongside Professor Schmidt has been part of FREED’s story since the beginning, said: “The AHSN/HIN programme meant that despite the unrivalled challenges clinicians faced through COVID, we could continue to support teams in making FREED a reality for young people in their area. The commitment, creativity, and willingness to share, as the FREED network grew, is inspirational.”

    Laura Semple the Director for National Programmes at the AHSN Network said: “Over the last three years, it has been an honour to collaborate with the 15 AHSNs on the FREED Programme. Clinical colleagues have worked diligently with their AHSN partners on the ground to get new FREED services up and running across England and it is excellent to see this achievement recognised. While we know there is much more to do to improve care for young people, the national availability of FREED is vitally important progress and we look forward to seeing the FREED network continue to thrive in the future.”

    More than 1,400 entries were received for this year’s HSJ Awards, with 223 projects and individuals reaching the final shortlist, making it the biggest awards programme in the award’s 43-year history. The high volume - and exceptional quality – of applications once again mirrors the impressive levels of innovation and care continually being developed within the UK’s healthcare networks.

    The winners will be announced during the awards ceremony at Evolution London on November 16, 2023.

    HIN Publishes Anti-Racism Toolkit

    In 2020, the HIN embarked on a journey to becoming an actively anti-racist organisation. This was sparked by the racist murder of George Floyd, which led to global outrage, and was exacerbated by the stark race and health disparities highlighted through the Covid-19 pandemic.

    The topic of racism alone is sensitive, interpersonal, and can challenge our traditional ways of thinking. As such, many people find conversations around racism uncomfortable, and it can be difficult to know where to begin.

    That is why, following three years of listening and learning, we have published our anti-racism toolkit. The toolkit is aimed at people looking to make changes within their organisation or workplace, and individuals looking to improve their own understanding of racism and take steps to become anti-racist.

    It provides practical guidance and support for individuals, organisations and communities who are tackling racism in all its forms. It includes a brief history of racism in the UK, guidance on how to have open and honest conversations about race, what sustainable steps can be taken to tackle racism in your community or workplace and a glossary of key terms.

    It follows our organisation-wide anti-racism project which aimed to shift the culture in our work individually, within our teams and ultimately within the communities we serve. You can find out more about our anti-racism project and its outcomes, and access more resources on our anti-racism webpage.

    HIN CEO Rishi Das-Gupta said: "We are delighted to publish this toolkit which, builds off our own internal anti-racism program, to help promote anti-racist ways of working in the south London health and care landscape and beyond. I would encourage you to take a look, share with your networks and organisations, and consider what steps you can take to combat racism in your area of work."

    Health Innovation Network joins international consortium harnessing AI and augmented reality for clinical rehabilitation

    The Health Innovation Network (HIN) has today (July 26 2023) announced it will join the international TeleRehaB Decision Support System (DSS) project.

    TeleRehaB DSS is a partnership developing AI-based telerehabilitation solutions for people experiencing balance problems after a stroke, delivered via augmented reality (AR). The technology can also be used with people experiencing Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) or long Covid-19.

    Balance problems causing falls are one of the most common complications after strokes, with up to 73% of people who have had a stroke experiencing a significant fall within one year. Falls related to balance issues are often also associated with other conditions causing changes in cognitive ability such as MCI. These falls can cause physical injury (especially in older people) and may lead to the loss of self-confidence and depression.

    Balance physiotherapy is a key intervention for falls prevention, but access to specialist falls prevention services is limited in many countries due to lack of appropriately trained clinicians and the complexity of effectively diagnosing and treating the underlying causes of the condition.

    The TeleRehaB DSS project uses AI technology to make balance physiotherapy more available to non-specialist practitioners, through the introduction of guided diagnostic tools and personalised intervention-selection aids. These interventions are then delivered in the patient’s own home, with an AR “physiotherapist” guiding the patient through a tailored rehabilitation programme.

    Supported by Innovate UK funding, the HIN’s primary role will be to provide expert guidance on facilitating the spread and adoption of new technologies and ways of working associated with the project. The HIN will also help TeleRehaB DSS engage with healthcare professionals and patients across the UK and further afield to localise its work.

    The HIN joins a prestigious group of academic institutions, NGOs and research and development centres working on the project, with representation spanning Europe and Asia. Current members include:

    • University College London
    • Chulalongkorn University (Thailand)
    • National University of Athens (Greece)
    • Universitae Klinikum Freiburg (Germany)

    Anna King, Commercial Director at the HIN said: “We are delighted to be joining the TeleRehaB DSS consortium and working on such an exciting use of a virtual reality solution in rehabilitation, to target a major health challenge where technology has a significant potential to improve care.

    “I look forward to bringing our deep expertise in the spread and adoption of innovations in healthcare to bear on this international project; together we have a chance to explore how this emerging area of technology can best meet the needs of patients and clinicians.”

    UK participants in Horizon Europe Project TeleRehabilitation of Balance clinical and economic Decision Support System are supported by UKRI grant number 10070260.

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    Health Innovation Funding Opportunities

    Health Innovation Network funding opportunities

    The latest funding opportunities and grants for innovation in healthcare.

    We update this page monthly so check back for the latest opportunities or subscribe to our newsletter for updates.

    Featured Funding Opportunities

    Diet and health innovation: Early stage feasibility projects Deadline: 8th May 2024
    UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £2.5 million for early stage feasibility projects working with one or more of the Diet and Health Open Innovation Research Club (OIRC) hubs. This funding is from BBSRC and Innovate UK.

    SBRI Healthcare: NHS Cancer Programme – Innovation Open Call 3 Deadline: 29th May 2024. 
    The competition aims to fast-track high quality, proven, late-stage innovations into front-line settings, as well as address implementation evidence gaps. The competition is open to all types of innovation, including but not limited to, medical devices, in vitro diagnostics, digital health solutions, behavioural interventions, software, artificial intelligence, and new models of care.



    General health innovation funding opportunities:

    INNOVATE UK:
    Innovate UK is part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government. 

    Innovate UK Smart Grants: January 2024 Deadline: 24 April 2024
    UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £25 million for game-changing and commercially viable R&D innovations that can significantly impact the UK economy. This funding is from Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation.

    UK-Switzerland CR&D Round 2 Deadline: 1 May 2024
    UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £4 million for innovative projects in all technologies. You must collaborate with at least one Swiss implementation partner applying under the equivalent Swiss Innosuisse programme.


    BIOTECHNOLOGICAL AND BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES RESEARCH COUNCIL:
    Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, part of UK Research and Innovation, is a non-departmental public body, and is the largest UK public funder of non-medical bioscience. It predominantly funds scientific research institutes and university research departments in the UK


    NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH AND CARE RESEARCH:
    The National Institute for Health and Care Research is the British government’s major funder of clinical, public health, social care and translational research. Its mission is to “improve the health and wealth of the nation through research”. For information on future NIHR i4i Connect Call 8 click here.

    DEFENCE AND SECURITY ACCELERATOR (DASA) Deadline: Open call
    DASA aims to find and fund exploitable innovation to support UK defence and security quickly and effectively, and support UK prosperity. 
    Open Competition 
    The Open Call is one of the funding competition mechanisms DASA uses to find proposals that address challenges faced by government stakeholders. It gives bidders the opportunity to present their ideas to defence and security stakeholders at any time, without waiting for a relevant Themed Competition.


    MEDICAL RESEARCH COUNCIL (MRC)
    The Medical Research Council (MRC) improves the health of people in the UK – and around the world – by supporting excellent science, and training the very best scientists. 


    ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL RESEARCH COUNCIL (ESRC) Deadline: Open call
    ESRC Research Grant 
    If you have an excellent idea for a research project, the ESRC have their Research Grants open call. Awards ranging from £350,000 to £1 million (100 per cent full Economic Cost (fEC)) can be made to eligible institutions to enable individuals or research teams to undertake anything from a standard research project through to a large-scale survey and other infrastructure or methodological development.


    NC3RS:
    The NC3RS is a UK-based scientific organisation dedicated to helping the research community worldwide to replace, reduce and refine the use of animals for medical testing.

    CRACK IT challenges 
    Funding of £4M is available through the 2023 CRACK IT Challenges competition* to solve four Challenges, providing academics and SMEs based in the UK and Europe** with the opportunity to deliver scientific and 3Rs benefits through the development and commercialisation of 3Rs products and services that are tailored to end-user needs.



    Trusts and Charities

    The Health Foundation (HF)
    HF’s aim is a healthier population, supported by high quality health care that can be equitably accessed. HF learns what works to make people’s lives healthier and improve the health care system. From giving grants to those working at the front line to carrying out research and policy analysis, they shine a light on how to make successful change happen.

    The British Heart Foundation (BHF)
    BHF provide personal support for clinical and non-clinical cardiovascular researchers at all stages of their career. They also provide grants for short and long term research projects, essential infrastructure and strategic initiatives.

    Association of Medical Research Charities
    Over 30 years ago a small, diverse group of medical research charities form the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) to unite the sector and provide it with a leading voice. Since then their membership has grown to over 140 charities. In 2018, these charities invested £1.3 billion in medical research.


    Other UK Government, Seed Funds & Loans

    The British Business Bank (BBB) Applications: Open

    BBB are a government-owned business development bank dedicated to making finance markets work better for smaller businesses. Whether you’re looking for finance to start a business, grow to the next level, or stay ahead of the competition, they say that they can deliver greater volume and choice of finance.

    UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund Deadline: Open

    The UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund (formerly known as The Rainbow Seed Fund) is a £27.1m early-stage venture capital fund building and growing technology companies stemming from the UK’s research base.

    Creative England Investments Deadline: Open

    Creative England is supporting SMEs by providing competitive loans to digital businesses in order to make their growth plans a reality. The investments on offer are intended to fuel this fast-growing sector by financing business expansion and new products, leading to the creation of new high-quality jobs and Intellectual Property (IP). Loans from £50,000 – £250,000 are available with repayment terms ranging from 3-36 months. Interest rates range from 5% – 10%, depending on the risk profile of the applicant. This includes companies from within the digital healthcare sector.


    International Grants

    Global Innovation Fund Applications: Open
    GIF focuses on solutions that have the potential to address an important development problem more effectively than existing approaches, can come from anyone, anywhere.
    They seek out innovations they believe have the greatest potential to improve the lives of millions of people living in poverty.

    The EIC Accelerator: Open Competition (Grants only)
    The EIC Accelerator supports individual Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), in particular Startups and spinout companies to develop and scale up game-changing innovations.


    Other international funds of interest:

    The Global Challenges Research Fund
    The Newton Fund

    Applications Open for Second Cohort of the HIN’s Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Fellowship

    Doctor checking patient with stethoscope

    Applications for the 2023 cohort have now closed. For more information contact hin.cvd@nhs.net.

    We are launching the second cohort of our Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) Prevention Fellowship Programme to develop clinical skills and knowledge to help improve outcomes for patients across south London who are at risk of CVD.

    With six million people living with CVD in England with a combined cost of £16 billion every year improving outcomes for at risk patients is an NHS priority. This programme will help to speed up the adoption of innovative initiatives to help prevent CVD across south London.

    This free programme builds on the first cohort which took place in 2022. It is aimed at nurses, GPs, clinical pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals working in primary care in south London who are keen to develop their skills and knowledge, and champion CVD prevention in their practice or wider Primary Care Network. The Fellowship aligns to local priorities, and supports practices and PCNs in meeting contract requirements (eg Quality Outcomes Framework).

    Find out more about last year’s fellowship or watch the video below.

    The programme content was very beneficial and helped to focus on the improvements that are required and how I am able to assist in making these improvements. I was able to develop some of my project managing skills.2022 Fellow

    What does the fellowship involve?

    The fellowship is Continuing Professional Development (CPD) accredited and provides free expert clinical advice and quality improvement support to help fellows become CVD Prevention Champions. It will also help fellows to deliver a quality improvement project focused on CVD in their practice or primary care network (PCN). See examples of 2022 projects here.

    Running from July 2023 to February 2024, the fellowship will consist of:

    • A series of lunchtime webinars led by experts in a range of areas including lipid management, hypertension, atrial fibrillation, chronic kidney disease and obesity;
    • An in-person day to help develop your CVD Improvement project on 8 September;
    • Ongoing peer and expert sessions to support you in delivering your project, which will run September to December 2023;
    • A final in-person event in to celebrate the work of the Fellowship on 9 February 2024.

    How to apply

    The fellowship is free. Please ensure you are able to attend all events.

    Before applying please read our flyer for more details including requirements of the Fellowship and dates.

    To apply please complete this form.

    Applications close at 5pm on Monday 3 July 2023. Please note that places are limited and applications may close early if all spaces are filled so do not delay in applying.

    Apply Now

    The quality improvement training and part of the HIN staff time to support the Fellows in the delivery of an improvement project are funded via a Daiichi-Sankyo grant. The HIN is also applying for further grants/non-promotional funding from other companies to support the final event of the Fellowship programme. 

    Accelerating FemTech: Women’s pain and pelvic health tech

    The first webinar in the Accelerating FemTech: Inspire series was hosted by South West Academic Health Science Network (SWAHSN) and was on the topic of women’s pain and pelvic health tech.

    The webinar was led by Dr Kelly Pickard-Smith who delivers the South West AHSN Programme for Femtech, research and evaluation. Kelly introduced the webinar and passed on to Natasha Curran, Medical Director at the Health Innovation Network and co-lead of the Implementation and Involvement team of the Applied Research Collaboration South London.

    Natasha spoke about the Accelerating FemTech initiative before speaking from her experience as a Consultant in Pain Medicine at University College London Hospitals and an Expert Adviser to NICE and journals such as BMJ Open. Natasha shared that 40 per cent of women in the UK experience pain and up to 25 per cent of female population have pelvic pain.

    Dr Amy Bonsall is a Gender Fellow at Royal Holloway University and joined the webinar panel to talk about her experience of living with endometriosis. Amy shared her experience of living with pain throughout her young-adult life and her difficulties in accessing care, with many healthcare professionals dismissing her symptoms. She also discussed the challenges that FemTech innovators faces and the importance of using technology to give power back to women.

    Dr Naomi Tyrell and Isabelle Fielding spoke about evaluation, impact and real-world validation in developing FemTech.

    Naomi is the Founder and Managing Director of Research Your Way and Isabelle is an accredited coach, trainer, psychologist and business owner. They gave an overview of the questions FemTech innovators should ask when evaluating impact, the theory of change process and systematic data analysis.

    Isabelle described how they used these methods in evaluating the Balance App – a perimenopause and menopause tracking and information app. This evaluation looked at introducing the app into clinical care pathways, exploring feasibility and practicalities of using the balance app in real-world settings and understanding the wider context of potential app users and the challenges they face in managing their symptoms and accessing good quality care.

    If you found these clips interesting, be sure to sign up to attend upcoming Accelerating FemTech webinar on how FemTech can help reduce inequalities in maternity care. You can also express an interested in attending our in-person Accelerating FemTech events happening in Manchester, London and East Midlands.

    Applications are also open to Accelerating FemTech: Accelerate, a 10-week support programme is for small / medium-sized companies (SMEs) from across the UK, that have early-stage innovations addressing current challenges in women’s health.

    Find out more

    Find out more about Accelerating FemTech

    Visit the Accelerating FemTech Webpage

    Accelerating FemTech: Health equity by design

    The second webinar in the Accelerating FemTech: Inspire series was hosted by Kent Surrey Sussex Academic Health Science Network (KSS AHSN) and was on the topic of using a gender equity lens to innovate in women’s mental health and menopause.

    Following an introduction to the Accelerating FemTech programme, Dr Maryann Ferreux, Medical Director for KSS AHSN and host of the webinar, began by introducing the KSS strategy for women’s health and their vision to reduce health inequalities for women, by ensuring all women have access to the best quality health and care.

    Maryann then introduced Dr Sam Fraser, Implementation Lead for Primary and Community Care for the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) for Kent, Surrey and Sussex. Sam introduced the biopsychosocial model of causality for mental illness and how this relates to the five stages of womanhood. She highlighted the importance of mental health interventions for every life stage and how co-design with diverse groups is vital.

    Sylvia Stevenson the spoke about menopause and inspiring innovations to think about new products through diversity of thought. Sylvia is Head of DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) Development at IC24. Sylvia set the scene by sharing several menopause statistics including:

    • There are 13 million peri or post menopausal in the UK
    • There are more than 30 recognised symptoms of menopause
    • Symptoms can last on average 4-8 years
    • 44% of women experienced 3 or more severe symptoms

    She also highlighted the importance of looking at innovation in menopause with an intersectional lens, taking into account the current lack of representation and potential for algorithmic bias in AI solutions. She finished by highlighting the five menopause-related issues she thinks developers should consider and a call to action for innovators to focus on solutions in this space.

    If you found these clips interesting, be sure to sign up to attend upcoming Accelerating FemTech webinar on how FemTech can help reduce inequalities in maternity care. You can also express an interested in attending our in-person Accelerating FemTech events happening in Manchester, London and East Midlands.

    Applications are also open to Accelerating FemTech: Accelerate, a 10-week support programme is for small / medium-sized companies (SMEs) from across the UK, that have early-stage innovations addressing current challenges in women’s health.

    Find out more

    Find out more about Accelerating FemTech

    Visit the Accelerating FemTech Webpage

    Relicensing of AHSNs confirmed

    Today the Government has confirmed that that Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) are being relicensed for a further five year period as part of a broader commitment to science, research and innovation.

    Set up in 2013 by NHS England to act as innovation arms of the NHS, AHSNs work locally and nationally to support the spread of all types of innovation within the NHS, from new technologies to ways of working and service improvements. Under the Department of Health and Social Care and the Department of Science, Innovation and Technologies’ joint commission - the Office for Life Sciences (OLS) - AHSNs also provide bespoke support to innovators to accelerate promising innovations from development to adoption, and boost economic growth.

    The Health Innovation Network (HIN) is the AHSN for south London. In the last year we have supported over 70,000 patients to benefit from new treatment and diagnostics in south London. In addition, we have supported national programmes such as FREED which had resulted in all 54 mental health Trusts adopting this innovative programme, developed in south London, to support people with eating disorders.

    Dr Rishi Das-Gupta, HIN Chief Executive and Hitesh Thakrar, HIN Chair said: “Today’s announcement is very welcome and re-iterates the importance of AHSNs as part of the research, innovation and health and care infrastructure.

    “It also builds on statements by NHSE over the last year and the Hewitt Review last month which highlighted AHSNs as an essential function. It provides a renewed mandate to continue our AHSN work across south London, which forms a core part of the support we provide to the local health system as part of our work to support the spread and adoption of innovation across London and nationally and to innovators locally, nationally and internationally.”

    Professor Gary Ford, Chair of the AHSN Network said: “It is a testament to the collective impact of the AHSNs over the past 10 years that our commissioners have issued a further licence. We welcome the opportunity and challenge this provides for our teams to identify, develop and spread innovations that meet the priorities of the NHS over the next five years.

    “The challenges facing the NHS will only be met by widespread adoption of innovation in digital and diagnostic technology and in data to transform clinical pathways and empower patients.”

    The new license will come into effect from 1 October 2023 with the option of a review after two years.  As part of the new licence, AHSNs will be renamed health innovation networks. Each organisation will continue to support local innovation and transformation, working with their local integrated care boards (ICBs) while continuing to come together as a national network to spread promising solutions at scale.

    Health Innovation Network receives Innovate UK grant to run “Accelerating FemTech”

    The Health Innovation Network is happy to announce “Accelerating FemTech”, a new initiative which will support innovators to boost the development of technology solutions to address current challenges in women’s health. Accelerating FemTech has been made possible through Innovate UK funding as part of the Biomedical Catalyst.

    Accelerating FemTech is looking to inspire, by engaging innovators (clinicians, companies and academics) around the challenges in women’s health, and to accelerate, by delivering a targeted 10-week accelerator programme for small / medium-sized companies from across the UK.

    The programme is being delivered by the Health Innovation Network and partners, including: DigitalHealth.London, CW Innovation, the Academic Health Science Network for North East and North Cumbria, Kent Surrey Sussex AHSN, South West AHSN, West of England AHSN, Mills & Reeve, East Midlands AHSN, Yorkshire and Humber AHSN, Health Innovation Manchester, and others.

    Anna King, Commercial Director for the Health Innovation Network, said: “There are enormous opportunities to bring new innovation to women’s health – from female-specific areas such as maternal health, fertility, gynecological cancers and menopause, to conditions that affect women disproportionally or differently, including osteoporosis or cardiovascular disease. Accelerating FemTech aims to inspire innovators to tackle the challenges in these areas and equip companies working in women’s health to develop their product offering. I look forward to working with healthcare leaders from across the UK to advance innovation in this important space and am very grateful to Innovate UK for funding this vital work.”

    Dr Samana Brannigan, Head of Health Technologies at Innovate UK, commented: “Our vision is to inspire early-stage businesses to develop cutting edge healthcare solutions to transform healthcare and drive business growth. In collaboration with the Medical Research Council we have developed a pilot accelerator programme to maximise impact of our excellent research base and transform innovative research into commercially viable businesses. We are delighted to be working with Health Innovation Network and their partners to deliver this programme and their support will undoubtedly improve the success of the early-stage innovators in addressing real-world challenges.”

    INSPIRE includes specialist webinars, from a range of subject matter experts and innovators, to motivate and celebrate innovative solutions, and invite-only face-to-face events, to encourage and connect innovators to solve to women’s health challenges. These events are targeted at clinicians, academic and innovators interested in tackling women’s health challenges. Details of all of the events can be found here.

    ACCELERATE is a 10-week support programme is for small / medium-sized companies (SMEs) from across the UK, that have early-stage innovations addressing current challenges in women’s health. Building on the Health Innovation Network’s experience of running the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator, the programme will provide companies developing products to solve women’s health challenges with bespoke support through expert-led workshops and mentoring. It will support them to develop their product offering, understand the challenges in the women’s health space, grow entrepreneurship skills and engage with key stakeholders across the NHS and academic landscape. The programme will be delivered in a hybrid format, with two days of face-to-face workshops in London in September and Leeds in October, and a showcase in London in November, supplemented by online support, workshops and coaching. The programme will also support the companies to apply to the Innovate UK Biomedical Catalyst call in November 2023, to demonstrate their commercial and technical feasibility. Innovators interested in the programme can find out more and register their interest here.

    ENDS

    Notes to editors

    • Interviews and further information

    For more information, including interviews, statements and images, please contact Megan Truman, Communications Manager for the Health Innovation Network on megan.truman@nhs.net.

    • Accelerating FemTech

    Accelerating FemTech is a new initiative which will support innovators to boost the development of technology solutions to address current challenges in women’s health. Accelerating FemTech has been made possible through Innovate UK funding as part of the Biomedical Catalyst. The programme is being delivered by the Health Innovation Network and partners, including: Academic Health Science Networks, CW+, Mills & Reeves and others. It builds upon the experience of running the award-winning DigitalHealth.London, Propel, and other innovator support programmes from the AHSNs.

    • Health Innovation Network

    Health Innovation Network is the Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) for south London, one of 15 AHSNs across England. As the only bodies that connect NHS and academic organisations, local authorities, the third sector and industry, we are uniquely placed to increase the spread and adoption of innovation across large populations, at pace and scale. The DigitalHealth.London Accelerator is part of our enhanced offer to support economic growth as funded by the Office of Life Sciences. For more information, please visit healthinnovationnetwork.com.

    • The Academic Health Science Networks (AHSN)

    The AHSN Network, comprising the 15 academic health science networks (AHSNs) across England, exists to transform the way the NHS identifies, adopts, and spreads innovation. Our regional AHSNs work closely with businesses and individual innovators to help realise the potential of their ideas. The unique role of the AHSNs means we bridge the gap between the NHS and industry, bringing the very best innovative solutions to the NHS and helping to create economic growth by harnessing the NHS investment. Our commission from the Government’s Office for Life Sciences (OLS) enables us to do this in a structured and methodical way, answering the needs of the health and care system and of innovators with ideas that match system challenges. Programmes like the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator form part of the distinctive offer of the Health Innovation Network. For more information, please see ahsnnetwork.com.

    • Innovate UK

    Innovate UK is creating a better future by inspiring, involving and investing in businesses developing life-changing innovations.

    We provide targeted sectors with expertise, facilities and funding to test, demonstrate and evolve their ideas, driving UK productivity and economic growth. Join our network and communities of innovators to realise the potential of your ideas and accelerate business growth. For more information, please see: https://www.ukri.org/councils/innovate-uk/

    • London

    Since 2016, DigitalHealth.London has been focusing on accelerating the adoption of digital innovation by linking health and care organisations with digital health innovators for the benefit of patients and populations. It accelerates the adoption of digital innovations across health and care to improve patient and population outcomes and experience and supports a sustainable future NHS. DigitalHealth.London is delivered by Health Innovation Network with the support of partners globally.

    In addition, CW+, the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital charity, is a partner in the delivery of DigitalHealth.London Accelerator, Launchpad and Evidence Generation Bootcamp programmes. For more information, please see digitalhealth.london

    • CW Innovation

    CW Innovation is the flagship innovation programme run jointly by CW+ and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. CW+ is the official charity of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. Supporters and partners enable the charity to: invest in the CW Innovation programme to identify and implement high-impact innovation initiatives and new digital solutions that address some of the real-time challenges that healthcare organisations face today; build and enhance clinical facilities to create an outstanding healing environment for patients and staff; and deliver a unique art and design programme to transform the experience and wellbeing of our patients. For more information, please visit cwplus.org.uk.

    • Mills & Reeve

    Mills & Reeve is centred on achieving more for clients, their businesses and the wider communities we serve.

    Our clients and their industries benefit from our knowledge and learning – on everything from wellbeing, diversity and inclusion to global trends. The wider community benefits from a focus on sustainability in client and business decisions.

    Clients get a consistent experience with no surprises – we tell them what they need to know, when they need to know it. Our sector and market expertise (including health and care, technology and life sciences) helps us understand clients’ issues. And our technology and innovations help them achieve more with less effort.

    We build personal relationships, with advice individually tailored to individual need. And if clients need things we don’t offer, we draw on our network to give recommendations.

    Our 1,000 plus people and over 500 lawyers share one vision – achieving more for clients

    For further information please visit the website at www.mills-reeve.com

     

    • The Academic Health Science Network for North East and North Cumbria

    The Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria supports the health and care system to accelerate innovation which improves people’s health and the regional economy.

    We work closely with the NENC ICS and our Member Organisations, including the NHS Trusts and Universities, across the NENC to help them identify, evaluate, adopt and disseminate transformative innovation. We work a lot with industry too, as a source of innovation and also to help industry access the expertise within the NHS that is so crucial to the development, testing and deployment of products and services that are the basis of the UK’s Life Sciences sector.

    • Kent Surry Sussex (KSS) AHSN

    Kent Surrey Sussex (KSS) Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) is one of the 15 AHSNs across England, established by NHS England in 2013 to improve health and generate economic growth by spreading innovation at pace and scale.

    We connect citizens, NHS and academic organisations, local authorities, the third sector and industry to facilitate change across whole health and social care economies, with a clear focus on improving outcomes for patients. We are uniquely placed to identify and spread health innovation at pace and scale; driving the adoption and spread of innovative ideas and technologies across large populations. Visit www.kssahsn.net or follow us on Twitter @KSSAHSN.

    • Yorkshire and Humber Academic Health Science Network (Yorkshire & Humber AHSN)

    Yorkshire & Humber AHSN is one of 15 AHSNs set up by NHS England to operate as the innovation arm of the NHS.

    Across the country AHSNs act as a bridge between health care providers, commissioners, academia and industry. By connecting these sectors, we help to build a pipeline of solutions for the NHS from research and product development through to implementation and commercialisation.

    Locally we work in partnership with our regional health and care community and develop projects, programmes and initiatives that reflect the diversity and meet the needs of our local populations’ health care challenges.

    Web: www.yhahsn.org.uk

    Twitter: @YHAHSN

    LinkedIn: yorkshire-and-humber-academic-health-science-network

    • Propel@YH

    Propel@YH is Yorkshire & Humber AHSN’s digital health accelerator programme. Now with a four-year track record behind it, Propel@YH helps organisations from across the UK and around the world to bring their innovative digital health solutions to the region's patients and the wider health economy. 

    Recognising that the sales cycle within healthcare can be challenging and often lengthy, Propel@YH provides a structured programme of support and advice that enables HealthTech innovators to accelerate their growth and market presence. The accelerator provides a unique and tailored set of masterclasses, guidance and support services in conjunction with its partners at Barclays Eagle Labs, Nexus, Hill Dickinson, Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership.

    In 2022 Propel@YH ran its first ‘Boot Camp’ for US innovator companies. This week-long crash course was designed to help them understand the NHS marketplace and provide them with the contacts and conditions they needed to establish their UK headquarters in the region. Three of the five companies have subsequently done just that and in 2023 further Boot Camps with Nordic, Canadian and Indian innovators are being organised. 

    Web: www.propel-yh.com

    Twitter: @PropelYH

    LinkedIn: propel-yh 

    • West of England AHSN

    The West of England Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) brings all the key players innovating in health and care in our region together, in order to support healthcare innovation. We exist to improve the health of the local population in the West of England and increase the wealth within our regional economy.

    We work closely with our three Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) – Healthier Together Partnership (Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire), BSW Together (Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire) and One Gloucestershire, as well as our member organisations which includes all the NHS providers and commissioners in the West of England and the universities of Bath, Bristol and the West of England. We also work in close partnership with research organisations, industry, the voluntary sector, patients, carers and the public.

    • South West Academic Health Science Network

    The South West Academic Health Science Network is one of 15 AHSNs across England. We exist in partnership with our local health and care system, local authorities, universities, life science, and voluntary, community and social enterprises, to transform the way the NHS identifies, adopts and spreads promising innovations, to improve health equity and the health of people living across the South West region. We develop the innovation pipeline in the South West, matching the promising ideas of innovators to local challenges in health and care, and helping them to implement their solutions to improve the NHS and care system. Find out more on our website www.swahsn.com.

    • East Midlands Academic Health Science Network

    The East Midlands Academic Health Science Network (EMAHSN) is one of 15 Academic Health Science Networks in England. EMAHSN brings together the NHS, universities, industry and social care to transform the health of the region’s 4.9m residents and stimulate economic growth.

    Applications Open for the HIN’s First Diabetes Quality Improvement Programme

    Think-Diabetes

    The Health Innovation Network has launched a new Diabetes Quality Improvement Programme to develop clinical skills and knowledge to help improve outcomes for patients in south west London who have or are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

    The South West London (SWL) Diabetes Quality Improvement (QI) Programme offers GP practices help to make improvements to their diabetes care, by providing practices with practical support from a facilitator with a clinical background, to review their approach to diabetes care, and create an action plan for quality improvement.

    Did you know?

    • The average practice spends £1m on patients with diabetes every five years
    • A fifth of type 2 diabetes patients can account for almost half of all practice type 2 diabetes patient consults

    • On average only 35 per cent of diabetes patients in SWL achieve the three NICE recommended treatment targets (HbA1c, cholesterol and blood pressure)

    This will be supplemented by a series of webinars to refresh clinical knowledge around diabetes and update on local guidelines and referral pathways. The webinars will also share examples of excellent practice from south London and beyond.

    This programme builds on work that has been developed with the involvement of healthcare professionals across South West London, and tested locally at a small number of practices. Recognising the interconnected nature of cardiometabolic disease the ambition is to scale this as a multiple long term conditions approach in future years, and within the programme this year we will also provide access to learning and tools which are applicable to support all people living with cardiometabolic health conditions.

    We are in the process of applying for CPD accreditation for this programme.

    “We are delighted to be working with South West London to help them scale and spread the great work they've been doing in diabetes care through this new Quality Improvement Programme. This initiative will call on local clinical experts and facilitators to help practices improve care for the population and access the latest innovations in the area."Oliver Brady, Programme Director for Long Term Conditions and Mental Health

    Benefits to practice:

    • Efficiency – a reduction in the cost of diabetes care through improved processes
    • Refreshed clinical knowledge and improved staff experience of care
    • Support achieving financial incentives, eg QOF targets for diabetes
    • Exploration of new models of care

    Benefits to the diabetes population:

    • Patient satisfaction through streamlined processes
    • Better health and quality of life outcomes for people with diabetes and other long-term conditions
    • Increased engagement of patients with their healthcare

    Requirements

    • Applications for this programme have now closed.
    • The programme is open to all SWL GP practices. There are 40 places available which will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.
    • There is no cost but participating practices are asked to commit to:
      • attendance at learning events and webinars
      • formation and meeting of a practice ‘diabetes working group’ (DWG)
      • meeting with your improvement facilitator
      • practice senior support and sign-off

    Details

    • The programme starts on 21 June
    • The programme consists of:
      • five learning events and webinars;
      • practical support for your practice from improvement facilitators;
      • six optional clinical webinars
    Applications for this programme have now closed.

    Questions?

    Get in touch for more information about our Diabetes Team and their projects.

    Contact us

    HIN projects shortlisted as finalists for HSJ Digital Awards 2023

    We are delighted to announce that three projects involving the Health Innovation Network have been selected as finalists for the HSJ Digital Awards 2023.

    HIN programmes shortlisted for the prestigious awards include diabetes-focused projects HEAL-D and the Diabetes Prevention Decathlon, whilst DigitalHealth.London’s Digital Fellowships were also nominated.

    Award submissions were reviewed by a specialist judging panel against specific criteria that includes ambition, outcome, spread, value and involvement.

    DigitalHealth.London’s Digital Fellowship Programmes have been selected as a finalist for the Digital Literacy, Education and Upskilling Award. DigitalHealth.London is a programme delivered by Health Innovation Network in partnership with CW+, MedCity, UCLP, and other partners. DigitalHealth.London’s 12-month Digital Fellowship Programmes support NHS staff to lead transformation projects underpinned by digital innovation.

    The Digital Pioneer Fellowship has supported 97 Fellows from 45 NHS organisations across London and the south east, and national organisations including NHS England. It is estimated that over 10 million patients and 140,000 NHS and social care staff have been positively impacted by the projects of the 37 Fellows from the most recent cohort supported by Boehringer Ingelheim.

    The Horizon Fellowship, run in partnership with CW Innovation, is supporting 15 individuals within Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust with transformation project ideas to improve patient care.

    All 112 projects undertaken by Digital Pioneer and Horizon Fellows so far have led to improved patient care and/or experience either directly or indirectly. This scaleable programme is ideal for trusts and ICSs looking to boost their digital transformation capacity and capability. The team is also keen to run more Digital Fellowship programmes. If you would like to get involved, please get in touch with Sara Nelson on sara.nelson3@nhs.net.

    The Healthy Eating and Active Lifestyles for Diabetes (HEAL-D) Online programme supported by the HIN has been selected as a Finalist in the Reducing Health Inequalities Through Digital Award category. HEAL-D is a self-management education programme for adults living with Type-2 Diabetes (T2D) from African and Caribbean heritage that is delivered digitally through a video-conferencing platform. The programme was developed to address inequalities in T2D structured education attendance and outcomes among black African and Caribbean adults through improvements in access and experience. The seven-week curriculum combines lifestyle education and physical activity to support the adoption of healthy eating habits and lifestyle changes. HEAL-D was co-designed in partnership with people from the African and Caribbean community to ensure appropriate cultural tailoring and acceptability for people with diabetes and healthcare practitioners.

