Healthcare experts announce new health innovations to join NHS Accelerator programme


Posted on 14 November 2016 (Permalink)

NHS England Medical Director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, along with US digital health expert Professor Robert Wachter, will today (9 November 2016) reveal eight health innovations set to join the NHS Innovation Accelerator at an event taking place in London to launch year two of the programme.

Last year, the programme selected 17 innovations and supported their roll out across over 380 NHS organisations, benefiting millions of NHS patients.

Each of the innovations is evidence-based and cost-saving, and focuses on providing solutions to key challenges facing the NHS, including better prevention of ill health, improved management of long term conditions and early intervention into diseases.

The innovations selected to join the programme include:

  • EpSMon: an epilepsy self-management tool which enables patients to monitor their wellbeing and know when to seek medical support, a behaviour change which could lead to a reduction in the number of deaths of people with epilepsy. Epilepsy costs the UK £1.5 billion per year and is one of the top 10 causes of death for those under the age of 70 and the third main cause of maternal deaths in the UK. This preventative tool could have a significant impact on the personal and financial costs of epilepsy through reductions in deaths and decrease in A&E appointments. 
  • Sore Throat Test and Treat: a walk-in community pharmacy service where patients are tested to determine whether or not they need antibiotics, reducing pressure on the 1.2 million GP appointments currently used by patients with sore throat symptoms.
  • Serenity Integrated Mentoring (SIM): a collaborative model of care that sees a specialist, trained police officer working within community mental health teams to better mentor, encourage and support some of the most challenging, complex and high risk service users.

The announcement has been welcomed by NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens, who said: "Necessity is the mother of invention, and health care worldwide is now fizzing with smart innovation. In the NHS, we're now taking practical action to develop and fast track these new techniques into mainstream patient care." 

The NHS Innovation Accelerator is led by NHS England and delivered in partnership with the country's 15 Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) and hosted by UCLPartners, which facilitate and support health innovators with getting their innovation rolled out across the NHS.

The accelerator aims to meet the commitment set out the Five Year Forward View to create the conditions and cultural change necessary for proven innovations to be adopted faster and more systematically through the NHS.

Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS England’s National Medical Director, said: "With rising demand and escalating costs, innovation is not an option but a necessity if we are to build a sustainable NHS. The innovations selected for this programme have the potential to deliver better value for the taxpayer whilst making patient interactions with the NHS safer and more personal." 

Speaking at the launch event via video link, Professor Robert Wachter, said:“The work you are doing is extraordinarily important. I think it’s the only way that the NHS will be able to achieve the goals of the Five Year Forward View and even beyond that to develop a health care system for the people of England and the UK that delivers the best, highest quality, safest, most satisfying, accessible care for the lowest possible cost.” 

Dr Liz Mear, Chair of the AHSN Network, said: “The AHSN Network has huge expertise through its connections across the NHS, academia and industry to deliver innovation at scale across the country. We are delighted to work in partnership with the NHS Innovation Accelerator and look forward to supporting the new Fellows over the coming months as they work to scale their innovations for  system and patient benefit.”

Dr Mahiben Maruthappu, NHS England's Innovation Adviser, said: "Innovation is key to a viable NHS. Following a record-breaking year that benefited millions of patients, the NHS Accelerator is now backing eight ground-breaking innovations, with technologies that can slash mortality rates and save the NHS millions."