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Scaling workforce led innovation is an opportunity we cannot miss as NHS turns 76 Header Template

Scaling workforce-led innovation is an opportunity we cannot miss as NHS turns 76

5 minutes
Posted: 04-July-2024

Innovation must remain a key driver at the heart of NHS Scotland’s renewal and transformation ambitions on its 76th anniversary, says formal health service partner InnoScot Health

The NHS will be marking over three quarters of a century of life-changing healthcare on Friday 5 July – an important date to also acknowledge the workforce’s constant dedication amid an ever-shifting health and social care landscape.

InnoScot Health believes it is not only an opportunity to champion achievements and breakthroughs since 1948, but also to recognise the powerful role of innovation in collectively achieving more with less, working smarter, and ushering in the efficient, forward-thinking ideas of tomorrow.

The organisation has been working in partnership with NHS Scotland for 22 years to support improvements in patient care. Its primary role is to inspire, develop and commercialise innovative ideas emanating from the NHS Scotland workforce.

InnoScot Health insists that at this challenging time, it is more important than ever that the talent, entrepreneurism, and commitment of staff across the country’s health service is harnessed to produce better patient outcomes while reducing inequalities and adopting greener practices.

Executive Chair of InnoScot Health, Graham Watson said: “It is incredible to think that this amazing institution has been delivering vital healthcare for 76 years – that is something to be immensely proud of.

“However, during this challenging period, the workforce has an essential role to play – its expansive knowledge and everyday insight can help to ensure that innovation works for both them and their patients to realise better outcomes and improved use of precious staff time.

“That’s why we continue to encourage all NHS Scotland staff with ideas, whether simple or complex, to come forward and share their thoughts with us.

“Right now, they are the change agents we need to help inspire and embed the right services against a backdrop of significant developments in data, digital technologies, artificial intelligence (AI), and many more opportunities for real advancement in healthcare.

“We are here to support and accelerate their enthusiasm for transformation by providing exactly what they need to help them translate their ideas into health service use.”

At the recent NHS Scotland event, 80% of attendees agreed that innovation and collaboration is positively promoted in their respective workplaces.

Furthermore, an independent survey commissioned by InnoScot Health in 2022 found that 90% of NHS Scotland staff believed that innovation must be at the heart of improving services.

It further found that most health service staff wanted to be part of the vital drive for making ground-breaking ideas a reality, with 71% of healthcare workers responding that they had offered ideas on how to enhance the delivery of healthcare on one or more occasion.

The survey also noted that almost two thirds (64%) of NHS staff considered themselves to be innovators “to some extent” and said they had ideas to improve the NHS, with one in six respondents specifically believing that they were innovators “to a great extent.”

Graham continued: “That natural wellspring of enthusiastic, entrepreneurial staff represents a vital foundation for evolving, adapting, and diversifying, but innovation does not happen in isolation.

“InnoScot Health is designed to be an open digital door for collaborative innovators to access the support they need to bring their ideas to life – whether that be initial evaluation, intellectual property advice, funding, or regulatory support.”

NHS Scotland staff can start by booking a consultation or submitting an idea.

Since 2002, InnoScot Health has assessed more than 2,200 NHS ideas, protected more than 250, and successfully developed a range of medical devices, products, and technologies for use in hospitals, care homes, and on-scene emergency settings, both in Scotland and around the world.

An NHS Scotland member of staff framed with InnoScot Health branding elements and the green branded colouring, representing the 'ideas' concept.

Got an idea?

Every innovation starts with an idea. Ideas from people like you. People working within health and social care who can spot opportunities, solve problems, and identify ways to make things better.

If you have an innovative healthcare idea, then InnoScot Health would like to hear from you. You can start by booking a consultation or submitting your idea.


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InnoScot Health works in partnership with NHS Scotland to identify, protect, develop and commercialise new innovations from healthcare professionals. Registered Number: SC 236303. Registered address: 272 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4JR
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