There is no shortage of innovation in the NHS, but too often innovations do not have the reach or impact that would be expected in other industries. This is partly due to innovations being tested in isolation from the complementary NHS services needed to unlock their full potential. Innovations have also been implemented without rigour, discipline or evaluation, generating little evidence on the full scale potential.
Many programmes support academic research and early-stage innovation, e.g. the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). There are initiatives to help scale innovations which already have evidence, such as the National Innovation Accelerator, and to help small businesses to prototype their ideas including the Small Businesses Research Initiatives scheme. Innovate UK also provides funding through a number of channels. However, there are comparatively few programmes to support the generation of real world evidence in ‘live’ clinical settings. These sites will enable the evaluation of new technologies in a real world setting.
The Wessex Primary Care Demonstrator Site programme fills this gap, focusing on conducting pragmatic, reasonably rapid (within a year) yet robust trials of packages of innovations that offer the opportunity to fundamentally improve outcomes and efficiency of clinical services.
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Guest blog: Why to apply for the Health Innovation Programme 2018
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