Innovation is an integral part of HI NENC's values and goals. Our top priority is to develop a culture of innovation across the NHS by encouraging and supporting the workforce to share with us their creative ideas and solutions, whilst also identifying key challenges and unmet needs.

Health Innovation North East and North Cumbria (HI NENC) is driving change to the way innovation is understood and embedded within the NHS. We recognise that this change is critical to support the widespread adoption of innovation. With a focus on collaborative and partnership working, we work closely with stakeholders from across primary and secondary care, and the wider health and care sector to nurture a culture of innovation.

Our Programme Managers are central to the delivery and development of this work through regular networking events, learning sessions, forums, communities of practice, blogs, and podcasts. This facilitates supportive discussion which brings innovation to the forefront of strategic thinking. These conversations can take place across the workforce reinforcing the notion that research and innovation is something we can all be actively involved in.

A key part of our role at HI NENC is to connect the NHS workforce with academia, industry, and the public, engaging with all stakeholders to provide guidance and support which facilitates the spread of innovation.

Case Study: Driving Innovation across Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

The Research and Innovation Team needed to raise awareness of the services they provide across the Trust to identify, develop and commercialise innovative ideas, services and devices for the benefit of the patients and regional citizens. A campaign was created and delivered to position the team, raise awareness of successful innovations and encourage staff engagement.

A launch event was held in Autumn 2020, opened by Sir Jim Mackay, Trust CEO, to stress the importance of driving and supporting innovation across the Trust to continuously improve in-patient and out-patient health. To support the event, which consisted of presentations and case studies, an ‘Innovation Impact’ brochure was created to reinforce the key messages and support continued engagement with the R&I team. The brochure included a welcome from the CEO, introductions to the R&I team, an explanation of the innovation process and a number of case studies demonstrating how successfully supported innovations have positively impacted on patient health.

To encourage engagement, a social media campaign was developed and delivered by HI NENC before, during and after the event which ensured the event was well attended and the follow-up engagement has been particularly successful. Within a week after the event, the R&I team had been approached by 10 different staff members looking for commercialisation support.

By recording the event, and transforming the case studies into talking heads and shorter film clips, an ongoing social media campaign is running to encourage staff to engage with the team to discuss their ideas. Additionally, articles about the campaign and blogs from the team have been published in regional newsletters and forums.

Lorelle Dismore, Research and Innovation Officer, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said, “I was really impressed with how smoothly our virtual engagement event went, and with how much interest we had through the supporting social media campaign. With the tremendous support from the HI NENC team, I was able to host the event with minimal stress, engage with staff using social media and create an Innovation Impact brochure which can be used to support ongoing engagement activities.”

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If you would like to find out more about how HI NENC can support your business and the support available via the Innovation Pathway, please email our Pathway Navigators at [email protected]