Kick-starting creative ways to improve healthcare in south London

Kick-starting creative ways to improve healthcare in south London

Posted on November 27

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Lesley Soden, our Programme Director for Innovation, spells out the magic ingredients for grant success as our new round of funding opens.

One of the most rewarding parts of my job is working with our HIN members to fund innovation projects that kick-start creative ways to improve healthcare in south London. It truly feels inspirational when an idea grows into a fully formed project that has a real impact on patients’ clinical care and their experience using NHS services.

The grants act as a great springboard for success allowing the projects to prove their value and hopefully get adopted elsewhere.
In the past we’ve funded projects ranging from supporting women with perinatal mental health problems, falls training in care homes, the first transgender sexual health service in south London to creative educational course for LGTBQ+ students to improve their mental well-being.

Recently, our HIN Board asked me what factors helped projects to be successful and increased their sustainability once the grant had finished.

From our experience the magic ingredients were:

  • Senior level sponsor to ensure that an organisation is committed, and all the right people are involved at early stage ranging from infection control to procurement teams;
  • Establishing a core project team to ensure that the delivery isn’t the responsibility of just one person who is doing this on top of their ‘day job’;
  • Getting support from our HIN teams for your project to maximise their expertise and networks in south London;
  • Setting out the evaluation strategy at the beginning to make sure the right information is being collected to demonstrate value.

Some of our current projects are already gaining traction in their adoption elsewhere in the healthcare system.
Like the Emergency Department (ED) Check-In project at St George’s Hospital which allows patients to see their real-time queue position on a screen in the waiting room. When the clinician is ready, the patient is ‘called’ and their code moves from ‘please stay seated’ to a ‘we’re about to call’ section. So simple, yet beneficial to both the patient, the clinician trying to find the patient and the receptionists in a busy ED. We are now finding that many other emergency departments in the UK want to use this technology that was initiated by a clinical consultant and the transformation team at the hospital.
If this has inspired you, good news as our next round of funding for our Innovation Grants has now opened. You can find more details on how to apply here and I really look forward to reading through all your creative ideas.

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Applications for the innovation grants are now open.

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