Successfully Scaling Innovation in the NHS

In Against the Odds: Successfully scaling innovation in the NHS, the Innovation Unit and The Health Foundation identity 10  different UK innovations.  The authors look at various case studies to explore how these insights build on, and challenge, existing wisdom in the NHS.

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The key findings of the report include:

  • The ‘adopters’ of innovation need greater recognition and support. The current system primarily rewards innovators, but those taking up innovations often need time, space and resources to implement and adapt an innovation in their own setting.
  • It needs to be easier for innovators to set up dedicated organisations or groups to drive innovation at scale. Scaling innovation can be a full-time job, and difficult to do alongside front-line service delivery. Dedicated organisations are often needed to consciously and strategically drive scaling efforts, including when innovators ‘spin out’ from the NHS.
  • System leaders need to take more holistic and sophisticated approaches to scaling. Targets and tariffs are not a magic bullet for scaling; while they can help, they don’t create the intrinsic and sustained commitment required to replicate new ideas at scale. Different approaches are needed, including articulating national and local health care priorities in ways that create strategic opportunities for innovators, and using commissioning frameworks to enable, rather than hinder, the sustainable spread of innovations.


The full report can be found here

Commissioning continuing healthcare

This document outlines key learning points from CCGs that have achieved significant  efficiency savings and improvements for patients in the provision of NHS continuing healthcare services in their local area | NHS Clinical Commissioners 

NHS continuing healthcare: Effective commissioning approaches identifies six national actions that will support the local delivery of Continuing Healthcare (CHC):

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  1. Recognise and value the CHC workforce
  2. Develop a clear national CHC narrative
  3. Develop a pre-checklist process to help address workload pressures
  4. Develop national guidance that supports local process
  5. Establish a national process for sharing legal advice where appropriate between CCGs
  6. Establish a policy feedback forum to ensure effective links with the reality of delivery on the ground

Full reference: NHS continuing healthcare: effective commissioning approaches

Annual Asthma Survey

Asthma UK has published its annual asthma survey. “Falling through the gaps: why more people need basic asthma care” indicates two thirds of people are not receiving basic care for their asthma and that there are variations in care across the country. 

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Asthma affects the lives of 5.4 million people across the UK. Every year,  Asthma UK  runs an Annual Survey to find out about people’s experiences of living with asthma and the quality of care they receive.

This year’s report included new questions on asthma triggers, and the use of technology in asthma and health management. The survey also repeated questions about the care patients received for their asthma.

The key findings from the survey include:

  • Over a quarter of  people surveyed reported that they used an app to track their health, used wearable devices and/or booked a GP appointment online

  • Less than a third of people who had been admitted to hospital for their asthma received the appropriate follow up care

  • People with asthma aged 18-29 receive the lowest levels of basic care, while those aged 70-79 receive the highest level

British children anxious about world events, say parents

A survey of parents with children aged 5 to 18 has revealed that 41% of parents think their children are anxious about the threat of terrorism | Mental Health Foundation

A YouGov survey of over 1,800 parents was commissioned by the Mental Health Foundation to uncover the impact world events could be having on children, and equip parents to respond.

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Almost a quarter of parents (23%) indicated their children were anxious about the threat of nuclear war. A third of parents (33%) thought their children were anxious about Donald Trump’s presidency. A third of parents (32%) also thought their children were anxious about global warming and climate change.

In terms of signs parents are noticing, of those whose children were anxious, 6 in 10 (61%) have noticed their children starting to ask a lot more questions, a quarter (24%) had noticed their children seeking reassurance, and 13% reported that their children have gone as far as asking to avoid activities such using public transport or going to busy public places. A further 8% reported their children having nightmares.

It found that overall almost 4 in 10 parents (39%) were concerned that their children are becoming more anxious about world and national events.

The Mental Health Foundation has produced a guide entitled
 ‘Talking to your children about scary world news’  to help parents minimise the negative impact upsetting world news has on children.

Read more at Mental Health Foundation


Tackling loneliness and social isolation

Tackling loneliness and social isolation: the role of commissioners | The Social Care Institute for Excellence 


This briefing draws on discussion from a seminar held in September 2017 to explore the opportunities and barriers faced by commissioners seeking to address social isolation in older people.  It also looks at previous research and evaluations in this field.

The paper:

  • identifies the evidence that points the way to a better understanding of effective interventions
  • provides examples of practice emerging in different parts of the country
  • examines what needs to happen next in order to create a more conducive
    commissioning environment.

Full briefing: Tackling loneliness and social isolation: the role of commissioners

Additional link: SCIE press release

NHS Health Check: stocktake and action plan

This report provides a stocktake of the NHS Health Check programme as Public Health England approaches the end of the first 5-year cycle of the programme.


This stocktake and action plan sets out the main areas for development by Public Health England, local authorities and the NHS to ensure we continue to get the most from the NHS Health Check programme in the next 5 years.

This set of slides reviews the programme as the first 5-year cycle ends and outlines an action plan for the next cycle focusing on:

  • delivering a high-quality programme
  • encouraging the development of evidence and research
  • providing strong leadership
  • maximising access to and utility of intelligence

Download the Powerpoint version of the slideset

PHE has also published Using the NHS Health Check programme to prevent CVD which explores how the NHS Health Check is playing and important role in the prevention and early detection of cardiovascular disease.