Innovation programme supports over 1000 healthcare entrepreneurs. 

The NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme take on one of its largest cohorts following its latest round of applications.  

The NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme was founded in 2016 and has become the world’s largest entrepreneurial training programme in healthcare, helping to transform patient care across the NHS. Open to all NHS staff, the programme aims to nurture healthcare innovators from across the country and help them gain the commercial skills, knowledge, and experience to make their ideas become a reality. 

Now in its 7th year and delivered by Anglia Ruskin University, the NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme had over 300 applications from staff across the NHS. Through a rigorous and competitive application process, 193 individuals were shortlisted for the year long programme which starts in late February 2023. To date over 1,000 healthcare entrepreneurs have been invited to join the programme. 

In the first 5 years, 247 life science start-up companies have been created, over £270million of funding has been raised through investment largely from the private sector, and more than 30 million patients and users have benefited from the innovations. 

Examples of innovations through the programme include communications solutions to help reduce health inequalities in maternity care, dementia care app, mental health support programmes, cancer diagnostics tests, smartphone otoscopes to look inside the ear and AI training solutions.  

The programme is part of the NHS’s Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) which brings together industry, government, regulators, patients, and the NHS to remove barriers and accelerate the introduction of new ground-breaking treatments and diagnostics which have the potential to transform care.  

Professor Tony Young, Director of Medical Innovation at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) and National Clinical Lead for Innovation at NHS England said:  

“We have been thrilled by the number, quality, and diversity of applications this year. From doctors, dentists and nurses to AHP’s, clinical scientists, pharmacists, support staff and managers, it is truly remarkable how the NHS frontline has stepped forward to improve patient care through innovation. They have done this at a time during which the NHS has faced its greatest challenge since it was founded 75 years ago. There are some stunning ideas and remarkable individuals, and I am looking forward to getting started with the new cohort.  

The Programme plays a pivotal role in embedding innovation, creative thinking and entrepreneurship into the NHS. Along with our colleagues from the Accelerate Access Collaborative (AAC) our aim is to nurture and grow our brightest talent, to support the delivery of high quality, sustainable healthcare for all and address the challenges currently facing the NHS” 

The programme is once again welcoming entrepreneur from Scotland and Northern Ireland, plus a pilot scheme with the Republic of Ireland.  

James Currell, National Programme Director said:  

“Last year we were proud to pilot the CEP in both Scotland and Northern Ireland. Following a successful first year, the partnership with HIRANI, Invest Northern Ireland and DHI has been extended for cohort 7. Partnering with key healthcare organisations across the UK has provide great opportunities for our innovators. From exposure to different healthcare networks to meeting with industry partners. This year we are also delighted to announce a pilot scheme with Health Innovation Hub Ireland at the University of Galway and welcome three innovators from the Republic of Ireland.” 

The yearlong programme officially launches on the 22nd with the NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme Big Pitch Event. The event will provide an opportunity to welcome cohort 7 to the NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme and celebrate the successes of the last 12 months.  

This year’s event is hosted by clinical entrepreneurs Gemma Poole and Pasha Normahani, the event will showcase innovations, pitching and panel sessions. 

For more information about the programme contact the team at

Published by Lucy Dentice

Deputy Programme Manager for the NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme.