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Liverpool innovator named NHS Innovation Accelerator Fellow

A healthcare innovator from Liverpool has been selected to be a Fellow of the prestigious NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA).


Lee Omar is the co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer at Safe Steps, a risk assessment tool helping to prevent falls among older people. 

Safe Steps is an easy to use app for care home staff to carry out falls risk assessments. The digital screening tool is based on NICE guidelines for risk assessment and assesses 12 areas of falls risk.

Use of Safe Steps in over 100 care homes – including 78 in Wirral, Merseyside – is estimated to have reduced falls by up to 28 per cent. 

Further versions of the app are in development, including a version to help community-based teams reduce falls for people living at home, and a hospital-based version being trialled at Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust.

Lee Omar said: "Falls is something I have personal experience of, after being a carer for a loved one who had a fall which led to their life deteriorating. I am passionate about reducing the number of preventable falls in our ageing society. 

“Being an NIA Fellow as part of Safe Steps gives me the opportunity to scale our fall prevention digital health product nationally and save more lives."

The project began following an introduction by the Innovation Agency to transformation leaders at Wirral Borough Council, and the Innovation Agency has continued to support the company by spreading the innovation to other AHSNs. 

The NIA is an award-winning NHS England initiative. It supports delivery of the NHS Long Term Plan priorities by accelerating the uptake of high-impact innovations for patient, population and NHS staff benefit, and providing practical insights on spread to inform national strategy.

Launched in 2015, the NIA is chaired by Professor Stephen Powis, National Medical Director of NHS England and NHS Improvement, and delivered in partnership with the 15 Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs), hosted at UCL Partners.

Since its launch the NIA has seen 2,214 NHS sites adopt NIA innovations, created 468 jobs and raised £134.8m in funding.

Lee Omar is among 11 new Fellows to be selected through a rigorous, multi-stage assessment process. He is also CEO of a design-led technology company that co-created technology using expertise in AI, data science, Internet of Things, smart cities, electrical engineering and app development. 

He previously worked in the human rights sector, empowering refugees to build new lives. In his spare time, he is studying part-time for a PhD in the design of digital health applications that leverage AI. 

Sign up to the NIA’s INSIGHTS newsletter for the latest articles, blogs and case studies: 

Download the brochure Introducing the 2020 NHS Innovation Accelerator Fellows


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