A new program intended to accelerate innovations within the NHS has been commended as it nears the first year anniversary of its existence.
The NHS Innovation Accelerator programme is tasked with delivering improved services that benefit both patients and members of staff in the health service.
It was launched in July 2015 with the over-riding goal of creating the conditions and culture changes necessary to accelerate adoption of cutting-edge solutions, thus boosting patient care.
3.8 million patients have already tapped into safety devices, online networks and numerous other technologies and services as a result of this initiative which is now nine months old.
The NHS Innovation Accelerator is a fellowship programme which is being delivered collaboratively by NHS England, UCLPartners, The Health Foundation and with the Academic Health Science Networks.
As the NHS Innovation Accelerator programme develops, NHS England states that 68 NHS organisations are already using one or more of the 17 approved innovations.
The innovations produced by this program already included a national service matching people interested in participating in dementia research with suitable studies; a whole hospital digital platform that enables doctors and nurses to carry out patient observations, handovers and clinical assessments electronically; and an online self-management system to enable patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder to self-care.
As a result of this programme, the health service has been able to raise £8 million in this area, which represents an eight-fold increase over the initial investment of £1 million made in the project.
This has helped innovations be advanced all over the health service, and NHS England proclaims that the initiative has been an overwhelming success thus far.
One of the ways in which the programme has particularly assisted the NHS is in assisting NHS England in removing systemic barriers to spreading innovation among both patients and staff.
Meanwhile, the country’s 15 Academic Health Science Networks have helped secure their adoption in clinical practice.
Commenting on the issue, Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS England’s medical director, suggested that it is vital for the health service to improve the pace of change in treating patients, particularly in the enduring digital culture.
“There is a real need across the NHS to speed up the process of innovation – from initial invention right through to mass uptake of the most successful across the health and care system. Together with their mentors, who are some of the most high-profile leaders in England, the innovation fellows will provide models and lessons for us all in how to do that.”
The NHS Innovation Accelerator programme works hand-in-hand with the Five Year Forward View, attempting to deliver examples into practice for demonstrable patient and population benefit.