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Guest Blogger: Imperial College London

An artificial pancreas, a disposable tourniquet, and ear-mounted body sensors were among the Imperial projects on display at the NHS Healthcare Innovation Expo 2011 this month. The Expo is the largest public sector health and social care event in Europe, attracting over 10,000 delegates to the Excel centre in East London on March 9th and 10th.

On display were a number of innovations emerging from Imperial’s Academic Health Science Centre, a partnership between the College and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust set up to improve the quality of life of patients and populations by taking new discoveries and translating them into new therapies as quickly as possible.

To see a video in which, AHSC policy adviser Peter Davies explains Imperial’s involvement in the Expo, Gursharan Randhawa from Imperial Innovations describes how a medical student’s idea became a successful spin-out company, and Pau Herrero from the Institute of Biomedical Engineering talks about his group’s artificial pancreas project, please click here

Thanks to Sam Wong and Imperial College London for allowing us to use this copy. For more information please visit

Professor Josh Silver wins the BMJ session at Healthcare Innovation Expo

Professor Josh Silver’s selfadjustable glasses have been voted the idea most likely to make the biggest impact on healthcare by 2020 at the Healthcare Innovation Expo. 

The idea impressed the panel, which consisted of Dr Fiona Godlee, Editor in Chief of the BMJ, Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS Medical Director, Dr Andy Goldberg OBE, Founder, Medical Futures and Vivienne Parry, Science Journalist and ex Tomorrow’s World presenter, as well as the Expo audience who proclaimed Professor Silver’s idea as the winner. 

Professor Silver is the inventor of the world’s first universal self-adjustable glasses – Adspecs. Self-adjustable glasses are low-cost glasses with adjustable lenses, the power of which is set by the wearer by looking through the lenses and turning a dial until they can see clearly. The glasses have a number of advantages for the developing world in that those distributing the glasses need not be highly trained, distribution is quick and easy, and almost any organisation working in the developing world can add vision correction to the services they provide. 

Professor Silver is Director of the Centre for Vision in the Developing World, a research institution based in Oxford dedicated to researching the best ways of providing vision correction in the developing world. 

The Centre estimates that 1 billion or more people in the world lack a pair of glasses that they need to see clearly, and a lack of optometrists and eyecare facilities is the key issue preventing them from receiving these glasses. 

The four short listed “Innovation Champions” were: 

Professor Josh Silver, Director of the Centre for Vision in the Developing World – Self-adjustable glasses 

Professor Sir Rory Collins, Chief Executive of UK Biobank – Creation and maintenance of database of large UK population for longitudinal study of factors affecting disease and well-being

Professor Robert Chambers, Institute for Development Studies – Facilitating developing world communities’ adoption of practices to end open defecation and the associated risk of disease 

Dr Patty Kostkova, Head of City University ehealth Research Centre – Use of social networks accessible via mobile phone to track disease

To view the BMJ’s online video of the Healthcare Innovation Expo visit

Guest Blogger: O+Berri Reviews the Healthcare Innovation Expo

On March 9th & 10th, three representatives of O+Berri (The Basque Institute for Healthcare Innovation) attended the NHS Healthcare Innovation Expo.

O+Berri aims to be a platform for ongoing innovation in the Basque Healthcare System, committed, through excellence, to the continuous development of its organisational systems.

From that perspective, we had a great chance to learn how innovative ideas can improve patient care and increase efficiency in the NHS. During the two days of the Innovation Expo we attended really interesting seminars and listened to many speakers covering a wide range of topics from GP commissioning, productivity, Innovation in Primary care, patient empowerment, integrated care pathways, innovation using technology, stratification, or innovation from the frontline among many others.

Now, we need to put some of the lessons learnt into practice in the Basque Chronic patients strategy that was designed and launched last year to respond to the needs generated by the phenomena of chronicity in all affected groups: chronic patients and their carers, healthcare workers, and citizens in general.

