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This document briefing, prepared for the Department of Health, presents a ‘think piece’ on the key issues and ideas on innovation in the NHS. The objective of the work was to provide a challenge function for the Department of Health on its work around innovation for the NHS Next Stage Review . The issues and ideas are grounded in theory or empirical evidence and, where possible, supported by examples. This report does not purport to be a systematic review of innovation theory, but should be of interest to policymakers in the Department who are concerned with innovation, especially in the context of health systems.

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The research described in this report was prepared for the Department of Health (England) and conducted by RAND Europe.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation documented briefing series. RAND documented briefings are based on research presented to a client, sponsor, or targeted audience in briefing format. Additional information is provided in the documented briefing in the form of the written narration accompanying the briefing charts. All RAND documented briefings undergo rigorous peer review to ensure that they meet high standards for research quality and objectivity. However, they are not expected to be comprehensive and may present preliminary findings. Major research findings are published in the monograph series; supporting or preliminary research is published in the technical report series.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.