The Innovation Agency has adapted its programmes of work to meet the needs of local partners, with a focus on the impact of COVID-19.

Our patient safety programmes are focused on supporting health and care staff and patients.

Our role in the pandemic now is to continue to support our health and care partners by helping them take advantage of relevant innovations that will deliver improvements in services and patient outcomes. Our focus has been on a number of clinical areas, including pulmonary rehab, ‘virtual wards’ and the remote monitoring of patients.


System support


Our staff are helping system teams in both Lancashire and South Cumbria, and in Cheshire and Merseyside, providing solutions to support the COVID 19 response.

We are leading a regional partnership of health and academic organisations in capturing the learning around COVID-19 on what works well – and what doesn’t – to inform future roll out of innovations and systems thinking. SEED Health Alliance >

We are working closely with the digital teams in both systems to support the implementation of digital solutions for primary, community and secondary care, in line with local programmes and need. This includes centrally procured solutions such as Attend Anywhere for video conferencing of outpatient consultations.

The rapid deployment of new technologies will transform the way we work and it is important we sustain successful ways of working once we are through the COVID-19 arrangements and acute pressures. We can link clinicians to a range of innovative solutions for treating COVID-19 and post-COVID symptoms.


For more information, contact:

Patient safety programmes


Identifying deteriorating patients

We are helping organisations to implement NEWS2 and RESTORE2 in general practice, care homes and other non-acute settings as well as in all acute hospitals.

We are focussed on providing training and toolkits for different care settings to support appropriate decision-making over emergency admission.

This includes implementation of early warning score systems NEWS2 and RESTORE2, in general practice, care homes and other non-acute settings as well as in all acute hospitals.

We’re offering resources and support regionally to help those working in care homes, primary care and pharmacy in their response to COVID-19. 

View our Patient Safety resources for COVID-19

More information here

For more information, contact:
Andrew Cooper



Tracheostomy safety

We are offering support in dealing with the expected rise in numbers of tracheostomies and the discharge of patients from ICUs to wards with a tracheostomy. The focus will be on ward level care and transitions into community settings and includes bedhead signage; a tracheostomy daily care bundle; and emergency equipment.

Detailed guidance and resources for healthcare staff in caring for patients with tracheostomies can be found on the website of the National Tracheostomy Safety Project, a quality improvement collaborative that aims to improve tracheostomy care and safety.

They can be found here:


For more information, contact:
Andrew Cooper

High Sensitivity Troponin

We are supporting North West Coast hospital emergency departments to implement a pathway using High Sensitivity Troponin laboratory tests to rule out whether someone is having a heart attack.

This pathway helps the effort to fight COVID 19 as the patient gets a diagnosis faster, freeing up beds.

A series of webinars and virtual coaching is being delivered.

The first webinar was presented by Professor of Emergency Medicine Rick Body, Consultant Chemical Pathologist Professor Paul Collinson and Interventional Cardiologist Dr Aleem Khand.

View the webinar recording


More information here

For more information, contact:
Sue Critchley

Preventing pre-eclampsia

We are continuing to support all maternity units in the North West Coast to adopt Placental Growth Factor-based tests, to reduce admissions of women at risk of pre-eclampsia.

This is particularly important during the Covid-19 pandemic as it could allow women to return to community care or be monitored at home instead of being admitted to hospital for observation, if pre-eclampsia has been ruled out with a PIGF-based test.

The Innovation Agency is leading an improvement collaborative which is open to staff in all North West Coast maternity units. The aim of our collaborative is to achieve PIGF-based testing in all women presenting with suspected pre-eclampsia between 20-34 weeks plus six days gestation, to help clinicians rule out pre-eclampsia (used alongside standard clinical assessment and subsequent follow up) as per NICE guidance DG23:

The first in a series of webinars is now available to view, featuring national PlGF champions, Obstetrics Consultants Dr Jenny Myers and Dr Manu Vatish; and test suppliers Roche and Quidel.

View the webinar recording

Oximetry @home

Oximtery @home The need to detect deterioration in patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 poses a significant challenge for primary and community services; health and social care teams need to be able to monitor people in their care for early signs of deterioration. The Innovation Agency is supporting the use of pulse oximeters with COVID patients at home, so they can be monitored for any deterioration in their condition that might require hospital review or admission.

Find out more >


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