The Strategy proposes moving to a model of organization which is more proactive in order to ensure:

• That patients have the confidence and the skills to manage their illness.

• That patients receive care that includes optimum monitoring of their illness and prevents complications.

• That there is a continuous monitoring system both remote and face-to-face.

• That the patients have a care plan, which has been mutually agreed with health professionals, with which to control their illness.

The strategy consists of 5 main policies, expected to be implemented through 14 projects in the next 3 years. These are the projects:

1. Stratification and targeting of the population.

2. Interventions aimed at the principal risk factors.

3. Self-care and patient education: e.g. the Active Patient Program.

4. Setting up a network of activated patients, connected through web 2.0 with the patient associations.

5. Integrated electronic health record.

6. Integrated care.

7. Development of sub-acute hospitals.

8. Advanced nursing competencies.

9. Healthcare – Social Services collaboration.

10. Financing and contracting.

11. Multi-channel centre.

12. E-prescription.

13. Chronic illness research centre.

14. Innovation from the professionals

Our visit to the healthcare Innovation Expo has given us new and fresh ideas to improve the implementation of these 14 projects in the Basque Healthcare System. Among the topics and seminars that we attended and have direct correlation to the Basque Chronic patients strategy we can mention for example the ones that define how to promote innovation from the frontline, how to scalate innovative practices, innovation in primary care or how to engage patients in their own care to mention just a few.

NHS Local shares its video of the Healthcare Innovation Expo with us…


NHS local spent two busy days at Europe’s largest Healthcare Innovation Expo at London’s Excel Centre meeting exhibitors and delegates to discuss the latest in healthcare innovation.

The Expo featured 130 exhibitors, 250 speakers from the public and private sectors and 150 seminars, all featuring technologies aimed at delivering improvements in quality and productivity in healthcare.

Expo 2011 featured 130 exhibitors, 250 speakers from the public and private sectors and 150 seminars. It is designed to showcase the latest technologies and techniques for modern healthcare to help managers, clinicians and front line staff.

With the NHS reforms setting the agenda, there was a lot of talk about how innovation can play a part in delivering change.

NHS local spoke to some of the key players at the event including NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson, the national clinical director for diabetes Dr Rowan Hillson, Turning Point chief executive Lord Victor Adebowale, NHS Networks project manager Katherine Andrews, Thomas Meek from Quality in Care, Tim Ellis from the Department of Health, clinical director of education workforce and innovation Dr Will Murdoch and Kevin McGee chief executive of Heart of Birmingham PCT.

To view the video please visit

For more information on NHS local visit

Guest Blogger: Mary Jo Kurth, Business Development Manager at Randox, reviews The Healthcare Innovation Expo

Today Mary Jo Kurth, Business Development Manager at Randox, jumps in the blogging seat to share her thoughts on the Healthcare Innovation Expo.

I attended Healthcare Innovation Expo last week on behalf of Randox Laboratories Ltd. The presentations were interesting and there was good discussion about innovation in the NHS and how to introduce new innovative technologies into the NHS.  Indeed many of the individuals that attended our stand were involved in translational research. This is an exciting time for innovative companies like Randox. 

We exhibited our MultiStat Instrument which is a point of care instrument designed to be used with our Cardiac Array. The Cardiac Array produces results for Heart-fatty acid binding-protein (H-FABP), Troponin I and CK-MB from a single patient sample within 30 minutes in the ED, thereby improving TAT when compared with the central laboratory. With a 98% negative predictive value for MI at 3-6 hours post chest pain onset, the combination of H-FABP and Troponin I has the potential to allow for earlier discharge of non cardiac patients currently being unnecessarily admitted for a 12 hour test. 

The intended use of the H-FABP assay is for the early rule out of MI and the risk stratification of low to medium risk ACS patients in the absence of necrosis. Unlike troponin, H-FABP is released without the presence of necrosis, allowing for the detection of troponin negative patients who are nevertheless at significant and proven risk of increased mortality. A fully quantitative H-FABP assay allows for the risk stratification of these high risk patients who currently either slip through the net or are considered to be of a lower priority.

