Patients set to benefit through fresh boost to innovation

More than £150,000 will be awarded to new ideas to address England’s biggest healthcare challenges in the first wave of this year’s NHS Innovation Challenge Prizes.

The Challenge is part of a broader drive to embed innovation across the NHS which includes the NHS Innovation Accelerator and Test Bed programmes, the vanguard sites around the New Models of Care and the Health and Care Innovation Expo in September.

The 2014-15 NHS Innovation Challenge Prize for the Use of Technology – worth £100,000 – led to a new referral system in Southend for patients suffering a mini stroke that has increased the number of high risk patients being seen within 24 hours from 17 percent to 96 percent.  If successfully adopted across the NHS, this referral system could save an estimated £116 million a year.

Applications for this year’s prize fund will be accepted from 12pm today and are open to anyone working in the NHS with an innovation that will improve the way that services are delivered.

MSD is providing £100,000 for the prizes with the remaining £50,000 funded by NHS England.  As well as prize money, all winners will receive a tailored package of professional support from internal and external partners to help them develop their innovation and spread it across the system.

The two categories in the first wave are:

  • A cancer challenge to recognize initiatives that demonstrate clear delivery of the NHS Cancer Strategy and Five Year Forward View through new models of care.
  • A series of ‘acorn’ prizes to be awarded to small innovations that have the potential to make a big difference to patients.

NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens said: “The NHS has the opportunity to become one of the fastest adopters of innovation in the world.  These prizes are just one of a number of initiatives to support new ideas that will allow us to meet the challenges we face and to transform care for our patients.”

NHS England National Director for Commissioning Strategy Ian Dodge said: “What makes the challenge prizes special is that they reward great ideas from people who already work in the NHS, and can see for themselves what needs to change.  It might be an app, or a gadget, or a different way of doing something.  These are ideas you’d never get from behind a desk in Whitehall, and because they’re “made in the NHS” they’ve got the very best chance of success.  We’re getting behind them with financial and practical help, because we want to see great care for patients and great value for the taxpayer”.

National Clinical Director for Cancer for NHS England, Sean Duffy said: “Innovation is about improving patient care by finding new solutions to the challenges we face. The Innovation Challenge Prizes are another way for us to create the conditions for proven new ideas to be adopted faster and more systematically through the NHS.”

Entries will be judged by an expert panel made up of clinical, industry, third sector, patient organisations and NHS England leaders. The deadline for applications is 12pm 14 September 2015 and winners will be announced in November.  For more information and key dates go to: