Last year I participated in the judging of the 4th annual NHS Innovation Challenge, which was hunting for exciting innovations from within the NHS workforce.
Over half a million pounds in prize money was on offer across several categories, as well as substantial mentoring and support from the sponsors and judging team to ensure that the innovations on display were disseminated far and wide.
The thirteen winners of the Challenge were announced earlier this week at an event at Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry.
There were some cool projects awarded the winning prize, including an SMS based helpline for youngsters that had been setup by Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust. The project, called Chat Health, offers young people easy, and anonymous, access to a school nurse.
Another nice project was the 3 Dimensions For Diabetes venture created by King’s College Hospital. By using a rounded approach to care, they were able to reduce A&E visits by 45 percent and hospital admissions by 43 percent, representing a saving of £225,000 in just 12 months.
As you can imagine, there were a range of digital innovations, including an app to give doctors instant information about antibiotics, a similar service for neonatal care, and even game based distractions for children about to go under anaesthetic.
“Britain has a proud history of discovery and innovation from the smallpox vaccine, to antibiotics, to the discovery and sequencing of DNA; from the clinical thermometer, to the ECG to MRI scanners,” Sir Bruce Keogh said at the event.
“This year the innovation prizes showcase local innovations to improve care through the use of technology, infection control and rehabilitation, along with new ways of helping people with diabetes. Recognition and reward of local innovations not only promotes further innovation it is an important step in ensuring improvement across our NHS,” he continued.
The challenge now is to take these localized innovations and help them to spread throughout the NHS. Hopefully the combination of financial support plus mentoring by those involved in the process will assist this dissemination along.
You can learn more about each of the 13 winning entries via this brochure for the event.