When NHSX launched earlier this year, it made a commitment to create an environment where digital innovation can flourish in the NHS.

Following up on that promise, NHSX has now published a new report based on feedback and conversations with digital health innovators, responding to the priorities and common themes that emerged.

Read the report, Listening to digital health innovators, here.

Tara Donnelly, Chief Digital Officer at NHSX, said: 

“When NHSX formally launched on 1 July 2019, (we were) clear that all our work at NHSX should be founded on user need, so it felt appropriate to start by asking those digital innovators where we should focus first. Thus in the same week, I chaired a listening event, in partnership with the Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC), the AHSN Network, Office for Life Sciences (OLS) and techUK. Our CEO Matthew Gould and Sam Roberts, CEO of the AAC both attended and spoke, and we asked all the innovators one key question: ‘If NHSX and partners were to focus on one or two things, what do you think are the most important priorities?’

“We also invited feedback via email for two months to get further input from stakeholders, and promoted this via social media. Over 100 digital health innovators attended the event, and we received over 200 responses to our feedback email address.

“I am delighted to be able to share the insights and learnings that we gained from this exercise. The following report includes details of the key themes we heard; transparency in standards and interoperability; our approach and supporting scale, engagement and linking to the market, addressing barriers to procurement and increasing digital capability of staff working in the NHS and social care. It also provides information on how we are responding to each of these important themes.”

Innovation Surgeries

In the report’s response to issues raised around approach and supporting scale, the AHSN Network is pleased to be working with NHSX on their new monthly Innovation Surgeries. These are open to other partners to join, and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) will also join a number of these to offer advice on implementation and regulation within the NHS. There are slots that can be booked by phone, video or in person for innovators in health and care to engage with the team. If you would be interested in attending please register your interest at [email protected].

Scale support

The report also recommends that all digital innovators in health and care make contact with their local AHSN:

“AHSNs are well linked into their regions and know the problems being faced by their members, so are well placed to offer advice and signpost to where solutions meet a local need. They also have a mandate to support their local innovators, via their Innovation Exchanges.”

Find out more about our network of Innovation Exchanges here.