    The programme enables peer support, physical activity and cooking sessions to be delivered in a virtual classroom. Participants also have access to online exercise videos to encourage regular activity, videos to reinforce programme messages, and resources about diabetes and the importance of making lifestyle changes.

    HEAL-D Online demonstrates the importance of collaboration and how co-design is integral in helping people to be empowered in taking care of their health. It explores how digital tools can support the spread and adoption of innovative culturally tailored programmes. This digital solution allowed the programme to be delivered during a period when most diabetes-structured education programmes were paused, and the impact of Covid-19 was disproportionately affecting people with diabetes and from minority ethnic groups. The lessons learned from HEAL-D Online around flexible delivery will also help guide other programmes supporting the management of long term conditions.

    In the Empowering Patients Through Digital Award category, our diabetes Prevention Decathlon (PD), run in partnership with South West London ICS and Sweatcoin, has been shortlisted as a Finalist. The aim of this programme was to create choice and provide more opportunities for people to access a preventative structured education programme.

    A cross-organisational team created an exciting programme consisting of evidenced-based health and wellbeing information, a digital companion app (Sweatcoin) and in-session physical activities. Sweatcoin also offers weekly quizzes and a variety of videos including content recap and a pre-recorded at home workout programme.

    The programme has supported many of the 68,000 people in south west London who are at risk of developing Type-2 Diabetes. Delivered over a 10-week period, PD is unique compared to other prevention programmes as it allows participants to achieve rewards through physical activity attainment by using the specialist digital companion app. Through collective motivation and healthy competition, the Decathletes are able to work with their peers as part of a team, have fun and build meaningful friendships.

    Mark Edginton, Director of Operations at the HIN, said:

    “It is fantastic to see our programmes being recognised as part of the HSJ Digital Awards. All three of the projects nominated are great examples of the types of work we pride ourselves on – collaborating with our partners and local communities to ensure the real-world impact of technology and innovation on patients is maximised.”Mark Edginton, Director of Operations, HIN

    The HSJ Digital Awards Ceremony will take place on Thursday 22 June 2023 in Manchester.

    FeNO Devices Available at Discounted Cost to Practices and PCNs

    The NHS have received long-term loan offers of FeNO devices to improve access to lung function testing in primary care/the community. This initiative can support the mobilisation of quality-assured Respiratory Diagnostic Hubs (see the Respiratory Diagnostic Specification - February 2023) which aim to bring timely and accurate diagnoses, in line with the aspirations of the NHS Long-Term Plan.

    The FeNO devices are being offered by two suppliers: Circassia (NIOX VERO device) and Intermedical (Bedfont NObreath device).

    The business models for the two suppliers are quite different - a comparison of the two devices is available here. Local teams should consider which device offer is most suitable. Both offers require a three-year contract with the supplier:

    • Circassia: three-year loan agreement:
      • NIOX VERO - free of charge
      • Commitment required to buy minimum 100 test kits annually (£970 + VAT in year 1, £1060 + VAT in years 2&3)
      • No annual service required
    • Intermedical: three-year loan agreement:
      • Bedfont NO breath - £795 + VAT in year 1 (for the device and 50 mouthpieces), 695 + VAT in years two and three (device only)
      • Annual service included (normally £150 + VAT)
      • Further boxes of 50 mouthpieces (£175 + VAT) available as required, however no minimum annual order.

    View the NICE diagnostic guidance.

    Please note that both devices are also available to purchase outright. Local teams should undertake due diligence to inform which device offer should be pursued.

    If you're interested in accessing these long-term loan FeNO device offers, in south east London please speak to Cheryl Leung and in south west London, please speak to your relevant borough lead.

    Applications open for HIN and My Home Life’s Care Home Pioneer Programme 2023 Cohort 5

    The Health Innovation Network (HIN) and My Home Life England are delighted to announce the fifth South London Care Home Pioneer Programme – a leadership support and professional development programme delivered free of charge to Care Home Managers, Deputies and Senior Nurses to advance their skills, facilitate personal growth and enable them to effectively manage the complex everyday issues that impact on the quality of their service.

    The programme is now open for applications from care home managers, deputies, and senior nurses, working in the following settings: older person’s residential homes, older person’s nursing homes, learning disability and mental health care settings, and supported living settings, in south London.

    Did you know?

    • Since 2017, 84 managers from 77 care homes in South London have participated in the programme.
    • The Pioneer programme has had representatives from all the South London boroughs.

    The Pioneers programme is a collaboration between My Home Life England and the Health Innovation Network, which has delivered leadership development to 84 care home managers across South London, over 4 cohorts since 2017.

    The Care Home Pioneer Programme uses Action Learning techniques, involving experiential learning through a continuous process of action, learning and reflection, supported by colleagues, with an intention of improving practice. The Pioneers will work alongside mentors from the HIN to deliver a real-world service improvement project in their care home. Previous Pioneer projects have led to significant improvements in local priority areas such as falls reduction or oral health.

    The free programme is jointly funded by care home commissioners and the NHS and will consist of a combination of four face-to-face workshops and nine monthly action learning sets, both virtual and in-person. At the end of the programme, there will be a celebration day to celebrate all that has been achieved.

    If you are interested and want to know more about the programme, click the link here to read the flyer and apply.

    This infographic highlights key feedback from Pioneers who took part in the programme in 2022.


    Table Reads; 2022 Pioneer Programme post-programme survey  Cohort 4’s Pioneer Care Home Leader’s completed surveys following their Celebration Event. This infographic details high level overview of their feedback. *,	92% of respondents stated that… Their sense of achievement had improved 	92% of respondents stated that… Their understanding of how to improve the culture of care had improved, 92% of respondents stated that… Their quality of management and leadership had improved,	92% of respondents stated that… Their confidence as professionals had improved,	92% of respondents state that… The quality of their engagement with staff had improved, My Home Life England and HIN logos,	*Based on 12 respondents

    Pioneer, Cohort 4, Care Home Pioneers, said: “The Health Innovation Network and the support from My Home Life England team has boosted my confidence, skills, and knowledge in working jointly with the multidisciplinary team. The forum that was held has empowered me to exercise the duty of care and leadership while supporting a positive professional working relationship. I aim to maintain the good practice and to continue to grow and develop together with my team..”

    Andrea Carter, Programme Director, Healthy Ageing Team, Health Innovation Network, said: “The resilience and kindness of this particular group shone through and will stay with me for a long time, even after 27 years working in health and social care.”

    You can find some great examples of Pioneer projects that have been carried out by clicking on the following here or alternatively watching the video below.

    Further information

    Find out more about the programme and how to apply.

    Download

    We're here to help

    Get in touch for more information about Cohort 5 of the Care Home Pioneers programme.

    Get in touch

    Healum Personalised Care – Free Licenses Available for GPs

    Funding has recently been made available by the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) for Healum licenses for up to 30 GP practices in south London for one year.

    Healum software is interoperable with EMIS and is designed to help patients to make healthy choices which minimise their risk of cardiovascular disease, and reduce pressure on workforces. It empowers staff and patients to work together by providing educational content, self-management tools and patient care plans.

    The care plans are linked to the GP health record and combine clinical and non-clinical recommendations as part of a shared decision-making process that involves staff from across each practice, including GPs, nurses, pharmacists, healthcare assistants, health and wellbeing coaches and social prescribing link workers.

    There are no additional or hidden costs for practices using the system. They are fully covered by the project funding. Practices using Healum will help to shape its development and content, to help it meet the needs of GPs and patients.

    Oliver Brady, HIN Programme Director for Long-term Conditions, said:

    “I am delighted to work with Healum again, this time to support the adoption and spread of their innovative system tailored to the needs of people at risk of CVD and the Healthcare Professionals responsible for their care.” 

    You can find out more about what Healum software can do for your practice on the Healum website. To register your interest please contact Alice Holden at Healum. The HIN are supporting this project as part of the SBRI grant so you can also get in touch with Kristina.

    Please share with any practices who may be interested.

    New Funding to Help Prevent Cardiovascular Disease

    Doctor uses stethoscope to monitor heart of patient.

    The Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) has awarded a total of £3.3 million funding to support initiatives designed to tackle cardiovascular disease (CVD) in England. A portion of the national funding will be used to scale up initiatives in two projects to prevent CVD in south London: Healum patient management software and the CVD Prevention Decathlon.

    CVD is the area where most lives can be saved by the NHS over the next decade. There are 7.6 million people living with CVD in the UK, and it is a leading cause of premature disability, mortality, and health inequalities, responsible for one in four deaths each year. The UK Health Security Agency estimates that the annual healthcare cost of CVD in England is around £7.4 billion, with an annual cost to the wider economy of £15.8 billion.

    SBRI Healthcare, an Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) initiative in partnership with the AHSN Network, has awarded a total of £3.3 million to eight late-stage innovations that help detect, prevent and manage CVD.

    Healum is a patient management system that connects to patient-facing digital services. It is designed to improve health outcomes and access to care for patients with long-term conditions, supporting them to make the best choices to live healthier, happier lives. The HIN will be supporting the adoption of Healum in primary care across south London.

    The CVD Prevention Decathlon provides structured education for those at risk of CVD in order to minimise the risk of developing it. It uses structured learning and physical activity delivered by Xyla; gamification via the Sweatcoin app; and personalised behaviour change videos created by Citizen Communications. Funding has been allocated to support rollout in South West London ICS and evaluate the return on investment from using it. This builds on the successful Diabetes Prevention Decathlon – winner of a 2019 HIN innovation grant – which saw 92 per cent completion rates and an average 45 per cent increase in activity levels among participants.

    Ambra Caruso, Senior Programme Manager at the HIN, said: “We are delighted that new funding has been allocated to help tackle CVD in south London. We are looking forward to continuing and expanding our support for Healum and Decathlon to minimise the risk posed by CVD for as many people as possible”.

    Chris Gumble, Project Manager for Long Term Conditions and Prevention at the South West London Health and Care Partnership, said: “We are immensely proud to have the ability to deliver the CVD Prevention Decathlon to our local population, and want to thank SBRI Healthcare for awarding us the funding to do so. Having seen the success of the Diabetes Prevention Decathlon over the last few years, we have an amazing new opportunity to expand the offer to those at risk of CVD. In collaboration with the Health Innovation network, the Prevention Decathlon has grown into something special: 700 people this year will have the opportunity to attend the programme over the coming year”

    SBRI Healthcare is an Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) initiative – a partnership between patient groups, government bodies, industry and the NHS hosted by NHS England – and is delivered in partnership with the AHSN Network.

    Matt Whitty, CEO of the AAC, said: “The SBRI Healthcare awards help the NHS to develop new technologies and solutions to address some of the biggest healthcare challenges facing society. We have selected these innovations because they have the potential to make a big difference to patients. By supporting the most promising innovations the NHS will continue to evolve, helping meet more patients’ needs and encouraging more innovators to come forward with ideas that make a difference.”

    Find out more about the new funding announcement from SBRI.

    SBRI Healthcare awards over £180,000 to HIN-backed innovations for autistic people and people with learning disability

    SBRI Healthcare has awarded over £180,000 to two HIN-supported projects that help narrow inequalities for autistic people and people with learning disability in south London.

    The projects include an annual health check and health planning tool to improve access to services; and a software tool to help people with a learning disability or autism to capture their needs and tailor support accordingly.

    SBRI Healthcare is an Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) initiative – a partnership between patient groups, government bodies, industry and the NHS hosted by NHS England – and is delivered in partnership with the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs).

    It is estimated that about 1.5 million people have a learning disability in the UK, and about 800,000 people are autistic. Many people have both a learning disability and are autistic. There has been a rise in referrals for autism assessment, with systems under pressure to meet demand. Significant health inequalities can impact access to the right support for autistic people and people with a learning disability.

    The Successful HIN-backed Projects

    Maldaba

    Improving annual health checks and design EMIS interoperability

    Awarded £96,396 

    This project will open up a digital communication pathway between primary care and service users so that annual health check (AHC) and health action planning (HAP) processes will be more inclusive and provide better access to health and care services, including health promotion.

    RIX Software

    RIX Multi Me Toolkit – for person-centred integrated health and care for people with learning disabilities and autism

    Awarded £83,277

    The RIX Multi Me Toolkit enables people with a learning disability and autistic people to capture their needs and share how best to provide them with support and healthcare, using simple multimedia apps and a secure online support network. This project will refine these tools in partnership with service-users and providers.

    Background

    ‘Competition 20 – Autism and Learning Disabilities’ was launched in May 2022, as a Phase 1 development funding competition, funded by the Accelerated Access Collaborative, in partnership with the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) and Autistica. It specifically sought innovations to help with early identification and diagnosis and equal access to effective support and care.

    Alongside progress being made by the NHS Long Term Plan, NHS England’s Transforming Care Programme, and the Core20PLUS5 initiative, the new funding aims to accelerate change and use the best of cross-sector collaboration and technical expertise.

    The competition was open to single companies or organisations from the private, public, and third sectors, including large corporates, small and medium enterprises, charities, universities and NHS providers.

    The projects will run for up to six months, with the aim to demonstrate whether the innovations are technically feasible. Innovations that can prove their impact and potential will be able to seek further funding for prototype development and evaluation, with the aim for successful technologies to be adopted for use by the NHS.  

    Matt Whitty, Director of Innovation, Research and Life Sciences at NHS England and CEO of the Accelerated Access Collaborative, said:

    “Earlier this year our learning disability and autism demand signalling report identified the most important research questions and innovation challenges that need addressing to help deliver for those impacted and we’re delighted to build on that work by investing in the fantastic innovations we are announcing today.

    “We have selected these innovations because they have the potential to make a big difference to tackling health inequalities in autism and learning disabilities – and by supporting the most promising innovations the NHS will continue to evolve, helping meet more patients needs and encouraging more innovators to come forward with ideas that make a difference.”

    Dr Lorcan Kenny, National Research Lead for Autism, NHS England, said:

    “NHS England remains committed to improving healthcare for autistic people and people with a learning disability, who can face significant health inequalities. Innovative technology along with good quality research about its effectiveness will be key in achieving some of the goals set out in the NHS Long Term Plan, such as reducing diagnosis waiting lists, delivering efficient services and improving coordination and quality of care.”

    Dr Amanda Roestorf, Head of Research at Autistica, said:

    “Autistica is delighted to be partnering with NHS England and Small Business Research Initiative Healthcare (SBRIH) to solve unmet needs of autistic people and people with learning disabilities. The SBRIH funding pathway will support the research initiatives to bring new technologies to the NHS as a crucial step to enabling autistic and other neurodivergent people to live happier, healthier, longer lives. These projects demonstrate that rapid innovation based on high-quality evidence and collaboration between industry, health and care services, and academic experts, is both possible and necessary to create practical solutions to improve the lives and outcomes of autistic people.”

    Find out more

    You can find out more about the other projects awarded by SBRI across England.

    Find out more about the winning projects

    Primary Care Automation Grant Winners Announced

    The winners of the London Digital First Primary Care Automation Grants have been announced today by the Health Innovation Network, working in partnership with NHS England. Grants of up to £65k will be awarded to projects across London to pilot automation solutions in primary care.

    Automation refers to the design and implementation of technologies to provide services with minimal human involvement. Automating high-volume, repetitive, rule-based tasks can improve productivity, efficiency, reliability, compliance, speed and accuracy, colleague morale, and integration between people and process. This can help free up clinical and administrative staff so they can focus on securing the best possible outcomes for patients.

    Over £600,000 has been allocated across eleven innovative primary care projects in London. Grant applications were assessed upon the scope, scale, impact, sustainability, and opportunities for spread and adoption of their projects. Pilots will be monitored against agreed metrics over the next 12 months, before being evaluated.

    “Primary care faces an ever increasing workload. It is exciting to see these automation pilots provide hope for a range of solutions to tackle this workload with improved outcomes for both staff and patients. It might not be long before we look back and wonder how did we ever manage without some of these automation solutions” - Dr Shanker Vijay London Region GP Clinical Lead Digital First Programme, NHS England 

    The grants programme provides a unique opportunity for us to pilot a variety of innovative automation solutions that can transform the way practices manage their workload. We hope that through this work patient care and staff morale will be improved by automated processes freeing up both clinical and administrative staff from some of the most time consuming and repetitive tasks they currently undertake." - Matt Nye, Director, London Digital First Programme

    The grant winners are:

    Dr Lucy Goodeve-Docker, Lambeth Digital Lead, Lambeth Healthcare Federation South East London

    Lambeth Healthcare Federation are using Healthtech-1 automation technology to establish full automation of online registration into the clinical system (EMIS). Automating online patient registrations will allow patients to register within minutes, remove user data errors, reduce administrative data input time, allow accurate demographic collection, and ensure households are appropriately aligned to support safeguarding principles. Health-tech 1 is currently on the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme.

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    Lucy McLaughlin, Cancer Recovery Program Lead for North Central London (NCL), North Central London ICB - Performance & Transformation Directorate

    NCL plan to improve patient appointment non-attendance for cervical screening in Islington by using a SPRYTs AI powered virtual receptionist named Asa, which interacts with patients via WhatsApp and email. Asa incorporates behavioural science approaches and linguistics to change behaviours. This allows Asa to adjust language and other messaging content and design for specific population segments, to optimise attendance at screening appointments.

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    Dr Nisha Patel, GP Partner and Trainer, Nightingale Practice in City and Hackney and City and Hackney GP Confederation Clinical Lead

    The Nightingale Practice is working with Edenbridge (APEX), to automate workforce rota management, predict patient demand and workforce requirements, highlighting surplus and deficit staffing levels. By applying “rules” around capacity requirements and leave-booking, the administrative burden on practice staff will be reduced and access for patients to GP appointments improved.

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    Dr Sian Knight, Executive Partner, Modality Medical Services, Lewisham, SEL

    Modality Medical Services are working with their in-house Robotic Process Automation Team to automate pathology results filing, specifically the automation of bowel cancer screening results. A bot will file 'normal' bowel cancer results, automatically send an SMS to patients with normal BCS results (with guidance of when to contact the GP) and communicate with patients that have been identified as not having participated in the BCS.

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    Dr Raza Toosy, lead GP, Sutton IT Solutions, and Jagdish Kumar, Head of New Business for Sutton PCNs

    The Park Road Medical Centre are working with PatientChase to improve long term condition management and risk stratification in Sutton, Wallington, Cheam, and Carshalton. The automation of self-booking coupled with enhanced risk stratification will allow our centralised call and recall team to focus their efforts on patients with the highest clinical need to access various pro-active health services. A Customer Relationship Management system will be used to record insights through engagement with groups with health inequalities to better understand how best to reach and engage with them.

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    Dr Robbie Howell, Clinical IT Lead; and Anastasia Remos, Asthma WAF Project Lead for N1 PCN & Islington GP Federation, NCL

    North 1 PCN & Islington GP Federation will be using GP Automate’s Robotic Process Automation functionality to automate processes for clinical and admin staff through 5 automated products: Lab Reports, New Patient Registration, Accurx Asthma Floreys, Accurx BP Floreys and Accurx Diabetes pre-appointment questionnaires. Through automating these manual and time-consuming tasks they intend to improve patient outcomes, workforce satisfaction and sustainability of general practice.

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    Dr Joanna Yong, GP Partner at St Andrews Medical Practice, Barnet PCN 2, NCL

    Barnet PCN 2 is using Blue Prism’s (BP) cloud-based intelligent software to automate the clinical document workflow process. A bot will determine:

    • no action;
    • coding only,
    • identify specific documents which are coded and go to an allocated team member for a decision, and;
    • further action for low risk pathways such as smear results, appointment letters and follow-ups eg breast screening mammogram results and long term conditions. 

    This bid complements existing locally run GP Assistant Programme and complements a second PCN2 cancer based clinical pathway automation. 

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    Dr Kiran Nakrani, NCL GP Website Clinical Lead, Barnet PCN 2, NCL

    This automation project builds on the EMIS e-safety netting template which is already used across London and aims to track the outcome of important cancer documents via the Health information Exchange (HIE) Cerner portal for patients referred via the two week target pathway. A bot will mimic current process of:

    • identifying the clinical letter;
    • filtering it into the correct process for DNA vs Clinician Workflow;
    • identifying the outcome of the target referral as either DNA or patient contact made by secondary care;
    • advising the referring clinician on next steps.
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    Dr Rob Seal, GP at Lavender Hill Group Practice and joint Clinical Director at Battersea PCN; and Dr Soleman Begg, GP at St John’s Hill Surgery, Wandsworth PCN and Battersea PCN, SWL

    Wandsworth PCN and Battersea PCN are working with JiffJaff and Automation Anywhere to automate high volume and repetitive tasks that can be clinically significant. These include:

    • clinical safety validation process for laboratory tests;
    • patient compliance with antipsychotic mediation;
    • division of clinical administrative workload;
    • reducing workload for pharmacy technicians.

    Time saved from automating these processes will allow clinical staff members to spend more time on patient care and administrative staff to focus more on patients who require personalised engagement.

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    Dr Manotheethan Jegasothy, GP in Kingston and Richmond; and Dr Soleman Begg, GP at St John’s Hill Surgery, Chessington and Surbiton PCN

    Chessington and Surbiton PCNs are working with JiffJaff and Automation Anywhere to automate the filing of ‘normal’ pathology results. Improved automated processes will ensure results are processed quicker and will benefit patients with real-time reporting of their results. Time saved through this automated process will result in clinicians and administrative staff having more time available for the practice and patients.

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    Dr Jwala Gupta, Clinical Director, Havering North PCN; Dr Gurmeet Singh, Clinical Director, Havering North PCN; Dr Pratheep Sunthara-Moorthy, Co-Founder of Care IQ

    Havering North Network will be using the CareIQ proprietary automation engine to provide automated recall of patients with hypertension, diabetes and atrial fibrillation.

    A central team will oversee the recall using staggered invites and providing a uniform process across the PCN. This will include CareIQ questionnaires, telephone, video, and face to face consultations.

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    In October 2022, 14 automations were launched across 11 pilots. The resulting pilot summary report was published in April 2023, and provides a wealth of recommendations, resources and learnings, assisting with future automation journeys. The full report can be read here.

    Download the report

    Read the full report to learn more about the benefits and obstacles of implementing these technologies in primary care settings.

    Download the report

    New NHS Innovation Service streamlines national support for innovators

    Doctor using tablet device

    HIN Chief Executive Rishi Das-Gupta has hailed this week’s launch of the NHS Innovation Service as an important step forward in delivering life-changing innovation more quickly.

    Coordinated by the NHS Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC), the service has been developed to support the UK’s Life Sciences Vision and accelerate the uptake of promising and impactful innovations into the NHS.

    The NHS Innovation Service provides access to guidance and coordinated support from AHSNs and other organisations who have experience, knowledge, and expertise in developing and supporting the spread and adoption of healthcare innovations.

    Innovators working with the service will be provided tailored guidance to help them complete processes which will help “unlock” adoption and spread within the NHS, including:

    • Regulations and service standards relevant to innovations
    • Demonstrating evidence of efficacy
    • NHS procurement and reimbursement processes

    The service enables innovators to access support from expert organisations through a single coordinated platform. Organisations currently part of the NHS Innovation Service include:

    • The AHSN Network
    • Department for International Trade (DIT)
    • Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)
    • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)

    Innovators create an account and complete an innovation record, which contains detailed information about their innovation. This enables an expert team to determine the requirements for the innovation to be adopted and put the innovator in touch with the right organisation at the right time. At each stage, organisations offering support have access to the innovation record, which will accelerate the process and avoid duplication – saving innovators having to reintroduce their concept and progress to each organisation.

    The NHS Innovation Service is currently in public beta – a public testing phase. Users will be able to provide feedback on the service based on their experiences, creating opportunities for it to improve with further testing. The service replaces the HealthTech Connect platform.

    Dr Rishi Das-Gupta, HIN Chief Executive said: “The NHS Innovation Service will further bolster the expert support already available to south London innovators through our own Innovation team and the DigitalHealth.London programme.

    “I am particularly pleased that this new service will allow streamlined engagement with national bodies such as MHRA and NICE, who can often be crucial players in facilitating the spread and adoption of the most promising innovations. Reducing the complexity of interfacing with these bodies will undoubtedly mean patients benefit from innovations sooner.

    “This work is another powerful demonstration of our sector’s commitment to collaboration as a driver of world-class health innovation in the UK.”

    Interim Director of Digital Transformation appointed to HIN executive team

    From July the Health Innovation Network will welcome Amanda Begley as the new Director of Digital Transformation on secondment from Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust (GSTT) for 12 months.

    Amanda is currently Director of the Centre for Innovation, Transformation and Improvement (CITI) at GSTT and brings a wealth of experience in areas that are particularly relevant including leveraging the value of health data by co-developing the Health Data Research UK Hub for Cancer (DATA-CAN) and her work at NHS London and UCLPartners on innovation, as well as her operational roles including working at Kingston Hospital.

    Dr Rishi Das-Gupta, Chief Executive at the HIN said: “We recognise that there is an increasing need to support digital transformation over south London and are well placed to support on this given our strong links with digital innovators through the DigitalHealth.London programme. Amanda will help us clarify this so we can fulfil our aim to make our region the leader for adopting digital innovations.” 

    Dr Amanda Begley, Director of Digital Transformation said: “I am really excited  to join the team and work with colleagues across south London to plan how digital transformation can benefit , patients, staff and partners as we all recover from the after-effects of the pandemic.”

    Adapting Diabetes Care to the Challenges of Covid-19

    You & Type 2

    As part of Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Week we hear from the HIN's Kate Rawlings on the You & Type 2 programme, and how it was adapted to the challenges of Covid-19.

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    Since early 2020 organisations across the world have been asking “How do we adapt and respond to Covid-19?”, and nowhere was this more true than in our own halls at the HIN (or virtual halls, as they soon became).

    Since 2018 the HIN has worked with NHS South West London Clinical Commissioning Group to develop a personalised care and support planning pathway known as “You & Type 2” for people living with type 2 diabetes. Like with other healthcare services, its delivery was significantly challenged by the emergence of Covid-19. However, with this challenge also came opportunity, and the HIN launched two new branches of You & Type 2 to support people living with diabetes in light of Covid-19: @ Home and Risk Stratification.

    @ Home

    As the pandemic gained momentum, more and more pressure was being placed on primary care practices, who were forced to prioritise emergency care and reduce face-to-face contact. This often meant a halting routine checks, including annual diabetes care reviews.

    You & Type 2 was temporarily paused, however, with the help of remote technology providers Thriva and Healthy.io, a remote monitoring pathway was developed. The @ Home pathway allowed people with diabetes to receive a free home blood testing kit, urine kit and blood pressure machine in the post. Following the tests, a care planning phone call allowed for seven of the eight key care processes to be completed remotely.

    Risk Stratification

    Identifying and prioritising high-risk populations was an important part of the Covid-19 pandemic response. It quickly became apparent that people with diabetes were at higher risk of severe illness should they contract COVID-19, but also at risk of their diabetes worsening with the halting of routine care.

    Building on existing frameworks produced by the London Clinical Networks and UCL Partners, and with the support of clinical experts, the HIN developed a risk stratification framework. This framework consolidated general and disease specific criteria to focus on people at high risk, but not currently under secondary care. It could be loaded straight into EMIS and created a list for GP practices of people with diabetes at high risk for follow up. This allowed practices to focus their limited resources appropriately.

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    Evaluation

    Initial feedback on the pathways is positive. Over 100 people have used the @ Home pathway, and users have praised it for its convenience. Four practices across South West London have been trained to use the risk stratification tool. Full evaluations are being completed and will be released in the coming months.

    Although borne out of the restrictions placed on routine care by COVID-19, these pathways show how the NHS can innovate and adapt in long term disease management to make services more convenient to their population, and how to prioritise interventions for those most in need.

    22 million steps taken to prevent type 2 diabetes

    To celebrate type 2 diabetes prevention week Chris Gumble, Project Manager for long term conditions at the South West London Health and Care Partnership, has written about the outstanding results seen by the Decathlon programme, which won a HIN Innovation Grant in 2019.

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    “The programme offers everyone the opportunity to learn and to grow and to thrive”

    The health and wellbeing of our local populations has been tested beyond limits over the last few years. Healthcare services have had to adapt and programmes like the Prevention Decathlon have evolved to meet this new “normal”. But, one thing has not changed: the drive and determination of the team working to improve the Prevention Decathlon.

    I wanted to reflect on the last 18 months and share the  incredible journey we have been on that may just change the life of those who attend the programme for good.

    0% completion rate

    Collaborating with Sweatcoin and Harlequins foundation, new cohorts of Decathletes (what we call our attendees) have undertaken the Prevention Decathlon over the last year, all recruited from community places of worship, and who were recruited in partnership with the Wandsworth Community Empowerment Network (WCEN).

    Using the Sweatcoin bespoke app, we are able to track the steps taken by our Decathletes throughout the programme. In total our 59 Decathletes have walked an amazing 22 million steps over the ten-week programme period, which is an average of 45% increase in physical activity levels. Completion rates are at an all-time high of 92% (comparable programme average around 56% in SWL) with individual achievements by Decathletes showing an increase of activity levels by 336%, weight loss of up to 10kg as well as one "MVP" losing 16.4% of their total body weight.

    0% increase in physical activity levels

    These incredible numbers are real people’s achievements and ones that have undoubtably changed their lives for the better. In March, Decathletes were celebrated and awarded for their achievements.

    This was all achieved by adapting the programme to meet the needs of the current climate. Throughout Covid-19, the Prevention Decathlon became a digitised offer (virtual delivery) as face to face groups were restricted. At the same time the curriculum was expanded to be more culturally inclusive with the support of the members from the WCEN.

    Award nominations aplenty were achieved by the Prevention Decathlon programme over the last year with us being nominated for the London Sport Award 2021 for “Health and Wellbeing Programme of the Year” as well as a nomination for the best not-for-profit partnership at the HSJ Partnerships award 2022 in collaboration with Harlequins Foundation.

    “It’s not just healthy eating. We talk about wellbeing, physical activity, stress and sleep, and it’s tailored to different types of diet.”Nicola Clarke - Diabetes Specialist Dietician and Decathlon Facilitator

    Looking to the future, a new partnership with the public health teams across Richmond and Wandsworth will see the Prevention Decathlon be accessible to another 800 Decathletes over the coming year!

    The Pentathlon, a 5-week version of the programme has also been created in collaboration with the WCEN that does not focus on a specific long-term condition, but on general health and wellbeing. The programme has been created in collaboration with the WCEN and is delivered by local people to their respective communities across SWL.

    On the horizon is a really exciting version of the Prevention Decathlon that will be aimed at those at risk of developing cardiovascular disease, thus opening the door to thousands more people to take control of their health and wellbeing and living longer, happier lives!

    Watch this space for other updates soon as the Prevention Decathlon wants to break boundaries via a Heptathlon programme, a health and wellbeing programme for those with learning disabilities. Working with the learning Disability team in Kingston, the programme will start its development in June 2022.

    Primary Care Automation Grants funding opportunity

    The NHS England London Digital First Programme is a funding opportunity to pilot automation solutions within primary care. Automation grants are available up to £65k each for pilots and projects across London.

    Please note that new applications for this funding opportunity closed on Monday 18 July 2022.

    The Problem

    Several tools which aim to improve primary care efficiency through automation have emerged in recent years. However, the benefits and limitations of these systems are not well understood. Following wide engagement across London, the need for reducing administrative and clinical burden in order to free up resources to focus on patient outcomes has been identified.

    That’s why the London Digital First Team has secured funding to run a grants programme to drive and better understand the use of automation in primary care.

    What is automation?

    Automation refers to the design and implementation of technologies to provide services with minimal human involvement. Automating high-volume, repetitive, rule-based tasks can improve productivity, efficiency, reliability, compliance, speed and accuracy, colleague morale, and integration between people and process. This can help free up clinical and administrative staff so they can focus on securing the best possible outcomes for patients.

    Automation can range from simple add-ons for existing administrative and clinical systems to implementing more complex software ‘bots’ that emulate human operations.

    Examples of automation might include auto-filing/processing of pathology results, patient self-booking of appointments, automated coding of correspondence and recall/review systems.

    What does this programme aim to do?

    • Deliver cost and time savings in primary care.
    • Understand the practicalities and impact of a variety of automation solutions in primary care.
    • Improve overall patient care and experience across London.

    Scope

    • This programme will fund  automation grants across London to a value of up to £65k.
    • Pilots/projects across all London Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) can apply.
    • Successful applicants will deliver pilots/projects for 12 months post-award (inclusive of pre-project and development time).
    • Pilots will be monitored against agreed metrics, and progress and learning will be reported quarterly back to the central grants team.
    • A final evaluation report will look at outcomes of the project and discuss results, sustainability, spread and adoption of the project.

    Eligibility

    Applications are open to:

    • All primary care providers within London on standard GMS, PMS and APMS contracts.
    • Individual practices or practices working together (e.g. PCNs, federations).

    Programme Timeline

    The application period closed at 9am on Monday 18 July. Please do not submit any further applications.

    For more information please contact hin.automationgrants@nhs.net.

    You can watch our webinar on the grants below, and access the slides here. 

    Important: If you are planning to submit an application, we strongly recommend contacting your ICS Digital First Programme Team in advance. Those in NW London are asked to bid jointly with their ICS Digital First Team to ensure alignment with the existing NW London automation programme. If you require contact details for your ICS Digital First Team please contact hin.automationgrants@nhs.net.

    The successful pilot sites were announced by the HIN and NHSE (London) Digital First in October 2022. The resulting pilot summary report was published in April 2023, and provides a wealth of recommendations, resources and learnings, assisting with future automation journeys. The full report can be read here.

    Download the report

    Read the full Primary Care AI and Automation Grants Scheme pilot summary report to learn more about the benefits and obstacles of implementing these technologies in primary care settings.

    Download the report

    Improving Outcomes for Patients in Community Care: Innovation at Bromley Healthcare

    When it comes to innovation, have you properly considered the role of community services? With changes to integrated care happening from July, community care is finally starting to get the recognition it deserves. We spoke to one of our partners, Dr Cath Jenson, Medical Director at Bromley Healthcare, about the difference they are making.

    Too often overlooked, community care is now being recognised as the glue between primary and secondary care, helping provider collaboratives within the new integrated care systems to succeed.

    As medical director at community provider Bromley Healthcare, I’m proud of the role we play in testing innovative solutions for integrated care and using data to drive improvement. For example, did you know we are the accelerator site for two hour response in south east London? Or that we are driving new standards for outcomes in meeting the needs of frail and complex patients outside hospital, integrating with the ‘One Bromley’ proactive care pathway and our own therapy and rehabilitation services (including bedded unit)?

    Many don’t know we have specialist nurses across numerous fields – our children’s ‘hospital at home’ being another example of our innovations (shortlisted for a 2021 RCN Nursing Award in the Child Health category) aimed at keeping patients at home safely with a growing range of complex medical needs previously requiring admission. Or that we are the prime contractor for out-of-hospital diabetes care in Bromley and have recently recruited the first population health apprentice in London to develop population health initiatives for One Bromley (including Primary Care Networks).

    And then there’s the services we provide outside Bromley, including special care dentistry across south east  London and health visiting in Bexley and Greenwich. In total we have over 35 services and 1,200 staff making the difference to patients in their own homes and communities.

