Innovating with NHS data

Public attitudes to organisations innovating with NHS data | National Data Guardian

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The National Data Guardian (NDG) has released findings from a poll on public attitudes to NHS organisations working with partners to use data to develop new medicines and technologies to improve health.

The poll tested what the public thought would be fair when partnerships with universities or private companies result in valuable new discoveries that could be traded commercially.  It found strong support for the idea that NHS and patients should benefit from such partnerships although significant proportions of respondents said they neither agreed nor disagreed with whether the range of benefits was fair.

The NDG is now calling for a debate about the relationships between the NHS and those innovating with NHS data.

Full detail: NDG poll findings

NHS England Innovation and Technology Payment 2019 to 2020 Technical Notes

NHS England | June 2019 | NHS England Innovation and Technology Payment 2019 to 2020 Technical Notes

NHS England has produced  guidance- 2019/20 National Tariff Payment System-  which sets out the national approach to supporting the adoption of innovation using the Innovation and Technology Payment. It contains the innovations, specifications, reimbursement and reporting requirements for the 2019/20 Innovation and Technology Payment, and for the innovations from 2018/19 and the 2017/19 Innovation and Technology Tariff, whose funding is continuing.

Full details from NHS England

Achieving a digital NHS

Creating a digital NHS is a national policy priority. The NHS Long Term Plan emphasised  commitment to the digital agenda and promised fully digitised secondary care services by 2024. This report looks at digitisation from the perspective of acute trusts, and examines what lessons can be learnt for national policy | Nuffield Trust

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As a new body, NHSX, has been established to lead national policy for technology, digital and data, and with the Secretary of State firmly behind plans to create a fully digital NHS, this report seeks to understand how national policy for digitisation is working from the perspective of acute trusts.

The authors spoke to 72 senior digital leaders in national organisations and NHS trusts as well as frontline health care professionals in an attempt to understand how national policy for digitisation is working from the perspective of acute trusts. The researchers wanted to know:

  • How national policy impacted on a trust’s approach to digitisation
  • How national policy was helping and hindering digital progress
  • What national policy could do differently to better support digitisation on the ground

This report sets out a number of areas that would benefit from national attention. A clear theme across all of the areas is the need for better communication and engagement between national policy makers and NHS providers.

Full report: Castle-Clarke S and Hutchings R  (2019) | Achieving a digital NHS: Lessons for national policy from the acute sector | Nuffield Trust

National survey of local innovation and research needs of the NHS

The AHSN Network has published the document National Survey of local innovation and research needs of the NHS,  the report outlines the national findings from the survey with local health and social care stakeholders. It includes a detailed analysis of the innovation and research needs at local level across all AHSNs.

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Interviews were used to question 61 people and a survey which received more than 250 responses in total.

Commons themes were identified from these responses. They include:

  • a need for innovation and research addressing workforce challenges
  • integrating services to provide effective care for patients with complex needs – including multimorbidity and frailty
  • delivery of mental health services and providing care for patients with mental health needs, particularly in children and young people
  • use of digital and artificial intelligence technology

National Survey of local innovation and research needs of the NHS

NHS patients to get faster access to pioneering treatments

Department of Health and Social Care |May 2019 | NHS patients to get faster access to pioneering treatments

New improvements to the Accelerated Access Collaborative  (AAC)will put the most promising medicines, diagnostic tools and digital services through the clinical development and regulatory approval process faster. The AAC functions as the  front door’ for innovators looking to get their products funded by the NHS and will provide support to overcome barriers that can prevent the best medical innovations from reaching patients.

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To do this, a new unit in NHS England and NHS Improvement will be established, led by Dr Sam Roberts as chief executive.

