Innovation in health and care: overcoming the barriers to adoption and spread

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Ensuring the adoption and spread of innovation is a challenge in any health and care system, but anecdotal evidence suggests that the English system finds it particularly challenging.

This one-day conference will showcase a number of different case studies that demonstrate the transformative power of simple, low cost innovations in improving health and care services and the dramatic difference these can make to people’s lives.

The event will focus on effective approaches to supporting adoption and spread, and will include sessions on:

  • improving access for vulnerable groups
  • spreading innovation across boundaries
  • engaging patients in their own care
  • spreading digital innovation
  • spreading innovation through collaboration
  • embedding local innovation –  beyond pilot funding
  • clinical entrepreneurship.

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Event partner

This event is run in partnership with The AHSN Network.


Sponsorship and exhibition

Engage with leaders and decision-makers from across the health and care sector by sponsoring or exhibiting at this event. Find out more on our website, email Chris Lazenby or call him on 020 7307 2490.



Confirmed speakers


Don Berwick

International Visiting Fellow, The King's Fund


Helen Bevan

Chief Transformation Officer, Horizons Group, NHS England


Mike Hannay

Chair, The AHSN Network


Ben Collins

Projects Director, The King’s Fund


Dr Liz Mear

Chief Executive, Innovation Agency


Tara Donnelly

Chief Executive, Health Innovation Network


Donna Hall

Chief Executive, Wigan Council


Chris Gibson MBE

Specialist Leadership Adviser, Former Lieutenant Colonel, Defence Medical Directorate



Registration opens, exhibition and refreshments


Breakfast session: How can the NHS adopt innovative technologies in the current economic climate?

This session is hosted by Edwards Lifesciences. 


Opening plenary: Adoption and spread of innovation in health and care

10.00amWelcome and introduction

Mike Hannay, Chair, AHSN Network

10.05amAdoption and spread of innovation in health and care

Ben Collins, Projects Director, The King’s Fund
  • Key findings from The King’s Fund’s recent report looking at the adoption and spread of innovation in health and care. 

10.20amLarge-scale spread and adoption of innovation

  • Overcoming the challenges for large-scale spread and adoption. 

Dr Helen Bevan, Chief Transformation Officer, NHS England 
Dr Jonathon Gray, CEO, South West AHSN

10.40amThe Deal: Wigan’s approach to whole-area innovation in health and care

Donna Hall, Chief Executive, Wigan Council
  • The Deal is an informal agreement between the council and everyone who lives or works in Wigan to work together and create a better borough.

10.55Questions and discussion


Breakout A: Improving access for vulnerable groups

Delegates can choose between breakouts A, B, C or D.

11.45amWelcome and introduction

Richard Stubbs, Chief Executive, Yorkshire and Humber AHSN

11.50amPhysical health checks for people with severe mental illness

Dr Angela Moulson, Clinical Specialist Lead Adult Mental Health, Bradford CCGs
  • Learn how Bradford District Care was able to develop and spread its model of physical health checks for people with severe mental illness.  

12.05pmChatHealth: secure text messaging with school nursing teams

Caroline Palmer, School Nurse and Project Lead, Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust
  • ChatHealth is a safe and secure text messaging service providing young people with confidential and timely access to health care. 
  • Learn how ChatHealth has expanded from 65,000 users in Leicestershire and Rutland to around a million people across England.

12.35pmQuestions and discussion

Breakout B: Addressing different underlying needs to traditional health and care services

11.45amWelcome and introduction

Ewan King, Business Development and Delivery Director, Social Care Institute of Excellence

11.50amNorth London Cares: reducing loneliness and increasing wellbeing in older people

Alex Smith, Founder and Chief Executive, North London Cares
  • North London Cares is a community network of young professionals and older neighbours helping one another in a rapidly changing city.
  • Learn how the network has been able to scale its service up to cover south London and Manchester. 

12.05pmAge UK care co-ordinator roles

Jo-Anna Holmes, Head of Integrated Care, Age UK
  • Age UK’s care co-ordinators draw on voluntary sector services and community groups to reconnect older people with their communities, addressing loneliness and isolation rather than simply focusing on their health challenges.
  • Learn about the enablers that helped Age UK to identify local health systems that were well placed to adopt its care coordinators.

