NHS England Expo news

Innovation Agency Chief Executive Dr Liz Mear welcomed a range of initiatives to accelerate innovation, announced by NHS England leaders at the Health and Care Innovation Expo in Manchester.

Highlights are:

Every patient in England should be able to access their medical records and book an appointment with a GP via an app by the end of 2018.

Patients will also be able to use the app for ordering repeat prescriptions and accessing NHS 111 – the non-emergency medical helpline. The long term plan is to integrate the online service with patients’ records so that the service can provide personalised advice.

A new drive is under way to prevent heart attacks and strokes, saving thousands of lives by taking a more integrated approach to cardiovascular care. 

New Public Health England analysis suggests that there is an opportunity to prevent more than 9,000 heart attacks and at least 14,000 strokes over the next three years with better detection and management of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and atrial fibrillation.

This builds on the work of the Innovation Agency and other Academic Health Science Networks to identify atrial fibrillation which can lead to a stroke. In the North West Coast in the last year alone, our work has prevented a potential 256 strokes, with estimated savings of £5.6m in NHS resources.

The NHS Apps Library was launched, though the website is still in testing phase and gathering feedback from users. It contains over 40 apps that help people manage a wide range of conditions including diabetes and cancer, and innovations that help minimise the impact of these conditions through ordering repeat medicines via smartphones and having them delivered to home. Apps from the North West Coast include Chill Panda and myCOPD. The library can be viewed here.

Several of the apps in the library have been developed by Public Health England to encourage healthy behaviours 20% such as being more active and aware of sugar contents.
Of the remainder, 50% (17 out of 35) have benefitted from support from their local AHSN.

The NHS Digital Academy was officially launched, to provide virtual masterclasses in leadership and digital as part of a comprehensive programme to provide NHS staff with the right skills to drive digital innovation. The Academy is led by Imperial College London’s Institute of Global Health Innovation in partnership with Harvard Medical School and The University of Edinburgh.

The successful Test Bed programme is to be continued – with Lancashire and Cumbria one of the seven sites who have been working with 40 innovators, 51 digital technology products, eight evaluation teams and five voluntary sector organisations to understand which products and processes can save and transform lives, at the same or lower cost than current practice. The Innovation Agency is a partner in the Lancashire and Cumbria test bed.

Innovation Agency Chief Executive Dr Liz Mear said: “There are exciting technologies which are having a real impact on improving care and saving NHS resources, but we need to accelerate the pace of change.

“These latest announcements from NHS England are designed to support health organisations to adopt innovations and improve skills, while empowering patients. The Innovation Agency and our 14 fellow Academic Health Science Networks are playing a key role in this work and I am looking forward to seeing the benefits of the latest initiatives on the health of our population.”

From NHS England at Expo (click on headlines to read more):


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