The NHS national learning network, where staff share their ideas and best practice, has seen a 75 per cent increase in frontline staff who’ve had ideas and want to work together to make them happen. The NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement believes that ideas could flow more freely if the climate was right. The Institute has challenged senior leaders to create an environment in which more frontline NHS and social care staff are encouraged to come forward with their ideas for improving the health care system.
The interest in innovation has shown that now is the time for the UK to resist the conventional approaches to solving problems and open the doors to revolutionary new ideas. The work in progress is proving that some of the best insights and ideas are emerging from people on the frontline who, under the right conditions, can make a big impact.
Work in social innovation has shown an encouraging outcome with 500 people applying to the Innovations in Mental Health call for ideas and significant interest in Health Launchpad’s incubation project for long term conditions. The Launchpad will speed up the creation and development of social enterprises relating to long term conditions. A social venture fund will develop promising ideas into new ventures by providing intensive hands-on support in the form of financial, intellectual and social capital.
The Institute is working to provide frontline staff with the tools and opportunities to recognise where things could be improved and to stimulate innovative thinking around health and care issues. These include Thinking Differently, a toolkit designed to demonstrate how a different perspective can often help to make a revolutionary change to the way care is delivered.