We all know that the economic situation is going to make the public purse smaller (in absolute or real terms- depending on who you believe) over the coming years so it makes sense that the NHS looks to innovation to improve the value of healthcare service delivery. It should therefore be little surprise that healthcare is burgeoning with organisations and talented people to help those with good ideas bring them to fruition. I've spent much of today meeting with these organisations to understand what's hot and what's not in healthcare innovation and will be posting on them in due course.
Many thanks to Brian Winn, Marie Maher and Dr Nigel Sansom of the NHS National Innovation Centre and Dr Peter Blenkinsop of NHS Innovations for taking the time to explain their organisations roles. They have some exciting projects going on. I'm not sure I have absolute clarity yet of how it all works because there are other organisations in play and, as you can imagine, there is much history in "idea generation" in the NHS which has created pockets of capability which is now being joined up. For example, on just one lap of the exhibition hall, you could see stands for NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement, NHS National Innovation Centre, NHS Innovations, NHS National Institute for Health Research, NHS Improvement and NHS Technology Adoption Centre... and this excludes CfH, direct involvement from the Department of Health and occasional engagement with the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency. Perhaps a more consolidated structure would be more effective?