This technology was also detailed on the QIPP innovation wall and in BIVDA’s “The difference diagnostics can make” pack which was available on the BIVDA stand.

Randox also exhibited our STI Array.  The STI Array enables 10 pathogens to be tested for simultaneously in one patient sample in the central laboratory.  Results are obtained in 4 hours as opposed to >2 days using current techniques.  Savings are made through the correct identification of pathogens and correct treatment, reduced misuse of antibiotics and reduced lab running costs (overheads, staff, and equipment).

Dr Mary Jo Kurth
Business Development Manager, Randox

Guest Blogger Natalie Goulden reviews the Healthcare Innovation Expo

Natalie Goulden, Programme Manager for Industry, reviews the NHS Innovation Expo 2011

Last week I attended the NHS Innovation Expo at ExCel, London which provided an opportunity to see how ideas in the NHS can be translated from a ‘light bulb’ moment, through research, into innovations that can be implemented and make a real difference for patients.

I was part of a team demonstrating innovation across NHS North West and the event provided a great opportunity to talk to colleagues from across the country.

Perhaps the major challenge for the next twelve months that came out of the Expo was to ensure that research and innovation stay at the forefront as GP consortia are formed and huge changes take place in the way that care is commissioned .

The Expo featured a wide range of speakers, seminars and exhibitors, all attempting to demonstrate how innovative ideas can improve patient care and increase efficiency in the NHS. Innovations ranged from simple streamlining of services to highly complex technology.

Speakers included: Andrew Lansley, the Secretary of State for Health; Sir David Nicholson, NHS Chief Executive; Lord Howe, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Health; and Ben Page, the Chief Executive of Ipsos MORI.

Andrew Lansley on stage at the NHS Innovation Expo Andrew Lansley was interviewed on stage by former BBC News presenter Martyn Lewis

Andrew Lansley said that the NHS will encourage innovation in three ways: by placing the patient at the centre of decision making about their own care; through a focus on improving outcomes; and by placing power in the hands of local clinicians while getting rid of bureaucracy.

Ben Page of Ipsos MORI reminded the audience that we shouldn’t assume that we know what is important to patients. For example, the vast majority of people surveyed by them would always choose to be treated at their local hospital, rather than travelling to another site, in spite of the choice available to them.

There are real challenges in continuing to maintain high quality health care, innovating and improving that care; and doing all this at a time of rapid change, particularly in primary care.

We need to ensure we meet these challenges and ensure the ‘light blub’ moments continue to deliver real benefits for patients.

Thanks to Greater Manchester CLRN for allowing us to use this copy, for more information visit their website

Healthcare Innovation Expo Blog to be continued….

A big thank you to everyone who helped make the Healthcare Innovation Expo such a success.

We will be adding more blogs shortly and welcome any feedback from those who attended the Expo.

If you do wish to share your comments on the event or if you have any suggestions for the blog please feel free to email me –

Many thanks,


Lord Howe’s Healthcare Innovation Expo keynote speech in full

From its first breath, the NHS founders said it would be constantly evolving, constantly renewing itself to meet new demands. How right they were. 

From the big advances in technology through to small changes in clinical practice, innovation has always been the key to renewing and reinventing the NHS. 

It still is. In fact, at a time when all healthcare systems face the familiar challenges, of higher costs and increased demand from older populations, the quest for new ideas and fresh thinking is greater than ever. 

Sadly, the path of innovation –rather like the path of true love historically never runs smooth. 

We’ve failed to spread new ideas quickly and effectively in this country. 

The MRI scanner, for instance, had a far more rapid uptake in the US than it did here in the UK.  

And famously, it took nearly twenty years before Alexander Fleming’s penicillin spores were refined, mass-produced and adopted as a staple of NHS treatment. 


