NHS groups in West Midlands are being invited to put themselves forward to partner up with top innovators from around the world to trial new technologies, digital services and other innovations with the potential to deliver big benefits to patients and taxpayers alike.
NHS England and the government are calling for expressions of interest from innovators from any sector in the UK and overseas who want to test their ideas to deliver health services in better ways at scale, and in a real clinical setting.
Working in partnership with the West Midlands Academic Health Science Network, the programme will identify up to five ‘test beds’ that will receive national support to implement high potential innovations that respond to local clinical needs. These test beds may include combinations of GPs, hospitals, community health teams, social care and the voluntary sector, and will range from small groups to whole areas.
Innovators from industry, the voluntary sector or the NHS itself are being asked to put forward new technologies that, working in combination with innovations in how health and care services are delivered, could offer better outcomes for patients as well as better value for taxpayers.
For example, this could mean equipping patients with wearable technology, combined with new patterns of working for clinical and nursing staff which aim to help patients manage long-term conditions, address any potential problems as early as possible, and help keep them out of hospital.
NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens said: “The NHS’ ambition is to become the best place on the planet to test new combinations of innovations that produce clear payoffs for patients and taxpayers. We’ll never be the system that pays the highest prices, we could be the health service most open to new and better ways of providing care.
Professor Michael Sheppard, Chair of the WMAHSN, said: “The fifteen AHSNs have been at the forefront of supporting and spreading new ideas, new technologies and new ways of improving services for patients since they were formed.We are therefore delighted to play our part in supporting local health and care systems to take advantage of this exciting opportunity to partner with innovators and take radical steps towards modernising and improving the services they offer to patients. We also look forward to being able to take the learning and the success stories from test beds to other systems across the NHS in the coming years.
The application process is now open, and closes on 29 May; further information on the scheme and submitting bids can be found at www.england.nhs.uk/testbeds.