Cover: Evaluating the role and contribution of innovation to health and wealth in the UK

Evaluating the role and contribution of innovation to health and wealth in the UK

A review of Innovation, Health and Wealth: Phase 1 Final Report

Published Jan 13, 2016

by Teresa Bienkowska-Gibbs, Josephine Exley, Catherine L. Saunders, Sonja Marjanovic, Joanna Chataway, Calum MacLure, Ruth McDonald, Tom Ling

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The Department of Health's Innovation, Health and Wealth (IHW) strategy aimed to introduce a more strategic approach to the spread of innovation across the NHS. This report represents the first phase of a three-year evaluation and aims to map progress towards the IHW strategy and its component actions. This evaluation used a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods: document review, key informant interviews and stakeholder survey. This report also forms the basis for selecting case studies for phase two of the evaluation.

Our findings from the interviews and survey suggest broad stakeholder support for the overarching ambitions of the IHW strategy. However, we found variable progress towards the overarching objectives of the eight IHW themes and an ambiguous relationship between many of the themes' objectives and their actions.

It was difficult to assess progress on IHW's actions as commitment to the actions, implementation guidance and expected outcomes of the actions were not clearly articulated. The Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) and the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) were reported to be working well, which may be attributed to their clear structures of accountability and earmarked budgets. However, survey respondents and interviewees raised concerns that budgetary pressures may limit the impact of both AHSNs and the SBRI. The main challenges identified for ongoing action were the resources available for their implementation (e.g. Medtech Briefings), lack of awareness of the initiative (e.g. the NICE Implementation Collaborative) and the design of the actions (e.g. the Innovation Scorecard, web portal and High Impact Innovations).

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The research described in this report was funded by the Department of Health Policy Research Programme was conducted by RAND Europe.

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