Of course, things have improved since then. Let’s not for a minute overlook the National Institute for Health Research, and the excellent work that it has done to bring research, industry and clinical practice closer together in recent years. 

But we can do better. We can do more to remove some of the speed bumps and ‘no entry’ signs. And we can ensure that fewer good ideas slip through the net. 

As the Secretary of State explained yesterday, we want to make the National Health Service a stronghold for innovation.

More supportive of invention. More receptive to new ideas. And more adept at spreading and mainstreaming new practice across the system. 


The focus on greater decentralisation and the Big Society presents a real opportunity to embed and advance a strong culture of innovation in the front line. 

But it should also open up more opportunities for the Life Sciences to get their ideas picked up and applied by the NHS. 

Our ambition is very clear. We want the UK to be the location of choice for life sciences, R&D and manufacturing investment in the future. 

All the right ingredients are here. 

Outstanding creativity and talent. An exceptional research base. Thriving enterprises. And, of course, the National Health Service itself – the world’s largest publicly funded healthcare system. 

At Government level, we currently have the ‘Growth Review’ – which was set up by the Chancellor and the Business Secretary to maximise growth and tackle barriers to business. 

And healthcare and the life sciences have been selected as one of six priority sectors within the Review. 

So it’s a sign of how crucial we see the work you do. 

As an engine for economic growth. 

As something that can help us to build a more balanced economy, and help create the jobs of the future. 

And what this means you can expect the spotlight to continue to fall on the industry for as long as this Government is in office. 


The life sciences are clearly vital.

But let’s not forget the tremendous value that’s not yet fully utilised within the NHS.
We are the world’s largest integrated healthcare system. 

Because of this, we have always had strong international interest in what the NHS does. 

And with a global healthcare market worth around four trillion dollars, the potential value of harnessing that interest is enormous. 

So my question today is how do we do this. 

How do we make more of this global appetite for NHS skills and NHS expertise? 

And how do we do so in a way that supports better care for patients?   


Let’s start with the big point of controversy – that of inbound and outbound care. 

Should the NHS open up its services to overseas customers?
My view on this is simple. 

As long as the protections are there for UK patients – and they will be protected through the outcomes and quality standards regime – then I think it’s right that we open our minds to this idea. 

Why should the NHS not market itself to overseas patients and earn revenue from them? 

Why should Trusts be prevented from exploring these opportunities? 

Why should we be held back from turning that strong reputation to commercial advantage – especially when the money can be used to improve other services? 

To an extent, it already happens. Many major Trusts already have private patient units that plough back any profits into NHS care. 

For example, Great Ormond Street received £20 million from private patients in 2008/09, and it now has a dedicated International Patient Centre. 

This is something we want to encourage as more providers become Foundation Trusts. 

I take a similar view on outbound care. 

NHS organisations are already offering their services abroad, often in partnership with private sector organisations. 

Sometimes it’s for commercial reasons. For example, Moorfields Eye Hospital in Dubai treats thousands of fee-paying patients a year, returning £2.4 million to the NHS in 2008/09. 

Sometimes it’s also in the interests of philanthropy. Addenbrookes in Cambridge, for instance, is working with a hospital in Botswana to improve HIV/AIDS treatment. 

I cannot see why we can’t increase this kind of activity – not only for profit, but also to build up the NHS’s reputation abroad. 

Frankly, why shouldn’t our top hospitals be competing with the likes of the Harvard Medicals and Sloan Ketterings of the world? 

This should be the scale of expectation we have for the brightest and best in the NHS. 


But as much as selling our clinical services may catch the eye (and make the headlines), it shouldn’t detract from the wider opportunities that are available. 

In fact, the direct provision of NHS care is only a small part of what’s possible. 

It’s actually NHS consultancy and know-how that offer the biggest potential revenue streams. 

That’s because NHS organisations generate tremendous amounts of intellectual property as they design new solutions. 

