Healthcare Staff Get Innovative

Frontline NHS staff and other healthcare professionals who come up with innovative ideas to give better patient care are getting their schemes funded thanks to the Department of Health’s Innovation Challenge Prizes. The first winners have been announced today.

The awards support plans to give all NHS staff the power and freedom to innovate to deliver better patient care.

All the winners have proven that their innovation can improve patient care and deliver savings for the NHS. They were all developed to tackle the problems staff saw their patients facing in day-to-day treatment.

The winning ideas feature:
  • Dialysis at home – developed by Manchester Royal Infirmary to allow patients to have dialysis in their own homes – this is more convenient for patients and saves the local NHS £16,430 per patient every year on average
  • Cytosponge – a new pill that runs into a sponge – a simple new way to test for oesophagal cancer that costs just £25 per test compared to the £400 cost of a traditional endoscopy. This was developed by the Cambridge Medical Research Council Cancer Unit and Addenbrookes University Hospitals
  • Scriptswitch – a computer programme used by staff at NHS Bristol to share information on nutritional supplements prescribed to patients between hospitals and GP surgeries so that they can identify patterns and prescribe more efficiently leading to projected savings of £156,000 per year
Health Minister Lord Howe said: “All NHS staff have the power to improve services for patients – we want to give them the freedom to use it.

“We need to support innovation in the NHS, not suffocate it. In every hospital, GP practice and clinic we need to ensure innovation can flourish by supporting clinicians to develop new ways of thinking and delivering care to benefit patients and the NHS.

“Innovation is essential to help the NHS modernise by delivering more for less – improving the quality of care for patients whilst at the same time saving money.”


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