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Joining forces for healthcare innovation

More than 300 delegates attended a ground-breaking event that showcased innovations with the potential to tackle some of the NHS’s toughest challenges.

Professor Stephen Powis, National Medical Director, NHS England, and Richard Barker, Regional Director, NHS England, were the keynote speakers at the Health Innovation North conference.

The event marked the first time the four northern health innovation networks (HINs) had jointly hosted an innovation conference. The inaugural event was at the eye-catching The Spine building in central Liverpool, headquarters of the Royal College of Physicians.

The HINs are: Health Innovation ManchesterHealth Innovation North East and North CumbriaHealth Innovation Yorkshire & Humber and Health Innovation North West Coast.

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.”

Dr Phil Jennings, Chief Executive of Health Innovation North West Coast, said:

“This was an outstanding event that underlined the role that innovation should play in shaping the future of the NHS.

“This was the first time the northern health innovation networks had staged such an event and it was a brilliant opportunity not only to run the rule over some new innovations but to exchange ideas with our NHS colleagues about how to implement them.

“We were able to share ideas across boundaries about how we can best harness the creativity we see all around us in the North and make sure it delivers tangible benefits for our patients.”

The conference allowed senior health and care leaders to scrutinise the work of commercial innovators whose innovations have the potential to support clinical teams.

Prof Tony Young, National Clinical Director for Innovation at NHS England, led a session on in which clinical entrepreneurs – NHS innovators – showcased their work.

And senior healthcare figures led discussions on the best way to overcome some of the obstacles to implementing innovations that promise to improve patient care and cut costs.

The conference was formally opened by Richard Stubbs, Chair of the Health Innovation Network and Chief Executive 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.


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