3 million NHS patients benefit from innovation programme

Cemiplimab recommended in Cancer Drugs Fund

A pioneering NHS programme has seen three million patients begin to access new apps, safety devices, online networks, and many other new technologies and services.

The first nine months of the NHS Innovation Accelerator programme has introduced new innovations into the NHS which aim to improve care by, for example, reducing clinical incidents, helping people to self-care and linking up patients with others or with research schemes.

Its initial success since the launch of the programme last year was highlighted at the UK eHealth Week conference.

68 NHS organisations are using one or more of 17 new innovations from the Seventeen Fellows, each representing an evidence-based innovation. The fellows are being supported to take their innovative technology or service to an increasing number of patients at a greater pace in a bid to improve patient care and help put the NHS on a financially sustainable footing.

The fellows have already raised over £8m from external sources, on top of the Accelerator’s initial £1m investment. High profile healthcare leaders have provided the fellows with mentorship and they have also benefitted from access to peer-to-peer support and learning events.

NHS England has helped to break down barriers to the adoption of innovation and 15 Academic Health Science Networks have assisted in getting them adopted into clinical practice.

Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS England’s Medical Director, commented on the need to speed up the process of innovation across the NHS: “Together with their mentors, who are some of the most high-profile leaders in England, the innovation fellows will provide models and lessons for us all in how to do that.”

Innovations include:


  • Join Dementia Research – an online service at the forefront of research and innovation.
  • Nervecentre – a whole hospital digital platform to improve safety through the reduction/avoidance of harm.
  • MyCOPD – an online 24-hour self-management system to enable patients to self-care.
  • HealthUnlocked – a social network enabling peer-to-peer support.


Professor Sir David Fish, Managing Director of UCLPartners, said: “Through access to expertise and support networks, the fellows have made tremendous progress in getting innovations into practice. This is leading to real benefits for patients and will inspire a future generation of innovators.”

The NHS Innovation Accelerator is a fellowship programme being delivered collaboratively by NHS England, UCLPartners, The Health Foundation and with the Academic Health Science Networks.

A second wave of the programme, which aims to recruit a further eight fellows, will open on 23 May