    There is a wealth of experiences and ways to make a real difference to patients in community care and to further enhance this we are now recruiting to newly established Clinical Director positions, to cement and develop our clinical leadership. Further information:

    Find out more

    To find out more please email Dr Cath Jenson.

    Get in touch

    Celebrating Transgender Day of Visibility – find out why 100% of patients at a sexual health and wellbeing service for trans and non-binary communities would recommend the service to a friend

    In 2018/19 King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust was given a HIN Innovation Grant of £8,250 to set up a sexual health and wellbeing service, in partnership with cliniQ, a trans-led community interest company for trans, non-binary and gender diverse people, in south east London.

    To mark Transgender Day of Visibility on 31 March, we got in touch with Dr Michael Brady, Sexual Health and HIV consultant at King’s and National Advisor for LGBT Health, NHS England, to find out how the service was going from strength to strength, and how the Innovation Grant funding helped.

    He said: “The Innovation Grant funding really helped us with the trans clinic. It enabled us to get the clinic set up, established and evaluated and was a really helpful endorsement of the service which complemented the funding our local commissioners’ provided.

    “We’ve been given another two years’ funding from the commissioners, which takes us up to April 2023, and we now have three research projects attached to the clinic, so we’re evaluating and researching as well as providing the clinical service.

    “The clinic provides sexual and reproductive health service (STI testing and treatment, contraception, vaccinations, cervical smears and PrEP), hormone advice and support as well as peer support, mental health and well-being support and counselling. The clinic is very well evaluated by our service users with 98% of respondents to our patient survey reporting a positive experience and 100% would recommend the service to a friend. A key reason for the success of the service is the fact that it is co-designed and delivered in partnership between King’s College Hospital and cliniQ.

    We were even visited by the Minister for Equalities in the Government Equalities Office, Mike Freer MP, a few weeks ago as well – so we’re getting some national attention as well!”

    You can find out more about the trans clinic here.

    Get in touch

    For more information about how we support innovators, please get in touch.

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    Over 100 clinicians to champion CVD Prevention in south London

    This news story relates to the 2022 CVD Fellowship. Click here to find out about the 2023 CVD Fellowship.

    Over 100 clinicians working in primary care in south London have today (Monday 21 March 2022) been welcomed on to the Health Innovation Network’s (HIN) first ever Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) Prevention Fellowship.

    This free HIN programme is designed to help improve outcomes for patients across south London who are at risk of CVD by supporting clinicians working in primary care to develop their skills and knowledge and champion CVD prevention in their practice or wider Primary Care Network.

    In total there are 104 Fellows who are either pharmacists, GPs, practice nurses or physician associates. From Richmond to Bexley all 12 south London boroughs are represented and Fellows come from a range of backgrounds and are representative of the communities they serve.

    The programme will provide free expert clinical advice and quality improvement support to help Fellows become CVD prevention champions. It will also help them identify and implement specific local CVD prevention initiatives in their practice and local area.

    With six million people living with CVD in England with a combined cost of £16 billion every year improving outcomes for at risk patients is an NHS priority. This programme will help to speed up the adoption of innovative initiatives to help prevent CVD across south London.

    Applications to the programme have now closed.

    Dr Roy Jogiya, Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Clinical Director, Health Innovation Network, said:

    “It gives me great pleasure to welcome over 100 clinicians to our first ever Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Fellowship. This is an exciting learning opportunity that will include teaching from a number of national experts in cardiovascular disease. This will empower Fellows to be up to date in their knowledge base and feel more confident in managing cardiovascular disease prevention within their community of pratice.”

    Oliver Brady, Programme Director for CVD Prevention, Health Innovation Network, said:

    “It is fantastic that so many clinicians from a wide variety of backgrounds applied to be Fellows. And it is great that every borough of south London is represented on the programme. We will support these Fellows to champion cardiovascular disease prevention in their local area and together we have the opportunity to make a real difference to people who are at risk of cardiovascular disease.”

    Running from April to October and culminating with a graduation ceremony in November the programme will consist of six monthly lunch time webinars led by experts in a range of areas including lipid management, hypertension and atrial fibrillation. There will also be ongoing Improvement Collaborative sessions and peer to peer networking opportunities.

    Get in touch

    For more information about our Cardiovascular team and the CVD Prevention Fellowship Programme, please get in touch.

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    Innovation Exchange webinar: Modernising Primary Care Telephony

    Event: Empowering Patients to Self-Manage

    Our interactive webinar “Modernising Primary Care Telephony” took place on Wednesday 2 March, 12:30-14:00.

    The webinar showcased telephony innovations, highlighting the potential for modern telephony to improve communication in primary care across London.

    Presented by the Health Innovation Network in collaboration with the NHS England Digital First Programme London, we looked at how updating traditional telephone systems can improve interactions with patients and support PCN development, flexible and remote working and help streamline service delivery.

    This event updated primary care staff about emerging national plans around primary care telephony and built on previous work undertaken in this area through the Digital First Programme and learning from ongoing projects. The event also showcased several products on the market, helping primary care staff understand the breath and depth of functionality that can transform primary care processes.

    In addition, the HIN has produced a commissioning guide on Modernising Primary Care Telephony which is now available for download from the Health Innovation Network’s website. This report was commissioned by Our Healthier South East London ICS (OHSEL)through the Digital First Programme and delivered by the Health Innovation Network, the Academic Health Science Network for South London.

    You can access the event pack and running order here, and the slide deck here.

    Video Running Order

    Start time Topic Presenter
    00:00:00 Introduction from Chair/

    Health Innovation Network

     

    Denis Duignan

    Head of Digital Transformation & Technology

    Health Innovation Network

    00:04:50 Presentation:

    A London region perspective around the opportunities of modern telephony in primary care.

    Matt Nye

    Regional Director for Digital First Programmes

    NHS England (London)

    00:09:57 Five 2-minute pitches*

     

    Babble Ltd

    Product: Babblevoice

    Antoine Lever

    Director

    EVAD Think Healthcare

    Product: Think Healthcare Solution

    Mike Smyth

    Think Healthcare Team Leader    

    Exponential-e  

    Product: UC-One

    Tim Gilliatt

    Public Sector Account Manager

    Gamma

    Product: Horizon, the modern Primary Care telephony choice

    Amy Black

    Business Development Executive                  

    Premier Choice Group

    Product: Premier Patient Line

    James Gargaro

    Sales Manager   

    00:24:31 Presentation:

    Taking an ICS wide approach to primary care telephony

    Brian Stennett

    NWL GP Telephony Lead, Digital First

    North West London CCG

    00:34:07 Four 2-minute pitches* Voice Connect Ltd

    Product:  Cloud Based Patient Partner with Automated Telephony Repeat Prescriptions Review and Ordering Service

    Paul Trayler

    Sales Director     

    VTSL Limited

    Product: GP Cloud Voice

    Rob Walton                          

    CEO

    X-on      

    Product: Surgery Connect Desktop App

    Paul Bensley

    Director

    Yo Telecom       

    Product: Bespoke Phone System

    Daniel Mills

    Senior Consultant              

    00:41:02 Presentation:

    Advanced Telephony National Update

    Nikki Hinchley

    Head of GPIT Transformation, Digital Primary Care

    NHS Transformation Directorate / NHS England & NHS Improvement

    00:47:27 Panel discussion and Q&A session Speakers and Chair to take questions from the audience
    01:16:13 Closing remarks Chair
    * The Health Innovation Network and NHS England do not endorse or recommend any of the commercial innovations showcased at this Innovation Exchange event. The innovations referred to at the event are not preferred suppliers and there are other solutions that can support the challenges identified. This event is intended to inspire people as to how innovations can support health system problems, rather than endorse any specific solutions, with the sole intended purpose to be for guidance only.

    Applications open for first ever Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Fellowship Programme

    The Health Innovation Network has launched a new Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) Prevention Fellowship Programme to develop clinical skills and knowledge to help improve outcomes for patients across south London who are at risk of CVD.

    Did you know?

    • Six million people live with CVD in England
    • CVD results in £16 billion in combined costs every year
    • It causes one death every four minutes
    *NICE Impact – Cardiovascular  disease prevention (September 2021)

    This free programme is the first of its kind and is aimed at nurses, GPs and pharmacists working in primary care in south London who are keen to develop their skills and knowledge and champion CVD prevention in their practice or wider Primary Care Network.

    It is Continuing Professional Development (CPD) accredited and will provide free expert clinical advice and quality improvement support to help fellows become CVD prevention champions. It will also help them identify and implement specific local CVD prevention initiatives in their practice and local area.

    Running from April to October 2022 and culminating with a graduation ceremony in November the programme will consist of six monthly lunch time webinars led by experts in a range of areas including lipid management, hypertension and atrial fibrillation. There will also be ongoing Community of Practice sessions and peer to peer networking opportunities.

    With six million people living with CVD in England with a combined cost of £16 billion every year improving outcomes for at risk patients is an NHS priority. This programme will help to speed up the adoption of innovative initiatives to help prevent CVD across south London.

    Applications for the programme have now closed.

    “We are delighted to launch our first ever CVD Prevention Fellowship Programme. Our free programme will be delivered by experts in their field and will arm clinicians with the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to drive forward innovative schemes and make a real difference to patients at risk of CVD in their area.”Oliver Brady, CVD Prevention Programme Director, Health Innovation Network

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    Applications open for HIN and My Home Life’s Care Home Pioneer Programme 2022

    The Health Innovation Network and My Home Life are delighted to announce the fourth Care Home Pioneer Programme – a  leadership support and professional development programme delivered FREE of charge to Care Home Managers, Deputies, and Senior Nurses to advance their skills, facilitate personal growth and enable them to effectively manage the complex everyday issues that impact on the quality of their service.

    Did you know?

    • Since the programme started in 2017, 23 managers have attended from South East London and 21 from South West London
    • The Pioneer programme has had representatives from all of the South London boroughs

    The ‘Pioneers’ programme is a collaboration between My Home Life England and Health Innovation Network, which has delivered leadership development to 44 care home managers across South London, over 3 cohorts since 2017.

    The Care Home Pioneer Programme will use Action Learning techniques which involve experiential learning through a continuous process of action, learning and reflection, supported by colleagues, with an intention of improving practice. The Pioneers will also work alongside mentors from the HIN to deliver a service improvement project within their care homes, such as reducing falls or improving oral health.

    The FREE programme is jointly funded by care home commissioners and the NHS, and will consist of a combination of four workshops and nine monthly action learning sets. At the end of the programme, there will be a graduation day to celebrate all that has been achieved and to welcome you into the Pioneer Alumni. 

    This infographic highlights key feedback from Pioneers who took part in the programme from 2020-2021.

    Pioneer, Cohort 3, Care Home Pioneers, said: It’s not a training programme. We are learning from one another. The impact of it has given me a huge amount of confidence to deal with things differently.”

    Pioneer, Cohort 3, Care Home Pioneers, said: “I have introduced daily team meeting with the nurses which has helped to boost self-esteem as they are able to discuss any difficulties they may have in their work”

    George Croft, Healthy Ageing Project Support Officer, Health Innovation Network, said: “The feedback from the Pioneers shows that the programme has played an important role in supporting care home managers during the toughest times that the sector has faced in its history, arming leaders with an array of skills and confidence to engage with wider clinical services to help keep residents safe.”

    Further information

    Find out more about the programme and how to apply.

    Download

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    KCL graduate with 30 years’ experience in private and public sectors supporting innovation appointed chair for the Health Innovation Network.

    Hitesh Thakrar has a wide knowledge of the life sciences, information technology and innovation sectors and considerable experience serving on several Boards. This includes the Alan Turing Institute, the national institute for data science and AI and KQ Labs which is an Accelerator set up by the Francis Crick Institute to support next generation businesses in data science and life sciences.

    He is also a partner at Syncona, a Wellcome Trust backed early stage venture fund and the Chair of the Investment Committee for Newable Ventures (a pre-Series A deep tech fund) and an Advisory Committee Member for UK Innovation and Science Seed Fund which supports nine publicly funded research bodies, including the Science and Technology Facilities Council, a part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). Most recently he has become a member of the Board of Trustees for Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital Charity, his local hospital.

    Hitesh started his career in the public sector working with local authorities, before moving into the City as an investment manager specialising in technology, life science and innovation companies in the public markets, and more recently in venture capital private markets with a focus on building UK based innovation led start-ups.

    Throughout these experiences, he has developed a passion for supporting innovation and an ability to understand the factors behind why some new technologies would succeed quickly, some would take time, and some would not succeed at all.

    “It’s clear to me that there is a convergence happening between life sciences and technology. This is going to accelerate in the next 20 years and the HIN is a pivotal place to bring these together.”Hitesh Thakrar

    He said: “I’ve seen how AI and x-rays can be used to predict arthritis, how data and AI can improve biopsies for prostate cancer and am really interested in the ethics and governance around it.

    “It’s clear to me that there is a convergence happening between life sciences and technology. This is going to accelerate in the next 20 years and the HIN is a pivotal place to bring these together.

    “I’m keen to bring my experience in the public and private sectors to the HIN to find innovations that make a difference for patients, public and health professionals in south London.”

    He was appointed following an open process that included HIN Board members from south west London and south east London.

    Dr Rishi Das-Gupta, HIN Chief Executive said: “Hitesh’s drive and passion for innovation make him a great fit for the HIN. I’m looking forward to working with him to accelerate innovation in south London.”

    Hitesh has been appointed for a term of four years and will replace Professor Richard Barker, whose term as chair ends on December 31, 2021.

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    Community Diagnostic Centres – Cardiology Innovation Exchange

    Event: Empowering Patients to Self-Manage

    Our “Community Diagnostic Centres – Cardiology Innovation Exchange” took place on Wednesday 1 December 2021 from 9:00- 12:00.

    The NHS London Community Diagnostic Hub (CDC) Programme are working closely with clinical pathway groups in the design and development of the CDCs to ensure they are meeting the needs of patients and the health system. Health Innovation Network and UCLPartners (Academic Health Science Networks – AHSNs) are supporting the programme to advise on innovative solutions to support the CDCs, in order to improve efficiency and care for patients.

    To showcase this work, all three London AHSNs (HIN, UCLP, and ICHP) hosted an Innovation Exchange Event that gave clinicians, pathway experts, system leaders and innovators an opportunity to engage and discuss the innovative solutions that can support the set-up of the CDCs.

    The innovations that were presented at the event had been selected based on challenge areas identified through our structured engagement with a variety of stakeholders in the field. The current focus is on cardiology and the pathways linked to heart failure, atrial fibrillation, chest pain and valve disease.

    Please note, the innovations referred to at the event are not preferred suppliers and there are other solutions that can support the challenges identified. This event was intended to inspire people as to how innovations can support health system problems, rather than endorse any specific solutions.

    You can watch the recording below, access the event pack here, and access the slides here.

    If you’d like to watch a specific presentation, timings can be found below;

    Reflections on Cohort 3’s Care Home Pioneers Graduation event

    Cohort 3 of the Care Home Pioneer programme took place amidst the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic, meaning that all the programme’s sessions were held via Zoom. As a result, the graduation event presented an opportunity for the Pioneer care home leaders to meet in person for the first time. George Croft, the Healthy Ageing Team’s Project Support Officer, reflects on the day.

    Key information

    • The Pioneer programme has graduates represented across all the south London boroughs.

    • 14 Care Home Managers started Cohort 3 of the Pioneer programme, 9 of whom went on to take part in the Quality Improvement workshops.

    • 100% of Pioneers who completed the final session feedback survey reported the skills that they learned as part of the whole programme were useful and effective in their everyday role.

    On Tuesday 2 November, the Health Innovation Network (HIN) and My Home Life came together at Southwark Cathedral to celebrate the achievements of the third cohort of south London Care Home Pioneers.  The Pioneer Programme is a leadership development programme for care home managers and senior care home nurses based in south London. The HIN has run the Pioneer programme since 2018 in partnership with My Home Life, an organisation working to support quality of life for all people who live, die, work and visit in care homes.

    When I joined the HIN in March 2021, I was excited to witness first-hand how the HIN’s work impacted the lives of people working “on the ground” in health and social care. My time so far supporting the Pioneer programme has proven to me the value that projects like ours can bring to the care sector and those who work within it.

    At the graduation event, seven Care Home Pioneers joined us to not only celebrate their achievement of taking part in the programme but also to acknowledge the strength and compassion that they demonstrated whilst caring for their residents during the coronavirus pandemic. The Pioneers reflected that the Action Learning sessions fostered a “wellness space” as well as a way of “checking out of work and checking in with colleagues” for a few hours every couple of weeks. One care home manager explained passionately that the sessions were “where I would go to recharge my batteries, they gave me courage during difficult conversations” – a remark that has stuck with me in the weeks after the event.

    Care home staff have long felt undervalued in comparison to their NHS colleagues [recently highlighted in BBC One’s Inside the Care Crisis with Ed Balls] and the Pioneer programme is one way that we can help arm leaders with a “portfolio of tools” as one Pioneer put it. Another care home manager mentioned that the programme helped her “learn how to delegate better, helped my home develop shared decision making, and hand more responsibility to staff, which reduced my stress and helped me gain a better work/life balance.”

    The Action Learning component of the programme was led by My Home Life facilitator Danuta Lipinska, who commented – “I certainly felt quite emotional, not only to meet these hardy Pioneers, but to be reminded of what they had all endured and survived, and were now thriving, even though the Covid-19 virus is still with us… We celebrated the achievements of these dedicated and selfless women and men and applauded loudly as we awarded well deserved certificates to the Pioneers. We wish them continued success and stamina in the months that follow, safe in the knowledge that they are not alone and have forged strong relationships with one another and are Associates of the My Home Life and HIN community – a compassionate, skilled and formidable presence in south London.”

    When the Pioneers signed up for the programme, none of them expected to be taking part in virtual workshops, with all the demands that being a care home manager brings erupting in the background. Whilst helping deliver the HIN’s quality improvement element of the programme over Zoom, it was clear to me that there were a lot of exhausted faces in the room, even after the peak of the pandemic. Cohort 3’s graduates told us that whilst the programme would have been better delivered face-to-face (which the HIN would traditionally do), a hybrid of some virtual sessions would also be helpful on occasion for future cohorts.

    “The feedback from the Pioneers shows that the programme has played an important role in supporting care home managers during the toughest times that the sector has faced in its history, arming leaders with an array of skills and confidence to engage with wider clinical services to help keep residents safe.”George Croft, Healthy Ageing Project Support Officer, Health Innovation Network

    Whilst covid restrictions have been lifted, significant challenges remain for care homes. The existing workforce issues have been elevated further by staff burnout, as well as the government’s announcement that vaccination against Covid-19 is to become a condition of deployment in care homes. However, the feedback from the Pioneers shows that the programme has played an important role in supporting care home managers during the toughest times that the sector has faced in its history, arming leaders with an array of skills and confidence to engage with wider clinical services to help keep residents safe. Working on Cohort 3 of the Pioneer programme has been a pleasure, and I look forward to future work that we can do to support alumni and future cohorts.

    The HIN are in the process of securing funding for Cohort 4 of the Pioneer programme, which will be co-designed alongside alumni of previous Pioneer cohorts, to deliver a programme that best meets the needs of care home leaders in south London.

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    New report demonstrates how dermatology teams can re-design their services to streamline the patient pathway and reduce wait times

    The Dermatology Improvement Collaborative was a bespoke quality improvement programme designed and delivered by the Health Innovation Network, Kent, Surrey and Sussex AHSN and supported by the Industry Dermatology Initiative (IDI). The programme was fully funded by the IDI and they also supported with the development of activities and outputs. The collaborative worked to support local south London and Surrey dermatology services to streamline the patient pathway and clear their backlog.

    Note: a full report looking at the work of the Collaborative was published in 2023.

    Key stats

    • In south west London it was found that 17% of dermatology appointments were being cancelled by the provider, compared to 10% Nationally in 2020
    • Across the three trusts in South East London, dermatology services received an average of 6750 referrals per month in 2019/20
    • It was found in Leeds and York that by using high quality dermatoscopic images, 9.5-33% of cases avoided a face-to-face consultation

    Pre-pandemic, the referral to appointment time (RTT) was 16 percent over the 18-week marker in south west London and 31 per cent over in south east London. Covid-19 dramatically worsened the situation as a result of Consultant Dermatologists and other operational staff being redeployed to deal with the pandemic response, therefore further increasing patient waiting times.

    However, with funding from NHSX to accelerate the introduction of teledermatology in south east and south west London ICSs, the Dermatology Improvement Collaborative was able to support each ICS to implement new technology which aim to reduce wait times for patients.

    The focus for south east London ICS was utilising their clinical resources more effectively, particularly in clinical triage and referral. A technology platform was implemented to manage clinical virtual review. A joint consultant rota was generated where consultants across the three NHS Trusts in south east London could review referrals before they are actioned, in order to streamline clinical triage.

    In south west London ICS it was about reducing waiting times for dermatology appointments in secondary care. Educational videos were created to support patient and GP education of the treatment and management of skin conditions. As a result, GPs could make more informed decisions and therefore more appropriate referrals, which reduces wait times.

    Ashford and St Peter’s NHS Foundation Trust sought solutions to address increasing service size and demand. For their two-week wait skin cancer referral pathway, they established teledermatology ‘photohubs’ across three north west Surrey locations. Employing healthcare assistants to take high quality images, which were uploaded securely to the Trust image database for review by the dermatology consultants. Next steps are to pilot the AI tool Skin Analytics in their services as part of the NHSX’s Artificial Intelligence in Health and Care Award.

    “Like many across the country, Dermatology teams in south east and south west London were put under huge pressure during the pandemic, but by embracing new technology they saw the potential to improve their services. We hope the report into their success can help more dermatology services to transform their services through introduction of technology to help to reduce wait times for patients.”Lesley Soden, Programme Director of Innovation Theme, Health Innovation Network

    A number of case studies were produced using the insights gathered and have now been translated into a report to share lessons learnt for all dermatology services wanting to implement teledermatology. These case studies will be being presented at the Conference: Govconnect – NHS Long Term Plan 2021 Meeting on 30th November 2021.

    The IDI is a cross-industry collaboration to improve dermatology care and includes and is funded by the following member companies: Amgen, Eli Lilly and Company, LEO Pharma UK, Sanofi and UCB.

    Date of preparation: September 2021                                 Document number: GB-NPS-0921-00004

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    New transatlantic partnership announced for companies working to improve digital health

    News

    Post Title

    The DigitalHealth.London and Cedars-Sinai Accelerators, two of the world’s top Accelerator programmes, today announced their new partnership supporting the international adoption of some of the US and UK’s best health tech companies.

    It means patients in both the UK and US should benefit quicker from health tech innovations. The partnership will also utilise the deep healthcare knowledge and networks held by both organisations, to support companies who have taken part in either of the Accelerator programmes, to navigate and gain traction in a new global market. The companies will be given the opportunity to learn from and support their global peers, hear from experts in the new market, showcase their products/services to key international stakeholders and attend webinars on the respective healthcare systems.

    Jenny Thomas, Programme Director, DigitalHealth.London, said: “At DigitalHealth.London we are dedicated to supporting the growth and development of high potential digital health companies who are meeting the challenges facing health care systems today. The Cedars-Sinai Accelerator shares this goal, and it is our joint vision to work together to accelerate the adoption of the best healthcare solutions internationally.”

    Anne Wellington, Managing Director, Cedars-Sinai Accelerator, said: The Cedars-Sinai Accelerator supports innovation that will improve healthcare, not only for our own patients and clinicians but by advancing technologies that benefit our global community. We are thrilled that this collaboration with DigitalHealth.London will foster support and adoption of the most transformative solutions from the US and UK!.”

    Dr Tim Ferris, Director of Transformation at NHSE, said: “Some of the world’s most exciting digital health work is happening here in the UK. The NHS has a lot of knowledge to share, and there is also much we can learn from other countries. It is vital we use these connections to promote effective ways of improving patient care and work environments for busy NHS staff.”

    DigitalHealth.London’s Accelerator aims to speed up the adoption of technology in London’s NHS, relieving high pressure on services and empowering patients to manage their health. It works with up to 20 SMEs over a 12-month period, giving bespoke support and advice, a programme of expert-led workshops and events and brokering meaningful connections between innovators and NHS organisations with specific challenges. The NHS delivered programme, funded in part by the European Regional Development Fund, has supported some of the biggest and most effective digital innovations now being used by the NHS in London. Companies including LIVI, Oxehealth, Patchwork Health, Echo, Sweatcoin, and Health Navigator have all been through the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme. To date, the Accelerator has supported 122 innovative digital health companies, with 591 additional contracts secured and 1498 jobs created by those companies during Accelerator support. £2.06 billion of investment has been raised by these companies to date and for every £1 spent on the programme through the AHSNs, it is estimated £12.70 is saved for the NHS*.

    The Cedars-Sinai Accelerator is transforming healthcare quality, efficiency, and care delivery by helping entrepreneurs create, grow and scale their innovative technology products. This three-month program, based in Los Angeles, California, provides companies with $100,000 in funding, mentorship from more than 300 leading clinicians and executives, access to Cedars-Sinai, and exposure to a broad network of entrepreneurs and investors. Since 2015, the Accelerator has helped more than 60 companies transform healthcare delivery and patient care. Examples of companies supported by the Accelerator include WELL Health, Aiva Health, Health Note, Diligent Robotics and AppliedVR. UK-founded alumni of the Cedars-Sinai Accelerator include Lumeon, Lantum and Virti. Accelerator alumni have gone on to collectively raise more than $500M in investment and are in use at thousands of hospitals and clinics across the United States and around the world.

    Further information

    Find out more about DigitalHealth.London and the fantastic work that they do to support innovators.

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    DigitalHealth.London publishes “Driving digital: Insights and foresights from the health and care ecosystem”

    News

    Post Title

    When DigitalHealth.London was created five years ago, the digital health landscape was a very different place, as were the challenges facing the NHS. To celebrate their fifth birthday, DigitalHealth.London started a five-week conversation with NHS and social care staff, industry, patients and academics. Today, DigitalHealth.London publishes “Driving digital: Insights and foresights from the health and care ecosystem”, a fascinating look at the sector’s learnings from the last five years and the opportunities for the next five years in digital health.

    The free-to-access publication features exclusive quotes and/or videos from Sir David Sloman, NHS Regional Director for London, Matthew Gould, CEO of NHSX, Patrick Mitchell, Director of Innovation, Transformation and Digital at Health Education England, and Professor Trish Greenhalgh, Professor of Primary Care Health Sciences at the University of Oxford – plus many more NHS and social care staff, digital health companies, patients and academics.

    Topics in the publication include NHS digital health adoption, tackling digital exclusion, the importance of co-design, challenges of health tech evaluation, AI for workforce support, growth of remote monitoring and international opportunities.

    Jenny Thomas, Programme Director at DigitalHealth.London, said, “We are proud of what DigitalHealth.London has achieved over the last five years in supporting the growth of digital health innovation in London and of how much we have learnt. But we know that there is still more to be done. That is why we wanted to celebrate our 5th birthday by starting an open discussion with groups from across the healthcare sector. Thank you to everyone who took part in what was an enlightening conversation, and we hope that those reading these insights gain as much from it as we did.”

    Dr Timothy Ferris, Director of Transformation at NHS England and Improvement, said, “DigitalHealth.London has brought together voices from across health and social care – staff, patients and service users, industry and academics – to reflect on learnings from the last five years and the future of healthcare. This publication provides invaluable insights for how we can work together towards the goal of improving people’s care. I would encourage leaders, clinicians and decision makers in health and care to read, share and take action.”

    Sonia Patel, Chief Information Officer at NHSX, said, “The digital health landscape has changed dramatically over the last five years, and it is clear from the insights shared in DigitalHealth.London’s 5th birthday publication, that as a sector we’ve learnt an incredible amount. As a Londoner, I’m particularly pleased to see progress in tech and data to support a multicultural, diverse community. It is also apparent that, while we’ve still got a way to go, the future is bright for digital health in London and beyond. If you’re working in digital health, this is a must-read.”

    Further information

    Explore more by reading “Driving digital: Insights and foresights from the health and care ecosystem.”

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    New report shows remote mental health consultations make care more accessible but are not the right solution for all patients

    Clinician pictured in remote consultation with patient

    Remote technology has transformed mental health consultations during Covid-19 but it’s not the solution for every situation nor for all patients.

    Key stats

    • 6,030 patients responded to the Trust surveys
    • 554 clinicians that responded to the Trust surveys
    • The report included a synthesis of 77 papers from 19 countries

    A new report has found the shift to remote mental health consultations held by telephone or video, rather than face-to-face because of the pandemic, led to improved access, reduced missed appointments, and reduced travel stress. However, it also highlighted challenges, including access to technology, issues around broadband connectivity and data packages.

    The report, produced by the NHS’s Health Innovation Network, NIHR Applied Research Collaboration South London, King’s Improvement Science and involving experts by experience, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust and Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust, makes several recommendations to inform clinical practice and to determine ongoing gaps in knowledge.

    Key findings from the 6,030 patients who responded to the Trust surveys on remote consultations in mental health settings were that they allowed the flexibility of varying levels of support during the pandemic, and care was more accessible to populations who may have previously found travel to appointments challenging and some patients felt more relaxed in their own home during the consultation.

    From the 554 clinicians that responded to the Trust surveys, including psychologists, psychiatrists, psychotherapists and nurses, training to use technology was raised as a need for both clinicians and patients.

    Patients, carers, and clinicians said remote consultations were more convenient, reduced travel time, saved travel costs and meant family members were readily able to attend family sessions. In particular, remote mental health consultations were acceptable to people during Covid-19 to continue their treatment.

    However, there is no ‘one size fits all’ and an individualised approach will always remain the gold standard, especially for new patients and children, those with a psychosis diagnosis, learning difficulties or the digitally excluded. Other barriers to remote consultations included where patients or clinicians could not access a private space where they were confident they would not be interrupted.

    The report includes three evaluations:

    • Two evidence reviews of research both before and during Covid-19 were conducted jointly with the NIHR Mental Health Policy Research Unit.
    • Thematic analysis of patient and staff surveys from across the three Trusts, which received 6,608 responses.
    • The results of an e-survey on 32 projects with a focus on patient and/or staff perspectives on experience.

    “Technology has allowed clinicians to provide consultations remotely, and this has been well received by many patients who say it is more convenient and saves the time and stress of having to travel to appointments. ”Dr Natasha Curran, Medical Director Health Innovation Network

    Health Innovation Network Medical Director Natasha Curran said:

    “Access to mental health services during Covid-19 has been disrupted as patients were isolated and clinicians were unable to hold face-to-face consultations. Technology has allowed clinicians to provide consultations remotely, and this has been well received by many patients who say it is more convenient and saves the time and stress of having to travel to appointments.

    “This study also shows that remote consultations don’t work for everyone for a variety of reasons: the nature of some patients’ condition, technological barriers, or privacy, for both clinicians and patients. This comprehensive report points to the benefits of a hybrid system, the importance of patient choice, where some consultations can be carried out remotely and others face to face, that could support vital ongoing mental health treatment both during Covid-19 and beyond.”

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    Deep dive into digital advance care planning

    What are the benefits of advance care planning using digital tools and how challenging is it to implement an effective system?  In this Q&A discussion, NHS South West London CCGs Digital Urgent Care Planning Project Officer Lucy Colleer and NHS England Assistant Director for Enhanced Health and Care Homes and Care Sector Support Fay Sibley answer key questions in the aftermath of Covid-19 and its impact in care homes. The conversation centres on the advance digital care record, Coordinate My Care (CMC).

    Photo of Fay Sibley

    Photo above: Fay Sibley

    Why is advance care planning and having a digital urgent care record important for care home residents?

    Fay:

    I think it's incredibly important that care home residents have a digital urgent care record. We know that care home residents are often in the end phases of life. Even those that aren’t, are living with often extremely complex health and social care needs. So to have a single place where information is recorded about their wishes and preferences as well as their medical needs, including their medication, diagnosis and CPR status means that we are able to look after care home residents in a more holistic way.

    "I think that's particularly important when we start to think about people who, for various reasons, aren’t able to necessarily advocate for themselves."Fay Sibley

    It means that all of the health care professionals who are involved in that person’s care, and look after that person have access to information about that person. I think that's particularly important when we start to think about people who, for various reasons, aren’t able to necessarily advocate for themselves. Or may not be well enough at the point in which they're accessing care to be able to advocate for themselves, or to put forward their needs and preferences.

    Putting in place a system 

    To have that in a systematic way that's consistent and that everybody is familiar with, really does help them with transfer of care. This means we can make sure that we do meet those wishes and preferences and just means we can deliver the right care. Whether that's keeping somebody comfortable at home, or whether that's escalating and transferring them to hospital. If you can access that information, it allows you to consider that on a very individual basis.

    Photo of Lucy Colleer

    Bitesize info

    A series of short case study videos have been produced to demonstrate the value of individual patients having advance/urgent care plans brings to the wider health and care system.

    Photo above: Lucy Colleer

    Lucy:

    We conducted a case study recently with a care home in Kingston, to look at how they were using CMC. How they got on with setting up CMC in the care home as well as getting their staff trained and using it. I think the biggest benefit, is that [CMC] puts the resident’s wishes first.

    From a technical point of view, having a digital urgent care plan allows everyone to have access to the same information. It’s updated automatically, which means that you don't have to worry about bits of paper going out of date or going missing.

    Saving time in an urgent situation

    One of the things that the care manager we interviewed spoke about, was that it saved them so much time in an urgent care situation. In one instance, they had a resident who had a fall, and they called the ambulance service. Normally they would get phone calls from A&E saying, ‘What are the patient’s medical details?’, ‘What medication are they taking?’ But having it in that digital care record just meant that they didn't have to spend time printing documents, or taking those phone calls. And also for the staff in A&E as well, it was really helpful to have that information. Having an End of Life care plan really saves time and can strengthen decision-making.

    It's just about putting the resident and the patient first. It also helps make life easier for clinicians who don't have an awful lot of time on their hands, and the care home staff as well.

    "(A CMC care plan) really means that we are able to look after care home residents in a more holistic way."Lucy Colleer

    Bitesize info

    In July 2020, the HIN was commissioned to deliver a programme to increase use and quality of shared electronic advance and urgent care plans using Co-ordinate my Care (CMC). The programme concentrated on clinical engagement. Read about the Advance and Urgent Care Plans – London Accelerator

    Fay:

    I used to work for the ambulance service and one of the most difficult things was going to a care home in the early hours of the morning after being called to a resident. In one instance where this happened to me, the resident was acutely unwell, had a complex medical history and wasn't able to communicate. I was faced with trying to make an informed clinical decision with no access to information. Often at night in a care home they're operating with skeleton staff and, quite often, agency staff or bank staff because there are challenges in the care sector workforce. So they might not even be able to access patients records because they would be locked in the manager's office.

    The problem with limited information

    What we would know about that resident would be so limited that often as a paramedic, you end up taking people to A&E despite having concerns about whether the distress that course of action entails would justify the benefits. At that point it comes down to questions around what is “right” or “fair”, which are very difficult to answer as a clinician.

    You are so limited to be able to make any other choice, because you didn't know their medical history. You didn't know what their wishes were. Nor which family member to call or who might have some more information about that person.

