Innovation Scout Scheme

Welcome to the Innovation Scout webpages

Innovation is about thinking differently and identifying unmet needs, applying new solutions to problems, and developing new ways of working. Innovation can encompass either a new technology, a new device, or an improved service, but ultimately it is about a change that makes a positive difference. The impact of innovation can be transformative, from directly improving patient care and experience through to making services more efficient. But how does innovative activity become embedded within the culture of a healthcare community? The Innovation Scout Scheme is one way in which the AHSN NENC is trying to achieve this.

The AHSN NENC set up the ‘Innovation Scout Scheme’ in 2014. It is led and coordinated by the AHSN NENC and is supported by NHS Innovations North who provide specialist IP advice to the NHS. The Scout Scheme is part of the wider ‘Innovation Pathway’ initiative. scouts presentation

The idea was to develop a network of healthcare professionals across the region to encourage the development of innovation, stimulate the creation of ideas, and drive a culture of innovation within their respective organisations.

Why was this needed?

  • It was recognised that innovation is not the responsibility of one person within an organisation; it must be nurtured and encouraged at all levels.
  • Everyone has the potential to come up with an innovative idea but people need to know where to go and what actions to take in order to develop and protect their idea.
  • It can be difficult to unearth best practice innovation that is ongoing in other nearby NHS organisations

What needed to happen?

  • To identify those within each organisation that become the ‘go-to’ individuals for all innovation enquiries, and promote innovation internally.
  • To develop healthcare professionals to learn more about the process of innovation and intellectual property protection so that they become skilled in identifying and promoting innovation.
  • To connect people from different organisations and help them to find solutions to unmet needs, providing a strong network of support.

scouts discussionThe AHSN NENC are committed to delivering training sessions on innovation and intellectual property to ensure that healthcare professionals can develop the skills and knowledge required to support their colleagues when they have an innovative idea. The AHSN will also ensure that the Scouts are supported with any ongoing development needs, for example, through the provision of relevant resources and events.

The AHSN currently supports 52 Scouts across NHS Trusts, Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and primary care. It is intended that this will grow over the next year with more opportunities for CCGs and primary care to join.

Over the coming months these webpages will be developed further and more materials and resources will be added.

If you are a Scout already and have ideas for what you would like to see on these pages please let us know!

Or if you are interested in becoming a Scout for your organisation or would like to know more please get in touch!