12.20pmESCAPE-pain programme for hip and knee pain

Professor Mike Hurley, Professor of Rehabilitation Sciences, St George's, University of London, and Kingston University
  • ESCAPE-pain is a rehabilitation programme for people with chronic joint pain that integrates educational self-management and coping strategies with an individualised exercise regimen.
  • Learn how ESCAPE-pain has spread to 30 sites, benefiting more than 3,000 people, and continues to spread across the UK. 

12.35pmQuestions and discussion

Breakout C: Embedding a local innovation

11.45amWelcome and introduction

Guy Boersma, Managing Director, Kent Surrey Sussex AHSN

11.50amEmergency Laparotomy Collaborative

  • The Emergency Laparotomy Collaborative is a programme involving the spread and adoption of an evidence-based Emergency Laparotomy Pathway Quality Improvement Care bundle.
  • Learn how they were able to spread from four hospitals to 28 hospitals within three AHSN regions: Kent Surrey Sussex, Wessex, and West of England.  

Dr Geeta Aggarwal, Specialist Trainee in Anaesthesia, Royal Surrey County Hospital
Dr Nial Quiney, Consultant Anaesthetist, Royal Surrey County Hospital

12.05pmEmergency department checklists

Emma Redfern, Consultant in Emergency Medicine, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust
  • The checklist is a time-based framework that outlines clinical tasks that need to be completed for each patient in the first hours of their admittance to an emergency department. It ensures that assessments and tests happen in a timely way in order to improve patient satisfaction and reduce risks.
  • Learn how the checklist was developed and how its use spread beyond its original site. 

12.20pmSafer Culture, Better Care – the ‘SCORE’ assessment tool

Jo Pendray, Improvement Lead for Patient Safety, South West AHSN
  • The South West Patient Safety Collaborative has introduced a validated assessment tool for safety culture in England.
  • Learn how they were able to move beyond their pilot site, with over 9,000 staff in 96 teams taking part in the programme, leading to improved patient safety and new ways of working. 

12.35pmQuestions and discussion

Breakout D: Spreading digital Innovation

11.45amWelcome and introduction

Tara Donnelly, Chief Executive, Health Innovation Network


Prof. Colin Espie, Professor of Sleep Medicine in the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neuroscience, University of Oxford, and Co-Founder of Sleepio
  • Sleepio is a digital sleep improvement programme, clinically proven to help overcome even long-term poor sleep.
  • Learn how they have been able to scale up their services. 

12.05pmEndoscope-i: Endoscopic mobile imaging

Mr Ajith P George, Consultant Head and Neck Surgeon, and Royal College Surgical Tutor, University Hospitals of North Midlands
  • Birmingham surgeons created endoscope-i: an award-winning system that enables the viewing, recording and sharing of HD endoscopic images and videos using an iPhone or iPod.
  • Learn how they developed endoscope-i and how they have been able to spread its use beyond its initial site.  

12.35pmQuestions and discussion


Breakout E: Engaging patients in their care

Delegates can choose between breakouts E, F, G and H.

2.00pmWelcome and introduction

2.05pmiSPACE – dementia friendly GP surgeries

  • The aim of iSPACE is to improve the pathway of patients with dementia and their carers through primary care.
  • Learn how iSPACE has spread, through engagement of staff teams and a recognition that people with dementia need a more personalised care plan to access resources that help them and their carers to better manage the pathway.

Dave Meehan, Director for Partnerships and Deputy CEO, Wessex AHSN

Dave will be joined for this presentation by a carer from the iSPACE initiative. 

2.20pmImproving diagnosis and treatment for atrial fibrillation

Julia Reynolds, Head of Programmes, Innovation Agency
  • In 2014, the Innovation Agency (the AHSN for the North West Coast) launched a major programme to improve diagnosis and treatment for people with atrial fibrillation, with the aim of cutting the region’s higher than average number of strokes each year. 
  • Learn how this programme developed, allowing the Innovation Agency to provide hands-on support to make it easier for providers to improve care pathways.

2.35pmSupporting individuals to take control of their care

Kevin Auton, Director, Aseptika Ltd
  • Aseptika Ltd is a health care SME which provides a range of platforms and devices to enable technology-based self care of complex conditions for health care providers and their patients.
  • Learn how they collaborated with local community organisations, such as district councils and charities, and Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, to develop a self care programme for cardiac and cancer patients. 

