NHS Innovation Service

Introducing the NHS Innovation Service – making it easier to get new innovations to patients faster

By Matt Whitty, chief executive of the Accelerated Access Collaborative and director of innovation, research and life sciences at NHS England

The NHS has a rich history of world-leading innovations, breakthroughs and resilience, and our experience of the pandemic shone a light on its ability to innovate and transform services at pace.

It’s essential now that we keep the momentum going so we have launched a new service, the NHS Innovation Service which aims to deliver the most promising innovations to clinicians and patients faster by supporting innovators to take their healthcare innovation from idea to adoption.

healthcare innovators graphic with a women with glasses smiling

The extraordinary response to the pandemic comprehensively demonstrated the need to continually innovate. We couldn’t have saved so many lives in hospital, and we couldn’t have had such a successful vaccination programme, without working with others to foster and spread new innovations.  Now in the context of increasing demand and complexity that need is growing.

During the pandemic we were able to rapidly deploy innovations working in harmony with partners across industry and health and social care. Through such partnerships we have been able to keep pace with the extraordinary advances in our understanding of the life sciences over recent decades. This knowledge has been used to develop new innovations, advancing and transforming our health service, introducing cutting edge genomic testing, world first chemotherapy delivery by drone and much, much more.

Time and again innovation has helped us advance the care we provide, it is key to tackling our major health challenges and reducing inequalities. The UK Government agrees. Their vision for the Life Sciences sector sets out their commitment.

The new NHS Innovation Service, delivered by the Accelerated Access Collaborative, will contribute to fulfilling the vision set out. It provides a front door for innovators making it much easier for them to get the support they need which in turn will help ensure a ready pipeline of new ideas that meet the NHS’s biggest challenges, including reducing health inequalities and supporting a Net Zero NHS. 

The NHS Innovation Service brings together partners with the experience, knowledge, and expertise in developing and supporting wide-spread adoption of healthcare innovations. All coming together to provide connected, tailored and coordinated support to innovators through a single online platform, making the path to spread and adoption easier and more transparent and enabling the NHS to offer the best possible care for patients faster.

Find out more about the NHS Innovation Service and reach out to your local Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs), partners in the NHS Innovation Service, who will help you identify and deliver effective evidence-based innovations and interventions to your healthcare challenges at pace and scale.

Published by Lucy Dentice

Deputy Programme Manager for the NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme.