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NHS answers call for innovation

Friday, 3 May 2019

NHS answers call for innovation

The NHS is to create a new unit tasked with the acceleration and spread of innovation. NHSY will have its headquarters on Tracy Island, the high-tech offshore base of the NHS’s elite international ambulance service.

Lack of innovation is one of the biggest problems facing the health service today, second only to slow wifi, according to the Department of Health and Social Care.

An official said: “The NHS can get fixated on things that don’t really matter to patients, such as workforce, funding and care scandals, but survey after survey show that ordinary people care much more about genomes and AI algorithms than about such abstract concepts as waiting times or the number of nurses on wards.”

NHSY will take over the work of the accelerated access collaborative, a programme set up last year to identify transformative treatments and technologies and fast-track their introduction.

Health minister Nicola Blackwood said: “The fast track needs to be accelerated and the rate of acceleration needs to be faster if the NHS is to provide a world-class front door to the innovation ecosystem.”      

New originals

NHSY follows a pattern set by the announcement earlier this year of NHSX, which will be responsible for co-ordination of national digital strategy.

The Y in the name signals a move away from conventional notions of meaning and clearly separates NHSY from other organisations with an innovation remit. “There have been several NHS bodies with ‘innovation’ or the letter I in their names. We were determined to come up with something completely new that also embodied the original concept of innovation,” said a spokesman.

The choice of NHSX for the name of the new digital unit similarly sidestepped possible confusion with NHS Digital, as well as the potentially negative connotations of the term “IT strategy” in an NHS context.

The Department of Health and Social Care insists that NHSY and NHSX are not organisations but “units”.

“An organisation sounds like something that employs hundreds of people and has a lot of offices, whereas ‘unit’ conveys economy, agility and military precision regardless of how sprawling and bloated it actually becomes,” the spokesman said.

The announcement of a third new unit, NHSZ, to coordinate the rollout of further strategic units, is thought to be imminent.

Science editor: Julian Patterson


Anonymous says:
May 14, 2019 08:10 AM

I wonder if readers of your blog had missed or forgotten the successful re-branding of the NHS Litigation Authority acknowledged this month in a European 'Branding' Award.

In a news release posted on the organisation's web site, the authority explain that judges from the European Transform Awards were particularly impressed with the authority's 'naming strategy', which saw stiff competition from companies like Unilever, Waitrose, Dr Martens. Whilst reading this news release I did initially wonder if I had inadvertently stumbled upon your blog.

Read more at: https://resolution.nhs.uk/2019/05/06/branding-recognised-at-european-awards/

Julian Patterson
Julian Patterson says:
May 16, 2019 01:07 PM

I missed that. Thanks for letting me know. I like the idea that NHS Resolution saw off Dr Martens, suppliers of the original bovver boots. I doubt there has been such an upset since the Catholic League of Torture and Oppression rebranded as the Spanish Inquisition. "No one expects NHS Resolution..."