The 2014 NHS Innovation Challenge Prizes have been launched which will focus on diabetes, as well as infections and the use of technology in healthcare.
Some £650,000 in prize money is up for grabs plus professional support from Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen unit, 3M, Accenture, Health Fabric, HSJ and the Allied Health Professions Federation. Janssen is providing £200,000 for the two diabetes ‘challenges’.

This will be split between “practical solutions that demonstrate improvements in patient outcomes through the implementation of integrated care services” and programmes to help improve health outcomes amongst black and minority ethnic communities, for whom the prevalence of diabetes is up to six times greater compared to the UK’s white population.

Jonathan Valabhji, national clinical director for obesity and diabetes for NHS England, said “there is no better candidate for our attention than diabetes. There is considerable scope for innovation to drive improvements in the way this disease is managed, with the potential both to save lives and to make significant cost savings for the NHS”.
Janssen noted that it is also offering “an intensive programme of mentoring” for the winners, which will “not only help to raise the profile of the winning initiatives, but aims to secure their long-term sustainability”. Mark Hicken, the firm’s UK and Ireland managing director, said that by supporting the prizes “we aim to help inspire and seed innovation, empower healthcare consumers and modernise healthcare delivery to provide better, more holistic care at a lower cost to society”.

The other challenges involve infection control (£50,000 prize money), use of technology (£100,000, rehabilitation (2 x £75,000) digital patient and clinician engagement (£100,000), plus the ‘acorn’ challenge (5 x £10,000) for “small ideas that have the potential to make a big difference to patients. Entries can be submitted at the link below and the deadline is November 7.