Data packages on health and lifestyle activity, drug cost-benefit and clinical trials … 

Tools to support commissioning, quality accounts or service failure protocols … 

And the various accreditation processes, social marketing campaigns and telecare models, that you can see around us that have direct application elsewhere … 

All of this has huge interest and commercial value for other healthcare systems. 

We believe the products, knowledge and systems developed by the NHS could be worth up to £150 million a year in the global market. 

Are we harnessing this expertise or realising the value in a systematic way? 

The answer, in my view, is ‘not enough’. 


By the same token, we all agree the NHS is home to world-leading clinicians and healthcare experts. 

And there’s huge demand from international organisations or governments looking for advice and consultancy to help them improve their own healthcare systems. 

For instance, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence have already provided advice on replicating the NICE model to numerous countries in Europe and the Middle East. 

Across the whole NHS, the potential revenues from advisory services could be as high as £200 million.

So again, are we really doing as much as we could? 


There’s no question in my mind – the NHS can compete with the very best in the global market in all of these growth areas. 

And that’s why I’m so pleased this year’s Expo looks outwards, as well as inwards. 

Yesterday I had the pleasure of opening the International Business Innovation zone, and I met delegations from various countries from around the world. All of them looking to partner and buy from British companies. 

From the conversations I’ve had, the NHS doesn’t just have a chance to compete, in many cases it can be the partner of choice for many health economies.


But do people really want a more commercially aggressive NHS? Is it really part of what the NHS should be about? 

Well, there’ll always be some that claim that this is ‘selling off the family silver’. 

But I think more people would say that, at this time of economic pressure, we should encourage entrepreneurship and enterprise within NHS organisations. 

Of course, the deal breaker for the public would be if commercial activity was ever at the expense of frontline services and patient care. 

But let me be clear: that’s never been on the agenda or will ever be. 

All of us agree that improving care for NHS patients must always be the first priority – and that will never change. 

But if we can achieve more value from NHS expertise then this money could be ploughed back into the UK health system – as it already is in some of the pioneering trusts. 

In fact, going back to the Moorfields example, its chief executive John Pelly has said – I quote – that ‘without profits [from commercial business] our ability to invest in our clinical services would be seriously constrained.’ 

So this isn’t something that will detract from patient care; in many cases it’s actually vital for improving it. 


We know this isn’t an easy time for the NHS – it’s arguably the toughest time in its 60 years of existence. 

But you know what they say about necessity. It will take strong, forward-looking leadership. But this can also be an exciting and empowering period of NHS history. 

Innovation, as Andrew said yesterday, can be decisive in meeting the financial and demographic challenges. 

And we need to champion this work as a way of delivering more for NHS patients in a tougher climate. 

But let’s not stop there. I think we can and must harness NHS expertise and talent to much better as a commercial opportunity. To build our international reputation. To draw in more investment and resource from abroad. And to reinvest in patient care. 

That’s my message. There’s no doubting the talent is there. Certainly, the opportunity is too. So let’s make the most of it.

Andrew Lansley, Secretary of State, Healthcare Innovation Expo keynote speech in full

I would like to welcome you all to the 2011 Healthcare Innovation Expo.  People have come from across the country and around the world to witness for themselves the future of healthcare.  And that future is right here under this roof.  

The Expo is an exceptional showcase for some of the most exciting technologies and techniques in modern healthcare, and I am sure you will all find a wealth of creativity and innovation that you can take back to your own organisations. 

For well over twenty years, I have stood up for the benefits of enterprise and innovation.  I believe these can energise our public services every bit as much as they have done the private sector.  Not in any way to inhibit the values of public service, but to empower public servants to deliver better care more efficiently. 

The NHS and the UK has a long history of innovation, from Ian Donald who pioneered the use of ultrasound in the 1950s to the Sanger Institute in my own constituency in Cambridgeshire, which developed the first working draft of the human genome in 2000. 

