The NHS Confederation has joined forces with the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) and the Association of British Healthcare Industries (ABHI) to help the NHS move innovation forward.

Frequently, the most difficult first step in taking the best ideas for improving healthcare and speeding them at pace across the NHS is getting the right people to the table, says the Confederation, which adds that it is well-placed to deal with these issues.

"We can help our members to promote and spread innovation from within, creating a pull factor for successful products," said the Confederation's chief executive, Mike Farrar.

For example, he said, the Confederation can: - showcase the work of its members to each other, and identify the most relevant people to attend these showcases; - help create vehicles that would give the NHS "skin in the game," by for example giving them access to equity funding; - promote the development of innovative leadership, highlighting positive role models; and - offer suppliers of proven products an "innovation gateway" - a simple conduit to NHS decisions, thus reducing sales and marketing costs.

The Confederation is planning, with the ABPI and ABPI, to stage four events - the first which will take place next February 2 - at which approaches and products that have been shown to save money while improving quality and outcomes in NHS organisations will be will be showcased to NHS leaders.

The showcase will focus on innovations in the areas of cancers and tumours, diabetes, circulatory disorders, long-term conditions and mental health, including dementia. Over time, the collaboration aims to build a portfolio of innovation in these clinical areas.

The events will provide opportunities to meet with senior representatives of the pharmaceutical and technological industries who have worked with NHS trusts and helped deliver efficiencies. Staff from a group of trusts using innovative practice on healthcare-associated infections will also be at the events, and there will also be presentations from the chief executives of the NHS Confederation, ABPI and ABHI.

"After the showcase, we will work with those attending to take forward the ideas and use the NHS Confederation's members to communicate their results. This will help to shorten the gap between proof of concept and achieving a critical mass of services deploying the technology," says the Confederation.

Further information on the February 2 event is available at: