6 September 2022

Merseyside-based former Fellow Liz Ashall Payne joined the NIA programme after launching ORCHA.

Healthcare innovators in the North West Coast are being offered support to apply for a national programme aimed at accelerating solutions to key challenges.

The NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA) – an NHS England initiative supported by England’s 15 Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) – has launched a call for applications representing high impact, evidence-based innovations.

The call is open to local, national and international healthcare innovations supported by passionate individuals from any background, including businesses, clinicians, charity and third sector and academics.

Merseyside-based former Fellow Liz Ashall Payne joined the NIA programme after launching ORCHA, the Organisations for the Review of Health and Care Apps. She said: “Being a Fellow on the NIA has given me and ORCHA growth in so many ways – in our confidence, in supporting access to an amazing network, access to new markets and more learning than I could ever have hoped for.”

The AHSN for Cheshire, Merseyside, Lancashire and South Cumbria is the Innovation Agency, whose staff specialise in helping innovators – and will support anyone from the region interested in applying to the NHS Innovation Accelerator.

Innovation Agency Chief Executive Dr Phil Jennings said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for someone with a product which is already in use in the NHS or elsewhere, which needs support to spread it further in the NHS. The NIA offers a prestigious platform for learning, with access to experts, influential leaders and fellow innovators.

“If anyone in the North West Coast feels they meet the criteria, please get in touch with our team so we can help you apply.”

For the 2023 intake, the NIA is seeking innovations that align with the NHS Core20Plus5 manifesto while addressing key theme areas of elective recovery and operational challenges post-pandemic.

Therapy areas of interest, as outlined in Core20Plus5, are:

  • Maternity
  • Mental health and severe mental illness
  • Cancer
  • Respiratory disease
  • Hypertension and cardiovascular disease

Additionally, the NIA is looking for innovations that address urgent and emergency care. All applicants must be able to demonstrate how their innovation actively alleviates health inequalities in practice.

The application period will close on 28 October.

More information is available at

The Innovation Agency can be contacted by email:; or visit

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