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Programme offers unique package of support to implement change and innovation in the NHS

Over 20 people got valuable insights into the Oxford AHSN programme for innovators as the deadline approaches for the next course.

Programme tutors outlined the different elements – and how it links into Oxford AHSN’s wider work to spread and accelerate the adoption of clinical innovation in the NHS.

The information evening on 15 January also heard from one of the first graduates of the programme, Cecily Mwaniki, community engagement lead from Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. She told the audience it had been hard work but worth it. “Great things never happen from a point of comfort,” she said. Cecily added that the programme had opened doors to develop her career.

Cecily has introduced a project to ‘make every community contact count’. Other projects developed with support from the ‘Adopting innovation and managing change in healthcare settings’ programme include:

  • enabling independence on a hip fracture unit
  • reducing infection following caesarean section
  • implementing pneumatic compression devices for stroke patients
  • improving attendance at a community clinic
  • introducing a new monitoring system for haematology patients.

The programme is run by Oxford AHSN with Bucks New University and funded by Health Education England Thames Valley. It is free for participants. Over 70 people have completed the course to date in three groups since its launch in 2016.

Dr Paul Durrands, Chief Operating Officer at Oxford AHSN, said: “Adopting innovation in the NHS can be very challenging. Frontline staff often have the best ideas for the problems to solve and solutions to them.

“This programme was developed to support them in encouraging innovation and change in their organisations. It offers practical experience in real world settings supported by academic learning and provides students with a practical toolkit they can use in their daily work.”

Prof Sue Procter, Professor of Clinical Nursing Innovation at Bucks New University, said participants learn a wide range of new skills including writing a business plan and engaging patients during 12 practical sessions in High Wycombe spread over a year.

By the end of each course participants are able to:

  • identify innovations that add value to regional healthcare
  • lead innovation adoption
  • align innovation to local and national strategic priorities and patient and population need
  • facilitate clinical pathway redesign
  • understand the drivers and barriers to innovation
  • adopt strategies tailored to local context
  • develop and sustain collaborative regional networks
  • plan, implement, evaluate and scale up innovations that work.

The next course starts on 1 March. The deadline for applications has been extended to 1 February. More information and how to apply here.