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Delivering expert innovation services to NHS Scotland

Innovation in NHS Scotland

Whilst Scotland has a proven track record of medical innovation, services must always evolve to meet new patterns of care, increased demand and technological advances. Innovation is at the heart of rising to this challenge, creating a service that is modern, sustainable, adaptable and at the forefront of medical advances.

Yet innovation can be one of the toughest challenges in any organisation. Each innovation or idea is unique with no set template, rule book, process or measure of success. Each act of innovation is driven by the individual—or collective—imagination of inspired individuals. Encouraging that spirit of innovation, creativity and challenge of the status quo, while still maintaining everyday operations is the biggest hurdle in creating a truly innovative organisation, but one that SHIL is committed to supporting within NHS Scotland, and we have an excellent foundation to flourish.

With over 160,000 staff working across NHS Scotland we are fortunate to have not only a dedicated workforce providing high-quality healthcare across Scotland, but also a rich resource of ideas and innovations to improve patient care. Often those best placed to devise new ways of improving patient care are usually those working at the heart of our health service - indeed the altruistic professional motivations of frontline NHS Scotland staff was highlighted by the Nuffield Trust 2017 Report - Learning from Scotland’s NHS.

Ideas from NHS Scotland staff have ranged from simple but highly effective devices such as our RhinoPinch through to complex data analysis platforms such as those provided by Aridhia, or groundbreaking stroke treatments being trialed by Aurum Biosciences.

Staff within NHS Scotland are responsible for these and many more innovations helping to advance our healthcare system. Harnessing this talent and entrepreneurism and providing a nationally supported approach to innovation is central to the work of SHIL. For over 15 years we have been working in partnership with NHS Scotland to identify, protect, develop and commercialise healthcare innovations, developing viable products and services to transform patient care, improve quality and productivity, and drive efficiency.

NHS Scotland staff should feel empowered to look for new ways to improve patient care and identify innovation challenges; and when that idea is sparked whether it be during a routine consultation, in the operating theatre, in the laboratory or in any other environment, we are ready to provide guidance, support and encouragement at each stage of the journey.

Creating this positive culture of innovation across NHS Scotland and a systematic approach to supporting innovation will support more productive, scalable and sustainable ideas.

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