The creative spark that kick starts the long and often difficult journey from initial idea to widely adopted treatment is a precious and delicate thing.  We need to do all that we can to encourage that creativity within the NHS and to grow and propagate the ideas that clinicians and others have for the benefit of their patients. 

The modernisation of the NHS will encourage innovation in three main ways:

  • By placing the patient at the centre of decision making about their own care – so need drives innovation;
  • Through a resolute focus on improving health outcomes; so that the drive for results drives innovation;  
  • And by placing power in the hands of local clinicians while getting rid of the huge and wasteful bureaucracy that can so often strangle and frustrate innovation; so health professionals themselves drive innovation by their knowledge and drive for continuous improvement.

 Patients first

The worlds most successful businesses – people like Apple or Virgin or Tesco – all have one important thing in common.  They all start with an unwavering focus on the wants and needs of their customers.  The same should be true in public services. 

To create a health service that is truly excellent, our starting point must always be the individual patient.  We have passed the point where one size fits all.  The future is about personalising care.  About tailoring treatment to maximise outcomes.  And here I mean several things.  

At one end of the spectrum it’s about making the most of the latest technologies, of developments in genetics and genomics to improve the diagnosis and treatment of rare conditions or to tailor drug treatments to an individual person.  

At the other, it’s bringing together clinicians with their colleagues in social care to build personalised care and treatments packages for patients with complex long term conditions. 

And for everyone, it’s making sure that the patient is always a central part of the decision making process about their own care.  Making sure that, in all cases, there really is no decision about me, without me

By involving the patient in their own care in this way, a new perspective is brought to view.  

A consultation room becomes the meeting of two experts: the clinician being the expert on the treatment and the system; the patient the expert on themselves and their own wants and needs.  

And evidence from the UK and around the world shows that care and treatment that involves the patient produces better health outcomes, a better patient experience and in many cases, better value for money. 


Another change will be a focus on driving up the quality of care the NHS provides, not just the amount of care it delivers. 

The Outcomes Framework, which we published in December, sets the direction for the Health Service and will soon be the main means for holding the NHS to account for the quality of its care. 

The Framework as a whole and its constituent parts, set the direction for the NHS over the coming year, the health outcomes we want to achieve.  What it does not do is tell people how they should achieve them.  

That isn’t the job of the Department of Health, that’s the job of the clinicians who actually look after patients every day. 

The Outcome Framework was developed after consultation with the public, with NHS staff, patient groups and others.  We’ve included some areas purely because they received such strong levels of support.  The only problem is that, as yet, there are no clear indicators to measure against them.

So, for two outcomes included in this year’s Outcomes Framework –

  • for improving recovery from stroke and improving children’s and young people’s experience of healthcare, and for four more that I expect to see in future Outcomes Frameworks – 
  • for improving health outcomes for those with learning difficulties,
  • for children with long term conditions,
  • for children and young people with mental illness
  • and for enhancing the quality of life for people with dementia, we need your help. 

Outcomes will be the “must dos” of the national NHS. They must be the hard-headed drivers of change.  We need indicators that not only measure the rate of improvement but that also shepherd all developments within a particular field to a clear goal. 

So, I am today launching a competition to find those indicators over the next 12 weeks.  If you have ideas, we want to know about them.  If you’re working on something that might help, tell us.  The details of how you can become a part of marshalling the combined resources of the NHS for the benefit of patients are now on the Department of Health website.  

We will align every payment, every incentive, every structure behind those outcomes.  One way will be through the tariff, the way we will pay for the vast majority of NHS services. 

The tariff will not be about providing a particular type of treatment, but for delivering a particular quality of outcome.  This in itself will be a powerful driver of innovation within the Health Service. 

I was at Bart’s cancer centre last week, seeing their planned new Cyber-knife, a new technology that could provide better care for patients that would also be, as it happens, be more cost-effective than surgery. 

But at the moment, services are constrained from innovating up-front, because there is no specific tariff to pay for it. 