    Seeing the info on an iPad

    When paramedics first started to be able to access urgent care records we used to have to do that by phoning up the control centre. Amazingly, now paramedics can actually see it in real time on an iPad. But even when I left the service, you could call up the control centre and ask for that information. It just meant that you could make a different decision and you could justify that decision.

    It was an informed clinical decision that was backed up and supported by the input of that person's GP. The input of that person's family, the input, hopefully, of that person themselves, as it allows you to make different decisions. And as Lucy said, a decision that really puts the person at the centre.

    "There was real recognition that care needed to change quite quickly [because of Covid], and that those effects would probably be lasting."Fay Sibley

    Bitesize info

    The HIN, in partnership with the End of Life Care Strategic Clinical Network, secured funding from the NHS England (NHSE) personalisation team to work with Marie Curie nurses to create CMC records for care home residents in three nursing homes in south east London over a five week period. Read Increasing the number of care home residents in Lambeth supported by a Co-ordinate My Care plan

    How is the HIN doing in terms of speeding up the spread and adoption of digital urgent care records in south London?

    Fay:

    The HIN has been working in this space for a long time, probably since the HIN started (in 2016) and more formally with CMC for the last two and a half years. Through a small pot of funding, through The Health Foundation, we were able to do a pilot project with about 10 care homes looking at different methods of getting care homes access to CMC. We also looked at the things that care homes would need to do in order to be able to access CMC. Either to view it or to put information into the record.

    The challenges for care homes

    From that project we learnt an awful lot about some of the process aspects of this that are challenging for care homes. Things like Information Governance (IG) requirements, the hardware requirements, having a laptop or a device to use and the Wi-Fi requirements.  I think that learning has then helped us to try to move this conversation on.

    Obviously in terms of the [Covid-19] pandemic, it changed lots of things. Particularly the work that care homes are doing and the focus being put on care homes by the Government.  So at the beginning of the pandemic the HIN was really instrumental in trying to pull together various stakeholders who were looking at the key questions ‘How do we create records for care home residents?’ There was real recognition that care needed to change quite quickly, and that those effects would probably be lasting.

    Collaborative working

    The other thing we did was we worked with the End of Life Care Strategic Clinical Network to secure some funding and ran a small-scale pilot with Marie Curie. That was really interesting because Marie Curie had a number of frontline clinical staff who were shielding themselves because of the pandemic. Those staff were at risk of being furloughed and not able to work because they weren't able to do their frontline job. So what Marie Curie did was give them some additional training and upskilling. This meant they could support care homes to create CMC records for residents.

    Working with care homes

    We worked with three care homes in Lambeth, one GP practice and Marie Curie to deliver a small kind of, ‘proof of concept’ project around the use of CMC in a care home.  We learnt lots. We realised that to create quality records remotely with another organisation that doesn't perhaps know that person or have access to all of their clinical information has its challenges. They were able to do a fantastic job in starting the record off, but they still required a fair amount of input from the GP. It was not a perfect model, but we learnt a lot from the project. It was really interesting to use voluntary sector organisations to support this work.  In particular, organisations like Marie Curie that really have a lot of knowledge around end of life and advance care planning. And to use a staff group that otherwise, perhaps, wouldn't have been working during the pandemic and certainly couldn't do their main role.

    Bitesize info

    The HIN Healthy Ageing and Informatics Teams were commissioned to create a user friendly and useful digital maturity dashboard for care homes across London. This project was led by the Health Innovation Network and funded by the Digital First London region team.

    Since then we've been doing a lot of work with Lucy and trying to support the coordinated pan-London effort around care homes and CMC. So it's absolutely brilliant to see this is on the commissioners’ radar and the work that Lucy’s doing. Lucy's pulled together a steering group that now meets monthly, and the HIN is also trying to help with some of the analysis of the data.

    A dashboard for care home digital maturity

    We've developed a Care Homes Digital Maturity Dashboard. This is a tool to be able to  monitor each care homes maturity status, in terms of their digital abilities. A key part of that for London care homes is CMC. 'Do they have access to CMC?' 'Do they have the right IG requirements that allow access to CMC?  'How many residents in their home have CMC?' We’re pulling all of those data sources together and presenting that information in a way that's useful to Lucy and other colleagues across London working in this space.

    I think the HIN’s moved more into a supportive role, trying to share the lessons that we've learned from some of the early work. And then really letting the commissioner drive it forward in a way that we don’t have the reach to do.

    "(A CMC care plan) really means that we are able to look after care home residents in a more holistic way."Lucy Colleer

    Bitesize info

    View the collection of resources. Coordinate My Care has provided a wealth of info to support the patient-led portal to create an end of life care plan. MyCMC: your plan, in your own time, in your own home

    How many digital urgent care records have been created through CMC?

    Lucy:

    It’s in the region of thousands (see chart below). There are lots and lots of residents who do have care records, so the focus of our pan London work at the moment is actually getting care home staff themselves to look at those records. At the moment the majority of those records are created by the GPs and sometimes in the acute trust. So we're trying to encourage care home staff to start looking at those resident plans and keep them up to date.

    The power of data

    We have been working really closely with Fay and the HIN and I would say that the HIN has been more than just support. We're trying to lead the way from where you paved the way and the Care Homes Digital Maturity Dashboard is really, really helpful especially from a commissioning perspective because we can look at how it's affecting the ambulance call-outs and the conveyance rates and use the information to make commissioning and transformation decisions. From a commissioning point of view, obviously patient-centred care is the most important thing, but financial return on investment is important too. It’s been really great to be working with it with the HIN and supporting work that Fay and the team have been doing.

    Fay:

    I think the other thing that's really helpful is about data, and CMC actually produce a fair bit of data.  Again we could debate the data set of course we could, but they do produce a commissioners’ workbook, again on a monthly basis. One of the useful things about data is it allows you to look at different areas and make those comparisons.

    Incentivising GPs and the role of the ICS's

    For example in south London, south west London do particularly well in terms of the number of CMC records they’ve created. So you can look at some of the models that they've put in place over the last, let's say five years, that have really led to that. For example they incentivised GPs to do some of this work, so you saw a really big increase in that they've got a really established enhanced health and care homes programme and End of Life care programme within their Integrated Care System (ICS).

    Again, they're really driving that work forward from a ICS strategic point of view, so having data allows you to look at factors such as where’s doing well? And ask questions like 'What are they doing?' 'Who’s lagging behind and 'what might be the reasons for that?'

    The quality of the record

    And then one of the other things that the HIN has really been focusing on is thinking about the quality of the record. Creating a record is one thing that's really important, but the record is only really as good as the information that's in it. 'How do I make sure that the information that I include in that record is of quality and is useful?' 'Does it make sense as a kind of complete picture?'

    The HIN developed a checklist of the non-mandatory information that would be most useful to clinicians. And then from that we've done some work with south west London to try to refine that. Again, we pulled together a steering group with various clinicians from south west London to look at how can we use something like a checklist to drive up and standardise the quality of CMC records. This is so they are a useful, high quality, advanced care planning record.

    "Creating a record is one thing that's really important, but the record is only really as good as the information that's in it."Fay Sibley

    What would you say has been the biggest challenge in setting up more CMC records?

    Fay:

    I think capacity of the workforce to really do this, is the biggest challenge. As Lucy said, at the moment the vast majority of CMC records for care home residents are created by GPs. But GPs are an incredibly over-stretched workforce and it's not a quick five-minute job. It can take up to an hour to really have a meaningful conversation and then translate that into a record and publish that record. When you start talking about thousands of records across London, that's thousands of hours of GP time.

    Who else can support the programme?

    But I think the thing that may help us around that is understanding who else within the primary care and community services workforce can support this work.  Care homes themselves absolutely play a vital role and can feed into the record and do some of the data entry and have the conversations, but also, say, palliative care teams often do this kind of work; hospices, they've got brilliant teams that can support with this. Voluntary sector organisations; Macmillan, Marie Curie and GP practices are now starting to grow their workforce. Through the Primary Care Networks, we've now got paramedics working in GP practices. We've got highly skilled nurses that are really, really knowledgeable. There is a growing pool of professionals who could support the creation of urgent care records.

    Getting patients and their families involved

    We’ve also got an opportunity through MyCMC potentially as well which is something that was set up to be a patient-led record. Somebody would initiate that record for themselves, and there are roles within a GP practice where that could be a supported process, so social prescribers for example have the potential to be able to support somebody, even living in a care home, to initiate that record. People have a bit more agency. This includes setting up a record in mental health care homes and learning difficulty care homes. It may be appropriate sometimes to use MyCMC.

    Lucy:

    I take your point on capacity in terms of creating and maintaining those care plans. Once the plan is there,  it’s fairly easy to update and maintain it and we've seen that with some of the care homes that have been using it. They include it as part of the weekly rounds when the GP comes along, they include it at the Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) meetings that take place. And actually it's not too much work once the initial plan is filled out. In some of the more successful care homes using CMC the biggest thing, is just being engaging with them, and that's quite difficult to do from a commissioning perspective.

    Resource challenges

    I work in a very small commissioning team of just two. We’re covering the whole of London, including all health and care organisations across London.  So between us, it's very difficult to do that engagement. CMC does have a very strong engagement team, and they are successful, but they're still quite a small team for the whole of London. Some of the more successful care homes have been the ones that the CCG has provided resource, such as project support officers that have literally been hand holding those care homes to support them with all sorts of digital maturity aspects, like the Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPT) compliance and also, they've been really helpful with getting the care homes access to CMC.

    I think engagement is one of the biggest success factors, but also a huge challenge. I think there's such a variety of resources across London. I know some STP's simply just don't have the resource to hand hold care homes with it.

    Care homes 'left behind'

    I think care homes have been left behind a little bit in terms of digital maturity. That's one of the key things - being able to have access to a computer, good internet, the IG (Information Governance) - all in place.  I think that they've been a bit left behind. I don't know what the historical reasons behind that are, but I think the digital maturity side of things is a big challenge for some care homes, especially the smaller ones.

    Fay:

    I would agree wholeheartedly with that around the kind of digital maturity aspects.

    And I think there's lots of reasons. Obviously, many of them are private providers. Historically, social care hasn't received the same level of funding as the NHS. It perhaps hasn't been seen as a priority or our job.

    Equality of access to care

    But I think when we talk about and think about equality of access to care and the world that we now live in, and the fact that many health services have been forced to, at least in some ways, move to a more virtual remote delivery then actually it's no longer the responsibility of social care alone because we're denying people access to the care that they have a right to.

    I think that's probably why there is such an increased focus throughout the pandemic on getting care homes up to that basic level of digital maturity; that same digital standard that we would expect of our NHS.  It's not easy, and I think one of the reasons we started the dashboard was because at the beginning of the pandemic, what we didn't know is what we didn't know (i.e we didn't know whether this home in Southwark had Wi-Fi even, or if they even had a laptop and that information wasn't anywhere). There were no agreed datasets around the care homes. There was no kind of central repository to go to and just put in the care home name and it will bring that up, so we didn't even know how to support them, because we didn't know what they had to start with. So that's part of the reason we initiated that dashboard work because we were like how we can support the central government functions - health and social care, public health and other involved organisations?

    This was a joint interview that took place remotely in April 2021.

    NB: Fay Sibley was speaking in her previous role as the HIN's Head of Healthy Ageing.

    Table showing number of care home residents in London with a CMC plan

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    See more info on our work with CMC here.

    Click here for the CMC project webpage

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    DigitalHealth.London Accelerator opens for applications

    Call out to the next generation of digital innovation to transform health and care.

    Digital products and services have provided vital innovation, support and capacity to the NHS during the Covid-19 pandemic and will continue to do so as the healthcare system moves forward into the subsequent recovery phase of the Covid-19 response. DigitalHealth.London has opened applications to their flagship Accelerator programme for the next generation of digital health companies to transform health and care.

    Now in its sixth consecutive year, the NHS delivered programme, funded in part by the European Regional Development Fund, has supported some of the biggest and most effective digital innovations now being used by the NHS in London. Companies including LIVI, Oxehealth, Patchwork Health, Echo, Sweatcoin, and Health Navigator  have all been through the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme. Many of the digital products and services who have provided vital innovation, support and capacity to the NHS during the response to Covid-19 have come through the Accelerator. From enabling remote GP appointments, to transforming NHS temporary staffing and patient facing self-management apps, the Accelerator has supported some of the best digital innovations now being widely used. The need for innovations to solve the problems which face the NHS as it continues to be under pressure and as it recovers from the pandemic, remains vital.

    To date the Accelerator has supported 122 innovative digital health companies, with 411 additional contracts signed by those companies during Accelerator support. For every £1 spent on the programme it is estimated over £14 is saved for the NHS*. DigitalHealth.London is passionate about the importance of diversity and inclusion in the long-term success of innovation and transformation within the NHS. To date 15 per cent of the companies supported have been founded by women, 22 per cent have been owned by innovators who identify as Black, Asian or minority ethnic and 2 per cent by a person with a disability*. DigitalHeath.London continues to work to ensure the Accelerator programme is diverse and encourages innovators who identify as being from a minority group to apply to the programme.

    Jenny Thomas, Programme Director, DigitalHealth.London Accelerator, said: “The last year and a half in the NHS has seen profound challenges but also incredible progress. NHS Staff and patients have been introduced to new ways of doing things through digital health, and technology has enabled many key services to continue during the Covid-19 pandemic. I am extremely proud of the companies and NHS organisations we have worked with and the role they have played during the pandemic and the vital roles I know they will continue to play as we start to look at supporting the NHS to recover. I am very excited to announce the opening of applications to be part of the next cohort of innovators on the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme – innovators who we will support in being part of this next, pivotal stage for our healthcare system.”

    Dr Rishi Das-Gupta, Chief Executive, Health Innovation Network, said: “I am delighted that applications are open for the sixth cohort of the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator. Over the years we have seen so many success stories come out of the programme – innovations that are now making a significant positive impact on health outcomes and ongoing challenges like workforce pressures. The depth of support offered to innovators over a 12-month period is really impressive, providing bespoke assistance and advice through events such as expert-led workshops and facilitating meaningful connections between innovators and NHS organisations with specific challenges.

    I look forward to contributing to the development of what I’m sure will be another outstanding cohort of innovators this year. I would urge anyone thinking of applying to join the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator 101 Webinar on Wednesday 4 August at 12:30pm and find out more about the programme and how it might benefit you.”

    Theo Blackwell, Chief Digital Officer for London, said: “DigitalHealth.London’s influential Accelerator programme is helping London establish its place as one of the most exciting digital health and care hubs in the world. I am delighted to continue to support the Accelerator as it opens for applications again and I’d urge any digital health innovator who has a product or service that could support the NHS in this challenging time to consider joining this programme.”

    Tara Donnelly, Chief Digital Officer of NHSX, said: “The DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme is a key player in helping the NHS and social care to make the most of the opportunities digital technologies bring.

    “This has never been more important as the NHS looks to recover from the pandemic and I look forward to seeing the next group of innovators bringing their solutions to London’s NHS.”

    Phoebe Allen, Quality Improvement Manager, Planned Care, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Working on the ground in the NHS I have witnessed first-hand the rapid progress of digital technology within our healthcare system over the last year. Without some of these innovations the delivery of many services would have been nearly impossible and it is clear that digital technology has a huge role to play in the future of improving patient care and helping the NHS to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. The DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme helps connect innovators to NHS teams with an unmet need and provide them with the knowledge they need to truly understand the challenges face by the NHS, its staff and its patients.”

    Dr Mridula Pore, CEO and Co-founder, Peppy, Accelerator programme 2020-21, said: “The DigitalHealth.London Accelerator has been instrumental in fostering the perfect environment for Peppy to grow in the NHS. The guidance we have been given, connections brokered with decision makers in NHS organisations and policy makers, and the support we have received from our NHS Navigator has all led to wonderful new opportunities and meaningful growth of our company. We are truly grateful for our Accelerator experience and would like to wish all companies applying good luck in what is a hugely competitive and valuable programme.”

    Anas Nader, Co-Founder, Patchwork Health, Accelerator programme 2019-20, said: “We’re so proud of how widely our technology has already been embraced across the NHS and the impact we’re having on the lives of thousands of clinicians. We were delighted to join the 2019-20 cohort of DigitalHealth.London’s Accelerator, a brilliant programme speeding up adoption of digital health innovations in the NHS. The programme has provided us with opportunities to connect with industry experts as well as other healthtech innovators. I’d encourage companies like ours with good ideas and big ambitions to apply.”

    DigitalHealth.London’s Accelerator aims to speed up the adoption of technology in London’s NHS, relieving high pressure on services and empowering patients to manage their health. The programme is for digital health companies with a product or service that has high potential to meet the challenges facing the NHS and social care today, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and as detailed in the NHS Long Term Plan. It works with up to 20 SMEs over a 12-month period, giving bespoke support and advice, a programme of expert-led workshops and events and brokering meaningful connections between innovators and NHS organisations with specific challenges. The companies that are successful in getting onto the Accelerator programme are chosen through a rigorous and highly competitive selection process, involving expert NHS and industry panel assessments, interviews and due diligence checks. Companies successful in gaining a place on the programme usually have a product or service that has already been piloted in the NHS and is ready to scale. Through-out the 12 months the programme focuses on engagement with different elements of the health and care system. Company suitability is assessed based both on product maturity (meaning products that are ready to be trialled or bought that have high potential to meet NHS challenges) and on the company’s capacity to benefit from the programme (meaning companies have enough time and staff to engage).

    Join a discussion with the Programme Director, an NHS Navigator and some of the SMEs who have been supported by the programme on the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator 101 Webinar on Wednesday 4 August at 12:30pm.

    We're here to help

    Get in touch for more information about the Accelerator.

    Find out more about the programme

    Hospital staff use ‘nudge theory’ to boost health and wellbeing during Covid-19

    #OnlyHuman promo film

    Featured on BBC London TV news and in the Revealing Reality-produced film above, King’s College Hospital (KCH) has adopted the HIN’s behavioural science workforce support campaign #OnlyHuman to help prevent staff burnout caused by the pressures of the Coronavirus pandemic.

    Key statistics

    King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust employs over 11,000 staff.

    Hundreds of staff at King’s College Hospital have embraced ‘nudge theory’ to help protect their wellbeing during the pandemic.

    The hospital has become the first to adopt a workforce-wide campaign called #OnlyHuman that uses behavioural insights to prompt frontline staff to take action that helps protect their physical and mental wellbeing. The move comes after King’s trialled the campaign last year and emergency and critical care teams reported a positive impact during a highly challenging period during the pandemic.

    The campaign takes a peer-to-peer approach to prompt staff, who sometimes struggle to identify
    signs of stress in themselves, to spot early signs of strain within colleagues and use these tools to then take simple actions. These include check in with colleagues regularly to make sure they’re taking breaks, drinking enough water, implementing brief huddles before and after shifts and simply showing kindness to each other.

    Behavioural experts maintain that if staff can are prompted to use these behaviours, this creates a ripple effect because social cues reinforce the behaviours and embed them into the workforce.

    Devised at pace over eight weeks in response to Covid-19, behavioural insight specialists worked in conjunction with healthcare professionals across multiple trusts to identify key themes to address. The themes included: Checking in, Recharging, Managing Uncertainty, Warming up and down and Kindness.

    This was a joint project between behavioural research specialists Revealing Reality and the NHS’s Health Innovation Network, funded by The Health Foundation.

    Dr Claire McDonald, Principal Clinical Psychologist and Lead Psychologist for Staff Support at King’s College Hospital, said:

    “The Covid-19 pandemic has been an unprecedented time for our frontline health and care staff. Staff have worked tirelessly to care for patients including those who have been critically ill. There is also the broader context of fear and uncertainty about the risks and evolving situation, coupled with an erosion of our natural ways of coping due to restrictions.

    “This understandably takes a toll, as we are ‘Only Human’. That’s why we rolled out the campaign, as one strand of our KCH staff support offer, to encourage staff to look after themselves and each other through various tips and simple measures. We brought the campaign into our Wellbeing Hubs and many teams and departments including Emergency and Critical Care. To provide the very best care to patients our staff first need to be well resourced. Extra levels of stress require extra levels of self-care and looking out for each other.”

    KCH’s Christine Brown Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Team Leader Mairead Trant said:

    “I think this is a fantastic initiative to help frontline staff cope with the emotional strain that sometimes comes with the work we do. It’s important that we take time to look after ourselves and each other and reflect on what happens each day.

    “By taking time to talk to someone you trust, it can help greatly to ease the stress and improve mental wellbeing. This initiative really focuses on this theme and will have huge health benefits for staff.”

    “I think this is a fantastic initiative to help frontline staff cope with the emotional strain that sometimes comes with the work we do.”KCH’s Christine Brown Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Team Leader Mairead Trant.

    Health Innovation Network Programme Director in the Patient Safety and Experience team Catherine Dale said:

    “It’s great that King’s College Hospital staff found our #OnlyHuman campaign useful during Covid-19 and have since adopted it.

    “When the pandemic hit we recognised the emotional toll it was taking on healthcare staff. Behavioural insights – also known as ‘nudge theory’ – encourage people to act in helpful ways. We applied this approach to develop a suite of materials to help healthcare professional support each other during these enormously challenging times.”

    Further information

    Download the #OnlyHuman resource pack today.

    Download now

    We're here to help

    Contact our Patient Experience & Patient Safety team.

    Email us
     

    Kingston Council Mental Health and Wellbeing Training Programme for Care Workers

    In order to safeguard the wellbeing of the care workforce, Kingston Council launched a wellbeing training programme, alongside a package of support, in September 2020.

    In brief

    • Increased the number of mental health first aiders in the care workforce by 110 per cent.
    • 78 per cent of attendees found the mental health first aid course useful.
    • All the participants would recommend the programme to others.

    Covid-19 has taken its toll on us all and we’re yet to know the full impact it’s had on our workforce, particularly those working on the frontline in the health and care sector. From the physical exhaustion of maintaining capacity when sickness levels were high to the emotional effects of managing own fears and anxieties whilst coping with mass bereavement and loss. The trauma our care workers have faced over the past year cannot be underestimated and their mental and physical health has never been more of a priority.

    In order to safeguard the wellbeing of the care workforce, Kingston Council launched a wellbeing training programme, alongside a package of support, in September 2020. The aims of the programme were to raise mental health awareness and understanding amongst the workforce, build resilience and increase their ability to cope with day to day stressors. Through the programme, a network of wellbeing champions was created to provide peer support and deliver wellbeing workshops throughout their organisations and communities.

    “The course was absolutely wonderful and I enjoyed my experience in the mental health for first hand. I would recommend everyone to have the course”Course participant

    Our Healthy Ageing team were asked to evaluate the wellbeing programme that Kingston council provided for their care workers. You can read the results of the evaluation here.

    The pilot programme has been a huge success and increased the number of mental health first aiders in the care workforce by 110 per cent. It’s worth noting, although stress levels were reported as higher post the course, this coincided with the second wave of Covid, lockdown and a very difficult winter. The programme may have made people more aware of the actual stress they were working under – which is a positive outcome as, once recognised, steps can be taken to address the issues.

    After the programme participants felt that they understood how to look after their own wellbeing and spot signs of anxiety, stress and other related mental health conditions. The team, plan to continue rolling out this programme throughout 2021.

    We're here to help

    Learn more about how we supported teams across south London during the pandemic.

    Explore

    Pulmonary Rehab – the COVID effect

    The latest Innovation Exchange podcast is out – ‘Pulmonary Rehab – the COVID effect’, following on from the national Innovation Exchange webinar focusing on the same subject.


    In this episode, Dr Hasan Chowhan explores the challenges facing pulmonary rehab services, which have been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Greater strain will continue on these services as we support COVID patients with longer term respiratory problems. So what can innovators do to help? Listen and find out…

    Dr Chowhan interviews Kelly Redden-Rowley, a Respiratory Physiotherapist and Head of Community Respiratory Service at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals Trust. We also hear about exciting innovations from: Jan Van Aken from Spirit Digital; Kevin Auton from Aseptika, Simon Taylor from Rehab Guru and Farhan Amin from Concept Health.

     

    Find out more

    Enjoyed this podcast? You can catch up on the previous ones on the Innovation Exchange website.

    Listen here

    Sitekit and Health Innovation Network launch the Liberate to Innovate report today

    The speed and ingenuity of the NHS’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic presents a unique opportunity to understand how successful digital transformation can be delivered quickly and at scale. In partnership with Sitekit, we published a report to capture the behaviours, values and decisions which made rapid digital innovation during the covid-19 pandemic possible.

    As infections increased and the country went into lockdown, every part of the health service began the rapid adoption of digital tools, but there was no certainty of success. The NHS’s ability to repurpose services and buildings, establish new virtual teams, find new ways of delivering care and even improve services depended on liberating countless individual acts of leadership, collaboration, problem solving and empathy.

    “The past 12 months have seen extraordinary changes in health and social care. As south London’s AHSN, we have been involved in a wide variety of transformative projects helping local and national NHS partners use innovative digital technologies and approaches to respond to the intense pressures of the pandemic.”Anna King, Commercial Director, Health Innovation Network

    In collaboration with Sitekit, we listened to the stories of NHS staff who have been making this extraordinary acceleration in digital transformation a reality, to help us all learn from 2020 about how to deliver innovation in the years to come.

    “It is vital that the sometimes hard-learned lessons of this period are recorded, and that we use these insights to inform the future of digital transformation in healthcare.”Anna King, Commercial Director, Health Innovation Network

    We have also reflected on how digital transformation during the pandemic has enhanced NHS culture. We believe there are vital lessons to be learned from the pandemic about what drives success in digital transformation. We hope that chief information officers and other technology leaders and senior managers will use this unique opportunity for learning to maximise the chances of success as the healthcare digital revolution accelerates.

    Find out more

    To view the full report visit the Sitekit website.

    See report

    Innovative programme for chronic joint pain given a sustainable future thanks to new partnership

    A new partnership between the Health Innovation Network (HIN) and Orthopaedic Research UK (ORUK) has secured the future of an award-winning programme that helps people with knee, hip and back pain.

    The ESCAPE-pain programme, which stands for Enabling Self-Management and Coping with Arthritic Pain using Exercise (ESCAPE), was developed by Professor Mike Hurley at St George’s University of London and Kingston University to help people with knee, hip and back pain. In 2013 it was identified as a local innovation that was ready for adoption by the Health Innovation Network (HIN), the Academic Health Science Network for south London. It has since been supported by Versus Arthritis, Sport England, the NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA), the AHSN Network.  In 2020 it was named Musculoskeletal (MSK) Initiative of the Year by Health Service Journal.

    During the last eight years the HIN has worked with partners to support the scale-up of ESCAPE-pain to over 300 locations across the UK.  It has been used by around 20,000 participants, saving £30million in the costs of health and social care. Participants frequently report that their pain improves, they take fewer medications and find they are more able to get back to doing the things they enjoy.

    The longer-term future of the programme has now been secured through a partnership between HIN and national medical charity Orthopaedic Research UK (ORUK). From April 20th, the charity, which works to improve bone, joint and muscle wellbeing through education, training and research, will be operating and developing ESCAPE-pain under licence from the HIN. Key members of the ESCAPE-pain team will continue to run ESCAPE-pain at Orthopaedic Research UK, ensuring a seamless transfer.

    “It has been rewarding for all those involved to see the success of ESCAPE-pain in the last eight years. The HIN has supported the development and spread of the programme and we’re delighted to have identified a sustainable future for the programme which will ensure its continued national delivery, so that many more people with chronic joint pain can benefit from this evidence-based approach.”Rishi Das-Gupta, Chief Executive, HIN

    Rishi Das-Gupta, Chief Executive, HIN said: “It has been rewarding for all those involved to see the success of ESCAPE-pain in the last eight years. The HIN has supported the development and spread of the programme and we’re delighted to have identified a sustainable future for the programme which will ensure its continued national delivery, so that many more people with chronic joint pain can benefit from this evidence-based approach.”

    Adrian Downing, chair of ORUK said: “The difference ESCAPE-pain makes to people with arthritic pain is clear. As one of the few charities devoted to bone, joint and muscle wellbeing, we have a critical role to play in enabling pain-free movement for all. The stark reality is that poor musculoskeletal health is a major and debilitating drain on society.  It is the third largest area of expenditure for the NHS. Tragically, it is also linked to rising levels of obesity, anxiety, isolation and depression.  With such a huge societal impact, we must never accept the inevitability of pain, or indeed its cost.  This is why we are so excited about this partnership with HIN, which gives us a proven and practical way to help the many thousands of people suffering from poor musculoskeletal health. Weare looking forward to working with all the providers who currently deliver ESCAPE-pain services.”

    Professor Gary Ford, Chair, The AHSN Network said: “The AHSN Network works to support the adoption and spread of innovations with a strong evidence base addressing significant population health needs. Collectively the AHSNs have supported the adoption of ESCAPE – pain across the country. We are pleased that this partnership will mean that people will continue to benefit from access to ESCAPE-pain in health and leisure facilities local to them.”

    Further information

    Queries regarding the ESCAPE-pain programme can now be sent to the Orthopaedic Research UK (ORUK) team.

    Get in touch

    Join us at the Intelligent Health AI Conference for free

    An interactive session on AI in social care and care homes will be the focus for a joint HIN/NIHR session at the Intelligent Health 2021, Artificial Intelligence (AI) conference. Along with DigitalHealth.London and AHSN Innovation Exchange, the HIN will be delivering a Challenge session at this virtual conference.

    Our challenge session is jointly led between ourselves and the NIHR, and features Head of Healthy Ageing Fay Sibley:

    How do we integrate AI based technologies into social care and care homes?

    • Understand the challenges to help care homes become AI ready.
    • Learn from case studies on how they addressed barriers and came up with solutions.
    • Identify the key challenges around gathering data between multiple partners.
    • Understand where learnings from care homes can be translated into other opportunities to support independent living for other patient groups.

    Speakers:

    • Fay Sibley, Head of Healthy Ageing, Health Innovation Network
    • Elina Naydenova, CEO & Co-Founder, DigitalHealth.London Accelerator company Feebris
    • Guy Gross, COO of Teladoc in the UK
    • Daniel Casson, digital adviser at Care England, and part of the Digital Social Care Team
    • Darren Crombie, CEO of Upstream Health
    • Jose-Luis Fernandez , Deputy Director of the NIHR School for Social Care

    It takes place on 11 May between 10:20 – 11:20.

    Another session is being led by DH.L and the Innovation Exchange:

    Can AI help the NHS recover from the pandemic – a focus on cancer services

    • How has the use of digital and AI technology helped to speed up current pathways during the pandemic?
    • Exploring the patient journey: Diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation
    • How can we use digital and AI technology to create new pathways?

    Speakers:

    • Professor Fiona Gilbert, Professor of Radiology, Head of Department, University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine
    • Danny Ruta, Clinical Artificial Intelligence Lead, Guy’s Cancer Centre, Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust
    • Rayna Patel, Medical Doctor, Co-Founder and CEO, DigitalHealth.London Accelerator alumnus, Vinehealth
    • Peter Mountney, CEO, Odin Vision, currently on the 2020/21 DigitalHealth.London Accelerator
    • Liz O’Riordan, Speaker, Broadcaster and Author of ‘The Complete Guide to Breast Cancer’

    As a partner we have been offered a limited number of free tickets to the virtual conference, available on a first come, first served basis. To join us at the conference simply apply the following Discount Code: AHSN200 (select Add Discount Code at the bottom right-hand side of the screen) once you have selected your ticket on the booking form.

    Find out more

    To view the full programme visit the Intelligent Health AI Conference website.

    See programme

    St George’s Hospital unveils dual electronic queue management and self check-in

    Clinicians in ED

    St George’s University Hospital Emergency Department unveils one of UK’s first dual queuing and self check-in system where patients see real time updates of their queue position on TV screens and smartphones.

    HIN Innovation Grants supported project

    St George’s installed the system after winning a HIN Innovation Grants award in 2019

    St George’s University Hospital is one of the first Emergency Departments in the UK to introduce a dual queuing and self check-in.

    Patients in the ED can map their queue position through real time updates on TV screens and smartphones.

    In a move that reassures patients that they have not been missed or bypassed, the new system called “Patientcheck.in” helps free up emergency reception staff who handle a high volume of questions from patients about their wait and queue position. This has a knock-on delay in booking in new patients. Patientcheck.in – previously called “EDck.in” – also allows patients to complete a brief assessment questionnaire while they wait, using their own smartphone, which saves time during the assessment.

    The technology aims to reduce patient anxiety around waiting times and improve efficiency.

    Funded by the NHS’s Health Innovation Network, a joint Emergency Department and Transformation project team at St George’s was awarded £9,928 to design and build the software system and install TV monitors in the waiting areas.

    Previously, a whiteboard behind the reception desk was used to display general waiting times and updated every hour. Lack of visibility of individual positions in the queue can cause concern for patients, who can worry that they have been forgotten, passed over or missed their call to see the emergency team. This can lead to repeated queries to reception staff about the waiting time and occasionally result in aggressive and abusive behaviours which puts additional pressure on staff.

    The second function – the assessment questionnaire – has three major benefits. It empowers patients to tell clinicians why they are in the ED, in their own words using a non-verbal communication channel; reduces clinical administration workload and creates better quality, standardised medical documentation.

    Through its integration with Cerner, the hospitals’ electronic health record system, Patientcheck.in sends the questionnaire responses directly into the electronic clinical notes. This reduces note-typing time by around eight minutes per patient. Therefore, if just half of St George’s 400 ED daily attenders complete Patientcheck.in, this equates to a potential saving of more than 26 hours of clinical time every day.

    The Health Innovation Network grant was used to develop and implement the system. Now live, the team hope that Patientcheck.in will be adopted by other NHS Emergency Departments. There is also an opportunity to use it in outpatient departments and development projects are underway.

    Dr Gabriel Jones, Emergency Medicine Consultant at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said:

    “We are passionate about trying new ways to improve patient experience and safety and we believe better queue visibility will give patients reassurance and free up reception team time.
    “Emergency departments are pressured and all you want is to do the best for patients. It’s difficult at the moment when we can’t easily answer their top question: when will I be seen? With relatively simple technology we believe we can make a huge difference to their experience and support staff at the same time by reducing interruptions. Greater transparency over the complex queues we operate will help everyone gain a greater understanding of how teams are working to help people.”

    “We are passionate about trying new ways to improve patient experience and safety and we believe better queue visibility will give patients reassurance and free up reception team time.”Dr Gabriel Jones, Emergency Medicine Consultant at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

    Health Innovation Network Programme Director for Innovation Lesley Soden said:
    “Hospital emergency departments can often be highly volatile as by their nature they have anxious patients waiting to be seen. Those patients often worry that they have been missed or passed over by other patients and this can lead to repeated questions to hard pressed reception staff, who are then preventing from getting on with their work to triage.
    “This is a simple system using existing technology that can improve the patient experience, free up reception staff to focus on registering arriving patients and ultimately lead to faster care in hospital emergency departments.”

    HIN Innovation Grants

    See more info on the HIN Innovation Grants

    Click here to see webpage.

    St George's Patientcheck.in

    Get more info on St George’s Patientcheck.in

    Click here to contact Verity Croll

    Innovation Grants 2021

    The winners of five Innovation Grants awards have been announced today (31 March) by the Health Innovation Network, working in partnership with Health Education England (HEE). In all there were 32 applications for the awards.

