Innovation at Scale: the Development Paradox

The NHS employs approximately 1.3 million staff; 54% of these staff are health care professions and managers.  There is a strong research culture helped by established clinical research networks; this tradition should lend itself to comprehensive innovation. The dominant model of innovation at scale has been top-down: a ‘heady mix’ of exhortation, expectation and encouragement. 

This paper sets out an alternative approach – NHS must engage fully with a bottom-up approach through education as the primary means of promotion.  NHS organisations could adopt a tripartite vision of quality development: service, research and innovation.  Organisations can do this by implementing their innovation strategy – one that is based on education of both senior management for and staff in innovation.  This strategy places a strong focus on developing the capabilities of innovators rather than innovations and seeks to embed innovation as a core feature of the business process. 

Chris Loughlan

Chris has worked in senior  management roles in the NHS and the wider UK health sector.  Whilst at Cambridge University Hospitals, he spun out an elearning company to address the lack of high quality online learning in research skills for health care staff.  The company has grown into a highly successful consultancy specialising in research and evaluation with clients at regional, national and international levels.  He is currently regional Head of Innovation and Research for Health Education England.  He holds a fellowship with the NCEE and is a guest lecturer at a number of universities in the UK.  He has recently published a widely acclaimed book on creativity and innovation linked to enterprise and entrepreneurship.

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