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Joining forces for healthcare innovation

Posted: 14th June 2024

More than 300 delegates attended Health Innovation North on 6 June in Liverpool. The first-of-its-kind event showcased innovations with the potential to tackle some of the NHS’s toughest challenges.

Phil Jennings, Dean Fathers, Richard Stubbs, Tony Young at Health Innovation North 2024

The event marked the first time the four Northern health innovation networks had jointly hosted an innovation conference and was marked by keynote speeches from Professor Stephen H Powis, National Medical Director, NHS England, and Richard Barker, Regional Director, NHS England.

Prof Powis said:

“The northern health innovation networks are successfully supporting innovators and the spread of innovation across the region.

“Innovation continues to have a crucial role in the work of the NHS. It transforms patient care and it helps the health system to effectively meet the opportunities and challenges it faces.

“It leads to the prevention of ill health, breakthroughs in care, earlier diagnosis and more effective treatments and faster recovery.”

The conference allowed senior healthcare figures to lead discussions on the best way to overcome some of the obstacles to implementing innovations that aim to improve patient care and cut costs. Commercial innovators, who were working alongside health innovation networks, also had chance to present innovations that are ready for spread and adoption in the NHS or are supporting clinical teams already.

Professor Tony Young, National Clinical Director for Innovation at NHS England, led a session in which the latest cohort of the NHS Clinical Entrepreneurs Programme were able to showcase their ideas, innovations and successes so far.

The conference was formally opened by Richard Stubbs, Chair of the Health Innovation Network and Chief Officer of Health Innovation Yorkshire & Humber. It featured contributions from Prof Dean Fathers, Chair of Health Innovation North East and North Cumbria, and Ben Bridgewater, Chief Executive of Health Innovation Manchester. Dr Phil Jennings, Vice Chair of the Health Innovation Network and Chief Executive of Health Innovation North West Coast, closed the event by reflecting on the importance of coming together in the North to find solutions to Northern problems.

Richard Stubbs, Chair of the Health Innovation Network and Chief Officer of Health Innovation Yorkshire & Humber, said:

“We have long-standing health inequalities in the north and our challenge is to tackle these for the benefit of our population. The conference was a great way to continue our collaboration with the other three northern health innovation networks to address these challenges through innovation.

The north’s health innovation ecosystem is something to be celebrated and in hosting this conference, we were able showcase the best of northern innovation and discuss with our ICB colleagues the best way to implement these solutions in our NHS.”