    At a glance

    • Five Health Innovation Network Innovation Grants packages of £10,000 to £30,000 have been awarded to help kickstart innovative health and care projects.
    • Winning projects include artificial intelligence rehab for musculoskeletal disorders, a self-care app for patients with inflammatory bowel illness and digital urine screening for chronic kidney disease.
    • Scheme links NHS teams and local boroughs with commercial innovators and guidance from technology experts.
    • Funding means winners can gather real world evidence of impact ahead of wider roll-out.

    All of the chosen innovations align to key NHS priorities by addressing major health challenges such as managing musculoskeletal pain, mental health and supporting people with long term conditions. Each project has been given between £10,000 – £30,000 to help them deliver the initial results needed to justify wider-roll out. Many projects are working with local boroughs and a wide range of commercial partners.

    This year’s grant winners are:

    Dr Joel Parker, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, OXLEAS NHS Foundation Trust: Fun and Fitness is a community sports development programme to support adults with learning disabilities to increase physical exercise and improve physical and mental health outcomes. The project is a bespoke community sports development programme within the Royal Borough of Greenwich that will be formalised into a manual to be shared with services across south London.

    Evaluation

    The projects have now been completed. Project evaluations are available here:

    The remaining project evaluations will be added when completed.

    Rishi Goel, Consultant Gastroenterologist and Lead for IBD Services, Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust: For the first time in South West London, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) patients will be able to self-manage their care and communications with clinical teams via a digital patient portal. This project will trial the use of self-monitoring tools through ‘Zesty’ that is integrated with their electronic patient record allowing patients to become empowered with direct involvement in their care.

    Kate Bramham, Consultant Nephrologist and Clinical Senior Lecturer, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust: Improving the health of individuals living with diabetes and other long-term conditions using digital urine screening tool Healthy IO for early identification of chronic kidney disease (CKD). This condition is increasingly common and there is growing recognition that early identification and management is critical in delaying progression of the condition as well as related complications. In addition, CKD is can easily go undetected until it’s at the advanced stages.

    Professor Heather Jarman, Consultant Nurse in Emergency Care, St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Ben Wanless, Consultant MSK Physiotherapist, St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust: Transforming management of musculoskeletal acute back and leg pain in the Emergency Department through the digital self-management app ‘getUBetter’. This project will pilot prescribing the app to patients discharged from St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Emergency Department with lower back and leg pain.

    Nimalini Ajith, Joint and Bone Health Physiotherapist, Public Health, Royal Borough of Kingston and Nicky Wilson, Consultant Physiotherapist, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust: Delivering personalised exercise rehabilitation in Kingston and Southwark using artificial intelligence (AI) provided via a co-designed accessible app. This project aims to improve musculoskeletal health outcomes, promote healthy ageing and reduce demand on the NHS. It will pilot an AI-rehabilitation programme called ‘Good Boost’ in people’s home’s, local community venues and in public swimming pools, leveraging community assets to support people.

    The winners were chosen after a rigorous selection process by expert panels. The five teams will be funded and supported by the Health Innovation Network over a 12-month period to pilot their projects in south London and generate vital evidence of impact.

    Lesley Soden, Programme Director for Innovation, at the Health Innovation Network, said:

    “The impact of Covid-19 on our NHS services means that we need to look at different ways of working to improve health and care for people in south London. This funding is crucial to kick-start innovation projects to test out different innovations and new ways of partnership working.

    “NHS teams often struggle to find substantial funding to pilot new ideas in real-world settings to demonstrate the kind of results they need for support for wider roll out across regions and potentially nationally.

    “The quality of all this year’s applications was very high and the 2021 Innovation Grants projects we have selected are going to test novel ways of using evidence-based innovations and digital solutions. We are so pleased that our previous grant winners in 2020 have gone on to deliver innovative health and care projects, with a handful being nominated for national awards this year.

    “For the 2021 winners we’re looking forward to working with these teams to prove their concepts and demonstrate real world application to enable greater adoption across the health and social care system.”

    See more information on the HIN Innovation Grants here.

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    QUiPP app improving outcomes for women in threatened preterm labour

    For International Women’s Day, we spotlight QUiPP app an innovation that helps to improve outcomes for woman at risk of preterm labour. QUiPP app (Quantitative Innovation in Predicting Preterm birth) determines the risk of pre-term labour more accurately, helping to improve care for women at risk.

    Key achievements

    • QUiPP Toolkit is now been recommended both locally and nationally by NHS England and the British Association of Perinatal Medicine.
    • Version one of this toolkit was rapidly rolled out during Covid-19 in April 2020 as it helps decrease unnecessary admissions and transfers.

    The app is an innovative and evidence-based diagnostic tool that uses analytics to help clinicians understand the risk of pre-term labour more accurately. This improves the lives of women and babies by identifying those who truly need medical intervention and reassuring those who don’t.

    The app was tested across 20 UK sites and the QUiPP Toolkit has now been recommended both locally and nationally by NHS England and the British Association of Perinatal Medicine.

    Pre-term labour is a clinical conundrum: it’s very common for women to be at-risk of pre-term labour, but the actual number of women who go on to deliver early is very low. To be safe, this means that many women are currently over-managed: they are treated as though they will deliver early even if the risk is low in reality. Because it is very dangerous to move an early baby once it is delivered, women at risk of pre-term labour are often moved to specialist hospitals further from home with specialist cots for early babies and are given more invasive care.

    “Your good idea is a good idea!”Naomi Carlisle, NIHR Clinical Doctoral Research Fellow

    This tool has the potential to make a big difference and to improve care for these women. Whereas currently women are simply either ‘high’ or ‘low’ risk, the app calculates a percentage score so that clinicians can understand risk to a much higher degree of accuracy. This reduces the need for women at lower risk to move far from home and frees up the cots for the women who genuinely need them, so that people receive the care that is most appropriate to their risk and are not moved from their family and familiar midwife team if it is not necessary.

    How does it work? It’s a clinical decision support tool based on a validated algorithm that incorporates existing point-of-care tests and risk factors. A clinician enters information about a number of biomarkers, such as the scan that measures the cervical length and the swab on quantitative fetal fibronectin. QUiPP uses all the data across risk range for each variable and provides a user-friendly clinical interface. This is more useful for making management decisions and women find it very useful to see and discuss their risk as a percentage, with a highly visual aid to support discussions and decisions around treatment.

    The QUiPP app is free and has significant cost-savings associated with reducing unnecessary admissions and interventions. By freeing up NHS capacity for patients in the most need of care (eg maternal beds, neonatal cots), this intervention can save money and transform maternity pathways beyond the preterm birth setting. Qualitative findings suggest that the majority of clinicians involved in triaging threatened preterm labour found using the QUiPP app time-saving, simple and that it increased confidence in decision-making.

    Innovator Spotlight

    The QUiPP App was developed by King’s College London Department of Women and Children’s Health. Naomi Carlile co-developed the QUiPP App Toolkit with Dr Ellie Watson and Professor Shennan funded by the HIN Innovation Grants. We spoke to Naomi Carlile about the project one year on…

    Tell us what has happened since the Innovation Grants:
    I recently co-develop a toolkit to enable hospital sites across England to implement a best care pathway (the QUiPP Toolkit) for women who arrive in threatened preterm labour. I am now working on my NIHR Clinical Doctoral Fellowship, which is looking at how the Preterm Birth Surveillance Pathway is implemented across England (the IMPART study).

    What has been your proudest moment so far:
    I am proud that our QUiPP Toolkit has now been recommended both locally and nationally (by NHS England and the British Association of Perinatal Medicine), ensuring that more mothers and babies are receiving optimum care.

    What your advice for future innovators:
    Your good idea is a good idea! Get in touch with organisations like HIN south London to help advise on how to get it off the ground!

    We're here to help

    Do you have a brilliant new idea or digital solution that could improve patient care, make savings for NHS and help meet NHS’s priorities? Then, we would love to hear from you.

    Get in touch

    Sara Nelson named as new Deputy Chief Nursing Information Officer for NHSX

    Photo of Sara Nelson

    DigitalHealth.London’s Sara Nelson, who leads the flagship Accelerator and Digital Pioneer Fellowship programmes, joins NHSX.

    Sara Nelson has been announced as the new Deputy Chief Nursing Information Officer for NHSX.

    Sara is a Registered General Nurse who has worked in the NHS for over 29 years. She has a wealth of experience in operational and digital nursing leadership having undertaken a number of roles including senior nurse for digital at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.

    More recently Sara has undertaken leadership roles at DigitalHealth.London as an NHS Navigator, Programme Director of the Accelerator and most recently as the Deputy Programme Director of DigitalHealth.London leading the Digital Pioneer Fellowship.

    The Digital Pioneer Fellowship supports 37 frontline NHS staff delivering transformation projects through digital innovation. Under Sara’s leadership, both the Digital Pioneer Fellowship and the Accelerator programme, achieved an increase in applications. The Accelerator also experienced an increase in applications from digital innovators identifying as BAME and was recognised as one of the top eight Accelerator programmes for women founders in Europe.

    She has been widely recognised as a digital health leader speaking at conferences, writing thought leadership articles and above all building and supporting teams of NHS staff.

    Sara has achieved her Post Graduate Diploma in Digital Healthcare Leadership through the NHS Digital Academy and is currently undertaking her MSc dissertation to identify the key factors for a successful CNIO.

    Dr Natasha Phillips, Chief Nursing Information Officer at NHSX, said:

    “Sara’s appointment by NHSX is another important milestone in the establishment of a strong nursing and midwifery digital leadership community – one which is vital to ensure a nursing and midwifery voice at all levels of digital transformation across the system. The breadth of experience and track record across digital innovation that Sara brings with her is outstanding and I am delighted to welcome her to the team”

    “I feel privileged to take up this role working as part of NHSX with the CNIO Natasha Phillips and the CNO team to shape the future of nursing at this pivotal time.”Sara Nelson

    Zoe Lelliott, Chief Executive at the Health Innovation Network, said:

    “We’re delighted for Sara and know she’ll be brilliant in this well-deserved role.”

    Sara Nelson, Deputy Chief Nursing Information Officer at NHSX, said:

    “This new national Deputy CNIO role signifies the growing recognition of nursing and midwifery involvement in digital health. I feel privileged to take up this role working as part of NHSX with the CNIO Natasha Phillips and the CNO team to shape the future of nursing at this pivotal time.

    “I am one of the many nurses and midwives who did not have computers or technology, as we now know it, when we started and I have seen real benefits to staff and patients, when technology is brought in correctly and is well designed with consideration of patients and staff. This has led me to move away from the traditional nursing leadership roles and towards increasing my understanding of technology and the commercial sectors – growing my knowledge of the barriers and opportunities we can elicit.

    “I am looking forward to understanding how we can work together nationally, regionally and in our organisations to bring together that collective voice that listens and learns and is not afraid to speak up.”

    Sara will take up her new role part time from 11 January and full time from March.

    Find out more about the Accelerator programme

    Click the button below to find out more about the Accelerator programme.

    Accelerator webpage

    Find out more about the Digital Pioneer Fellowship progamme

    Click the button below to find out more about the Digital Pioneer Fellowship programme.

    Digital Pioneer Fellowship webpage

    New Chief Executive announced for the Health Innovation Network (HIN)

    Following the appointment of the HIN’s previous CEO Tara Donnelly to Chief Digital Officer at NHSX, Dr Rishi Das-Gupta has been appointed as the new Chief Executive for the Health Innovation Network (HIN).

    Dr Das-Gupta will be joining the HIN, the Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) for south London, in March 2021 from his current role as Chief Innovation and Technology Officer at the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust. He is medically qualified, has worked in management consultancy and is the co-founder of a health tech start-up.

    Chair of the HIN Richard Barker said: “Congratulations to Rishi on his new role. The HIN board and I are looking forward to working with him to continue to build the HIN’s reputation for leading innovation-enabled transformation in the NHS.”

    “ The HIN enjoys a fantastic reputation, with a great track record and I am excited to be joining the team at a time of rapid change in healthcare.”Dr Rishi Das-Gupta

    Rishi said: “The HIN enjoys a fantastic reputation, with a great track record and I am excited to be joining the team at a time of rapid change in healthcare. I am passionate about how innovation and technology can support change to improve the health of residents, outcomes for patients, and the working lives of staff working across healthcare and social care.

    “The health system is undergoing wide-ranging changes as we recover from the pandemic and the role of the HIN is critical. Working with the team, I hope that my clinical and innovation experience will help us support high-impact programmes across our member organisations in south London.”

    Zoe Lelliott will continue as Deputy Chief Executive after acting as interim CEO while Tara Donnelly was on secondment to NHSX. Richard said: “We want to thank Zoe for her tremendous contribution to building momentum at the HIN and for her valuable contributions at national level.”

     

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    Thousands of Londoners to benefit from digital urgent care plans

    The back of an open ambulance

    Shared digital care records mean care home staff, paramedics and hospital emergency department staff know patients’ health and care wishes.

    The stats

    Over 115,000 Londoners already have a digital urgent care record

    Thousands of Londoners will have a greater say over their care and treatment under a £200,000 drive to increase the use of a shared urgent digital care record for ambulances, emergency departments and other urgent care services.

    The NHS’s Health Innovation Network (HIN) has won funding to roll out Coordinate My Care (CMC), which ensures health and social care professionals have access to patients’ urgent care plans. Covid-19 has brought into sharp focus the need for patients to set out how they want to be cared for with many preferring to stay at home rather than go into hospital.

    Gloria Goldring created her own CMC care plan after a stressful end of life experience when her husband David was critically ill at a care home. He suffered from dementia and despite both agreeing that he did not wish to be resuscitated in a critical emergency, Gloria was told by paramedics that without paperwork to prove his end of life wishes, they would resuscitate David in the ambulance if needed.

    “It was a big shock to me because this was something David and I had discussed many years ago and I just felt completely at a loss’, said Gloria Goldring.

    Fortunately the trip to the hospital was just five minutes, David did not deteriorate and after Gloria explained to hospital staff that David had said he did not want to be resuscitated, this wish was accepted.

    “So when CMC was introduced as a way to be able to flag this up I thought this was absolutely essential for people to understand. I think there is no doubt if we had a plan it would have been flagged up. This would have lessened the stress that I was under because I was in a very terrible state.”

    Having already supported over 115,000 Londoners to date, a Coordinate My Care plan puts the patient at the heart of planning their future medical care. The care plan is designed to share the most important, up to date clinical information about the patient, including who to contact in an emergency. This information is then shared with all the health and social care professionals involved in treating them, such as 111, out-of-hours GPs, the London Ambulance Service and hospital emergency departments.

    “Helping patients across London to better express their wishes about their care is very important at this time. We are extremely pleased to have this opportunity to work with Coordinate My Care and our NHS and care system colleagues to not only improve the quality of digital urgent care records but speed up the adoption and spread of this technology. ”Zoe Lelliott, Chief Executive of the HIN

    The HIN will work closely with NHS and care system colleagues across London to identify a project in each of the five Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STP) areas to accelerate the adoption of CMC to match local priorities and address local opportunities. The scheme will fund local clinicians to focus on championing CMC with their peers and clinical colleagues and help to embed CMC in local care pathways and processes.

    Zoe Lelliott, Chief Executive of the HIN, said:
    ”Helping patients across London to better express their wishes about their care is very important at this time. We are extremely pleased to have this opportunity to work with Coordinate My Care and our NHS and care system colleagues to not only improve the quality of digital urgent care records but speed up the adoption and spread of this technology.

    “HIN seeks to speed up spread and adoption, so where innovations like digital urgent care records have been shown to be effective, we believe that it’s important to work with our NHS and care colleagues to adopt this technology to better meet patients’ needs.”

    Professor Julia Riley, Founder and Clinical Lead for Coordinate My Care, said:
    “As the coronavirus pandemic continues, we are hearing that many patients and families are talking about difficult futures, challenging decisions and appropriate treatments. This partnership with the Health Innovation Network means that health care services across the community will be supported to encourage increasing numbers of patients to have a digital CMC record, to ensure their wishes are recorded, to better their outcomes and to support the urgent care services.”

    Find out more about our work with CMC

    See the webpage for more on CMC

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    Contact us

    Get in touch with our Healthy Ageing team.

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    Celebrating the pioneers and following our future leaders: a reflection on diversity and inclusion in healthcare

    Written by Ayobola Chike-Michael, Patient Safety Project Manager & Zoë Lelliott, CEO of Health Innovation Network

    Our Diversity Pledges

    Read about the AHSN Networks commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion here.

    As we round out 2020 and head into a new year—one that many of us have higher hopes for—it’s important to reflect on the progress we’ve made, areas that still require work and where we go from here.

    This year, we have seen historic conversations being held on a global scale around the racial injustices and inequalities that plague our social and health systems. This dialogue has largely come as a result of the disturbingly and disproportionately high Covid-19 mortality rates among Black and minority ethnic populations, as well as brutal instances of systemic racism that have occurred internationally.

    We have seen examples of this conversation transitioning into positive action across the health and care system, such as the development of NHS England’s London Workforce Race Strategy published in October. Within our own organisation, we are striving to listen to and learn from the experiences of our people, build up a culture of antiracism and meet our AHSN equality and diversity pledges. We know that we still have a lot of collective work to do, both as an organisation serving south London’s population and as a wider system, and we take this responsibility seriously.

    As an organisation that works to speed up the best in health and care through innovation, we collaborate with professionals from many walks of life, diverse backgrounds and rich culture every day, all with a commitment to making our healthcare services across south London the very best they can be.

    At the Health Innovation Network (HIN), we know that an imperative part of creating and sustaining necessary change is championing the work that has been and is currently being done to create a more equal, diverse and inclusive healthcare system, both for our south London community and beyond. This would not be possible without the work of past, present and future Black leaders – pioneers and voices of equality in our system, both prominently and behind-the-scenes.  

    Past leaders 

    At the HIN, we pay homage to those who helped pave the way for diversity and inclusion in the NHS, such as the very first black medical surgeon in the British Army, James Africanus Beale Horton (1835 – 1883) who studied medicine here at King’s College, London. Even though his parents were enslaved, his intellectual talents were spotted early by local church leaders who educated him in Sierra Leone, where he later received a British War Office scholarship.

    We celebrate pioneers like Kofoworola Abeni Pratt (1915 – 1992), the first black nurse in the NHS, who gained her state registration in 1950 after studying at St Thomas’ Hospital’s Nightingale School. Following Nigerian independence in 1960, she became the first black matron of University College Hospital, Ibadan, and became Chief Nursing Officer for Nigeria in 1965.

    Present leaders

    Moving to the present, in October, the HIN was privileged to meet nurse, entrepreneur and inventor of the award-winning Neo-slip Neomi Bennett BEM. Neomi spoke openly to staff at the HIN about her experience of racism in UK society and our healthcare system. She explained how she was compelled to clear her name following a conviction for police obstruction – a fight that inspired her to begin the Equality 4 Black Nurses group, which seeks to tackle workplace discrimination. Without her determination, the NHS may have lost out on the revolutionary Neo-slip she invented during her nursing years. The simple design has improved the lives of countless patients who have struggled with hospital tights.

    We continue to look to the example of other prominent Black leaders in the NHS like Professor Dame Elizabeth Anionwu. Professor Anionwu works for Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust as a health visitor and tutor working with Black and minority ethnic communities in London. She helped create the very first nurse-led UK Sickle and Thalassaemia Screening and Counselling Centre in Brent, and is a senior lecturer in Community Genetic Counselling, continuing to enrich the lives of the communities she works with.

    We are inspired by leaders like Professor Laura Serrant, the first Black head of nursing at a UK university, as a voice for addressing system inequalities. Professor Serrant was awarded an OBE for services to nursing and health policy. Her academic work focuses on racial and ethnic inequalities and cultural safety and her achievements include developing a framework for conducting research with marginalised communities – ‘The Silences Framework’.

    Future leaders

    Behind the scenes, great work is being carried out every day by Black colleagues in our south London community.

    Watch out for Lelly Lelosa Oboh, a Guy’s Hospital consultant pharmacist. She is the first community-based consultant pharmacist in the UK and has been made a Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain for the importance of her work. She uses her professional leadership role to drive positive change by reducing the risks and maximising the benefits of medicines for older people in community settings. Her influence in pharmacy best-practice has helped shape national policy and encourage the testing of innovative service models.

    Our DigitalHealth.London programme recently announced their third cohort of Digital Pioneer Fellows, NHS staff from clinical backgrounds who are paving the way for the future of digital transformation and innovation in the NHS. This year’s Fellows represent a wide variety of backgrounds, roles within the NHS, geographies—both embedded across south London and beyond—and ethnicities. We look forward to seeing the positive change they bring to our shared community.

    We could go on and on to speak about the integral work being done by our colleagues. As an organisation full of staff who never cease to be inspired by our community, we promise that we will continue to celebrate the rich and diverse heritage of our NHS and do all that we can to support our Black colleagues each and every day.

    We thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

    Future leaders

    Meet the 2020 Digital Pioneer Fellows and read more about their projects and the estimated impact.

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    London AHSNs work together to embed virtual consultations across the capital

    Older man sitting on sofa with mobile phone

    Three London Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) worked together to support Trusts in the region to quickly embed virtual consultations to safeguard patients and staff during the pandemic.

    The challenge

    Covid-19 meant NHS Trusts had to find an alternative to face to face consultations for many patients, to both protect vulnerable patients and safeguard staff. NHS Trusts responded by rapidly accelerating the availability of virtual consultations.

    NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE/I) procured a national licence for Attend Anywhere – a secure web-based video consultation solution – for 12 months, to accelerate uptake of video consultations in all secondary care settings, allowing NHS staff to deliver clinics and services virtually.

    Prior to Covid-19 there were some trailblazer sites where implementation was being observed and evaluated, but there had not been plans or the infrastructure normally required for system wide implementation at pace. This meant some Trusts found themselves experiencing similar obstacles and challenges, but there was no ‘system learning’ and ‘solution sharing’ mechanism in place.

    The solution

    Using a collaborative pan-London approach UCLPartners, the Health Innovation Network, and Imperial College Health Partners (the three London AHSNs) have been working with NHSE/I, alongside hospital Trusts to support the roll out, optimisation and long-term use of Attend Anywhere.

    By working together across the region, the London AHSNs have been able to help Trusts quickly embed the new technology by responding to their needs and experiences, producing resources and supporting shared learning. The approach included:

    • Successfully hosting two webinars – “Building video consultations into the workflow” and “Equity of Access”, with over ~70 and ~100 attendees, respectively.
    • Sharing existing documentation and best practice directly with Trusts. This was done by:
      • Creating video and audio footage of clinicians sharing their experience of delivering virtual consultations during the pandemic.
      • Bringing together clinical guides and useful resources, in one place as an impartial, easy-reference resource library.
      • Sharing various resources with Trusts directly through NHS Futures, including Standard Operating Procedures, training packages, equality impact assessments, patient-facing material and Trust individual rollout materials.
      • Producing both a patient and clinician survey template and working with a small number of London Trusts to implement/tailor surveys to meet local needs and gather a first-look evidence base of video consultation usage across London.

    Impact and outcomes

    The AHSNs engaged with 29 Trusts across London and provided opportunities for colleagues in Trusts to hear from others and share tips of what worked in practice.

    This helped to build a community of colleagues working on similar challenges and solutions around the implementation of virtual consultations. For common issues that were not resolved the AHSNs provided a strong platform for these issues to be highlighted and escalated. AHSNs also facilitated conversations about collaboration for sharing best practice and tools.

    “ The AHSNs bring a wealth of experience and expertise in working with clinical teams to support them understand, adopt and spread this relatively new innovation ” Vin Dawakar, London Regional Medical Director & CCIO, NHSE & I

    Feedback

    Vin Dawakar, London Regional Medical Director & CCIO, NHSE & I said: “In response to the initial wave of Covid-19 infections, the AHSNs in London mobilised in days to collaborate with NHSE & I (London), to support acute Trust healthcare providers in London to rapidly deploy, take up and embed video consultations as a way to continue to deliver clinical services to patients in a risk-free way.

     “The AHSNs bring a wealth of experience and expertise in working with clinical teams to support them understand, adopt and spread this relatively new innovation which allowed the London region to lead the successful use of video across the country – a big ‘thank you’ to our AHSN colleagues!”

    Claire Kennedy, Project Manager, Service Transformation, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust said: “The AHSN team was key to facilitating collaboration that allowed us to become a part of influential brainstorming sessions and informative conversations with a range of people across the London.

    “As a result, I had the opportunity to think bigger, to influence across a system and create better things to help our patients access the best care.”

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    If you want to find out more about our Technology projects, please click below to learn more or contact the team.

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    Innovation Grants 2021

    We are looking to support innovative projects that either test or pilot an innovation that improves healthcare, with a grant of up to £10,000 to £30,000

    Last year we funded 10 incredible projects that either supported innovative practice that could be spread and adopted across the health and social care landscape or encouraged cross-boundary working in areas of research, education and improvement in healthcare services.

    This year, the HIN Innovation Grants programme is open for applications from 1 December 2020 and close at 9am on Monday 1 February 2021. Applications are invited from organisations who are involved in the delivery/commissioning of health/social care in south London. We are encouraging collaborative bids. In all applications, the lead applicant must be a member of the Health Innovation Network.

    All applications will be evaluated against the following criteria. If the proposed project does not align with most of these goals, it may reduce the likelihood of being awarded a grant. Prior to starting the application consider whether the project fits the requirements.

    We would strongly encourage projects that collaborate with a commercial partner or developer of an innovation or product you wish to trial. In particular, testing of an innovation that is market ready and supported by the HIN, the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme, or the National Innovation Accelerator (NIA) would be welcomed. We would not exclude partnering with other commercial innovations.

    If you would like to discuss your application or request support with the form, please contact hin.innovationgrants@nhs.net to arrange a call (up to 30min) with our team.

    Applications are now closed.

    We're here to help

    Apply for the innovation grants by downloading and completing the form and reading the guidance notes.

    Download application form

    Key Dates

    5 March 2021: All applicants notified of the outcome

    18 March 2021: Video conference on evaluation for grant recipients

    1 April 2021: Innovation Grant Programme start date

    If you have any questions, please email hin.innovationgrants@nhs.net, before 4pm on 29 January 2021.

    South London drive to detect and treat irregular heart rhythm helps prevent an estimated 100 deaths and 400 strokes

    Health checks in Hindu temple

    Use of hand held devices to test for irregular heart rhythm in GP surgeries, care homes and religious settings is helping prevent strokes and saving lives.

    The stats

    Since the start of the programme, the number of additional people with AF receiving treatment each year has increased by almost 300,000 nationally.

    New NHS figures reveal that a four year south London programme to improve the detection and management of an irregular heart rhythm known as Atrial Fibrillation (AF) is estimated to have helped prevent 400 strokes and saved 100 lives. These figures are based on modelling and a calculated reduction in risk.

    In addition, the NHS’s Health Innovation Network in south London initiative over the last four years has reduced costs associated with strokes and deaths linked to AF by an estimated £5m and lowered social care costs by £4m.

    AF is the most common type of irregular heart rhythm and is a major risk factor for stroke because it makes it more likely that blood clots will form in heart chambers and reach the brain, which contributes to 1 in 5 strokes and is associated with an increased rate of mortality. It is estimated that 1.4 million people in England have AF but nearly a third of these cases go undetected, and people with a diagnosis don’t always receive treatment, resulting in potentially avoidable strokes.

    The programme consists of on-the-spot AF checks by clinicians in GP surgeries, care homes and ‘virtual clinics’ in community settings such as churches, mosques and Hindu temples using handheld devices.

    Shan, aged 57 from Wimbledon and a worshipper at the Shree Ghanapathy Temple in south London, had his heart rhythm checked as part of a ‘mass screening’ earlier this year. He said:
    “Today I had my blood pressure and heart rate checked. Everything is normal so I’m glad to hear that. This is a good thing so you can reduce the risk. We don’t have regular health check-ups but today we were able to see if we have anything wrong.
    “My family back home and relatives have had heart attacks and diabetes. So this is also good for our peace of mind.”

    AF is the most common type of irregular heart rhythm and can increase risk of stroke, leaving survivors with disabling consequences. Around 200,000 people in the UK develop AF each year. Detecting AF early and making sure people are given optimal treatment – usually blood-thinning medication to prevent clots (anticoagulants) reduces the risk of stroke by two thirds. It’s estimated that the impact of newly treating 70 high risk AF patients is up to three strokes prevented, saving the health system £37,000 in the first year.

    This is part of an NHS programme, delivered by the AHSN Network in England. Nationally, this is estimated to have saved the NHS £158m and £105m in social care costs.

    Since the start of the programme, the number of additional people with AF receiving treatment each year has increased by almost 300,000 nationally.

    “A stroke can be devastating both physically and psychologically for patients and their families.”Oliver Brady, Programme Director for Diabetes and Mental Health at the Health Innovation Network

    Oliver Brady, Programme Director for Diabetes and Mental Health at the Health Innovation Network in south London, said: “A stroke can be devastating both physically and psychologically for patients and their families. Yet with the new digital tools available we are able to detect and manage AF and ensure that fewer lives are lost and people with the condition can continue to live normal lives.
    “The HIN will continue working with its local partners to proactively go into high impact settings to carry out these vital health checks.”

    Professor Gary Ford, Chief Executive of Oxford Academic Health Science Network and Consultant Stroke Physician said: “Identifying people who have AF and ensuring they are provided with the most appropriate anticoagulant therapy can significantly reduce their risk of having a stroke.

    “The work we have undertaken with our partners in primary care, alongside others in both the NHS and charity sector, has prevented thousands of people having a stroke. The latest data also shows that these measures have resulted in significant cost saving to the NHS and social care, with £158 million and £105 million saved respectively”

    Between April and December 2018, Guy’s and St Thomas’ carried out a total of 590 pulse rhythm checks in its community podiatry clinics using Kardia devices.
    GSTT community podiatrist Monica Fisk said:
    “We detected 27 people with possible AF, these patients were referred on to their GP for a 12-lead ECG to confirm the diagnoses and to initiate anticoagulation treatment where indicated. The prevalence rate in our community podiatry clinics was 4.6 per cent or 1 in 22 people tested. This is higher than what is found in the general population as we tend to treat patients at higher risk of the disease. I therefore feel podiatry clinics are good settings for identifying undiagnosed AF and this opportunistic testing was well received by our patients.”

    One GSTT patient said: “I never expected to attend the podiatry clinic for a foot problem and be identified as having possible AF. If it wasn’t for that appointment I don’t know what could have happened. My GP has now placed me on anticoagulation therapy and I am ever grateful to the podiatry service for going above and beyond.”

    Explore our AF work

    Improving AF detection in high-impact settings.

    Click to view our new reports

    Remote Monitoring: Keeping patients safe in the community

    remote monitoring for diabetes

    COVID-19 has accelerated the speed of adoption by NHS providers of technology to deliver care including the use of remote monitoring solutions.

    This Innovation Exchange webinar from 9-10.30am, 10 December presented by the Health Innovation Network and DigitalHealth.London Accelerator, will focus upon maximising the use of technology to monitor patients’ health conditions remotely outside of the traditional care settings and empower patients with long term conditions to manage their health better through remote monitoring.

    Speakers include:

    • Tara Donnelley, Chief Digital Officer, NHSX on the National Perspective on Remote Monitoring.
    • Oliver Brady and Dr Neel Basudev (Health Innovation Network’s diabetes team)
    • Chris Gumble (Project Manager, SWL CCG) on You & Type 2 Remote diabetes annual reviews – the art of the possible.

    Hear short pitches from 5 health tech companies on the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator whose solutions can remotely measure and monitor vital signs including blood pressure, spirometry, oxygen saturation levels, and heart rhythms to name a few.

    To attend, please contact laura.walton9@nhs.net to request an invitation.

    TfL and London Ambulance Service trial workplace diabetes education to improve staff health

    Image of map of London with diabetes cases

    Two major London employers embedded clinically-proven Structured Education for Type 1 diabetes to tackle one of London’s biggest health challenges.

    The stats

    671K Londoners live with diabetes and employers in the capital lose an average £250K due to ill health each year.

    An initiative with two major London employers has shown that face to face and virtual diabetes education can be successfully embedded into the workplace to improve the health of staff with Type 2 diabetes.

    This comes as the NHS faces increased pressure due to the condition with over 671,000 Londoners living with diabetes and employers in the capital losing an average £250,000 due to ill health each year.

    An evaluation of a project by the NHS’s Health Innovation Network with the London Ambulance Service and Transport for London (TfL) has found significant behaviour change in staff toward healthier lifestyle and eating.

    Over 60 staff members from the employers attended either online or face to face structured education courses, which is recommended as a vital part of care for people with Type 2 diabetes by the NHS’s clinical standards guardian National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

    Structured Education (SE) is clinically proven to help people living with diabetes to make changes to their diet and lifestyle that help them to self-manage their condition. It also offers peer support after being diagnosed with the life-changing condition.

    Staff were offered a choice to attend a course delivered remotely either by Second Nature or Oviva, which both offer programmes for people with Type 2 diabetes ranging between eight and 12 weeks. Course sessions were delivered through a trained coach with access to online advice, support and information which participants could access through their phones, tablet or computer.

    An in-house session to improve self-management was delivered by trained diabetes education experts from Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. They delivered face-to-face group education using the DESMOND Type 2 Management Module, used widely across the NHS, for up to 14 people in a one-day session and a variety of resource materials were provided to participants at the session.

    Twenty five staff members completed the Oviva programme and clocked up an average weight loss after eight weeks of 2.3kg, with evidence showing that participant weight loss continues up to 12 months after the programme.
    For the 37 staff who completed the Second Nature programme, the average weight loss after three months was 5.7kg.

    Staff taking part in this evaluation overwhelmingly welcomed the offer, and to attend, SE courses at their workplace. There was also very high approval of the three programmes from participants. Those completing either the in-house DESMOND programme or one of the remote programmes said their diabetes education needs had been met.

    TfL staff who made use of the programmes said: “I think it’s a good thing that TfL are actively promoting this sort of thing. It’s a positive thing in terms of awareness around health and the impact of different health conditions. It’s good that workplaces are doing more to make people aware [of people with different health needs].”
    “It’s a powerful message to send to the employee: we’re not just interested in your productivity, but also your health and how to look after yourself.”

    TfL was due to start another round of the programme in September 2020 but brought it forward to May. TfL’s Health and Wellbeing Improvement Programme Manager Fernanda Siusta said:
    “It was great to be involved in this work which has had such a positive effect on so many participants’ lives. While the pandemic led us to bringing the work forward, we know that for some this has been key to ensuring they stay on track if they had to shield or if they were unable to see their usual medical teams while the NHS handled the response to coronavirus.”

    Head of Healthy Workforce at London Ambulance Service Gill Heuchan said:

    “As someone with type 2 diabetes I know how difficult it can be when you are first diagnosed and have to attend diabetes education courses. We started the initiative at London Ambulance Service because we are very aware that we have staff whose lives do not fit the norm. Call handlers, medics and support staff are often working busy 12-hour shifts and during unsociable hours, so they can find it even harder to attend courses on learning how to manage their diabetes.

