Patient Entrepreneur Programme

NHS CEP Patient Entrepreneur Programme

A new pilot from the NHS CEP and NHS England Patient and Public Involvement team aimed at patients and carers.

Are you a patient whose experience has led you to develop a healthcare innovation? Do you want to develop your skills to help scale this innovation?   Then we would like to hear from you! 

The NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme is running a 12-month pilot programme, starting in March 2024, for people who have experience, as a patient of carer, of a health condition and are working on healthcare innovations. We are offering access to the NHS CEP with additional wrap-around support from our partners at the Patient and Public Involvement team at NHS England. 

Its free, part- time and open to all patients with an innovation in healthcare.  


The NHS CEP Patient Entrepreneur Programme is a pilot programme aimed at people with experience of an illness or condition who have developed novel or new innovation to improve patient care. The programme aims to give these individuals the skills and knowledge to develop their innovation, while giving them access to a network of mentors, healthcare experts and patient support.  

Delivered by the NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme this pilot allows patients to join an already established and respect programme of innovation learning and development while benefitting from additional wrap around support and bespoke opportunities.  

“At the NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme (CEP), we are committed to placing patients at the centre of our work. We believe that transforming healthcare is a collective effort, and we are excited to announce the launch of the Patient Entrepreneur Programme this November. This programme offers patients and carers who have developed healthcare innovations or projects the opportunity to join the CEP and scale their ideas for the benefit of all.”


Who is it for?

woman in white long sleeve shirt and blue and white face mask

The NHS CEP Patient Entrepreneur Programme is for: 

  • Those who have experience as a patient, carer or family member of a health condition. 
  • Those individuals that have a project or innovation that is already in development and beyond the idea stage. Applicants need to have done some market research, understand priorities to the health services and how their idea could potentially impact different populations. This programme is aimed at those individuals who don’t already have support from an organisation. 
  • Who are based in England and are 18 years and over

How does it work?

The programme is free and it can fit around your work. Individuals can apply to the programme as they would the CEP. The cohort will start in March 2024, and those who receive a place will have full access to the CEP curriculum which includes:  

  • CPD Accredited Pit Stops – 2-day events delivering educational content – blended delivery both online and in person.  
  • Workshops and webinars – blended delivery where possible.  
  • Mentoring – online and in person  
  • 1-2-1 clinics with experts – online and in person  
  • Business planning – online and in person  
  • International opportunities and trips  
  • Company days and pitching opportunities with industry partners.  
  • Networking  
  • Supportive and inclusive community  
  • Access to online community
  • Support from the dedicated CEP team

In addition, wrap-around support will be provided by NHS England’s Patient and Public Involvement team in the form of: 

People sat in a lecture room listening to speakers
  • Regular check in – the Patient and Public team will provide support for you while on the programme.  
  • Webinars and workshops – specifically aimed at patient entrepreneurs and cover topic such as how the share your story, communicating with impact,  
  • Patient network – share successes and to work in collaboration with other patient entrepreneurs. 

We understand everyone’s time is precious so we ensure that out events are available to attend online. the commitment to the programme is :

  • Patients’ entrepreneurs need to attend at least 50% of the CPD Accredited pit stops (there are 8 per year) . This can either be in person of virtual via zoom.  
  • If matched with a mentor, they need to have at least 4 x 1-hour sessions over the course of the year  
  • They will be required to take part in mid and end of year surveys and provide entrepreneur profiles to the programme team, and produce a short end of year report or presentation.  

Key Dates

  • Applications open 1st November 2023
  • Launch webinar date:  14th November 2023  
  • Applications close: 5pm, 27th November  2023
  • Assessment and Review: December 2023/ January 2024
  • Successful candidates notified: Late January/Early February 2024 
  • Programme starts: 6th March 2024 with the Big Pitch Launch event in London

How to apply

Apply to the programme

Applications for the Patient Entrepreneur Programme are now closed! For those who have applied you will be notified January 2024 with the cohort starting on the 6th March 2024

Guidance for your application

For those who would like to apply, but would like more information we have a FAQ section below. We also have our CEP prep webinars you can view .

Applications support


Am I eligible to apply?  

