£650,000 prize fund for innovative NHS folk

The NHS Innovation Challenge Prize is offering a £650,000 prize fund to reward and celebrate innovation driven by NHS doctors, nurses and staff.

The 2014-15 prize pot, which has been launched by NHS Chief Executive, Simon Stevens, will be announced at the Queen’s Nursing Institute conference in London.

Speaking ahead of the announcement, Mr Stevens said, “We have a strong track record in developing and using new medical technologies to revolutionise the way we care for and treat patients – diagnostic, ultrasound, the MRI scan to name a few.”

Prizes across seven categories will be available for competing NHS staff. This will include recognising innovations that support patient safety, enhance care for those with diabetes and prevent people from dying prematurely through the innovative use of technology to speed up diagnosis or improve care.

Programmes such as these are aimed to give NHS staff some recognition for their commitment towards improving treatment options for patients. This will be the project’s fourth year, offering competitors an even bigger reward than before.

In the past, winners have developed a new way to detect early stage liver disease in the community, landing its inventors, Dr Neil Guha and Professor Guruprasad Aithai, a whopping £100,000 prize fund –  a small reward for saving the NHS as much as £74.6 million if it were to be rolled out nationally.

Mr Stevens further said, “We need to find new ways of working if our health service is going to be fit to face the challenged ahead and we know that those ideas come from the brilliant people working in frontline caring and research roles.”

The NHS Innovation challenge prize is open to all NHS organisations in England and deadline for entry is 7 November. For more information, visit http://www.england.nhs.uk/challengeprizes/