UK Space Agency & NHS England call for innovators to develop space tech to address major health and care challenges

NHS England | 2018| NHS England and UK Space Agency launch multi-million pound drive to improve patient care

As part of a joint initiative with NHS England, The UK Space Agency has announced a £4 million of funding that it is allocating to the NHS.  The funding is available to help address four  specific health and care challenges in the NHS.

These include:

  • Managing long term conditions including joining up health and care services
  • Earlier diagnosis of cancer
  • Transforming GP services and other primary care
  • Meeting mental health needs

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The initiative exists to design for use in space will be adapted into medical applications to improve NHS treatment and care. The four successful innovators will be supported by the UK Space Agency, NHS England and the European Space Agency

Space technology has a history of being utilised in the NHS, notable examples include a pill camera that patients swallow, wearables to prevent falls among the elderly, apps that help to prevent skin cancer, breast screening vans that send images to assessment centres

Professor Tony Young, NHS England’s national clinical director for innovation, said: “Throughout its 70 year history the NHS has been at the forefront of healthcare innovation.

“Through this competition we are seeking the latest greatest, ideas and technical solutions to help address the modern challenges facing our health and care services.”

The UK’s space industry builds 40 per cent of the world’s small satellites and 25 per cent of the world’s telecommunications satellites. It supports 40,000 jobs and generates £14 billion in revenue across the country.

Full details on how to become involved are available  from NHS England here

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Divided by choice? Private providers, patient choice and hospital sorting in the English National Health service

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS)

This study examines the impact of the NHS reforms of the 2000s which enabled privately-owned hospitals to enter the NHS market. It finds that post-reform, poor and ethnic minority patients were much less likely to choose private hospitals; and that the key factors in choice related to the geographic distribution of hospitals and health-based criteria for treatment from private providers.

Entrepreneur scheme for innovative doctors extended to healthcare scientists and dentists

A unique training scheme for clinicians whose innovative ideas could lead to big patient benefits has been opened up to healthcare scientists and dentists | NHS England

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Over the last year 103 junior doctors have developed their ideas and their business skills through the Clinical Entrepreneur programme. Now applications are opening up to healthcare scientists and dentists.

The programme offers a range of support and education, including mentoring by leading medical technology innovators, to give the budding entrepreneurs the business skills and industry knowhow they need to make their ideas a reality.

Learning from Scotland’s NHS

The Nuffield Trust has published Learning from Scotland’s NHS.

This report aims to identify how health care in Scotland is different, where its approach seems to solve problems being faced elsewhere in the UK, and whether that approach could be transplanted to England, Wales and Northern Ireland.  It also assesses whether there are areas where Scotland could learn from its peers.

The full report can be downloaded here

Sustainability and Transformation Plans: What, why and where next?

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has published Sustainability and transformation plans (STPs): what, why and where next

The NHS is facing one of the most challenging periods in its history, with a funding gap of more than £22 billion over the coming years. And the pressure on the social care system is more acute than ever, with many councils raising eligibility thresholds and making cuts to social care budgets.

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Image source: http://www.ippr.org

Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) – which are local health and care reform plans, authored jointly by NHS and local government leaders to improve outcomes and drive greater efficiency in their local area – are one of the government’s main responses to this problem. These plans rightly focus on decentralising power within the NHS, investing in leadership and relationships to drive improvements, and on local health and care organisations coming together to overcome the silos created by the 2012 Health and Care Act.

This report looks at the most promising reform solutions that have been identified by STPs, and also sets out the range of challenges that stand in the way of them realising their vision for improved health and efficiency.

Download summary here or full report here

 

Getting research into policy in health – The GRIP-Health project

For many, the idea that health policy should be informed by evidence is an obvious goal. And indeed, the global health community has widely called for increased use or uptake of research and evidence, in health policymaking | LSE Health and Social Care Blog

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However, a vast majority of these calls have been made without explicit recognition of the decidedly political nature of policymaking, and without consideration of how this may affect the use of evidence to inform decisions.

Indeed, calls for ‘evidence-based’ policymaking have become ubiquitous in recent years, applied in social sectors such as health, education, crime prevention and many others. Many have seen these calls deriving from the successes of the ‘evidence based medicine’ movement – a movement that has helped to ensure that clinical practice is informed by rigorous assessments of evidence of effects of different treatment options.

The GRIP-Health research programme was funded by the European Research Council to bring an explicitly political lens to the study of evidence use for health policymaking in low, middle and high income countries. It draws particularly on policy studies theories to consider how the nature of the policy process, the politicised features of health decisions, and the existing institutional arrangements for policymaking in different countries all can work to shape which evidence is utilised, and how it is utilised to inform or shape health policy decisions.