People are now living far longer, but extra years of life are not always spent in good health. They are more likely to live with multiple long-term conditions, or live into old age with frailty or dementia, so that on average older men now spend 2.4 years and women spend 3 years with ‘substantial’ care needs. We are looking for innovations to contribute to changing how we care for those with frailty, as well as looking upstream to how we can prevent or delay people becoming frail.

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In a recent report exploring research and innovation needs in Kent, Surrey and Sussex, the majority of stakeholders from the KSS AHSN region prioritised frailty as a top three medical treatment area to target with future innovation and research.

In the region, frailty was mentioned predominantly in relation to preventing falls, healthy behaviours and self-care to prevent progression to frailty, independent living, and choices around end of life care, with the quality of life of the patient in mind.

Our regional challenge will encompass everything related to frailty care and services.   We are working to host a joint event bringing key stakeholders and industry together in 2019-2020. We hope to showcase innovations that will both inspire and practically help shape the future of frailty care in KSS.

“Fundamentally, getting people exercising, consuming a good diet, and stopping smoking will delay progression to frailty, disability and dementia. What are the preventative strategies that need to be in place in order to delay progression?” - Director of Public Health in KSS

The NHS Long Term Plan recognises that services are not consistently joined-up or responsive to the needs of older people living with frailty.

It includes three ambitious new service models:

  1. Improve NHS care in care homes.
  2. Identify and provide proactive support to older people living with frailty in the community.
  3. Enhance rapid community response at times of crisis.

The following challenge statements will help you to respond to our local needs:

  1. How might we improve upstream and support against becoming dependent through frailty across a health and care system through use of innovations?

We’d welcome your feedback on these challenges. Please get in touch via   

Desired impact / outcomes 

The desired outcomes are:

  • Valuable networking opportunities for innovators
  • Valuable feedback for innovators from local decision makers, healthcare practitioners and patients
  • Enlightening showcase of innovations in this field for health and care professionals
  • Future partnerships between innovators and health and care teams formed

Additional areas we are looking for innovators with relevant solutions:

  • Screening
  • Learning disability
  • End of life care
  • Dermatology