    “It has been a fantastic opportunity for staff to have flexible support, not just about diabetes, but about lifestyle choices and general health on a tablet device, which they can utilise easily to fit their lifestyle. Staff who have signed up have fed back positively and many have been able to achieve personal goals because of the support they have received. This initiative has also helped form part of our ‘Wellbeing at Work’ support package for staff which aims to help them manage their own health and wellbeing in and outside of work.”

    “We started the initiative at London Ambulance Service because we are very aware that we have staff whose lives do not fit the norm. Call handlers, medics and support staff are often working busy 12-hour shifts and during unsociable hours, so they can find it even harder to attend courses on learning how to manage their diabetes ”Head of Healthy Workforce at London Ambulance Service Gill Heuchan

    Health Innovation Network Diabetes Programme Manager Rod Watson said:

    ”Diabetes is one of our biggest health challenges. Not only is it a leading cause of premature mortality with over 22,000 additional deaths each year, but it doubles an individual’s risk of cardiovascular disease and costs over £10 billion every year to manage.

    “The HIN has successfully sped up the spread and adoption of a range of evidence-based programmes both face to face and digital to help prevent and treat the condition.
    “We spend a third of our time at work so it makes sense for us to work with employers to help embed programmes directly into the workplace. This project shows that this is possible and I would urge all employers to read through our findings.”

    More information

    Click on the button below for the report and two page summary.

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    Self care is vital to help tackle the country’s biggest health challenge

    Think-Diabetes

    Blog

    Diabetes is one of the country’s biggest health challenges with more than 3.1 million people diagnosed with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes in England. It’s a condition that can ruin lives and cause deadly complications but as Faye Edwards argues, it’s never been easier to access support to self-care.

    Not only is diabetes a leading cause of premature mortality with over 22,000 additional deaths each year, but it also doubles an individual’s risk of cardiovascular disease. The cost of diabetes to the NHS budget exceeds £10 billion every year and this is expected to grow dramatically over the next 20 years. Recent research has shown that people with diabetes are at a higher risk of complications should they contract Covid-19.

    But as we celebrate National Self Care Week, the good news for people with diabetes is that it has never been easier to stay in control of their diabetes and prevent life changing complications. The key to this is supportive, holistic diabetes education.

    Learning how to lead a healthy lifestyle through diet and exercise, manage medications, maintain good mental wellbeing and how to prevent long term complications is fundamental to ensuring that people feel confident in managing day to day life with diabetes, and to ensure improvements in terms of weight loss, glycaemic control, and general wellbeing.

    An innovative new service from the NHS in south London, Diabetes Book & Learn, allows people with diabetes access to education support courses at the click of a mouse. If you have diabetes you can refer yourself to the service via the website, or you can ask your GP or practice nurse to refer you. The Diabetes Book and Learn Website has a wide range of courses available to suit all needs, including a variety of language preferences and delivery modes including face to face or via a mobile app. Once referred, you can choose the most suitable option for you, or if you are unsure, our call centre team are on hand to help you decide.

    Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic it has been crucial to ensure that the service continues to provide high quality support and education for people with diabetes. We have all had to adjust to receiving healthcare via digital means, whether that is online or over the phone. The Diabetes Book and Learn service has been agile in its response to the situation, moving face to face courses online and delivering them via video conference, and increasing the access to 1:1 diabetes education support delivered via telephone and mobile application.

    The Diabetes Book and Learn service is the first of its kind, uniting diabetes education providers from across our region to offer a wide range of educational support options for people with diabetes, that would be impossible for one single organisation to achieve alone.

    Now more than ever it is vital that all of us strive to live as healthily as possible, especially if we have a long-term condition such as diabetes. Receiving such a diagnosis in the current pandemic can be frightening and isolating – likewise, living with diabetes can feel physically and mentally exhausting. Education and support are key to providing a fresh perspective and confidence to people for whom living with diabetes is tough. It can help with weight loss and mental wellbeing, provide much needed peer support, reassurance, and guidance.

    The key to better health and diabetes control starts with education and good self-care – and all of this is available at the click of a mouse.

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    Explore our Diabetes projects to learn more about how we support self-management to minimise the impact of diabetes on the lives of people with the condition.

    Learn about our diabetes work

    Meet 20 digital health innovators set to transform London’s health and care system

    Digital Health London Accelerator cohort 5 announced

    The 20 small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) selected on cohort 5 of the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme has been announced.

    This year saw an increase in the number and average score of the applications, making it the most competitive selection process since the programme began four years ago. The 20 companies selected for the Accelerator 2020-2021 programme have digital solutions or services that have the highest potential to meet London’s NHS and social care challenges. From patient self-management tools and femtech, to digitizing NHS processes as well as artificial intelligence and cutting-edge machine learning, this group of 20 digital health innovators is set to transform key aspects of health and social care in London and beyond.

    Now in its fifth consecutive year, the NHS delivered programme, match-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, has supported some of the most effective digital innovations now being used by the NHS. Many of the digital products and services currently providing vital innovation, support and capacity to the NHS during the response to COVID-19, have come through the Accelerator programme.

    Jenny Thomas, Programme Director, DigitalHealth.London said: “We are delighted to announce today the 20 digital health SMEs on our fifth DigitalHealth.London Accelerator cohort. After what was the most competitive selection process yet, it is clear that digital health in London is rapidly growing and supporting patients and our NHS and social care services.

    “This year has been a defining moment for digital health as it has been at the forefront of the COVID-19 response and will continue to be part of our country’s recovery in the months and years ahead. These 20 SMEs are all ones to watch and we look forward to working with them and playing our part in supporting the NHS and social care through digital transformation.”

    Theo Blackwell, Chief Digital Officer for London, said: “The DigitalHealth.London Accelerator ensures that London is at the forefront of digital innovation in health and social care. Many of the digital health technologies and products that are currently supporting our NHS staff and patients have come through the Accelerator. It has become vital to a future where Londoners benefit from the latest technologies to support their health. The pandemic has brought many challenges and pressures to London, the Accelerator is fast tracking digital health innovations and supporting this dynamic and crucial sector to grow.”

    Tara Donnelly, Chief Digital Officer, NHSX, said: “The DigitalHealth.London Accelerator is part of a digital revolution in the NHS that continues rapidly to develop, and we will continue to support innovative organisations delivering ground-breaking work.

    “This programme has established itself as an important player in supporting the NHS and social care to make the most of the opportunities digital healthtech offers.”

    DigitalHealth.London’s Accelerator aims to speed up the adoption of technology in London’s NHS, relieving high pressure on services and empowering patients to manage their health. For every £1 spent on the Accelerator programme it is estimated £14.50 is saved for the NHS*. It works with up to 20 high potential SMEs over a 12-month period, giving bespoke support and advice, a programme of expert-led workshops and events, and brokering meaningful connections between innovators and NHS organisations with specific challenges. The companies successful in getting onto the Accelerator programme have been chosen through a rigorous and highly competitive selection process, involving expert NHS and industry panel assessments, interviews, and due diligence checks.

    The SMEs selected for the 2020-2021 DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme are:

    • ART Healthcare Software – psHEALTH’s software enables efficient processing of patient referrals, improves capacity planning and patient access.
    • Concentric Health – A digital consent application, with remote consent functionality.
    • Feebris – An Artificial Intelligence powered platform that enables carers to conduct high quality check-ups in communities, triage health issues proactively, and escalate concerns to clinician.
    • Bleepa® – Feedback Medical’s CE marked digital medical imaging communications tool that enables clinicians to view and discuss patient cases at the touch of a button.
    • FibriCheck – A certified solution for symptomatic/known Atrial Fibrillation (AF) patients, and a cost-effective, scalable detection tool for asymptomatic/intermittent patients.
    • getUBetter – An evidence-based, CE marked, digital self-management platform for all common musculoskeletal injuries and conditions.
    • EXi – An app that analyses user’s health and prescribes a personalised physical activity plan.
    • Mendelian – A software solution that supports earlier diagnosis of rare diseases.
    • Odin Vision – An Artificial Intelligence enabled applications for endoscopy and aids endoscopists to detect and characterise polyps during colonoscopy procedures.
    • Oxehealth – A contact-free vision-based patient monitoring platform for use across inpatient and residential care facilities.
    • patientMpower – remote monitoring application across a range of pulmonary conditions, including pulmonary fibrosis, cystic fibrosis, lung transplant and COVID-19.
    • Patients Know Best – A platform that allows patients and professionals to access healthcare records – anytime, anywhere.
    • Peppy Health – app that provides health support through life’s big transitions, such as becoming a parent, going through the menopause or going through a fertility journey.
    • Phlo Digital Pharmacy – a rapid on-demand same-day pharmacy delivery service empowering patients to better manage their healthcare.
    • Regimen – a digital therapy for the 30% of men struggling with erectile dysfunction.
    • S12 Solutions – an app and website which helps Approved Mental Health Professionals (AMHPs) and s.12 doctors to efficiently complete Mental Health Act (MHA) processes.
    • Solutions 4 Health – a CQC registered provider of both lifestyle and clinical services using artificial intelligence, digital health and clinical healthcare.
    • Vantage Health – An Artificial Intelligence platform that transforms the referral process by helping clinicians to direct patients to the best care, based on pathway guidance.
    • PocDoc – A digital platform and associated tests from Vital Signs Solutions that allow individuals to test themselves for major diseases using their smartphone, with results available immediately, see a full health assessment and have access to follow on care where required.
    • VUI Diagnostics – A plug and play retinal screening device and companion software for simple, affordable and accurate retinal screening.

    Further reading

    For more information about each SME visit the DigitalHealth.London website.

    See selected companies

    Hundreds of young people with eating disorders to benefit from ‘gold standard’ NHS treatment

    Clinician with woman

    Rapid eating disorder intervention for young people developed in south London to be rolled out nationally.

    The problem

    Between 600,000 and 725,000 people in the United Kingdom have one or more eating disorders.

    SOURCE: National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, 2015

    Young people with eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia are to get rapid access to specialist NHS treatment across England.

    The NHS has announced that it will scale up an early intervention service developed by Health Innovation Network (HIN) members King’s College London and South London and Maudsley NHS Trust (SLaM).

    The model supports young people in the early stages of eating disorders.

    The new service to be rolled out in 18 sites across the country builds on a successful scheme shown to help 16-25 year olds in London, with one patient describing it as ‘the gold standard’ of care.

    With eating disorders causing serious physical and mental health problems which can last decades, the expanded service will target care to those who have been living with a condition for fewer than three years, to tackle problems before they escalate.

    Teens or young adults coming forward who would benefit from treatment can be contacted within 48 hours and with treatment beginning as soon as two weeks later.

    The approach is based on a successful model developed and trialled at King’s College London and the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, with support from the Health Foundation. It reduces wait times and improves patients’ outcomes.

    The investment in the early intervention – First Episode Rapid Early Intervention for Eating Disorders (FREED) – service is part of the NHS Long Term Plan commitment to provide an additional £1 billion a year by 2023/24 to expand and improve community mental health care so adults, including those with an eating disorder, can get earlier access to care, as close to home as possible.

    Professor Tim Kendall, NHS England’s National Clinical Director for Mental Health, said:

    “Young people who are struggling with an eating disorder stand to benefit significantly with the roll out of this new NHS service which will provide access to early intervention, treatment and support.

    “These services have already proven to be effective and the expansion in care we have announced today will support our ambition to meet the rising demand for support to tackle young people’s ill health.

    “And although we are in the throes of a pandemic, the NHS continues to offer face-to-face appointments and inpatient care for patients with eating disorders when needed, while providing the option of phone and video consultations and online support where appropriate.”

    Amanda Risino, Chief Operating Officer for Health Innovation Manchester and Academic Health Science Network Early Intervention in Eating Disorder National Programme Chair, said:

    “We are delighted to see 18 new services across England receive funding to implement this NHS service for young people aged 16-25 years. Early intervention in eating disorders is shown to lead to substantial improvements in clinical outcomes at a critical time of transition and development, and is highly acceptable to both patients and families.

    “The AHSN Network, through our National Early Intervention in Eating Disorders Programme will be supporting implementation at these 18 new sites, in addition to our work with all Eating Disorder services across England interested in adopting an early intervention model of care for this age group.”

    Ulrike Schmidt, Professor of Eating Disorders at King’s College London and Consultant Psychiatrist at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, said:

    “Eating disorders are disabling and potentially deadly, and early treatment is essential.

    “We are absolutely thrilled with this much needed investment and we hope that rolling out this NHS new service to 18 specialist eating disorder teams in England, will create the momentum needed to make early intervention a reality for all young people with eating disorders.”

    “The new NHS service is highly recommended by patients and families and has helped many people including George and Sue.”

    George moved to London when she was 21 and her eating disorder worsened as she moved to the capital on her own.

    After persuasion from her family, George visited the GP who referred her to an eating disorders service delivering the NHS service. Within two weeks, she was meeting with a psychologist for a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) session.

    George was with the service for 18 months and recognises the service not only supported her to manage her eating disorder but also with other challenges she had to face including having surgery, changing jobs, moving homes and acclimatising to the new city.

    George said: “My treatment was completely tailored to me and my lifestyle. After my treatment was finished, I left the programme so optimistic and grateful for everything they had given me.”

    The service has also helped Sue support her 18-year-old daughter who was the first person outside of London to use it in her local eating disorder programme.

    Sue says her daughter was a bit apprehensive at first, but she built a genuine bond with her psychotherapist. Sue witnessed how the service caused a positive change to her daughter’s approach to food and exercise. From the dedication from her support worker to the involvement of a dietitian, Sue watched her daughter’s life and eating disorder improve.

    She said: “I totally trusted the professionals involved in my daughter’s care and that’s what helped me help her. Without any question this NHS service should be seen as the gold standard of eating disorders care.”

    “Eating disorders are disabling and potentially deadly, and early treatment is essential.”
    Ulrike Schmidt, Professor of Eating Disorders at King's College London and Consultant Psychiatrist at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust.

    The new and expanding community-based mental health care will provide treatment and support for 370,000 adults, including those with eating disorders as part of the NHS Long Term Plan, and for anyone experiencing poor mental health, the NHS message remains the same: please help us help you, and come forward for the care you need.

    The Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) is supporting the national adoption of evidenced based models including the NHS FREED expansion for the early identification of eating disorders in people aged 16 – 25.

    A 2015 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence report estimated that between 600,000 and 725,000 people in the United Kingdom have one or more eating disorders.

    Find out more about FREED

    Find out more about FREED by clicking on the button below.

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    Have any questions regarding this project? Email the HIN National Programme Manager for Early Intervention Eating Disorders on the button below.

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    Joint pain programme ESCAPE-pain and young people’s Type 1 diabetes initiative win awards

    Trainer helps woman exercise

    A national programme to tackle chronic joint pain and a local initiative supporting young people with Type 1 Diabetes have won at the prestigious Health Service Journal Value Awards.

    Chronic joint pain programme ESCAPE-pain and the Youth Empowerment Service (YES) that supports 14-19 year olds with Type 1 diabetes, have won prizes at the Health Service Journal Value Awards.

    ESCAPE-pain won the MSK Care Initiative of the Year. Since being on the programme , Ann, 68, is no longer in constant pain. She said: “Osteoarthritis was really impacting on my daily life as I had to ask for help to do everyday tasks around the home. My life has significantly changed since I completed the course and I’ve continued to do the exercises and now I no longer have any pain and I live a very active life.”

    ESCAPE-pain (Enabling Self-management and Coping with Arthritic Pain using Exercise) is a national programme offering face-to-face and online exercises to help people suffering from chronic joint pain. Driven by the NHS’s Health Innovation Network, in south London, and backed by Sport England and in association with Versus Arthritis, roll-out of the programme has been supported by the national Academic Health Science Network. Prior to Covid-19, the programme was running in 295 sites and has helped 19,300 participants since it started.

    ESCAPE-pain programme originator Professor Mike Hurley said:

    “The judges were clearly impressed with the general ethos of the programme about self-management, its effectiveness and benefits that it brings to individuals and the healthcare system as a whole. We hope the award gives a boost to ESCAPE-pain that we believe can make a major contribution to the post-Covid-19 NHS ‘reset’.

    Guy’s and St Thomas’ Youth Empowerment Skills (YES) programme, which is supported by the HIN, runs vital programmes for 14-19 years-olds with Type 1 Diabetes. It won the HSJ Diabetes Care Initiative of the Year.

    YES programme Lead Dr Dulmini Kariyawasam, consultant at Guy’s and St.Thomas’ Foundation Trust , said:

    “We are absolutely delighted to have been named as the winners in the Diabetes Care Initiative of the Year 2020! The positive impact of this award will help to create a long-lasting legacy and bolster our efforts to expand the YES programme across London giving every young person living with Type 1 diabetes in London access to the programme.”

    “The HIN seeks to speed up the spread and adoption of evidence-based innovation in health and care so both these award-winning projects highlight the value of our work to improve lives. A huge well done to both teams. ”Health Innovation Network Chief Executive Zoe Lelliott

    The Health Innovation Network’s Diabetes team Project Manager, Ellen Pirie, said:

    “Young people suffering with Type 1 Diabetes face many challenges and the YES programme offers them practical support on issues such as food, sexual health and handling a diabetic seizure. There are also opportunities to go on social outings and try out new skills such as driving and rock-climbing and it’s this peer support network building that I know participants really benefit from.”

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    Get more info about the award winning YES and ESCAPE pain projects.

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    37 NHS staff leading digital transformation projects to be supported by DigitalHealth.London’s Digital Pioneer Fellowship

    37 change makers who are employed by NHS organisations and are leading digital transformation projects in London and the South East will join the 2020/21 Digital Pioneer Fellowship programme.

    Today, DigitalHealth.London announces the 37 NHS staff who have been successful in gaining a place on the third Digital Pioneer Fellowship. The programme supports change makers employed by NHS organisations in London and the South East to design and lead transformation projects underpinned by digital innovation. As the NHS continues to respond to and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, digital innovation remains vital to the health and social sector.

    The 2020/21 cohort of Fellows come from organisations spanning London and the South East, and represent a diverse range of roles, departments and levels within the NHS. Eighteen are administrative staff, eight are Allied Health Professionals, six are medical professionals and five are nurses. Thirty percent of the cohort identify as BAME which is a relatively high proportion when comparing to the latest overall NHS workforce statistics which show that for NHS staff whose ethnicity was known, 79.2 percent were White (including White ethnic minorities), and 20.7 percent were from all other ethnic groups.

    The 37 Fellows will be part of an action focused learning community focussed on accelerating the pace of digital transformation within their respective NHS organisations. Over the 12-month programme, the Fellows will have access to workshops, resources and events throughout the year to share challenges and experience, learn from experts and collaborate to co-design solutions.

    Further information

    Find the full list of this year’s Digital Pioneer Fellows here.

    Browse their profiles

    Safer care during Covid-19

    A rapid-learning report on the role of Patient Safety Collaboratives (PSCs) during the pandemic has been published by the AHSN Network. PSCs are just one part of the health and care system which responded quickly to the immediate Covid-19 crisis in March. They reprioritised their day-to-day work and took on new programmes with speed, such as promoting safer tracheostomy care.

    PSCs are funded and nationally coordinated by NHS England and NHS Improvement, and hosted locally by the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) including the Health Innovation Network in south London. They make a significant contribution to the NHS Patient Safety Strategy, by supporting the delivery of the National Patient Safety Improvement Programmes and the AHSNs’ focus on accelerating innovation.

    The report has been published as part of the NHS Reset campaign and gives examples of how PSCs refocused their work ‘almost overnight’ to respond to the pandemic. It illustrates some of the creative ways AHSNs supported their local systems and how this experience will be built into future patient safety programmes including our own #OnlyHuman campaign. This work encourages front-line health and care staff to prioritise their physical health and emotional wellbeing needs, which are likely to have been neglected due to the impact of Covid-19.

    You can read the report at www.ahsnnetwork.com/patient-safety-covid19-report

     

     

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    Learn more about our current Patient Safety and Patient Experience work within south London.

    See Patient Safety projects

    NHS Innovation Accelerator – Call for Applicants for the 20/21 cohort

    Applications for the NHS Innovation Accelerator are now open.

    The NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA) – an NHS England initiative supported by England’s 15 Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) and hosted at UCLPartners – has launched its call for applications representing high impact, evidence-based innovations.

    The call is open to local, national and international healthcare innovations supported by passionate individuals from any background, including SMEs, clinicians, charity/third sector and academics.

    In alignment with the current NHS priorities of Covid-19 Reset and Recovery, innovations put forward this year must address at least one of the following themes:

    • NHS response to COVID-19;
    • mental health; and
    • supporting the workforce.

    The application period is open until 16 October 2020 at midnight.

    For further information, contact the NHS Innovation Accelerator.

     

    Interested in applying?

    Visit the NIA website to learn more about the application criteria and process, find dates for informational webinars, and access the online application portal.

    Apply now

    Worldwide experts to explore how digital health evidence generation is transforming healthcare

    Experts in their field from around the world are to review the topic Generating Evidence for Digital Health in a series of upcoming webinars. This was made possible through an innovative collaboration between University College London, the Health Innovation Network, the DigitalHealth.London Generator and MedCity.

    The series will span a wide range of issues around the topic with special reference to the digital health transformation brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Renowned across the world for their work in the field, the chairs and guest speakers include; internationally recognised academic Professor Trish Greenhalgh, University Oxford; the Co-founder and Executive Director of the Digital Medicine Society and former Olympian and World Championship silver medallist Jen Goldsack; and senior clinical scientist Professor Dame Til Wykes who has carried out research in digital health with service users and has developed her own digital health software for people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia.

    The webinars are all free to join and are targeted at an international audience of digital health developers, researchers, students, clinicians and NHS managers and commissioners. Audience members can join discussions with experts on key questions such as, ‘Can we move beyond regulation stifling innovation?’, ‘What can different academic disciplines bring to evaluating digital health?’ and ‘Can I trust digital mental health to work for me?’.

    Dr Henry Potts, University College London and Public Health England, said: “Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, there was a momentum building around the importance of generating evidence for digital health. Now as hundreds of digital services and products have been introduced into health and care sectors, the need to understand their impact and use digital technology for lasting change requires real collaboration. We’re delighted so many digital health leaders have been enthused by this webinar series and I am very much looking forward to discussions and information exchanges.”

    Dr Jean Ledger, Research Fellow, Department of Applied Health Research, University College London, said: “This webinar series is aimed at sharing perspectives and expertise with the hope of starting a collaborative movement around improving evidence generation in digital health. We hope these discussions raise interesting questions and ideas about how to improve evidence in this rapidly evolving field. There is great potential for digital health to improve health and social care for patients and NHS staff, but we need to get it right and understand what works well for end users, and under what conditions. Generating and applying evidence appropriately is key to that.”

    “I would encourage anyone with an interest in digital innovation in health care – whether innovators, clinicians looking to adopt a digital solution or academics hoping to evaluate a digital health tool – to join these fantastic webinars.”Anna King, Commercial Director, Health Innovation Network

    Professor Paul Wallace, Clinical Director for Digital at the Health Innovation Network and National Institute for Health Research London Clinical Research Networks, said: “The DigitalHealth.London Generator is committed to promoting the generation of evidence to support the digital transformation of our health and care services and we are delighted to be a founding partner of this exciting webinar series. If you are interested in any aspect of digital health, please join us this unique programme to hear from and interact with some of the most influential pioneers in the digital health space.”

    Neelam Patel, CEO, MedCity said: “We are currently at a pivotal moment in digital health where its future will be decided by the success of collaborations between industry, the NHS and academia. MedCity is proud to be a partner in this top-level webinar series and I for one am very much looking forward to engaging debates and discussions on this important topic.”

    Anna King, Commercial Director, the Health Innovation Network, said: “We have been inspired by high-profile thought leaders in digital health evidence generation who are sharing their experience and expertise in this webinar series. I would encourage anyone with an interest in digital innovation in health care – whether innovators, clinicians looking to adopt a digital solution or academics hoping to evaluate a digital health tool – to join these fantastic webinars.”

    Each webinar will last for approximately one hour and will include presentations and a moderated question and answer session. The webinars will be streamed live, and recordings will subsequently be made available online.

    The programme has been made possible by a grant from the UCL Knowledge and Information Exchange and all sessions will be free of charge.

    Further information

    Join the online discussion on Twitter using the hashtag: #EvaluateDigiHealth.

    Explore

    We're here to help

    For more information and to register visit the Digital Health.London website.

    Register

    DigitalHealth.London Digital Pioneer Fellowship opens for applications

    Call out to NHS staff who are pioneering digital innovations within their organisations

    Did you know

    • Over 80 per cent of the Fellows surveyed said they had gained specific technical skills.
    • So far 60 innovators employed by NHS organisations have benefited from the Digital Pioneer Fellowship.
    • All Fellows surveyed were confident that being part of the Fellowship was of benefit to their career.

    Digital innovations have provided vital support and capacity to the NHS over the last few months and will continue to do so as the impact of Covid-19 continues, and the focus turns to resuming services. Today, DigitalHealth.London opens applications to its Digital Pioneer Fellowship programme, supporting change makers employed by NHS organisations in London to design and lead transformation projects underpinned by digital innovation. This year the Digital Pioneer Fellowship programme is funded through sponsorship from Boehringer Ingelheim Ltd (BI)* – the programme content and delivery is controlled by DigitalHealth.London.

    Now in its third consecutive year, the 12-month programme provides up to 30 Fellows with the opportunity to be part of an action focused learning community focussed on accelerating the pace of digital transformation within their respective NHS organisations. The individuals taking part have access to workshops, resources and events throughout the year to share challenges and experience, learn from experts and collaborate to co-design solutions.

    They will hear from and be given the opportunity to ask questions of leading sector experts during taught modules on subjects ranging from change management and business case development to agile delivery and service improvement. Fellows will also be able to choose a mentor and be grouped into action learning sets with other Fellows working in similar environments on digital transformation projects.

    “I am extremely proud of the individuals we have supported previously through our Digital Pioneer Fellowship programme for the contributions they have made to bringing digital innovation into London’s NHS, and am very pleased today to announce the opening of applications for the next cohort of pioneers.”Sara Nelson, Programme Lead, Digital Pioneer Fellowship

    In the first year of the programme over 80 per cent of the Fellows surveyed cited positive gain, saying that they gained specific technical skills and/or had met an individual challenge thanks to the Fellowship. All Fellows surveyed were confident that being part of the Fellowship was of benefit to their career.**

    Sara Nelson, Programme Lead, Digital Pioneer Fellowship, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has been one of the biggest challenges the NHS has faced and I have no doubt that the staff’s quick adaptation and uptake of digital innovations has been vital in enabling key services and care to continue over this period. As a nurse with over 25 years of service to the NHS, I appreciate how challenging digital transformation in the NHS can be if staff aren’t given the support, advice and time to develop professional skills that they need. I am extremely proud of the individuals we have supported previously through our Digital Pioneer Fellowship programme for the contributions they have made to bringing digital innovation into London’s NHS, and am very pleased today to announce the opening of applications for the next cohort of pioneers.”

    Tara Donnelly, Chief Digital Officer at NHSX, said: “We need to support the clinicians, service leads, managers and operational staff in our NHS who are at the heart of digital healthcare delivery with the tools they need to drive change in their organisations.

    “The DigitalHealth.London Digital Pioneer Fellowship provides them with these tools and I am thrilled it is opening for applications once again and look forward to witnessing the impact this next cohort of change makers have on London’s NHS.”

    Nicola Reynolds, Principal Clinical Psychologist at Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust, recently appointed Deputy Clinical Director for CYPMH at Health Innovation Network and 2019 Digital Pioneer Fellowship alumnus, said: “I wanted to develop my skills and knowledge in order to help drive the development and adoption of digital working within my organisation, so I applied to the Digital Pioneer Fellowship programme. Having been successful in gaining a place, I was encouraged to think more strategically, and by doing so, I expanded the remit of my digital role. I recently contributed to a bid for funding from NHSX, we were successful in securing £200,000 to contribute to the development of a digital care pathway for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. I found the Fellowship experience invaluable, both the formal teaching and the Action Learning Set groups. I was able to use the insights I gained from the Change Management session to arrange and deliver on an alignment conversation with the senior team. It had a significant impact on the project and led to my solution becoming incorporated into the Trust wide solution.”

    Uday Bose, Country Managing Director UK & Ireland at Boehringer Ingelheim, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the Digital Pioneer Fellowship and NHS staff with a learning community and access to leading experts and mentors.  Digital technology is a critical driver in accelerating our healthcare system, whether it’s progress in scientific innovation, sustainable healthcare or better ways to connect Health Care Professionals with their colleagues and patients. As part of our ongoing commitment to improving health, digital innovation is at the heart of delivering better value and care to patients. We are excited to champion NHS change makers who see the potential and benefit of digital transformation as they go about their day to day roles.”

    Further information

    For more information about the Digital Pioneer Fellowship programme, join a discussion with the Programme Lead and some of the Fellows who have been supported by the programme on the Digital Pioneer Fellowship 101 Webinar at 11:30am Wednesday 12 August on Zoom.

    Signup

    We're here to help

    You can read more information about the Digital Pioneer Fellowship programme and access the online application on the DigitalHealth.London website.

    Apply

    AHSN Network stakeholder research – national findings

    Did you know?

    This independent report finds that the quality of HIN’s partnerships is a key strength. Find out more about what we do and how we partner with others across industry, health and care.

    NHS England/Improvement and the Office for Life Sciences commissioned research to explore and evaluate the views of AHSN stakeholders. Savanta ComRes conducted this independent evaluation. With input from AHSNs and commissioners, they developed and ran an online survey and telephone interviews. Those taking part were stakeholders in health and social care, private and voluntary sectors, national and local governance bodies, research and academia, patient groups and the general public. Topics covered included familiarity with and perceptions of AHSNs, evaluations of AHSNs’ communications, services, support, work programmes and cross-regional working, and perceived opportunities and challenges for AHSNs in the future.

    Key takeaways from the report:
    1. Key strengths of Health Innovation Network cited across stakeholders are the quality of partnerships they develop and of the training courses they run.

    2. However, there is a sense among some that HIN could be more visible by focusing resources on a smaller number of projects where they can make a significant impact.

    3. Some stakeholders make suggestions for HIN around strengthening its ongoing communication with them, for instance by maintaining contact post-project or by targeting the most important individuals.

    Download the Health Innovation Network AHSN regional report.

    Download the national AHSN report.

    “ They’re very motivated, very outcome-oriented and very good at providing connections and support to their local organisations and very focussed on the challenges of innovation and improvements in the NHS.”Industry stakeholder

    Further information

    Each AHSN is also publishing their individual regional reports. Find a list of England’s 15 AHSNs here. Explore the national AHSN Stakeholder Research findings.

    See national findings

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    Explore our projects and contact us to get involved

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    HIN backs Londoners’ decisions over use of their data to save lives and improve care

    OneLondon Citizen's Summit members discuss how their health and care data is used

    Londoners have set out how they expect their health and care data to be used to improve care. A diverse mix of 100 Londoners strongly endorsed joined up data sharing by NHS and care services under clear conditions.

    Commenting on the findings from the HIN-supported OneLondon Citizen’s Summit Public deliberation in the use of health and care data report, Denis Duignan, Head of Digital at Health Innovation Network, said:

    “We welcome this report as for the first time it sets out how Londoner’s want their health and care data to be used. This is vital because patient confidentiality is such a delicate issue and sharing data between healthcare providers has huge benefits in directly caring for patients, and also for wider research, proactive and personalised care.

    “This is compounded by the fact that the data captured and shared by the public through a plethora of digital tools and devices will soon provide additional information and capabilities to improve how we care for patients and ourselves as citizens.”

    Read the story here and download the report here.

    Watch the NHS’s video setting out the potential for data in health and care here.

    “Sharing data between healthcare providers has such huge benefits in directly caring for patients, and also for wider research, proactive and personalised care. ”Denis Duignan, Head of Digital at Health Innovation Network

    See more work by our Technology team

    From reviews into online consultation across south west London, a market review of social prescribing platforms and digital transformation click on the button below.

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    Londoners set out their expectations for appropriate use of their health and care data

    OneLondon Citizen's Summit

    Londoners have set out how they expect their health and care data to be used, as part of a London-wide Citizens’ Summit. There was strong endorsement for joining-up information held by the NHS and care services to improve care for individuals and for the population, as long as certain conditions are in place.

    In receiving these detailed recommendations, local health and care leaders confirmed that these public expectations will be used to shape policy for London, ensuring that Londoners can have confidence in how their health and care data is used.

    The OneLondon Citizens’ Summit was a large scale and in-depth public deliberation on uses of health and care data. It involved 100 Londoners in a four-day process of detailed discussion and debate. Participants reflected London’s diverse population, came from all 32 boroughs, and had a mix of attitudes towards data sharing. They were provided with technical information by experts and practitioners. The work was overseen by an independent advisory group.

    This Citizens’ Summit is a new and innovative way to involve the public in policymaking. As a result, Londoners have had more opportunity than ever before to be informed about the issues and trade-offs, and to set out their expectations about the uses of their health and care information by the health and care system.

    The Citizens’ Summit was commissioned by London’s five health and care partnerships via the OneLondon Local Health and Care Record Exemplar (LHCRE) programme, and delivered by Ipsos MORI and The King’s Fund. Through public deliberation, London is leading the way in understanding how citizens weigh-up the benefits and potential concerns of data use, to reach an informed set of public expectations that will now shape the development of policy across the capital.

    How do Londoners expect their health and care data to be used?

    Access and control in health and care data
    At the end of the process, after four days of deliberation, there was almost unanimous agreement (97 per cent of those who attended on the day)* that all health and care organisations in London should join up identifiable data to support the provision of care to individuals. An expectation was set that health and care professionals would only have access to information relevant to their roles through a means of role-based access control. Strict conditions were set out by Summit participants, taking into account the level of urgency of a patient’s condition, safeguarding of information and accountability.

    Use of de-personalised data for health and care planning and improvement
    Participants recommended that de-personalised data must be used by relevant organisations to plan and improve services and demonstrably benefit the health of the population, with conditions set out to ensure security of data, transparency of access, and an individual’s choice to opt out of this use if they wish.

    Use of de-personalised data for research and development
    Conditions for using de-personalised data to support research and development included who should have access (including commercial organisations) and how they should be charged for this access, with a tiered pricing model being suggested. Participants also set conditions around how information should be safeguarded and accessed in a safe and secure setting, and how benefits – financial and otherwise – should be realised and distributed across the NHS.

    Governance and oversight
    There was a strong expectation set that citizens are involved in ongoing policy and decision-making around the uses of health and care data as part of a continuing diverse citizens’ advisory group, with a request for those in elected positions, for example, the London Assembly, to play an oversight and scrutiny role.

    Consistency across London
    After four days of deliberation, nearly all of the participants (98 per cent of those who attended on the day)* stated an expectation that all health and care organisations in London must join up de-personalised information, as part of a population dataset, to support proactive care, planning, improvement, research and development in line with the recommendations and conditions they set out.

    What does this mean for London’s health and care system?

    Data collected about a person’s health and care offers a range of benefits – from helping NHS and care staff to provide safe, quality care, to planning and improving services, to supporting research and discovery of new treatments. The public health emergency of the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted more than ever the need for a joined-up approach in using data, both now and into the future. This is an expectation shared by Londoners, and the recommendations formed by participants through the Citizens’ Summit provide a clear directive to the health and care system.