The new AAC will:

  • implement a system to identify the best new innovations and make sure the NHS is ready to make use of them
  • set up a single point of call for innovators working inside or outside the NHS, so they can understand the system and where to go for support
  • signal the needs of clinicians and patients, so innovators know which problems they need to solve
  • establish a globally leading testing infrastructure, so innovators can generate the evidence they need to get their products into the NHS
  • oversee a health innovation funding strategy that ensures public money is focused on the areas of greatest impact for the NHS and patients
  • support the NHS to more quickly adopt clinically and cost-effective innovations, to ensure patients get access to the best new treatments and technologies faster than ever before

The AAC has already selected and supported 12 ‘rapid uptake products’ to increase their use within the NHS. This includes a blood test for pre-eclampsia, which can diagnose the condition earlier in pregnancy and significantly reduce life-threatening complications.

Together the products have the potential to improve the lives of around 500,000 patients and save the NHS up to £30 million.

Further details available from the Department of Health and Social Care 

Developing Innovative Volunteer Services in the NHS 

Helpforce | February 2019 | Developing Innovative Volunteer Services in the NHS 

This report summarises the key Insight and Impact findings from the five hospital trusts in the first Helpforce innovators programme. The publication of this report coincides with the launch of Helpforce’s new Volunteering Innovators Programme. 

Over the next 18 months, Helpforce will work with 12 new NHS hospital trusts (with 10 being funded by NHS England and two by the Royal Voluntary Service) to develop high-impact volunteer innovations that will be refined and shared to help other trusts in the UK adopt effective volunteer services.

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Image source: helpforce.community

The ten funded by the NHS England grant will each receive a £75,000 grant, and all twelve will have access to a range of supporting services, digital tools, resources and guidance. The trusts, who were chosen through a competitive process which received 115 applications from 90 trusts, will focus on a range of specific volunteer roles. The volunteer interventions have been identified as those which could make the most impact if refined, tested and scaled to other NHS settings.

In order to support continuous improvement and impact management, the trusts collected both insights data, which is predominantly anecdotal and observational, and impact data, which is designed to measure impact in a more systematic, robust way. Insight gathering took precedence during the early parts of the project, especially as the trusts were establishing their new interventions and learning how to run and measure their projects. Impact work still played a role in this early stage – mainly through talking with patients, staff and volunteers, as well as capturing data from these stakeholders through surveys  (Source: Helpforce).

See also:

Helpforce  Launching our Volunteer Innovators Programme and two new reports

In the news: How NHS workers really DO calm nerves and boost care: Hospital volunteers help prevent malnutrition, falls and loneliness, research shows

University of Sheffield supports only second scanner of its kind in the UK for Sheffield Children’s Hospital

University of Sheffield | January 2019 | University of Sheffield supports only second scanner of its kind in the UK for Sheffield Children’s Hospital

The University of Sheffield has helped fund a life-changing EOS scanner to help young patients at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, only the second of its kind for children in the UK. 

Based on a Nobel prize-winning invention, EOS provides an ultra-low dose 2D and 3D digital X-ray system and will hugely improve the diagnosis and treatment of orthopaedic patients. Patients can sit or stand, with a complete head-to-toe image provided in 15 seconds or less to provide frontal and lateral radiology/ radiography image

The machine also ensures an 80% reduction in X-ray exposure, reduced waiting times and improved image quality enabling more accurate assessments and surgical planning. It will enhance the already world-leading spinal service at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, which became the first hospital in Europe last year to perform ground-breaking ‘trolley’ surgery to correct a spine curvature.

The machine was made possible thanks to a donation from the Morrisons Foundation, a charity set up by the supermarket, and large donations from The University of Sheffield and David and Jean Fyfe’s 2018 Daffodil Ball in aid of The Children’s Hospital Charity.

The new equipment will particularly aid those patients requiring limb and spine curvature examinations, who will now be able to get a much clearer X-ray. The reduction in radiation exposure will also help those requiring regular scans, such as scoliosis spine patients.

John Somers, Chief Executive of Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, said “We are incredibly grateful to the people who support our work here at Sheffield Children’s. Our staff are amazing, providing specialist care with compassion every day. But with the latest equipment and donor-funded facilities, we can go even further to help children both locally and nationally.” (Source: University of Sheffield)

Read the full press release  University of Sheffield supports only second scanner of its kind in the UK for Sheffield Children’s Hospital