2.50pmQuestions and discussion

Breakout F: Clinical entrepreneurship

2.00pmWelcome and introduction

Charlie Davie, Managing Director, UCL Partners AHSN

2.05pmLessons learnt from clinical entrepreneurs

Dr Maryanne Marivaselvam, Clinical Research Fellow, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King’s Lynn, and Cambride University Hospitals

Maryanne is an expert in patient safety and inventor of a non-injectable arterial connector. 

Dr Peter Young, Consultant in Anaesthesia and Critical Care, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King’s Lynn

Peter is an expert on ventilator-associated pneumonia and has developed numerous patient safety innovations, which have benefited patients around the world. He is also the inventor of the PneuX™ pneumonia prevention system.

Professor Julia Riley, Clinical Lead for Co-ordinate My Care and Palliative Care Consultant, Royal Marsden and Royal Brompton NHS Trusts 

Professor Riley is a consultant in Palliative Medicine at the Royal Marsden and Royal Brompton NHS Trusts. In 2012 she founded Coordinate My Care with the aim of providing patients with integrated, coordinated and quality care, particularly at the end of life.

2.50pmQuestions and discussion

Breakout G: Spreading innovation across organisational boundaries

2.15pmWelcome and introduction

Amanda Risino, Managing Director, Health Innovation Manchester

2.05pmThe Greater Manchester Healthy Hearts Programme

  • Health Innovation Manchester is working with the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership on its commitment to improve the health of its population. 
  • Learn how Greater Manchester is taking the robust learning and evidence base from the Bradford Healthy Hearts Programme, by taking a system-wide approach to action on cardiovascular disease.

Cara Afzal, Programme Development Lead, Health Innovation Manchester
Dr Gillian Greehough, Associate Director, NHS RightCare

2.20pmSerenity Integrated Mentoring (SIM): integrating mental health care and policing

  • This pioneering project is integrating mental health care and policing on the Isle of Wight. 
  • Learn how SIM evolved, was scaled up and has spread from the Isle of Wight, to four further sites. 

Mark Lawrence, Mental Health Lead, Metropolitan Police
Aileen Jackson, Senior Project Manager, Health Innovation Network 

2.35pmDeveloping new models of care for adults and older people who need support and a home in their community

  • Shared Lives is a model in which adults either live with or regularly visit their chosen carer, who is trained and managed by a local Shared Lives scheme. 
  • Learn how NHS England and clinical commissioning groups are investing in taking the model from social care into the NHS.

Anna McEwen, Executive Director of Support and Development, Shared Lives Plus
James Rosborough, Ambassador, Shared Lives 
Andy Cooke, Carer, Shared Lives 

2.50pmQuestions and discussion

Breakout H: Intervening earlier

2.00pmWelcome and introduction

Natasha Swinscoe, Managing Director, West of England AHSN

2.05pmEarly diagnosis of chronic liver disease

Dr Neil Guha, Clinical Associate Professor, Hepatology, University of Nottingham
  • How two hepatologists from the University of Nottingham developed a model for systematic fibro-scanning for people with particular risk factors. 
  • See how this makes it possible to identify patients with chronic liver disease at a stage when changes to alcohol consumption and lifestyle could still be effective.

2.35pmAtrial Fibrillation programme

  • The Atrial Fibrillation (AF) programme is a priority for all 15 AHSNs and spans the AF clinical network. 
  • Learn about the challenges and enablers to adopting and spreading this programme nationally, which includes the rollout of mobile electrocardiogram devices to GP practices, pharmacies and NHS community clinics across England. 

Faye Edwards, National Programme Manager – Atrial Fibrillation, AHSN Network
Helen Williams, Clinical Lead, Southwark CCG


Closing plenary

3.30pmWelcome back

Chris Ham, Chief Executive, The King’s Fund

3.35pmEncouraging the spread and adoption of innovation to transform care

Don Berwick, International Visiting Fellow, The King’s Fund

3.55pmSpreading the adoption of innovation into practice

Liz Mear, Chief Executive, Innovation Agency
  • Driving the adoption and spread of innovative services and technologies across large populations. 
  • Spreading innovation through innovation exchanges.

4.10pmLessons from military medicine on how to innovate

Lt Col Chris Gibson, MBE, Specialist Leadership Adviser, Former Lieutenant Colonel, Defence Medical Directorate
  • Understanding the conditions needed for adoption and spread of innovation.
  • How innovation in the British Army enabled the rapid deployment of Ebola treatment in West Africa hospitals in record time. 

4.25pmQuestions and discussion

4.45pmClose of conference




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