Patients in Lancashire will be among the first to benefit from a major new drive to modernise how the NHS delivers care

Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust will be leading the way in NHS innovation, as part of a pioneering 'Test Bed' with partners including the Lancaster Health Hub and Philips amongst many others comprising Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs), social enterprises and the voluntary sector.

Together they form the Lancashire and Cumbria Innovation Alliance (LCIA), which over the next two years will enable frontline health and care workers in Lancashire to use a range of technologies and interventions to support frail and elderly and people living with long-term conditions and dementia to be cared for outside of hospital with the intention of improving their outcomes.

The project, along with six others from around the country, will be unveiled by NHS Chief Executive Simon Stevens at the World Economic Forum in Davos today (Friday 22nd).

It is part of the first wave of NHS 'Test Beds' - collaborations between the NHS and innovators which aim to harness technology to address some of the most complex issues facing patients and the health service.  Successful innovations will then be available for other parts of the country to adopt and adapt to the particular needs of their local populations.

The Lancashire Test Bed is focused on supporting frail elderly people with dementia and other long term conditions to remain well in the community and avoid unnecessary hospital admissions. Keeping people well in the community will increase the quality of care provided and patient outcomes, create capacity within hospitals, and release efficiencies by reducing the input required from wider health and social care services. Morecambe Bay and the Fylde Coast are the chosen locations for running the test bed as they have already been chosen as vanguard sites - areas that are testing out new models of care and approaches to find new and better ways of caring for people.

Professor Heather Tierney Moore, Chief Executive of Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said: 

"I am absolutely delighted that the Lancashire and Cumbria Innovation Alliance (LCIA) has been chosen as a Test Bed site by NHS England. This will provide the funding and the opportunity to work alongside partners and use technology to test out new approaches to enable frail, elderly people to self-care and remain in their own homes for as long as possible. Over the next two years, this project has the potential to transform and improve the way that we care for frail elderly people with long term physical health conditions and dementia. The role of the Lancaster Health Hub in configuring the bid, and of the North West Coast Academic Health Science Network in supporting the bid and introducing the LCIA to commercial partners, was vital in developing a very strong proposal. It is a real privilege to be working with Philips Health Systems as our main innovation partner."

Neil Mesher, Managing Director Philips UK & Ireland said:

"Philips is proud to be involved in this pioneering new project. We believe this type of collaborative approach between industry and health & care providers is an excellent opportunity to improve patient outcomes whilst at the same time reducing the total cost of care. Supporting patients to meet their own individual goals is an objective Philips are delighted to be involved with."

Professor John Goodacre, Medical Director said:

"This award provides a wonderful opportunity for our local NHS / University Partnership to work closely with colleagues in Philips Health Systems and in other digital health businesses to deliver a very novel and important programme of work which will have a huge impact on many people\'s lives across the area. It also demonstrates that the advanced professional skills and expertise housed within Lancaster University and its NHS partner organisations are nationally recognised, and shows the capability of the Partnership for attracting substantial investment and resource into the area."

NHS Chief Executive Simon Stevens said:

"Over the next decade major health gains won't just come from a few \'miracle cures\', but also from combining diverse breakthroughs in fields such as biosensors, medtech and drug discovery, mobile communications, and AI computing.

"Our new NHS Test Beds programme aims to cut through the hype and test the practical benefits for patients when we bring together some of these most promising technologies in receptive environments inside the world\'s largest public, integrated health service.\"

A joint programme between NHS England, the Office for Life Science, the Department of Health and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, NHS Test Beds bring together local health and social care bodies including CCGs, hospital trusts, primary and community care providers with a wide range of innovators from home and abroad.

Each Test Bed will use a different combination of innovations, from both large and small organisations, to address a locally-identified clinical challenge.  The changes made will be rigorously evaluated, with the aim to provide evidence which will give more areas the confidence to adopt the innovations over the coming years. 

Test beds are a key strand of the NHS Five Year Forward View, and will help realise the ambition of reforming the NHS so that it is fit to face the challenges of the 21st Century - particularly an ageing population and an increase in patients with long-term health conditions - while remaining financially sustainable.

The NHS has a track record of being open to new ideas and technology - they're being implemented all the time. Where progress has been slower is in combining innovations, in a whole-system way, so that their impact is bigger than the sum of their parts - the 'test beds' programme will change that.

Who is involved:

  • Innovation Agency
  • Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust
  • Better Care Together (Primary and Acute Care Systems Vanguard for North Lancashire and South Cumbria)
  • Fylde Coast Vanguard
  • Lancaster Health Hub*
  • Lancaster University
  • Philips
  • UMotif
  • NHSSimple
  • Intelesant
  • Speakset
  • Cambridge Cognition
  • The Tinder Foundation
  • Simple Telehealth
  • Ixico

*Lancaster Health Hub comprises:

  • Lancaster University
  • Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Calderstones Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust
  • Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust
  • University of Cumbria
  • Healthwatch Lancashire
  • NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group

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