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Innovation For Customers

Bringing Innovation to the NHS is critical in improving patient outcomes, meeting the needs of our customers, creating financial benefits along with improving sustainability to meet Net Zero targets.

We work with partners such as NHS England, the National Institute for Health, Care Excellence (NICE), and the Health Innovation Network to support the introduction of new technology and innovation into the NHS that provides demonstrable benefits for our patients and users.

NHS Supply Chain is the last step in bringing innovative products to market via a legal compliant route and ensuring they are readily available for the whole NHS.

We will focus on

  • A standardised and recognised approach to assessing and adopting innovation.
  • A clear procurement route for innovation.
  • Confidence all products offer quality and value.
  • Identifying Value Based Procurement opportunities for pathway savings and improved patient outcomes.
  • Filtering products that have the same function and outputs as currently available.

Meet the team

Our innovation team - Jo, Michaela and Fay

We really appreciate your feedback – how would you like us to improve your experience when accessing this information? Are there any changes to our innovation pages that you would find valuable?

Types of innovation

The innovation framework only applies to devices that are classed as incremental, transformative or disruptive Incremental.

Incremental Innovation

Incremental innovation is defined as an improvement to a device that already exists within the health system that positively affects the delivery of care or wider system. For a device to be defined as incremental, it should:

  • Already exist in some capacity in the health and care system.
  • Offer improvements to the existing provision of care or wider health system for example, meeting net zero goals.

Transformative Innovation

Transformative innovation is defined as an existing technology that is applied to the health and care system for the first time, or the application of a technology which is already in the healthcare system in a novel way. An example would be an existing device being applied to a new speciality. A transformative innovation should:

  • Offer improvements compared to the existing provision of care.
  • Be a novel application of an existing device (or similar) either to the health system as a whole or a specific area of healthcare.
  • Be the addition of digital services or benefits to an existing (offline) product to offer improvements compared to the existing provision of care.

Disruptive Innovation

A disruptive innovation is novel. For a device to be defined as disruptive, its should:

  • Offer improvements compared to the existing provision of care.
  • Be novel and the proposed format should not exist elsewhere (either within or beyond the health and care sector) to fulfil the clinical need.
  • Be the first provision of care made available for example, in the treatment of rare diseases.

Healthcare product innovation needs to improve patient care, be safe, effective, suitable for clinical practice, enabling adoption by the whole organisation and offer quality and value for money.

Fay Allen, Innovation Specialist