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New innovation hub to drive healthcare improvements for patients

Funding has been announced for a new innovation and improvement hub to ensure patients benefit from the latest technology and practice.

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH) has been chosen as a joint leader for the innovation hub, along with Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT), and the Eastern Academic Health Science Network (AHSN).

The hub, which will be hosted at CPFT, is one of four being set up across the UK with a £470,000 grant from independent charity, the Health Foundation. Money has been made available as part of its national Adopting Innovation programme to help improve health and care services over two and a half years.

The winning bid for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough was co-produced with patient and citizen groups in partnership with NHS trusts, innovation partners, local authorities, universities and primary care alliances, to assist the developing Integrated Care System for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

It will provide expertise and support to adopt innovations which can make a positive impact on patients and quality of life, as well as tackling health inequalities.

Dr Ewen Cameron, chief operating officer for CUH, said:

Director of Improvement and Transformation - Ewen Cameron
Dr Ewen Cameron

The new hub is all about putting patients at the heart of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough’s healthcare system. Through co-production, it will empower people to shape the future of their health while ensuring we apply the very best innovations and technology to improve people’s lives.

Dr Ewen Cameron

“Cambridge is home to world leading invention and idea generation, but there remains significant health inequalities in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, which have been further deepened by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The new hub will help bring together and coordinate key regional innovation, health and care, and academic stakeholders, to understand what drives health inequality and how implementing innovations may combat these.”

Learning and innovation adoption techniques will be shared via the hub to upskill the local workforce and generate a sustainable approach to the spread of innovation.

Dr Cameron added: “I’m delighted that our collaborative project has been awarded funding to build this resource and would like to thank everyone who contributed for sharing their expertise, insight and time to make it a success.”

The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough innovation hub will be developed to support all partners in the Integrated Care System, including CUH, CPFT, Cambridge University Health Partners, North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Eastern AHSN, the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration East of England, Healthwatch Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, the East of England Citizens’ Senate, North and South Primary Care Alliances, University of Cambridge Institute for Manufacturing, the University of East Anglia ImpACT Research Group, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group, Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council.

A new Citizen Participation Group will involve people in directing the hub’s activities, reviewing and adapting innovations for local use, and evaluating the programme.

Val Moore, Chair of Healthwatch Cambridgeshire and Peterborough said: “Local people in all areas of Peterborough and Cambridgeshire will want fair access to healthcare innovations, and to know they can fit well with their lives and in their communities. The hub will help this to happen!”

Trevor Fernandes, Chair of the East of England Citizens’ Senate said: “Our members from all over the region are committed to support innovation and service change for patient benefit. Involvement in the hub will help us deliver our aspirations, and also address diversity and inequality issues to represent underserved areas and communities.”

Will Warburton, Director of Improvement at the Health Foundation, said: “This is a unique opportunity for the four innovation hubs to create change to improve patient care. It comes at a time where the NHS needs to accelerate effective uptake of new ideas to meet the challenges of delivering care to all who need it during the pandemic.”

Read the national announcement from the Health Foundation: https://www.health.org.uk/news-and-comment/news/four-innovation-hubs-to-be-established-as-part-of-the-health