Pioneering NHS sites commended by Health Secretary, Matt Hancock MP

6 November 2018


Some of England’s most pioneering NHS organisations, including Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria, are celebrated in a new national report.

‘Understanding how and why the NHS adopts innovation’ captures real-world insight and learning from NHS sites which have successfully implemented innovations ranging from digital to patient safety devices and models of care. The report, published by the NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA) in partnership with The Bayswater Institute, aims to inform understanding of adoption and the enabling factors which support the uptake and embedding of innovation in the NHS.

It includes a case study of how Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria has supported ORCHA, a live resource of reviewed health apps, backed by digital and clinical leaders and GPs and now adopted by more than 20 CCGs and trusts.

The adoption of new technologies and innovation in the NHS is a challenge. In developing understanding as to how and why NHS organisations take up an innovation, the NIA can support the NHS to realise the potential benefits of innovation more quickly. These benefits include: improved clinical outcomes, patient empowerment, reduced health inequalities, and savings to England’s health and care system.

The NHS organisations highlighted in the report have all adopted high impact, evidence-based innovations supported by the NIA - an NHS England Accelerator delivered in partnership with the country’s 15 Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs).

Examples include Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria’s adoption of ORCHA. An increasing number of GPs are now recommending an app to patients, which bolsters the care advice or prescription given. They are also recommending apps to patients who visit with routine matters.

Since the start of the programme in February 2018, school pupils have discovered and downloaded more than 88 different apps onto their phones and half of pupils who participated now use a health app. Pupils have reported changing a range of behaviours, from swapping car journeys to walking, drinking more water and going to bed earlier.

Thanks to the work carried out in Lancashire and Cumbria, ORCHA has been adopted by other NHS organisations. More than 20 CCGs and NHS trusts are using ORCHA app assessments to help professionals and the public to make better, informed app choices.

Other examples in the report include:

  • Sutton GP Federation: Adoption of Lantum’s cloud-based tool, built to help NHS providers fill empty slots in their clinical rotas, supported the Federation to see 14,500 additional patients in the first 12 months.

  • Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust: Implementation of DrDoctor - an online and text-based service that allows patients to confirm, cancel, and change bookings digitally - has realised a £2.6M financial benefit from the first year of rollout.

  • Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Surrey Police: Implementation of the Serenity Integrated Mentoring (SIM) model of care across the county has resulted in significant reduction in Section 136s.

  • For more information about the NHS Innovation Accelerator visit

    A special event at the London Stock Exchange celebrated the NHS adopter sites recognised in the report. NHS staff from representative organisations were in attendance alongside NHS England and AHSN executives, to watch as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock MP, opened the markets and launched the report.

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “There are pioneers across the NHS working incredibly hard to implement new technologies to support staff, make every pound go further and improve outcomes for patients - and they should be applauded for their resilience, commitment and tenacity.

    “As part of our long-term plan for the NHS, we want to build an ecosystem of enterprise and innovation to allow new projects to flourish and my tech vision is the first step to making this ambition a reality.”

    Professor Stephen Powis, National Medical Director of NHS England and Chair of the NHS Innovation Accelerator, said: “Right across the NHS patients are now benefitting from world beating innovations, as this programme has helped spread 37 new tools to improve patient care and experience to almost 1,500 more hospitals and GP practices.

    “The real-world experience of those adopting new tools is vital so we can understand the challenges of spreading innovations and learn from those experiences so even more patients can benefit.”

    NHS Innovation Accelerator: Understanding how and why the NHS adopts innovation is now available to read and download here.





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