9 June 2021

Blog by Haku Bhatt

Haku Bhatt, Innovation Programme Manager for the Innovation Agency and Liverpool Health Partners

Adopting and diffusing innovation across the system must form the foundation of a strategy to meet the demands we face as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The outbreak has shown many aspects of the health and care system at its best, but it has also exposed health inequalities and other weaknesses. The immediate priority is to deal with the backlog of both physical and mental healthcare that the pandemic has caused

I joined the Innovation Agency last month in a new and unique position, the first joint appointment between Liverpool Health Partners (LHP) and the Innovation Agency.

My priority is to nurture a culture of innovation, to promote and support entrepreneurship and achieve a system-wide approach to innovation for patient benefit.

Having spent over 18 years in the pharmaceutical industry in a variety of commercial and market access leadership roles, my relevant expertise includes developing novel value propositions/value-based solutions across healthcare systems, and in-depth knowledge of product lifecycle management, including measurement of product adoption and implementation.

I hope that background will help as I start to work to help develop innovative ideas and concepts into outputs and products which with improve the health of the local population and health service outcomes.

A unique function of the role is to ensure alignment of activities with LHP programmes and maximize the opportunity to align and utilise the IA’s processes and operational structures to support the ongoing adoption and spread of products.

The healthcare issues facing the NHS today are of a different nature and scale from anything we have seen before.

The ultimate goal of health innovation is to improve our ability to meet public and personal healthcare needs and demands by optimising the performance of the health system.

Innovations in healthcare should yield scalable solutions and improvements in health policies, systems, products, technologies, services and delivery methods in order to improve treatment, diagnosis, education, outreach, prevention, research quality and delivery and access to healthcare.

Innovations may be digital, algorithms, services, frameworks and other models that can be developed, tested and implemented and evaluated within the LHP/IA innovation ecosystem and potentially scaled to the North West Coast and nationally.

These technologies do not drive innovation themselves; rather, innovation happens when people choose to use these technologies to develop, test, and ultimately implement new ideas that work.

Collaborative programmes will be delivered through partners to move LHP ecosystem-led innovations through the development pipeline into the wider IA support infrastructures.

I have proven experience of programme delivery in the NHS (via secondment) and am recognised as a trusted collaborator with joint working experience who can drive change for the NHS, patients, and Industry. I hope my experience and the skills I have developed along the way will prove crucial.

I have a passion for developing innovative solutions to public health challenges, where system-wide adoption keeps people well, reduces pressure on providers, supports economic growth and improves health outcomes.

The move from the pharmaceutical industry to the public sector was made much easier due to my previous secondment at the IA.  With new colleagues being equally welcoming I am very much looking forward to making a difference in a truly cross-functional, collaborative and can-do environment.

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