Digital Health Podcast: How NHS trusts can encourage innovation


With the booming market of digital healthcare start-ups and SMEs comes the need for NHS trusts to better adopt and scale innovation in their organisations.

Last month’s Digital Health podcast looked at the challenges start-ups and SMEs faced in getting their technologies adopted into the NHS. This month, we look at how the NHS can work with innovators to fast-track digital health solutions that not only ease pressure on services, but also empower patients.

One trust that has led the way in this respect is Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, alongside its charity CW+. They recently launched the CW Innovation programme, which aims to deliver a portfolio of evaluated, real-world projects by connecting frontline clinical and operational staff with partner organisations.

The trust and charity have been developing a pipeline of ‘test and scale’ innovation projects to be rolled out across the trust and disseminated throughout the NHS stakeholder network.

Examples include the UK’s first cancer clinic of its kind fast-tracking patients with clinical suspicions of cancer and the Mum & Baby app, which is now being rolled out across the North West London catchment and to other national NHS maternity centres.

Joining Andrea Downey on this month’s podcast to discuss how trusts can encourage and support innovation is Chris Chaney, chief executive of Chelsea and Westminster’s charity CW+, Sunita Sharma, an obstetrician and gynaecologist who developed the Mum & Baby app which links women to maternity services and Tom Newsom-Davis, a consultant oncologist who leads on the acute diagnostic oncology clinic at Chelsea and Westminster.

Between them they discuss the aims of CW Innovation; how trusts can nurture and encourage ideas; the need to bring clinicians along on the journey and the role NHSX will play in this space.

You can also download the podcast from digitalhealth.podbean.com.

Got a podcast suggestion? Email adowney@digitalhealth.net

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