Boots on the ground, local freedoms and supportive leaders: ingredients for successful spread of innovation detailed in new report

A new report from The King’s Fund, published today and commissioned on behalf of The AHSN Network, charts the journeys of eight innovations from creation to widespread use.

From new communication technologies for patients with long-term conditions, to new care pathways in liver disease diagnosis, to new checklists for busy A&E departments, the report details the highs and lows of an innovator’s journey through the NHS.

While thousands of patients are now receiving new innovative treatments for arthritis, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and chronic liver disease, thanks to successful innovations, the report outlines the significant barriers that stand in innovators’ paths.

The case studies reveal common themes:

• New innovations may appear simple to introduce but can have a domino effect – triggering a series of changes to diagnosis and treatment, revealing new patient needs and resulting in big changes to staff and patient roles. That’s why staff need time and resources to implement them.

• As long as the NHS sets aside less than 0.1% of available resources for the adoption and spread of innovation, a small fraction of the funds available for innovation itself, the NHS’s operating units will struggle to adopt large numbers of innovations and rapidly improve productivity.

• Fragmentation of NHS services remains a barrier to adoption and spread of innovation, making it harder to develop shared approaches and transmit learning across sites.

• Providers need to be able to select and tailor innovations that deliver the greatest value given local challenges and work in the local context.

Read the report in full.

The findings of the report will be discussed in depth at a live online event hosted by The King’s Fund on 19 January at 10:00. Register and more details here: https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/events/adoption-and-spread-innovation-nhs.

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