A follow up study showed that the number of 0 to 5-year olds discharged from the same A & E with nothing but basic information and advice over a four-month period after the app was launched was 538,155 fewer than the same period the previous year.
Now, following this success, the Innovation Agency has continued in its mission to spread the innovation benefits by promoting the app along its North West coast region and nationally through the national AHSN Network. Dave Burrows has also been named as an NHS Innovation Fellow, a significant honour in recognition of the app’s potential, which is part of the NHS Innovation Accelerator programme.
The momentum behind the Innovation’s Agency’s flagship AF campaign continues unabated, with its recruitment programme being extended deep into the community it serves. Kim Hughes, a mother of two who suffered a stroke at the age of 33, has recently joined the growing ranks of AF Ambassadors. “It’s not easy getting over a stroke, so if I can help to prevent just one person having one, then it’s worth it every time,” she says of her new role.
About the Innovation Agency
The Innovation Agency, like the other AHSNs across the UK, is managed mainly by NHS professionals and staff from associated industries which means they are not only able to open the correct door to the vast NHS market and its silo style budgets but also enable companies to understand what is expected of them on the other side.
Lorna Green, the Chief Operating Officer at the Innovation Agency, spent five years with the NHS before working in a variety of roles within industry providing both help and finance for innovative SMEs seeking to do business with her former employers.
She has an in-depth understanding of the needs of both the NHS and the innovative health companies attempting to break into what is a huge but cash starved marketplace where patient care is paramount. It has become a key role of the agency to evaluate the innovations in order to match their potential to the unique requirements of the NHS.
“The NHS is more receptive since we came on board because we act in a neutral broker role,” says Lorna Green. “It is not a case of someone selling them some something. We understand it is about matching needs and solutions, the NHS doesn’t know what is out there, they don’t have the time to research, so we bring the opportunities to them.
“We have won the latest BioNow award for supporting businesses and have just had our licence renewed for five years. We’ve also been given extra funding from the Office for Life Sciences to deliver Innovation Exchanges, which means all the AHSNs working together more closely than ever to spread great innovations. That in itself is a vote of confidence, proving we are making a difference.”
This article appeared in FutureNorth's 'Life Sciences Edition' in The Times, 26 June 2018. See more online here and download a PDF here.