NHS England is again issuing a call for the world’s “best healthcare innovations” to improve frontline patient care in a further round of the NHS Innovation Accelerator programme.
The programme 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 and thus boost patient care.
Thus far the initiative, which is led by NHS England and delivered in partnership with the country's 15 Academic Health Science Networks and UCL Partners, has helped support the uptake of ground-breaking concepts in 469 NHS organisations.
Innovations introduced include online support for better management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), new-generation episiotomy scissors that “greatly reduce” the incidence of devastating obstetric injuries, and new ventilation tubes to cut the incidence of ventilator-associated pneumonia.
The latest round of the Innovation Accelerator will focus on the clinical priorities outlined in the Next Steps Five Year Forward View plan, including mental health, primary care and urgent and emergency care.
Under the scheme, successful innovators will be given a package of tailored support - including access to a 2017 bursary fund totalling £240,000 and mentoring from a team of experts - to help ideas gain traction within the health service.
NHS England said it has also opened a new Innovation Technology Payment system, designed to facilitate the faster spread of innovations stemming from medtech, diagnostic and digital sectors by removing certain financial and procurement barriers.
“It is vital we are able to stimulate and quickly adopt smarter clinical approaches to improve patient care,” said NHS chief executive Simon Stevens. “This is why we’ve created a range of ways to ensure we can drive through innovation in all parts of the system at pace and remove any barriers to doing so.”