But by paying for specified outcomes rather than particular treatments we can free commissioners, in the shape of the new GP consortia, to pay for what in their judgement and the judgement of the patient will provide the best outcome.  If that is the new Cyber-knife, then there is nothing that will stand in their way. 

The result will be more money flowing towards the best, most innovative treatments.  Just like those promoted here at the Expo. 

We are opening up the Health Service to any provider who can deliver NHS services at or above stringent NHS quality standards and at NHS prices.  As patients gain control over their own care, as they get to exercise choice over what, where, when and by whom they are treated, providers will compete on the quality of care that they provide.  

Some worry that providers will compete on price, but with fixed national or local tariffs, this simply can’t be the case.  At the point of referral or choice, quality will be the only consideration, because price for all providers will be tariff based. Competition will be based entirely on quality. 

It will no longer be enough for a provider to presume that just being the closest hospital will be enough, not when patients can see quite clearly how well they’re performing – or not performing – relative to others.  

It will no longer be enough for a provider to rely on doing things the way they always have done, because they’ll be competing against other providers for their patients.  Other providers who might well be offering better care. 

This will drive competition based on the quality of care a provider can offer, the outcomes of their treatment and the experience of the patient. 

The role of government is not to enforce innovation – that’s impossible – but to create an environment that promotes it, that supports it and that spreads its benefits as widely as possible. 

In the past, the NHS has been as successful as it has been despite the system, not because of it.  Our plans to modernise the NHS will change that. 

Excessive bureaucracy often tolls the death knell for innovation – so we will strip it out.  We will replace top-down direction from Whitehall, from regional Strategic Health Authorities and from Primary Care Trusts with bottom-up, clinician-led, local decision making. 

Consortia of GPs, working with their clinical colleagues across primary, secondary and community care, local authorities and their local communities will design, plan and commission clinically-led health services as they see fit. 

When you start to bring together clinicians from across the NHS to talk about how best to design new services for patients, institutional distinctions quickly fall away.  Instead, the conversation becomes one of how best to improve the patient’s pathway of care, linking up all the different parts of care in an integrated way.  

By breaking down the walls that divide clinicians, we will start to mine a rich seam of ideas and creativity based around improving outcomes for patients.  Ideas that could never have come through a system of central command and control. 

We will start to see the results of this very soon.  Already, there are 177 Pathfinder Consortia, covering 35 million people, around two thirds of the population of England.  These pathfinders are leading the way to the new system, taking up the reins in their local areas, fighting for their patients. 

As well as a shake up at the commissioning level, we’ll do the same with providers.  Finally, long after the last government promised to do it, all NHS Trusts will become Foundation Trusts, free to compete in the business of being the very best.  

And as I said before, we will open up the provision of NHS services to any organisation that can provide NHS quality care at NHS prices. 

And as the money really will follow the patient, the quality of clinical outcomes that a provider can offer will determine their future success.  

That will depend on always being ahead of the game, on always giving their patients the very best healthcare and the very best experience of the NHS. 

Research Funding

Beyond being clear about what outcomes we seek, but then getting out of the way, there is another very important role for government.  We can do everything we can to make sure that the UK continues to be one of the best, if not the best place in the world to conduct cutting edge clinical research. 

On Monday, I announced £775 million of funding over 5 years through the National Institute for Health Research to promote translational research and development. 

A major increase in resources dedicated to delivering, from science and discovery, to benefits for patients. 

The funds will be available to any NHS/ university partnership, and collaboration with industry and charities will also be a central part of this.  

This money will drive innovation focussed upon some of our greatest health challenges – diseases such as dementia, cancer and heart disease. 

This is a second wave of this funding.  In the past, it’s supported:

  • new stem cell technologies to cure blindness by replacing damaged eye cells with new healthy ones;
  • the use of MRI scanners to diagnose autism with 85% accuracy along with a genetic test for autism; and
  • a new blood test to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease, and a new blood pressure watch  

When you think of the measures we are having to take across government to put our public finances in order, I hope you will agree that this represents a tremendous commitment.  We really are putting our money where our mouth is. 