    One participant involved in the Citizens’ Summit, said:

    “I consider my healthcare information to be very personal and it’s important that it is discussed openly as to whether we want that to be shared, or the extent to which it’s shared. It’s very democratic to be part of this process. We can often feel, politically, quite impotent as individuals, so being able to feel like the opinions I’m expressing are going to be helping to shape policy… it’s really good to be a part of it.”

    A second participant commented:

    “Certain expectations that I had of the NHS and our data were completely blown out of the park. Connections I thought might be there – or hoped were there – weren’t. So it’s been very informative. I came in initially with the view that, ‘the data is mine, no one should have access to it’, so I’ve done a big flip. It’s been a journey because I’ve kept flipping to and fro.”

    Dr Vin Diwakar, Regional Medical Director for the NHS in London, commented:

    “Having listened to Londoners about how they expect their personal health information to be used, it is clear they want those treating patients to have access to all the health and care information for those individuals, to optimise care. They also strongly support using data for research and the clear benefit of improving the city’s health and social care. Privacy and other safeguards must be in place. We are grateful for the involvement of all those who took part and will continue to work closely with Londoners as we look to develop an agreed set of principles for how we safely and securely use Londoners’ data, based on their recommendations.”

    London’s Chief Digital Officer, Theo Blackwell, said:

    “There is huge potential to harness health and care data in a safe and secure way, in order to improve Londoners’ wellbeing while protecting their privacy. The Mayor and I are clear that Londoners must be at the heart of shaping how their data is used and by whom. The OneLondon Citizens’ Summit has empowered Londoners to make recommendations on this important issue, to ensure the system can develop policy in a trustworthy way.”

    Recommendations and findings from the OneLondon Citizens’ Summit are detailed in a new report. Download Public deliberation in the use of health and care data here.

    For more information visit One London website.

    “Having listened to Londoners about how they expect their personal health information to be used, it is clear they want those treating patients to have access to all the health and care information for those individuals, to optimise care. “Dr Vin Diwakar, Regional Medical Director for the NHS in London

    NHS Diabetes Advice Helpline for patients with insulin-treated diabetes

    medCrowd partners with Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust to provide a new Diabetes Advice Helpline

    New virtual service supports self-management for people living with insulin-treated diabetes during the Covid-19 pandemic.

    DigitalHealth.London Accelerator alumni, medCrowd, have partnered with NHS England and Improvement, Diabetes UK, Novo Nordisk UK, and Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust to provide a new Diabetes Advice Helpline.

    The new Diabetes Advice Helpline, supported in its early development stages by King’s Health Partners Diabetes, Obesity and Endocrinology and Health Innovation Network, offers clinical advice for people, putting them in touch with trained clinical advisors with expertise in diabetes. All the advisors are diabetes trained health professionals who are volunteering their time during the pandemic – some are retired and have returned to the NHS to support patients.

    The service is available via the Diabetes UK’s support line on 0345 123 2399, Monday to Friday from 9am – 6pm, for adults living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes who use insulin to manage their condition.

    For patients who, whether as a direct or indirect result of the coronavirus, have had their routine care disrupted, the helpline provides much needed clinical advice on topics such as: hyperglycaemia, hypoglycaemia, sick day rules and missed injections, which can all lead to serious complications if not managed appropriately.

    “This helpline is a fantastic example of how rapid collaboration between NHS organisations and medCrowd has made it possible to provide much-needed support to patients during this challenging time.”Laura Semple, Health and Innovation Network Programme Director in Diabetes and Stroke Prevention

    The new helpline is not intended to replace the routine care that patients receive – but if for any reason patients cannot get hold of their usual care team, then the helpline is there to provide advice. The helpline is not able to offer advice for pregnant or paediatric patients. These patients, and their parents or guardians, as appropriate, are advised to contact their own doctor or care team.

    Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust continues to be a key partner in the project by providing clinical oversight and support.

    Mark Brodigan, Programme Lead for NHS England, said:
    “Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and our London regional team were instrumental in the inception and development of the programme. They continue to provide clinical, operational advice and support to the service. Without their help and support, we would not have been able to establish this service in such a short period of time. This is a good example of partnership working across the NHS, third and private sectors to establish a service that supports diabetic patients at this time of need.”

    Kate Lillywhite, Programme Director of King’s Health Partners Diabetes, Obesity and Endocrinology, said:
    “We’re delighted that NHS Diabetes Advice Helpline has launched and our Institute has played a key role in enabling it.”
    “No doubt, this service will provide accessible and high-quality advice for people living with diabetes across the UK during the pandemic. None of it would not have been made possible without cross-organisation collaboration and the fantastic support from Health Innovation Network and medCrowd.”

    “The experience of setting this service up opens up the possibility of new ways of working, beneficial to both patients and staff alike.”

    Laura Semple, Health and Innovation Network Programme Director in Diabetes and Stroke Prevention, said:
    “This helpline is a fantastic example of how rapid collaboration between NHS organisations and medCrowd has made it possible to provide much-needed support to patients during this challenging time. We will all be interested to learn from the experience of this advice line as we work with partners to shape the future of diabetes care.”

    Sara Nelson, Programme Director DigitalHealth.London Accelerator, said:
    “We are very proud that so many of our Accelerator programme companies are at the forefront of the Covid-19 response and are supporting the NHS and patients every day.”

    “In this project, medCrowd is adapting its offer to meet people’s needs during the pandemic, giving hundreds of people access to the vital care and support they need.”

    Dr Felix Jackson, Founder and Medical Director of medDigital and medCrowd, said:
    “It is amazing to see this innovative service set up so quickly by the dedicated and talented team working together across the NHS, Health Innovation Network, medDigital and other key organisations. We were able to configure and roll out NHS Diabetes Advice in just a few weeks so people living with diabetes can get the help and advice they need during this uncertain time.”

    Explore our work in diabetes here.

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    Want to learn more about how we are supporting the local health and care system’s response to Covid-19.

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    Further Information

    King’s Health Partners Diabetes, Obesity and Endocrinology is improving health and wellbeing for people living with diabetes and obesity across London and south east England.

    Find out more

    Patient safety and experience: our response to Covid-19

    Patient safety and experience: our response to COVID-19

    Our Patient Safety and Experience, Healthy Ageing and Digital Transformation Teams have been working in partnership to support our local health and care system response to Covid-19.  Working as part of the NHS National Patient Safety Improvement Programmes, our work over the next six months will focus on the following areas to contribute to the NHS response to Covid-19.

    Deterioration

    Failure to recognise or act on signs of deterioration can result in missed opportunities to provide necessary care and give patients the best possible chance of survival (Patient Safety Alerts 2016, 2018). This area therefore continues to be a major patient safety priority for the NHS during the Covid-19 outbreak. A good system of managing deterioration includes processes and solutions that enable:

    • Early detection of physical deterioration. This includes a physiology assessment and early warning tools such as soft signs and the NEWS2 score. A growing number of digital solutions to support these processes are also available.
    • An understanding of what is “normal” for a resident.
    • Staff knowing what to do next if a person’s health deteriorates. Agreed escalation processes are required, including end-of-life preferences, advanced care and treatment escalation plans.
    • Staff to effectively communicate their concerns. This includes human factors and structured communication.

    We already have a south London managing deterioration improvement programme as part of the national patient safety improvement work. Consequently, our team is contributing to national developments and assisting regional and local efforts aimed at optimising patient outcomes during the pandemic. We are also building connections with a growing number of digital projects aimed at enabling remote assessment and monitoring of patients within the community setting.

    Our Programme Director for Patient Safety and Experience, Catherine Dale, is a national co-lead for the Patient Safety Collaboratives on deterioration and was instrumental in the delivery of a very successful national webinar for GPs working hard at the front line to tackle Covid-19.

    “High quality, safe care can be achieved through preparation, planning and education; the National Patient Safety Improvement Programme has created this important national program to rapidly develop the skills and knowledge for bedside staff to deliver safe tracheostomy care everywhere.”
    Brendan McGrath – National Clinical Advisor for National Patient Safety Improvement Programme Covid-19 Response (Safe Tracheostomy Care); Intensive Care Consultant, Manchester University NHS FT

    The team will be very happy to hear from you if you want to know more about any of our projects above or discuss support for your local work, contact hin.southlondon@nhs.net

    You can also access nationally available resources and webinars on the AHSN Network Patient Safety COVID-19 webpage here.

    DigitalHealth.London Accelerator opens for applications

    DigitalHealth.London Accelerator opens for applications today

    Call-out for the next generation of digital innovation to transform health and care

    Digital products and services are currently providing vital innovation, support and capacity to the NHS during the response to Covid-19. Today, DigitalHealth.London opens applications to their flagship Accelerator programme for the next generation of digital health companies to transform health and care.

    Now in its fifth consecutive year, the NHS-delivered programme, funded in part by the European Regional Development Fund, has supported some of the biggest and most effective digital innovations being used by the NHS in London. Companies including LIVIPatchwork HealthEchoSweatcoinHealth Navigator and Perfect Ward have all been through the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme. From enabling remote GP appointments, to transforming NHS temporary staffing and patient-facing self-management apps, the Accelerator has supported some of the best digital innovations now being widely used. Whilst the health and care system is under pressure like never before, the need for innovations to solve problems both today and in the future remains vital.

    To date, the Accelerator has supported 105 innovative digital health companies, with 160 additional NHS contracts signed by those companies. For every £1 spent on the programme, it is estimated over £14 is saved for the NHS*.

    Sara Nelson, Programme Director, DigitalHealth.London Accelerator, said: “Never before has the need for the right digital innovations to be delivering for our NHS and patients been so profound.  Digital health products are introducing new ways of doing things and enabling key services to continue where they might otherwise have been cancelled or postponed. We are extremely proud of the companies and NHS organisations we have worked with over the past five years. Today, we are excited to accept applications for the next cohort of innovators. With the growing need for safe and effective digital innovations, we are looking forward to working with innovators and the many NHS staff and patients across London’s health and care sector who have recently been inspired by technology and its potential.”

    Anna King, Commercial Director, Health Innovation Network, one of the founding partners of DigitalHealth.London said: “The DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme remains one of the most influential programmes of its kind, supporting fast-growing, high-potential digital health businesses. It is also helping London establish its place as one of the most exciting and innovative digital health and care hubs in the world, with scope to develop, validate and scale innovations. I’d urge any digital health innovator who has a product or service that could support the NHS to consider joining this programme.”

    Theo Blackwell, Chief Digital Officer for London, said: “I am delighted to continue to support the Accelerator as it opens for applications again, and I am looking forward to the next group of innovators bringing their products and services to Londoners. The programme’s work ensures that London is at the forefront of digital innovation and is vital to building a future where its citizens benefit from the latest technologies to support their health.”

    Tara Donnelly, Chief Digital Officer, NHSX, said: “The DigitalHealth.London Accelerator is part of a digital revolution in the NHS that continues rapidly to develop, and we will continue to support innovative organisations delivering ground-breaking work.

    “This programme has established itself as an important player in supporting the NHS and social care to make the most of the opportunities digital health tech offers.”

    Anas Nader, Co-Founder, Patchwork Health, Accelerator programme 2019-20, said: “We’re so proud of how widely our technology has already been embraced across the NHS and the impact we’re having on the lives of thousands of clinicians. We were delighted to join the 2019-20 cohort of DigitalHealth.London’s Accelerator, a brilliant programme speeding up adoption of digital health innovations in the NHS. The programme has provided us with opportunities to connect with industry experts as well as other health tech innovators. I’d encourage companies like ours with good ideas and big ambitions to apply.”

    Joachim Werr, CEO, Health Navigator, Accelerator programme 2018-19, said: “The most valuable thing we experienced on the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme was the connections made with executives and decision makers within NHS organisations, and with central NHS policy makers, for example in NHS England and NHS improvement. Our NHS Navigator, combined with the expertise within the Accelerator’s network, have helped us reach the people that can make change happen in the NHS. We’d like to wish all companies applying good luck in what is a hugely competitive and valuable programme.”

    DigitalHealth.London’s Accelerator aims to speed up the adoption of technology in London’s NHS, relieving high pressure on services and empowering patients to manage their health. It works with up to 20 high-potential SMEs over a 12-month period, giving bespoke support and advice, a programme of expert-led workshops and events and brokering meaningful connections between innovators and NHS organisations with specific challenges. The companies that are successful in getting onto the Accelerator programme are chosen through a rigorous and highly competitive selection process, involving expert NHS and industry panel assessments, interviews and due diligence checks. Companies that have a product or solution that is well-defined and are ready to start building their evidence base are likely to benefit the most from the type of support offered through the programme. Throughout the 12 months, the programme focuses on engagement with different elements of the health and care system. Company suitability is assessed based both on product maturity (meaning products that are ready to be trailed or bought that have high potential to meet NHS challenges) and on the company’s capacity to benefit from the programme (meaning companies have enough time and staff to engage).

    For more information and how to apply, click here.

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    Helping break unwelcome news

    Helping break unwelcome news COVID-19 outbreak

    Health Education England has published a set of materials and films which aim to support staff through difficult conversations arising from the Covid-19 outbreak.

    The AHSN Network was part of a small group of people that helped pull this resource together in less than two weeks.

    The framework includes posters and films based on the evidence base from Real Talk and then filmed with willing volunteers.

    You can also follow #UnwelcomeNews on Twitter.

    Start here for an introduction to the framework: Discussion of Unwelcome News during the Covid-19 pandemic: a framework for health and social care professionals

    You can watch the films here:

    1. The framework
    2. Community
    3. Breaking bad news
    4. Ceilings of treatment

    Then access the resources here:

    Follow this link for more information on patient safety during Covid-19.

    New digital innovations tested for vulnerable people during Covid-19 outbreak

    New digital innovations tested for vulnerable people during Covid-19 outbreak

    Testing starts today as 18 winners of TechForce19 challenge announced

    People who are particularly vulnerable or isolated as a result of the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak could soon benefit from a range of innovative digital solutions selected as part of the TechForce19 challenge.

    NHSX and MHCLG have announced 18 digital solutions that have been awarded funding under the TechForce19 challenge. TechForce19 has awarded up to £25,000 each to innovation that offers a digital way to support vulnerable people who need to stay at home or need other help in the community for extended periods of time. The response to the challenge was extremely strong, with over 1,600 innovations submitted.

    The successful solutions will now receive funding to rapidly test their product to meet specific Covid-19 related needs.

    This testing phase will last for two to three weeks, and be followed by an assessment to better understand the potential and scope for accelerated deployment at scale, based on evidence.

    NHSX has been working with partners PUBLIC and the AHSN Network to run the fast-track competition for innovators, creating a pool of technologies that have the potential to be rapidly scaled regionally and nationally.

    Each prospective technology must have the capability to operate on a standalone basis without the need to be integrated with existing health or care systems.

    Examples of the solutions going forward include:

    • Feebris for the most vulnerable who are isolating

    Feebris helps carers to identify health risks and deterioration within elderly communities. The Feebris app guides a carer through a 10min check-up, including capture of vital signs from connected medical-grade sensors (digital stethoscope, pulse oximeter etc.). Powerful AI augments clinical guidelines and personalised monitoring to help decisions on triaging health issues. The intention is to provide Feebris to care homes to help carers triage the day-to-day health needs of their residents during the Covid-19 pandemic, and also enhance the capabilities of remote clinicians.

    • Neurolove to support young people with mental health

    Chanua provides Neurolove.org, a platform providing a friendly ear and human support for young people to help them to keep virtually social and safe online. Supporting young people to manage anxiety and low mood, they can book sessions directly with mentors and therapists and find content that will support them to manage their emotional and mental health in this current period of uncertainty.

    • Peppy for new parents

    Peppy helps parents-to-be and new parents remotely access trusted, convenient advice from perinatal and mental health experts. This includes remote support via phone/video with lactation consultants, baby sleep consultants, specialist mental health support and more. Peppy provides timely interventions that reduce stress, anxiety and burn out for parents-to-be and new parents.

    • Team Kinetic for volunteers

    TeamKinetic’s digital platform helps organisations better manage community-led volunteer programmes. The solution helps manage recruitment and retention of volunteers, as well as monitoring the impact of these programmes in real time. TeamKinetic are also looking at developing and documenting some open standards and establishing a model for better service interconnectivity across the voluntary sector.

    • Vinehealth for cancer patients

    Vinehealth is a mobile app to support cancer patients and their loved ones during treatment by allowing them to easily track and understand their care, including their symptoms, side effects, appointments and medications. By completing a 1-minute daily log, cancer patients can develop a clear overview of their progress through treatment and access advice on how to cope and when to access health services. The Vinehealth app empowers cancer patients who are self-isolating to self-manage and feel more in control.

    “The TechForce19 challenge has harnessed some of the incredible talent we have in our tech sector to help the most vulnerable. Many of the problems created by isolation lend themselves to digital solutions, and we hope this process will help people take advantage of the potential that digital technology offers.

    “The 18 companies we are announcing today have the potential to help a number of the key affected groups during Covid-19, including young parents, the elderly at home, and the homeless, as well as giving people tools to look after their own mental health during isolation.”

    Guy Boersma, Digital & AI Lead, The AHSN Network, said:

    “This list of solutions is testament to the talent being harnessed to address the consequences of the Covid-19 crisis. The health and care sector has already seen many solutions being deployed to support vulnerable citizens with mental health needs or other specific conditions, and the pandemic makes it even more necessary that we address the needs of citizens unable to access face-to-face care or even their usual social networks.

    We are delighted that we have a series of solutions which can be piloted and then scaled to address these pressing needs.”

    Daniel Korski, CEO of PUBLIC, said:

    “As social distancing measures continue, today’s selections amount to a wealth of possible answers to helping the most vulnerable through these difficult times.

    These companies demonstrate the valuable role for new technologies in helping public services adapt to new challenges, and we’re excited to follow their journeys from here through to deployment.”

    For more information about the programme visit Techforce19.uk

    Full list of digital innovations:

    1. Feebris for the most vulnerable who are isolating

    Feebris helps carers to identify health risks and deterioration within elderly communities. The Feebris app guides a carer through a 10min check-up, including capture of vital signs from connected medical-grade sensors (digital stethoscope, pulse oximeter etc.). Powerful AI augments clinical guidelines and personalised monitoring to help decisions on triaging health issues. The intention is to provide Feebris to care homes to help carers triage the day-to-day health needs of their residents during the Covid-19 pandemic, and also enhance the capabilities of remote clinicians.

    1. Chanua / Neurolove to support young people with mental health

    Chanua provides Neurolove.org, a platform providing a friendly ear and human support for young people to help them to keep virtually social and safe online. Supporting young people to manage anxiety and low mood, they can book sessions directly with mentors and therapists and find content that will support them to manage their emotional and mental health in this current period of uncertainty.

    1. Peppy for new parents

    Peppy helps parents-to-be and new parents remotely access trusted, convenient advice from perinatal and mental health experts. This includes remote support via phone/video with lactation consultants, baby sleep consultants, specialist mental health support and more. Peppy provides timely interventions that reduce stress, anxiety and burn out for parents-to-be and new parents.

    1. Team Kinetic for volunteers

    TeamKinetic’s digital platform helps organisations better manage community-led volunteer programmes. The solution helps manage recruitment and retention of volunteers, as well as monitoring the impact of these programmes in real time. TeamKinetic are also looking at developing and documenting some open standards and establishing a model for better service interconnectivity across the voluntary sector.

    1. Vine Health for cancer patients

    Vinehealth is a mobile app to support cancer patients and their loved ones during treatment by allowing them to easily track and understand their care, including their symptoms, side effects, appointments and medications. By completing a 1-minute daily log, cancer patients can develop a clear overview of their progress through treatment and access advice on how to cope and when to access health services. The Vinehealth app empowers cancer patients who are self-isolating to self-manage and feel more in control.

    1. Beam for homeless population

    Beam is a digital platform that supports the homeless and vulnerable people sleeping rough. Beam takes referrals from local authorities and homeless charities, then ensures goods are funded, delivered and documented.

    1. Alcuris Ltd

    Alcuris’ Memohub® prolongs the independence of elderly or vulnerable people, enabling them to return to home quicker, from hospital discharge. A digital platform collates data from unobtrusive sensors placed in the home, then provides actionable alerts when behaviour changes, enabling families to intervene early to delay or reduce the frequency of professional ‘crisis intervention’ help. This gives family a reassurance of loved one’s safety and wellbeing even when left alone for extended periods. Also provides objective information to inform professional care planning.

    1. Ampersand

    Ampersand Health‘s self-management apps help people with long term, immune mediated diseases (such as Crohn’s and Colitis) live happier and healthier lives. Using behavioural and data science, the apps deliver courses and programmes designed to improve sleep quality, stress management and medication adherence; with modules for activity, diet and relationships in the works. During the Covid-19 crisis, this will help these people better manage their conditions and reduce the need for clinical support. Ampersand are also offering their clinical management portal free of charge to NHS Trusts until January 2021, no strings attached. This will allow clinical teams to help manage their patients, remotely.

    1. Aparito

    Aparito uses remote monitoring technology (videos, wearables, photos and text) to gather patient-generated data outside of hospital. This is focused on patients with rare diseases. Data is captured and transferred via the patient’s own smartphone / tablet and made available to clinicians or researchers in real-time to help avoid direct contact during the Covid-19 crisis.

    1. Birdie

    Birdie provides a digital platform for home care agencies to better manage the care they provide. Through an easy to use app, care workers capture daily visit logs, and a central hub allows staff to track real-time information. Family members receive live and daily safety and well-being updates through the app, including from optional home monitoring sensors. Birdie helps domiciliary care agencies to increase efficiency, and improves the care people receive in their homes through systematic monitoring, prevention of risks, and support to carers.

    1. Buddi

    Buddi Connect is a smartphone app, enabling people to stay in touch with those they care for. Safe groups of connections are united through the app to share private, secure messages and raise instant alerts when help is needed. Important messages from the NHS can be shared directly to users. During this difficult time, while many vulnerable people are missing the face-to-face contact of family, friends and carers, the reassurance that help is available at the touch of a button is more important than ever.

    1. Just Checking

    Just Checking supplies activity monitoring systems, used by local authorities to help with assessment of older people in their homes, for social care. Sensors pick up activities of daily living and display the data in a 24-hour chart. The company also has a second, more sophisticated activity monitoring system, to help manage the care and support of adults with learning disabilities.

    1. Peopletoo Ltd/ Novoville

    Peopletoo and Novoville have been selected to launch GetVolunteering, a volunteering app to fast track volunteers into clinical and non-clinical roles to support the fight against Covid-19. It will enable local authorities to quickly identify and assess capable volunteers in the local community to fill key roles to support social care in areas that have been impacted by loss of staffing capacity due to Covid-19, or for new roles that are required during the crisis.

    1. RIX Research & Media, University of East London

    The RIX Multi Me toolkit provides highly accessible and secure social networking that serves as a support network for people with learning disabilities and mental health challenges. This easy to use multimedia network, with accompanying communication, personal-organiser and goal-setting tools, enables isolated and distanced vulnerable people to build stronger support circles. It helps them self-manage their care and actively limit the impact and spread of Covid-19 infection. Care professionals use the ‘Stay Connected’ RIX Multi Me Toolkit to remotely monitor and support people’s wellbeing in an efficient and friendly way.

    1. Simply Do

    Simply Do will develop a virtual community of NHS medical professionals currently in self-isolation. These employees have significant expertise, experience and skills which can be unlocked virtually to help solve Covid-19 care challenges set within the platform. This will create a powerful ‘think-tank’ of medical professionals to contribute virtually to fight Covid-19 by solving wider health challenges (i.e. challenges faced in the care sector).

    1. SureCert

    SureCert is a digital platform that connects people with job and volunteering opportunities. The system also manages background checks. SureCert can provide data on successful placements, and information to enable policy makers to better understand the labour market and volunteering supply and demand.

    1. VideoVisit Global Ltd

    VideoVisit® HOME allows the elderly to communicate with their family members and home care providers through a virtual care tablet designed specifically for elderly. VideoVisit will measure how this virtual home care service can increase people’s feeling of safety and decrease loneliness during self-isolation.

    1. Virti

    Virti aims to make experiential education affordable and accessible for everyone. Virtual and augmented reality, coupled with AI, transports users into difficult to access environments and safely assesses them under pressure to improve their performance. The system is used for training and patient education.

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    Testing platform supports target of 100,000 Covid-19 tests per day

    Testing platform supports target of 100,000 COVID-19 tests per day

    A new platform has been set up to support the drive to achieve 100,000 coronavirus tests per day by the end of April – the platform can be accessed here.

    In addition to scaling up existing technologies and channels, the government is looking for innovative solutions in specific areas. Solutions, ideas and comments can be uploaded to the platform, focusing on four key challenges:

    1. Dry swabs for use in virus detection– availability of swabs is essential to speed up testing;
    2. Transport media that inactivates the virus– increasing laboratory throughput and minimising processes including the need to handle test samples;
    3. Desktop PCR equipment for Point of Care Testing– using machines that enable fast, accurate and safe results for the operator;
    4. RNA extraction– new ‘ready to go’ methods of extracting viral RNA or enabling viral detection without an extraction step that can be integrated into PCR testing chains.

    The platform is a partnership between the Department of Health and Social Care, the UK Bioindustry Association, British In Vitro Diagnostics Association and the Royal College of Pathologists.

    We understand that every idea will be evaluated and that all submissions will receive a response.

    Registration is quick via an email address or by signing in with Twitter, Facebook, Google or LinkedIn. Whilst the system is ‘open platform’ to encourage sharing, contributions can be made confidentially through a private submission tab.

    Please share this opportunity with others who may be able to contribute solutions to the four challenges – the Twitter hashtag is #TestingMethods2020

    Tech challenge launched to offer digital support during Covid-19 outbreak

    Tech challenge launched to offer digital support during COVID-19 outbreak

    • Tech challenge launched to combat effects of social isolation;
    • Innovators urged to find ways to deliver mental health and social care support digitally;
    • £500,000 worth of Government funding available to start work within weeks.

    People confined at home because of Coronavirus (Covid-19) could soon benefit from new technology to combat the effects of social isolation.

    Funding is being made available by NHSX through ‘Techforce 19’, for innovators who can find digital ways to support those who need help, including people requiring mental health support and those with social care needs.

    The technology is intended to support those who may be most affected by the consequences of remaining housebound for long periods of time.

    Announcing the fund, Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, said:

    “If people cannot leave the house, we need to quickly find ways to bring support to them and today I am calling on the strength of our innovative technology sector to take on this challenge. Techforce19 will mobilise the UK’s incredible reservoir of talent to develop simple, accessible tools that can be rolled out quickly and help tackle the effect of social isolation.”

    The programme is being launched by NHSX and is being managed by GovTech venture firm PUBLIC and the AHSN Network.

    Piers Ricketts, Chair of the AHSN Network, said:

    “The AHSN Network is dedicated to furthering successful collaborations between innovators and the health and social care system. Our well-connected teams throughout the country are ready to support NHSX and PUBLIC with this important call out to industry.

    I encourage all innovators with a relevant idea, or with existing technology which could be adapted or scaled, to apply to this programme and help support the most vulnerable and isolated during this difficult time.”

    In total, there is £500,000 available to bid for – with funding of up to £25,000 per company available to innovators with solutions that could be deployed at scale in the next few weeks. Specifically, the programme is looking for digital solutions that can be deployed quickly, and could include:

    • Providing remote social care;
    • Optimisation of the care and volunteer sector;
    • Messaging and communication;
    • Mental health support – for example through peer communities or self-management tools;
    • Any other solutions to ease pressures on services and people during this time.

    Matthew Gould, Chief Executive of NHSX, said:

    “Tech can play an important role in helping the country deal with the challenges created by the Coronavirus.  This competition is focussed on the problems created by isolation, which lend themselves to digital solutions. It will allow NHSX to accelerate the development of those solutions, so within weeks they can help those in isolation suffering from loneliness, mental health issues and other problems.”

    The Government has strongly advised everyone in the country – but especially those aged 70 or over, people with underlying medical conditions or pregnant women – to reduce social interaction to help minimise the spread of the virus. Those considered most at risk of having serious complications from the virus – for instance people receiving treatment for cancer – have also been asked to stay at home for 12 weeks as part of efforts to ‘shield’ them from the virus.”

    Techforce19 is a new challenge, open to innovative tech companies in this country who will compete to develop accessible digital tools to support people who are staying at home over the coming weeks and months.

    For more information on the programme and how to apply, visit Techforce19.uk.

    Recruitment for innovators taking part in the challenge programme opens today, Monday 23 March. The closing date for applications is 1 April 2020.

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    How is the AHSN Network supporting the response to Covid-19?

    Map of the AHSNs

    How is the AHSN Network supporting the response to COVID-19?

    All AHSNs within the AHSN Network are actively supporting the NHS and social care system regarding the Covid-19 pandemic.

    If you would like advice on immediate or future needs, and how best to present your offer to local and/ or national commissioners, please contact the commercial team at your local AHSN via the AHSN Network Innovation Exchange or register online. Use the postcode checker to help you find your local AHSN.

    The government has provided national guidance on where to register products to support the Covid-19 response. Please find these details below.

    PPE (Personal Protection Equipment)

    Contact the Surgical MedTech Co-operative (one of NIHR’s Medtech and In vitro diagnostics Co-operatives) if you have a technology that could be adapted quickly for the healthcare setting to help protect healthcare workers against aerosol contamination. Find out more about their ‘Covid-19 PPE Challenge’ here.

     Vaccines

    Contact Public Health England: nervtag@phe.gov.uk

     Ventilators

    Contact the Government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS): ventilator.support@beis.gov.uk or call 0300 456 3565

     Innovation and Tech

    Contact NHSX: DNHSX@nhsx.nhs.uk

     Diagnostics

    Contact Public Health England: coviddiagnostics@phe.gov.uk

    General

    The UK government has set up a service allowing businesses to share any support that might help the Covid-19 response, from PPE and medical testing equipment to transport/logistics and warehouse space. Find out more here.

    If you have any other solutions (not specifically Covid-19 related) that could be useful to the health and care system during this unprecedented time, you can access AHSN advice and support by visiting www.ahsninnovationexchange.co.uk.

    The AI in Health and Care Award: accelerating testing and evaluation of the most promising AI technologies

    The AI in Health and Care Award: accelerating testing and evaluation of the most promising AI technologies

    The AHSN Network welcomes the launch of the new Artificial Intelligence (AI) Health and Care Award. This will make £140 million available over three years to accelerate the testing and evaluation of the most promising AI technologies that meet the strategic aims set out in the NHS Long Term Plan.

    The Award is run by the Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC), of which the AHSN Network is a key member, in partnership with NHSX and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

    Guy Boersma, AHSN Network Digital & AI Executive Lead, commented: “We welcome the launch of this new fund to fast track the implementation of the most promising AI innovation into frontline care.

    “It is an exciting development following the publication of our AI State of Nation report, supporting the creation of the Code of Conduct and now contributing to the distribution of funding to accelerate testing and evaluation of AI technologies.

    “AI has the potential to address the many challenges impacting services today, such as those around workforce and the ageing population. As part of the Accelerated Access Collaborative, the AHSN Network looks forward to supporting this programme through the adoption and spread of AI across our strong research and innovation network.”

    About the AI in Health and Care Award

    The Award will support technologies across the spectrum of development: from initial feasibility and conception through to initial NHS adoption and testing of the AI technology within clinical pathways.
    Initially, it will focus on four key areas: screening, diagnosis, decision support and improving system efficiency.

    The AI Award is part of the £250 million funding given by the Department for Health and Social Care to NHSX to establish an AI Lab aimed at improving the health and lives of patients. The Award forms a key part of the AAC’s ambition to establish a globally leading testing infrastructure for innovation in the UK.

    A call for applications for the Award will run at least twice a year through an open competition to identify appropriate AI technologies for support into the NHS.

    The call for applications for the first Award is now open. A second call will be launched in summer this year.

    First competition – application information

    The application process for the first competition opened on 28 January 2020 and closes at 1.00pm on 4 March 2020. Applicants will be able to identify which phase they should apply for using the self-assessment criteria. Full details are available here.

    Support from the AHSNs
    Innovators interested in applying for the AI in Health and Care Award are encouraged to talk to their regional AHSN for advice and support. Find your nearest AHSN on our Innovation Exchange digital gateway here.

    AI Event – 3 February 2020
    The Accelerated Access Collaborative, NHSX and NIHR are holding an AI Event in London on 3 February. This will provide information about opportunities and support available to AI innovators and technologies at all stages of development.
    Come to the event to find out more about the most recent developments and upcoming opportunities, hear about the experience of an SME developing an AI product in the NHS, and find out about organisations such as the AHSNs that can support collaborations. In addition, there will be the opportunity for networking and establishing new connections.
    Book your place here.

    Webinars

    A series of webinars are being organised to provide more information to potential applicants:

    Initial information session: 31 January 2020, 11-12.00 Join here
    Applicant Webex: 4 February 2020, 11:00-12:00 Join here
    Applicant Webex: 11 February 2020, 11:00-12:00 Join here
    Applicant Webex: 18 February 2020, 11:00-12:00 Join here
    Applicant Webex: 25 February 2020, 11:00-12:00 Join here

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    ESCAPE-pain trains 1000 trainers

    ESCAPE-pain trains 1000 facilitators to help people living with osteoarthritis in boost to out-of-hospital care

    By Professor Mike Hurley, Clinical Director MSK Programme, Health Innovation Network and creator of ESCAPE-pain.

    If we are serious about achieving the goals of the NHS’ Long Term Plan, physical activity should be prescribe-able on the NHS and we need to facilitate its delivery through leisure centre and community halls.

    It is well documented that people in our communities are now living far longer but they are more likely to live with multiple long-term conditions. Osteoarthritis (chronic knee/hip pain) is a major cause of suffering, physical and mental ill-health in people in our country. It is estimated that in England 4.11 million people (18.2 percent of people aged over 45 years) have osteoarthritis of the knee and 2.46 million people (10.9 percent of people aged over 45 years) have osteoarthritis of the hip.

    Typically, these patients are managed in primary care. Despite the risk of side effects and high costs, treatment for osteoarthritis is all too often the prescription of painkillers, typically non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, with little to no practical support. Many people with these conditions mistakenly believe that physical activity will make their condition worse, when it can actually benefit them.

    Physical activity and reduced pain

    There is unequivocal evidence that physical activity can reduce pain, improve mobility and function, quality of life, makes people feel less depressed and gets people up, out and about, while simultaneously improving other health problems. Yet it can’t be prescribed like a drug and there is limited access to this effective treatment inside the NHS.

    ESCAPE-pain is an innovation that integrates self-management and coping strategies with an exercise regimen individualised for people living with osteoarthritis. It is an evidence-based, group rehabilitation programme, delivered to small groups of people twice a week, for six weeks (total 12 classes). It was adopted as a case study in NICE’s Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention programme [2013] and delivers the NICE core recommendations of exercise and education for the management of osteoarthritis.

    The Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) identified ESCAPE-pain as a national programme for 2018-2020 and so currently all 15 AHSNs are supporting it across the country.

    Scaling up
    Originally facilitated by physiotherapists in hospital outpatient departments, in 2017 we moved to widen our pool of facilitators to include fitness and leisure centre instructors. We have now trained a total of over 1,000 people to facilitate this programme (629 clinicians and 380 fitness instructors). The widening of our approach to training; going beyond physiotherapists and into the leisure sector, has enabled the programme to be delivered at over 200 locations across the UK, including leisure centres and community halls, to over 4000 people.