To apply to the NHS CEP Patient Programme, you need to: 

  1. Have lived experience as a patient, carer or family member of a health condition. 
  1. Individuals need to apply with a project or innovation that is already in development and beyond the idea stage. Applicants need to have done some market research, understand priorities to the health services and how their idea could potentially impact different populations. This programme is aimed at those individuals who don’t already have support from an organisation. 
  1. Be based in England – sorry we cannot accept patient entrepreneurs from Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales. 
  1. Be 18 years of age or old. 
I’m from Northern Ireland/Scotland, can I apply to this year’s programme? 

No, at this stage the pilot is currently only open to those in England.  

Can I apply with an innovation/idea/concept in a very early stage of development? 

No unfortunately very early-stage ideas will not be accepted. We welcome applications from those with an innovative idea who have undertaken some research and development or those who have progressed their innovation further (minimum viable product /testing or already out in the market) but require additional support.  

How do I apply?

You can find a link to the application portal on our website (see above ) when it is open.  You need register with the portal with a name and email address. Once logged into your account, you can then begin your application from the portal home page. Please only submit your application via the portal. Applications submitted by post, email, or any other method will not be accepted.  

How many places are there available on the programme?

There are 10 places available on this pilot programme.

What do I need for the application? 

The application is a series of questions about you, and your innovation. You will need to include:

  1. A 1-minute pitch on your idea or innovation – this can be recorded on the platform so you need a device with a camera and mic
  1. Provide you CV 

All questions need to be complete, incomplete applications will not be considered.  

What is the time commitment, if successful?   

The programme is designed to allow you to engage in full time work/training at the same time as participating in the programme. The time commitment varies and the more engaged you are with the programme, the greater the benefit. The minimum commitment is attendance at half of the scheduled group educational events called pit stops (there are usually eight per year) four interactions with your assigned mentor; the completion of learning documents such as an action plan, personal development plan and lean canvas; and the provision of periodic progress updates.   

Does it cost anything to join the programme?  

There are no costs associated with joining and accessing the programme. When we return to in-person events, you will be responsible for funding your own travel and accommodation. However, all pit stop events can be attended virtually.  

Will I receive funding, if successful?  

This is not a paid programme and does not offer any funding or grants.  

What kind of ideas/innovations do people on the programme develop?   

Primarily, the innovation must aim to benefit the NHS and patients, and this could be directly or indirectly.  

Some of the ideas currently supported on the  NHS CEP programme include: Health and fitness programmes, Charities and social enterprises, Training and education programmes, E-rosters, consent platforms & e-prescribing platforms, AI and deep learning algorithms, Substance abuse interventions, Autonomous drone delivery services, Radiation exposure monitors, Robotic surgery innovations, Remote eye, ear, and blood testing, Prescription label translators, Secure communications platforms, Mental health interventions, Nutrition guidance and plans, digital/ estates/ maintenance/ issue reporting, Smart inventory managing tools, Medicines adherence tools, Chatbots and many more…  

Will I be able to keep my intellectual property?   

Currently, this programme does not seek to claim any intellectual property.  

How will applications be selected?   Who will assess them and will it remain confidential?

How will applications be selected?   

Applications are assessed by two reviewers who assess your application independently. These applications are then reviewed by the CEP team. Applications that meet a certain threshold will get accepted onto the programme. If any details need clarifying, we may choose to arrange a brief video call with you. All unsuccessful applications will be reviewed by a validation committee to ensure that decisions to not offer a place onto the programme this year are fair and justified.  

Who will assess my application?  

There are a pool of assessors that assist with programme applications. These include Patient and Public Involvement team, Clinical Entrepreneurs and alumni, programme mentors, and other programme stakeholders and supporters. All assessors and validators will be asked to declare any known conflicts of interest to the CEP programme team and all assessors sign a non-disclosure agreement.  

Will the content of my application remain confidential? 

All information disclosed via the application process will be kept strictly confidential. Assessors, moderators and validators will not share any of the information they are privy to through the application process and will keep all information safe and secure. However, you are still advised to not disclose any information that is potentially patentable. Rather, we recommend you only provide the more general information about your idea/innovation. 

What happens if my application is successful?   

If your application is successful, you will be notified and sent an NHS CEP Patient Entrepreneur Programme agreement which must be signed and returned to accept your place onto the programme.  

What if my innovation or start-up fails when I’m on the programme? Will I be removed from the programme?  

The programme is for the individual, so don’t worry you will still have a spot on the programme. Failure and challenges are part of the innovation journey!  

Contact Information

Anglia Ruskin University
Bishop Hall Lane
Essex, CM1 1SQ

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