NHS Global

For as Lord Howe will say in more detail tomorrow when he stands where I am now, the NHS is more than a means for improving the health of the nation.  It is also an engine for economic growth. 

The National Health Service, the world’s largest state funded provider of healthcare, also has a world wide reputation for healthcare.  Equity, excellence and innovation – a reputation I can only see improving in the coming years and a reputation that we can use to help put Britain back on the path to prosperity. 

Many of the freedoms we are giving providers – the autonomy, the ability to borrow and invest, to innovate and expand, the removal of the cap on private income – also present opportunities for growth here and abroad.  

Some NHS organisations are already reaching out, exploring new opportunities, seeking new collaborations.  

Moorfields Eye Hospital, with their new facility in Dubai, and Imperial College, with their diabetes clinic in Abu Dhabi, are pioneers, seeking new commercial opportunities for the NHS – providing new revinue streams to fund better care for NHS patients. 

And some Trusts with well-developed international reputations, such as Great Ormond Street, already treat international private patients here in England.  Private money that is invested back into the NHS to provide ever better care for NHS patients here in Britain. 

These are just some of the many opportunities that exist for NHS providers.  Others might include collaboration with global centres of excellence, data management, designing best practice guidance, accreditation systems, NHS technology and offering advice to other providers.  The only limit is our imagination. 


Of course, it’s not only the innovation itself that is important.  The speed with which it is adopted makes all the difference in the world.  New ideas need to have their moment in the spotlight, to be discussed, debated and adopted across the country. 

That is why this Innovation Expo is so important.  It provides that spotlight.  It brings people from the public, private and voluntary sectors together to share their ideas about how we can improve patient care and improve efficiency.  

So wherever you have come from, whichever organisation you represent, I hope that you enjoy your time here at the Expo. 

If you are from a provider of NHS services, I hope that you take the ideas and technologies that you see here over these next couple of days and spread the word.  Think about how you can use them for the benefit of your organisation and your patients. 

And if you are here to help those providers, if you have a new technology or technique, then I wish you the very best.  

We have under one roof the future of healthcare.  That doesn’t happen every day.  I hope you all make the most of it!

Pfizer Health Solutions launches OwnHealth Choice

Pfizer Health Solutions – an exhibitor at the Healthcare Innovation Expo – is launching OwnHealth Choice, a pioneering system for creating and running telephone based self-care programmes for people with long-term conditions. Supporting data demonstrate the effectiveness of telephone based care with significant reductions in time spent in hospital and in costs of care.

The programme is commissioned and delivered locally and is aligned with key HNS priorities to improve the quality of care, increase health efficiencies and reduce the number of episodes of unscheduled treatment.

Andrew Donald, Chief Executive of NHS Birmingham East and North said, “These programmes are not designed to replace face-to-face patient and healthcare professionals interactions, but to provide a support framework allowing more extensive self-care, improving the patient experience and driving down long-term healthcare costs.”

OwnHealth Choice consists of three comprehensive training and implementation modules, ‘Self Care Coaching’, ‘Long Term Conditions’ training and ‘Setting up OwnHealth in Your Area’. OwnHealth Choice contains everything needed to deliver the OwnHealth self-care system. It has been developed to help people with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and heart failure.

OwnHealth has been running in Birmingham, Nottingham and Walsall for several years. The OwnHealth Choice e-learning system allows local commissioners to implement the programme in their own locality using existing resources. OwnHealth Choice can be commissioned on any scale, giving localities the options of how, when and where to target the programme.

“The data from existing Own Health services show significant associations between enrolment and reductions in the number of hospital spells and cost of care for patients with heart failure, COPD, diabetes and coronary heart disease,” said Jo Wales, Head of Pfizer Health Solutions UK. “For people with heart failure, the programme correlated to a 28% reduction in the time spent in hospitals, and savings of £1,031 – or 39% – per patient.