    Essential to reaching the millions more people who could benefit from this programme is having enough facilitators trained to deliver the it in local communities. Now that over 1000 people have been trained there is a trained facilitator of the programme in every region of England.

    Delivering this programme in the community and outside of traditional hospital settings, is a great example of how we can deliver on the Long Term Plan’s ambition to boost out-of-hospital care. I hope the success of this model is, as it could be, replicated in many other areas of care.

    Got 30 minutes to learn more about the NHS Innovation landscape? Listen to our AHSN Network Innovation Exchange podcast in which NHS Clinical Director for Older People, Martin Vernon talks Healthy Ageing, featuring Prof Mike Hurley.

    Or find out more about ESCAPE-pain and it’s impact here or contact us at hin.southlondon@nhs.net to get involved.

    World Mental Health Day: A story of a burning platform for change

    A burning platform for change

    By Breid O’Brien, HIN Director of Digital Transformation

    Today is World Mental Health Day; a day observed by over 150 countries globally to raise awareness and reduce stigma around mental health. In the 17 years since the day was first conceived, society has come a long way in its understanding of mental health. However, even today, people with serious mental illness are still likely to die approximately 15-20 years earlier than other people.

    So this World Mental Health Day we would like to highlight some of the incredible progress being made by mental health teams around the world, to bring about parity of esteem in this area by reflecting on a recent roundtable event we held to share learning internationally, where Martin Davis, a Clinical Nurse from New South Wales’ Mental Health Emergency Care division (MHEC), presented on the successful implementation of a virtual consultation system in a rural and remote mental health setting in Australia.

    This is a story of a small team that led the way. MHEC was kick started by a government cash injection at a time when the team needed to deliver a better, more cost-effective system of care to its rural and remote population in rural Australia. Before the MHEC service was introduced remote and rural ambulances (and often other emergency services) were transporting patients hundreds of miles just for an acute mental health assessment; taking them from the comfort of their home, family and friends when they were in a vulnerable state, and often leaving their hometown without any emergency provision. Imagine living somewhere where if there was a fire, there would be no one to put it out, simply because they are effectively acting as a patient taxi? Their situation provided a clear rationale for change – a burning platform, if you will. By using virtual consultations, they could save time, save money and deliver faster patient care.

    Starting with an 1-800 number 12 years ago and progressing to an online video system just under a decade ago, MHEC now prides itself on answering calls within three rings, and being able to assess patients on a video call within an hour during daytime hours. The stats continue. Every year since its inception, they have saved the combined services over $1,000,000 AUD a year; and 80% of the patients they see are discharged back into their community within a day, a direct reversal of the 20% of patients who were able to go home under the previous system.

    “All just geography”

    Despite the obvious differences between MHEC’s setting (their ‘patch’ is the size of Germany but has only 320,000 residents), and our urban south London area where almost three million people reside in an area a fraction of the size, when Martin shared his story the similarities were immediately apparent. In London we have a diverse population who speak an estimated 250 languages, requiring a need for numerous cultural sensitivities; the MHEC team have a large aboriginal population – almost 40% of their mental health in-patients identify as aboriginal.

    Patients in New South Wales were having to travel miles away from their families to receive acute mental health care; we too have examples of this happening in acute mental health care in the UK, and while the distances in Australia may be greater, the impact on the patient and their family will be the same. The Australian health system also faces an increasing demand for acute mental services against a backdrop of challenges with staff recruitment; turns out, Julia Roberts had it right in Pretty Woman; it is “all just geography”.

    The question our roundtable guests discussed cut to the heart of the complexities of digital transformation: if we have so much in common, why, over a decade later, are we still not embracing virtual consultations in the same way that they are? Distance and cost were MHEC’s burning platform, pushing them to make changes ten years ago that other services are only just catching up with. We seemingly are yet to find our burning platform, despite the pressures on our services and the progress being made in many areas.

    As our roundtable participants moved the discussion on to the inevitable complexities of implementation, many of the usual barriers made an appearance; procurement, interoperability, money, time. But a few more situation-specific ones also livened the debate; what are the implications for information governance? How do you prevent reprisals of misdiagnosis? How do you train people to deliver virtual care? How do you ensure that changing a pathway won’t affect patient safety? How do you empower your teams to step outside their role? How do you get buy-in from all the organisations needed to deliver the change?

    The need for systems to talk

    For Martin – and MHEC – all the barriers to change raised were not only a stark reminder of how far they have come, but also how much work is still to be done. We delved into the extensive stakeholder engagement the MHEC team undertook (they visited all the GP practises in person because face-to-face meetings achieved better buy in from clinicians – an irony that wasn’t wasted on them), and listened to how the accountability process was redefined, before unveiling a key area of distinction between our two situations; how joined up their IT systems had become. A steely silence answered Martin’s assumption that we’d managed to fix the interoperability of medical records in the 20 years since he’d served at Homerton, Enfield and the Royal Free. Sadly, Martin, we have not but it is high on the agenda of NHSX and others so perhaps this time we will.

    And therein lies part of the problem. The collaborative nature required to implement the MHEC system between mental health, emergency departments, General Practitioners, community mental health teams and even the police (they have supplied local police with digital tablets to ensure they can get the virtual consultations to people in their own homes, not just the local emergency department) is a testament to the power of joined-up care systems, but working together was undoubtedly made simpler by the support of a joined up technology system, something the various LHRCEs are still working hard to crack.

    From the discussion, it became clear however that no one issue of technology, procurement, change management, organisational boundaries or geography on its own poses enough of a barrier, but the cumulative effect of them all risks putting off too many commissioners, clinicians and managers from implementing digital transformation. The risk made all the more terrifying by the fear that it might go wrong and that safety could be compromised.

    Martin was incredibly open and forthcoming about the fact that MHEC is not yet perfect. When they started the technology didn’t work; not everyone was bought in to the system; it was not – and still isn’t – an overnight success, but none of that mattered. They were trying something new that, at its heart, was trying to improve patient care and support emergency services to deliver better support to people in a mental health crisis, whilst also saving the overall system money. It is clear that really innovative organisations are willing to tolerate failure and see it as an opportunity for learning and doing things even better. Whilst we can’t tolerate failure in terms of compromising patient safety, it does feel that perhaps sometimes this fear also stops us from implementing proven innovations. So why does the fact that something won’t work perfectly first-time round make us in the NHS feel so uncomfortable? Perhaps this is our inherent fear of failure?

    We heard from some present about the fabulous work they are doing to implement similar technology and different ways of working, however, to really impact care we need to do this at scale. And to achieve anything at scale, risks will have to be taken. Perhaps our burning platform is just not hot enough. Yet.

    About the author
    Breid O’Brien leads HIN’s digital consultancy function. She has extensive improvement and digital transformation experience supported by a clinical and operational management background in acute care within the UK and Australia. She has supported major system level change and has a strong track record of delivering complex programmes of work whilst supporting collaboration across varied teams and organisations. With a Masters in Nursing, an MSc in Healthcare Informatics and as an IHI improvement Advisor, Breid is especially interested in the people, process and technology interface.

    Innovating in Urgent and Emergency Care

    Innovating in Urgent and Emergency Care

    Join our Urgent and Emergency Care Innovation Exchange event exploring the solutions that could transform urgent and emergency care services.

    Briefing for innovators to apply to pitch at the event

    The Health Innovation Network, and DigitalHealth.London Accelerator are hosting an Innovation Exchange showcase event on Urgent and Emergency Care on Tuesday 31st October 9.30 to 12pm.

    We would like to showcase innovations that meet the challenges within London’s urgent and emergency care for example:

    • Improving patient flow through emergency departments
    • Supporting clinical decision systems
    • User experience – directing patients to the most appropriate service
    • Predicting emergency admissions
    • Alternative models of care eg. Virtual / remote clinical support
    • Quicker access to diagnostics / point of care testing
    • Real time information for clinicians

    We’re looking for a diverse range of digital technologies that are operational in emergency care clinical services to attend the event to pitch their innovations. The event will enable discussions with commissioners, providers and innovators on the potential for technology to address the challenges and pressures on all urgent and emergency care.

    On the day we will start with our guest speaker from Healthy London Partnership to give a policy perspective and presentation from the Chief Clinical Information Officer from London Ambulance Service.

    Following these presentations there will be an opportunity for innovators to provide a short pitch (3 minutes) to the audience on how they may adopt your innovation(s) in their organisations and participate in our world café session to discuss your solution in more detail. We are aiming to generate warm leads and fruitful follow on discussions by curating a receptive audience for urgent and emergency care innovations.

    In order to select the best innovators to showcase, we are asking innovators to complete this short application form, to allow the Health Innovation Network and stakeholders to select an interesting and varied agenda. Please complete the attached for and return to us by 20th September 2019 at 5pm.

    Successful applicants will be expected to complete a short registration form immediately, and 3 months after the event for us to quantify the impact of the event on generating new leads and conversations.

    Timeline

    • Application submission deadline: 20th September 2019
    • Notifications to successful applicants: 30th September 2019
    • Urgent and Emergency Care Innovation Exchange event: 31st October 2019

    Applications to pitch are now closed please email  steph.mckenzie@nhs.net to register for the upcoming event on 31st October 2019.

     

    20 New digital health care innovators set to transform the NHS

    20 New digital health care innovators set to transform the NHS

    Today the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator announce the 20 new digital health care innovators to be supported by the 2019-20 Accelerator programme at a launch event in central London.  Now in its fourth year, the Accelerator supports small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) accelerate the adoption of digital health innovations into the NHS each year. The programme gives innovators improved access to the wealth of world-class research, medical technology, and resources London has to offer and supports NHS providers and commissioners find, and adopt, the new technologies.

    Each of the 20 innovators selected for this year’s programme directly support the ambitions of the NHS Long Term Plan published earlier this year. The programme will support these SMEs to develop and deploy solutions to some of the most pressing challenges facing the NHS.

    The exciting innovations include a technology that helps clinicians plan and rehearse heart surgery by using patient scans and mechanics to predict the behaviour of a device once inside a patient (Oxford Heartbeat).  Another is a mobile app that tracks the number of steps walked by an individual and incentivises them to walk more through reward points that can be redeemed for products, goods and services (Sweatcoin). Cutting edge technology such as sensors, machine learning and home devices have been brought together in a digital solution to help carers monitor the health and well-being of elderly patients better at home (Birdie).

    Anna King, Commercial Director of the Health Innovation Network said: “The Academic Health Science Networks (AHSN) have a unique role helping companies navigating the health system and supporting the NHS in the adoption of value-enhancing innovations. The DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme helps deliver both improved patient care through the use of digital innovations, but also economic growth through the supporting the best innovative companies. The track record of previous participants in the programme has been fantastic, and we are excited about introducing these new innovations to the NHS.”

    Sara Nelson, Programme Director, DigitalHealth.London Accelerator, said: “I feel really proud of the Accelerator and its achievements over the last three years. Today is another step forward and represents how both sides – innovators and the NHS – are coming together more and more to solve the very real challenges NHS organisations face every day. Digital technologies are not only creating new opportunities to change things for patients, they are also creating new opportunities to make things better for staff, and the wider system. We all share the ultimate objective of making our NHS sustainable and I am looking forward to helping the next set of digital innovators make this a reality.”

    Theo Blackwell, Chief Digital Officer for London, said: “I am delighted to support the Accelerator and this latest intake of digital health companies looking to bring their innovations to Londoners. The programme’s work ensures that London is at the forefront of digital innovation and is vital to building a future where its citizens benefit from the latest technologies to support their health.”

    Tara Donnelly, Chief Digital Officer, NHSX said: “The DigitalHealth.London Accelerator is part of a long- overdue digital revolution in the NHS. We must create a system whereby healthtech innovators are supported and can really feel our commitment to them and their ground-breaking work. This programme does just that, plus it supports the NHS and social care to make the most of the digital opportunity.”

    Success stories the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator in previous years include; a product from MIRA Rehab that turns physiotherapy exercises into video games that can be customised to individual patients’ needs. This has been particularly useful for children and orthopaedic patients who often do not achieve their rehabilitative potential because they do not complete their exercises. As a result of its engagement with the Accelerator, MIRA Rehab is now working with Great Ormond Street NHS Foundation Trust, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, and Royal National Orthopaedic NHS Trust. It is now available in 10 NHS organisations across the country.

    Infinity Health developed an app to improve patient flow in hospitals. It provides clinical staff with an improved experience from the traditional paper-based processes for requesting, tracking, and prioritising porter requests. The app is now used in Northwick Park Hospital in Harrow, one of the busiest Emergency Departments in the country. It has helped save over 10,000 hours of staff time.

    The work of DigitalHealth.London 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 DigitalHealth.London Accelerator’s support – based on information self-reported by companies involved. 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.

    There have been an estimated 22.2 million opportunities for patients to benefit from new technologies supported by the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator.

    For more information please contact hin.southlondon@nhs.net.

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

    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, Principal 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  

    Further information

    To learn more about Allied Health Professional programmes in this area, visit the NHS England website.

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    South London’s first transgender sexual health service, funded by HIN receives positive feedback from patients

    South London’s first transgender sexual health service, funded by HIN receives positive feedback from patients

    Last year King’s College Hospital in Camberwell were awarded funding from the Health Innovation Network to open the first sexual health service in south London for trans people. The clinic celebrated it’s formal launch at King’s on Friday 13 July 2019. Since its opening the new trans service at has already had a positive impact on trans people’s lives, giving people easier access to an informed, respectful, dedicated local service in South London.

    In partnership with cliniQ, the new service offers a range of health and wellbeing initiatives to meet the needs of trans people. Services include STI testing and treatment; contraception; counselling; cervical screening; hormone testing, hormone injection and advice; sexual assault support; hate crime support; housing advice; and the PrEP Impact Trial.

    The service includes a counsellor; a support worker; a nurse; and a doctor. Although the focus of the service is sexual health, it has adopted a holistic approach and works with other relevant services such as primary care, mental health services and social services.

    In addition to clinical and support services, King’s is also developing and delivering a range of training materials for healthcare professionals to raise awareness, knowledge and skills in relation to trans health.

    Since the clinic opened the clinic has seen over 50 people for a range of issues including sexual health testing; contraception; hormone level monitoring; hormone injections; advice and counselling. The feedback from patients so far has been really positive.

    Evren Filgate, a 24-year-old service user, said: “With long waiting times for the specialist Gender Clinics, a lack of training for GPs and hospitals, and a general lack of understanding of trans healthcare, combined with difficulties accessing healthcare CliniQ at King’s as a walk-in clinic accessible to all trans people provides dignified, non-judgemental care for myself and my friends. Without CliniQ I would not have been able to access life-saving care many times over. Many trans people I have spoken to agree that CliniQ is absolutely vital to trans people in south London and its importance cannot be overstated.”

    Dr Killian Quinn, Clinical Lead for Sexual Health Services at King’s, said: “I’m really proud that King’s and cliniQ are delivering this service here in South London. The service has the expertise of both sexual health professionals and trans community leaders to address not only any medical and sexual health needs but also psychosocial health inequalities of trans people.”

    Dr Michael Brady, Consultant Sexual Health and HIV at King’s and National Advisor for LGBT Health, NHS England, said: “Trans and non-binary people experience unacceptable health inequalities and poorer experience of healthcare in general. Services like this one delivered by cliniQ and King’s provide essential clinical care and support as well as training for healthcare professionals and the opportunity to raise awareness locally of trans health issues.”

    Michelle Ross, Founder of cliniQ, said: “cliniQ at King’s is fundamental in establishing trans and non-binary people’s health services in South London and further afield. At cliniQ sexual health and HIV are central to our services, as are holistic health and wellbeing. Trans people are disproportionately affected by all health issues – it is cliniQ’s reason for beginning to change these inequalities.”

    Dr Natasha Curran, Medical Director, Health Innovation Network, said: “This clinic is a first for South London and fantastic example of genuine co-design in the NHS.  The Health Innovation Network are delighted to have helped open this important service that offers an innovative, holistic approach to the specific needs of trans people. We aim to fund and support healthcare innovation that improves people’s lives and helps staff deliver the best possible care, the innovation grant we awarded the clinic, will help it do just that.”

    Cllr Ed Davie, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care, London Borough of Lambeth, said:

    “This new service is something we’re very proud to deliver alongside King’s and the Health Innovation Network. I’m certain that it will make a positive difference to the lives of trans people in Lambeth and across South London, providing a whole range of health support in a safe, comfortable environment. This will increase learning and awareness, both for health professionals in the issues that trans people and non-binary people face, and also for trans and non-binary people themselves around sexual health and wellbeing, helping us reduce inequality and ensure that everyone can access the support that is right for them. From our black mental health commission to leading the Do It London HIV campaign, Lambeth Council has a proud record of working with our minority communities to improve health and I’m very pleased this new trans clinic builds on this offer.”

    Cllr Evelyn Akoto, Southwark Council Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Public Health, said: “I am hugely proud that the first dedicated health centre for trans, non-binary and gender diverse people is coming to South London. Everyone has a right to access healthcare safely and with dignity, however trans people can face unique barriers to certain services. Anything that we can do to help people lead healthier and happier lives is a step in the right direction. I am sure that this will have a positive impact on the lives of many people who live in Southwark and South London.”

    Mayor Damien Egan, London Borough of Lewisham, said: “I am delighted that cliniQ has officially launched today. In Lewisham we proudly support the trans community, including the principle of self-definition. As the first sexual health service in south London for trans people we know that clinicQ will make a real difference for Lewisham residents, by making sure they receive the advice and care they need. This is a vital service and I am delighted that Lewisham is supporting it. I hope that more clinics will open in the future so that we can continue to support trans people”

    The new service is funded by the London Boroughs of Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham and the Health Innovation Network (South London) and is run every Tuesday from 4pm – 7pm at the Caldecot Centre at King’s College Hospital.

     

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

    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.

    South London NHS Innovation and Research Priorities Highlighted

    South London NHS Innovation and Research Priorities Highlighted

    Following a national consultation of key local health stakeholders conducted across all regions in England, the NHS innovation and research priorities for south London have been outlined in the regional statement from the Health Innovation Network.

    The views of clinical leaders, managers and directors within each Academic Health Science Networks (AHSN) region were collected through qualitative interviews with 61 people and a questionnaire which received more than 250 responses in total. The survey was conducted by ComRes, an independent research agency.

    This widespread consultation was commissioned by the AHSN Network, in partnership with NHS England and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to inform the publication of a statement of local NHS research and innovation needs for each AHSN region – as one of the actions in the NHS England and NIHR joint paper on ‘12 actions to support research in the NHS’.

    Whilst there were some differences in regional priorities, common themes emerged which reflected both south London priorities and wider challenges facing the NHS and align with the priorities of the NHS Long Term Plan. These include:

    • a need for innovation and research addressing  workforce challenges
    • delivery of mental health services and providing care for patients with mental health needs, particularly in children and young people
    • integrating services to provide effective care for patients with complex needs – including  multimorbidity and frailty
    • use of digital and artificial intelligence technology

    The National Survey Full Report outlines the findings from the consultation with local health and social care stakeholders across England. It includes a detailed analysis of the innovation and research needs at local level across all AHSNs.

    Natasha Curran, Medical Director, Health Innovation Network said: “Thank you to the south London stakeholders for their invaluable contributions. The statement provides a really useful starting point to build discussions with wider stakeholders, patients and others in the community to address the priorities outlined.”

    Professor Gary Ford, Chief Executive of Oxford AHSN, led the AHSNs input into the survey. He said: “The survey provides important information on the research and innovation needs of the NHS which will shape future work of AHSNs and the research community”.

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

    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/

    The first cohort of LGBTQ+ Project Dare graduate!

    The first cohort of LGBTQ+ Project Dare graduate!

    Last week, Project Dare celebrated the graduation of their first LGBTQ+ cohort with a showcase event that saw students performing excerpts of the work they have created on the subject of positive body image.

    LGBTQ+ Project Dare, funded by the Health Innovation Network, is a 12-week practical, creative and educational course that encourages individuals to participate in dares as a way of approaching wellbeing, encouraging confidence. It gets students to step out of their comfort zones in a safe space amongst their peers whilst also providing support for those within the LGBTQ+ community, for whom resources are often limited.

    Ursula Joy, Lead Facilitator said: “LGBTQIA+ Dare Sessions allow participants a judgement free safe space in which to express themselves creatively, and address head on the issues that affect LGBTQIA+ bodies.”

    “Within the gay community, there can be immense pressure to look certain ways. The need to conform in a society dominated by social media and marketing where binary bodies are under the spotlight and non-conformity is monetised.”

    “LGBTQIA+ Dares not only gives participants a voice but challenges them to step out of their comfort zones, make positive and accepting connections to who they are, forge meaningful relationships and make changes in their lives.”

    “Drama is the perfect vehicle for personal growth and the final showcase provides a sense of ownership, empowerment, and achievement.”

    Josh Brewster, Project Manager, Health Innovation Network said:“The Innovation Grants are crucial for projects like “Project Dare” that would be unlikely to receive support from the usual commissioning sources. The grants are a fantastic opportunity to fund projects that can make a huge different to people and do so in ways that are very unique. They act as a great springboard for success allowing the projects to prove their value and hopefully get adopted elsewhere.”

    Project Dare ran this course in collaboration with the Recovery College and all of the participants were recruited from the College’s database of service users. The Recovery College offers recovery and wellbeing courses with co-production at the heart of everything they do.

    Think Diabetes Report calls on London employers to better support staff living with diabetes

    Think Diabetes Report calls on London employers to better support staff living with diabetes

    London employers are being urged to ‘Think Diabetes’ in the workplace in a new report published by the Health Innovation Network. Figures in the report show a major gap in the number of with people living with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes attending free educational programmes to help them learn about their condition and live healthier lives.

    There were more than 3.1 million people  diagnosed with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes  in England in 2017-18 and it is estimated that in London over 671,000 people of working age (over the age of 16) have  either Type 1 or Type 2  diabetes. But the Think Diabetes Report shows less than 8 percent of eligible Londoners living with Type 2 diabetes are attending these courses (this figure is less than 9 percent of eligible people across England).

    Reasons for people not attending these courses are varied, but previous reports have cited ‘time off work’ as one of the key issues.  Given the potential for employers to support staff with health, the Think Diabetes report makes a series of recommendations on how employers can help support their staff to take advantage of the education opportunities available to them, or even provide education for staff themselves.

    To celebrate the launch of the report, we partnered with Diabetes  UK  to deliver the Think Diabetes Summit. The event brought employers, diabetes experts and patients together, to discuss ways in which organisations can support their staff including; running education sessions in the workplace, sharing new digital approaches to education with their teams so staff can complete these courses online and by making sure staff are supported to take time off work for education to help them live with a long-term health condition.

    Diabetes is covered by the Equality Act 2010 as a long-term condition that has significant impact on individuals’  lives and employers are therefore obliged to make reasonable adjustments, although these adjustments are not defined. The case for employers adjusting their policies and supporting individuals to attend structured education is overwhelming.

    The event was chaired by Dr Neel  Basudev, Diabetes Clinical Director of the Health Innovation Network and GP in Lambeth, who said:

    “Employers have huge influence over the lives of the working population and a unique opportunity to help with what is arguably the greatest challenge facing our nation’s health: diabetes.

    “There are more ways for people to access vital education about diabetes than ever before, with many parts of the NHS innovating with digital courses and new approaches to offer support. We now need to raise awareness of what’s on offer and remove as many barriers as we can. Workplace barriers are some of the simplest to address and changes can be made to support staff that will increase the health and productivity of the workplace.”

    As well as hearing from diabetes experts and representatives from the organisations who were case studies in the report, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party and Shadow Culture Minister Tom Watson MP shared how he self-managed his own type 2 diabetes into remission. A passionate advocate for helping people learn to self-manage, he said: 

    “By changing my diet and lifestyle I’ve put my Type 2 diabetes into remission. I feel fitter, faster, and healthier than ever before and this has given me a new mission to help others get healthy.

    “Supporting people who live with diabetes is a major challenge facing our society, and one in which we all have a part to play. Employers in particular can play a key role in supporting people in their journey to learn more about their condition, and how best to manage it.

    “It is time employers think differently about diabetes in the workplace and the Think Diabetes Summit is bringing together key leaders from across businesses and organisations to do just that.”

    The Think Diabetes Summit was attended by organisations that collectively employ thousands of Londoners. TechUK attended the event and their CEO Julian David said: “techUK represents the companies and technologies that are defining today the world that we will live in tomorrow. I feel passionately that our members should also be leaders in supporting and developing the workforce for the future.  Diabetes is an increasing problem in our society and employers should be engaging with innovative ways to help support staff living with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes to better manage their condition.”

    Download the Think Diabetes Report and Toolkit here.

    Innovation Exchange – the digital innovations transforming the NHS

    Innovation Exchange – the digital innovations transforming the NHS

    As part of London Tech Week, Health Innovation Network and DigitalHealth.London Accelerator partnered with DAC Beachcroft and NHS Improvement to deliver an Innovation Exchange evening at the Wallbrook Building.

    At the event, NHS leaders from across the health system, came together to learn about the innovative digital solutions that are already helping trusts across the country to tackle current NHS workforce challenges and discuss the challenges of implementation, interoperability and cost. Attendees included; HR directors from Acute & Mental Health Trusts around London, Borough Councils as well as representatives from national bodies such as Care Quality Commission CQC, NHS England & NHS Improvement.

    The overwhelming response to the information shared was encouraging, but also very timely. The recently published Interim People Plan highlighted the important role that digital will have to play to help the NHS combat the current workforce crisis, particularly in relation to productivity.

    But digital transformation can be difficult when you consider challenges with costs, planning and implementation. As well as showcasing some of the solutions available right now, discussions were centred around what cultural change is needed to find and uptake digital solutions. A key point that was raised is interoperability – new innovations must be able to work seamlessly with existing systems for compliance and adoption to happen.

    And as is always the case with any discussion around digital, the question of how automating services will affect patient care was raised. Workforce shortages are a fact of the NHS and while not all services can be automated, using AI to support the workforce in areas such as rotas and training will help clinicians spend more time on delivering better patient care.

    As well as looking to the future, a series of innovations that are already transforming NHS services, by saving money, time and supporting staff, were presented on the night:

    • Locum’s Nest – a temporary staffing management platform to simply connects doctors to locum work in healthcare organisations. The App matches doctors to short-staffed shifts available within preferred hospitals across a chosen geographic area.
    • Virti – Virtual and augmented reality platform for workforce training that transport staff users into realistic environments and uses computer vision to assess how they respond to stress to reduce anxiety and improve skills. Used for mental health staff to provide simulation training.
    • Establishment Genie – An NICE-endorsed digital workforce planning tool for health and social care staff. The Genie collects staffing data for instant reporting at individual unit, organisation and group level, providing analysis and benchmarking capability not previously available to assure and support professional judgement in identifying safe and appropriate staffing levels.
    • Infinity – a secure collaboration and task management solution that integrates with existing health information systems and transforms the way healthcare professionals coordinate their activity and access critical information.
    • Lantum – is a total workforce platform transforming how healthcare organisations and professionals connect. Their next generation AI-powered software helps staffing managers to better manage their rotas, fill shift gaps & drastically reduces reliance & money spent on temporary staffing agencies.
    • Truu – is a digital identity platform that enables secure, digital, remote pre-employment checks. Truu’s approach uses direct connections between doctors’ and hospitals and the sharing of verified credentials that meets regulatory standards and is inherently GDPR-compliant.
    • CoachBot – is the world’s first digital team coach and is designed to help managers get their team performing at the top of their game. It’s built on the principle that technology should make us interact offline more, not less. CoachBot makes it easy for teams to regularly have conversations about the things that matter – it’s not about teaching managers how to be good managers, it’s about making it easy for managers to do the things that great managers do.
    • SilverCloud Health – is a platform that’s provides clinically effective and easily accessible digital programmes that reduce barriers to engagement for those wanting emotional or mental health support. Life changing for users, especially those who feel unable to access help due to stigma, personal situation, location, or service wait times;
    • Q doctor – uses secure video consulting as a workforce solution; to allow NHS organisations to delocalise their workforce across their geography, putting the right clinician in the right place at the right time. Video consulting decreases workforce travel time between sites and in the community and introducing more flexible working.
    • Induction App – is a secure communications toolkit that quickly connects healthcare professionals to the people and information they need to work more efficiently and effectively in hospitals. The functions include a directory of bleep and extension numbers, document and guideline sharing, secure messaging and departmental workspaces. Induction is used by over half of all NHS doctors and is used by healthcare professionals in most NHS trusts.

    “It was incredible to see so many well presented company pitches for innovative solutions to tackle the workforce crisis in the NHS. Overall the responses were positive and no doubt many of the conversations that started here will help mitigate the workforce crisis and result in improvements to the NHS using digital technology in the future.” Lesley Soden, Head of Innovation, Health Innovation Network.

    To meet the gaps in NHS workforce, the adoption and spread of innovation across the NHS must be accelerated. Increasing awareness of the products that are currently available and their successes in different trusts is the first step to ensuring a robust NHS workforce fit for the future.

    Got a digital innovation project or pilot that could improve the lives of people within NHS south London but would benefit from some additional funding? Then make sure you apply for the Innovation Grants 2019.

    Homeward Bound

    Homeward Bound Grant Winner Kim Nurse

    Winning films selected as part of Homeward Bound Project

    Homeward Bound, an innovative project in which patients, carers and clinicians from across Kingston Hospital Trust worked with local students to create short films that explain the transfer home process for patients who have had prolonged hospital stays, has confirmed it will begin showcasing two of the final films to patients, family and carers.

    The Homeward Bound project, funded by the Health Innovation Network, brought together film students from the University of the Creative Arts, along with the hospital’s staff and volunteers, to create a series of original animated short films. The films explained some of the issues and practicalities involved in the discharge process from hospital back home, which can often be an anxious process for people who have experienced prolonged hospital stays. The films were then entered into a competition and the winning two films will now be shown to hundreds of patients and carers across the hospital and wider community as part of the patient discharge process.

    The first winning film, the Panel’s Choice, was selected a special screening of the shortlisted films at the VIP Screen in Kingston’s Odeon Cinema by an expert judging panel that included, Jan Ives, Patient and Carer Partner, Bob Suppiah, Director of Promotions and Partnerships at SkySian Bates, Chairman of Kingston Hospital, Sophie Beard, University of the Arts Senior Lecturer, Dr Kim Nurse, NHS England and the Health and Innovation Network’s Director of Digital Transformation, Breid O’Brien.

    Breid said: “We’re delighted to have supported this fantastic project that is a great example of real co-production in action; hospital staff working alongside students, carers and patients and everyone involved having an important and equal role to play.

    “I think all involved should be incredibly proud of what they managed to achieve with the Homeward Bound project. Ultimately what these films will do is make the transition from hospital to home that bit easier for patients, families and their carers, at a what is a very difficult time in their lives.”

    The second winning film, the People’s Choice, was voted on by patients and hospital staff online and was announced at the Kingston Hospital Improvement Seminar. Both winning films uniquely provide information to patients to feel more in control of their departure and return back home more quickly and comfortably.

    Both films will soon be shown on television screens around the hospital and made available online too.

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

    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.

    Extra £9 million for NHS to treat people at high risk of stroke

    Extra £9 million for NHS to treat people at high risk of stroke

    NHS England has announced they are to invest £9 million to help find and treat people with an irregular heart rhythm that puts them at high risk of stroke.

    Experts estimate that more than 147,000 people in England with an irregular heart rhythm that puts them at risk of stroke are not receiving appropriate treatment. Making sure people with this condition are given optimal treatment – usually blood-thinning medication to prevent clots – can more than halve their risk of having a stroke.

    The £9 million investment will fund specialists to work with GPs and advise them on the best treatment for people identified as having irregular heart rhythms (known as atrial fibrillation). This new scheme, successfully trialled in South London, will treat more than 18,000 people and is expected to prevent up to 700 strokes and save at least 200 lives.

    The programme will run across 23 areas of the country with the highest rates of the condition receiving funding for specialist clinical pharmacists and nurses to help identify people who could benefit from medication.

    This new approach is being supported by the 15 NHS and care innovation bodies, the Academic Health Science Networks.

    Professor Gary Ford, Chief Executive of Oxford AHSN, Consultant Stroke Physician at Oxford University Hospitals and Professor of Stroke Medicine at the University of Oxford said:

    “Atrial Fibrillation accounts for 20% of all strokes. We know that providing the best treatment for patients with this condition reduces stroke risk but at the moment half of all people with this irregular heart rhythm who suffer a stroke have not received optimal treatment.

    “Our work in South London has shown that when specialists are made available to advise GPs, more people at risk of stroke are identified and treated, helping to avoid strokes and save lives”

    NHS England Medical Director, Stephen Powis, said:

    “Tackling heart disease and stroke is a top priority in the NHS Long Term Plan, which will save thousands of lives by better diagnosis and treatment for people with killer conditions.

    “By targeting help at those people most at risk of illness, and training up specialist clinicians, the NHS in England will help families across the country avoid the pain and loss associated with stroke.

    “Not only is stroke one of the biggest killers in our country, but it leads to life-changing and often devastating long-term harm for many others, so by spotting the risks early, the NHS will not only prevent serious harm to the people affected, but avoid the need for aftercare which puts additional pressure on the health service.”

    “Treating people who have atrial fibrillation with anticoagulation drugs, reduces the risk of stroke by two-thirds yet only half of those with the condition who go on to suffer a stroke had been prescribed them.

    “People who are poorer, from black or ethnic minority backgrounds or other disadvantaged groups are more likely to be among those who go undiagnosed and untreated.”

    Helen Williams, Clinical Advisor to the AHSN Network’s atrial fibrillation programme said:

    “We piloted this approach in Lambeth and Southwark, utilising expert clinical pharmacists from the local acute trust who worked with GPs to review patients with atrial fibrillation on a case by case basis, offering advice on optimum treatment. As a result, we have seen a substantial increase in the number of patients with atrial fibrillation prescribed anticoagulant therapy and an associated reduction in atrial fibrillation related strokes.

    “We are delighted that NHS England are investing in rolling out this model to a further 23 clinical commissioning groups so that more patients across England can benefit.”

    Find out more about what AHSNs are doing to prevent and treat atrial fibrillation.

    Background

    The clinical commissioning groups to receive funding are those parts of the country with high levels of deprivation and/or high levels of untreated AF, which can cause stroke. They are:

    NHS Barnet CCG
    NHS Bradford City CCG
    NHS Brent CCG
    NHS Camden CCG
    NHS Chorley And South Ribble CCG
    NHS Croydon CCG
    NHS Enfield CCG
    NHS Great Yarmouth And Waveney CCG
    NHS Greenwich CCG
    NHS Haringey CCG
    NHS Harrow CCG
    NHS Isle of Wight CCG
    NHS Islington CCG
    NHS Kingston CCG
    NHS Leeds CCG
    NHS Morecambe Bay CCG
    NHS North Cumbria CCG
    NHS North Tyneside CCG
    NHS Northumberland CCG
    NHS Portsmouth CCG
    NHS South Kent Coast CCG
    NHS Thanet CCG
    NHS West Lancashire CCG

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

    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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    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

    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 n