What we want to do
Innovation is introducing or developing new ideas with the aim of improving health care; either through creating totally new ideas or the adoption of novel strategies, approaches and tools from elsewhere.
The Mid and South Essex Innovation Programme has an ambition to build engagement through the Partnership for innovation and help broaden both its reach and impact, so new ways of working are adopted in a coordinated and sustainable way.
It is overseen by a central innovation function hosted by the Strategy Unit at Mid and South Essex University Hospitals Group.
The aim of the programme is to develop a shared approach to innovation that:
- Helps find and encourage new ideas from within our own workforce
- Creates consistency in supporting these ideas
- Aids adoption, adaption and helps spread the best ideas.
- Helps manage any risks involved by creating clear and transparent processes at every stage
Where we are now
The Mid and South Essex innovation programme has five key work streams
- The Mid and South Essex Innovation fellowship ( see example in practice below)
- Growing innovation capacity within the organisations through networking and influencing and appraising external innovations for testing and possible adoption
- Helping partners to adopt NHS England Innovation Technology payment products, and other proven innovations which the NHS agrees to support
- Developing a “Ways of Working” framework to secure external resource and support new projects which help the Partnership achieve its aims, but might not otherwise have been prioritised
- Developing, scaling and marketing home-grown innovations in partnership with commercial or enterprise organisations
Example in practice
The flagship initiative within our innovation programme is the Innovation Fellowship.
Launched in May 2018 sixteen innovators from across our local area working on wide-ranging solutions at varying stages of development, from concept through to marketable product, were selected to participate in the inaugural cohort. Their innovations were grouped around two main themes, workforce and patient safety.
The innovators are given support and guidance to develop and test their ideas within the hospitals’ group . Each was allocated a mentor to help them navigate the organisation and they were offered learning sessions on topics such as project management and commercialisation. Ten of the original sixteen innovators are continuing on the fellowship into its second year with ongoing access to mentorship and support.
The hunt for the second innovation fellowship intake launched in September 2019 and has invited applicants from across the Partnership organisations to take up the ten new fellowship places.
The Fellowship will align with current Partnership clinical and strategic priorities for transformation with the addition of new themes to ensure the our key challenges are addressed.
The intention now is to grow the innovation fellowship year on year, supporting the original fellows to develop, embed and scale their solutions whilst in turn they will use their expertise to support each new cohort.
Maternity Direct is a great example of how the Innovation Programme can foster innovation by surfacing an innovative idea currently being used in a limited way and translating it into a robust and scalable product that could be adopted nationally.
Maternity Direct is now a market-ready product available on the NHS digital procurement platform, G-Cloud, for procurement by any NHS organisation in England.