Innovation in health care; Alder Hey leads the way

Friday, 29 January 2016, by Rosie Kenyon

I was lucky enough to attend a Hackathon for children’s healthcare back in November (more details here http://www.nwcahsn.nhs.uk/news/latest-blogs/blog-entry.php?id=36) - this was a great learning experience which my company supported my attendance of – to learn about the problems and opportunities arising in the land of healthcare right now. The principles I am learning about are just a sample of the ways in which this landscape is changing. An exciting sample nonetheless…

We need the NHS to keep up with the digital world around it. Alder Hey understands this.  

It takes visionary leadership to inspire people to make changes – and this is a big shout out for the people who are driving innovation at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Liverpool.

I attended a Hackathon back in November - http://www.nwcahsn.nhs.uk/news/latest-blogs/blog-entry.php?id=36 - it was brilliant, I may have mentioned that. And it hasn’t ended up being just a one off, “oh, that was nice” event. Alder Hey Chairman, Sir David Henshaw is making sure of it. He has worked to bring the winning Hack project to reality and has also rounded up the groups that were working on solutions for similar problems on the mental health side of things – including ours.

He asked us back for a meeting and told us about the Innovation Fund that has been created as a result of the Hackathon (very impressive and encouraging), and he paved the way for us to collaborate and make our own Hack idea a reality.

I am chuffed and really quite impressed that this meeting happened.

It proves one of the points in my final Google Squared project – which, I'm pleased to say, was placed in the top 3 for this module. To explain, each Google Squared learning group was allocated an industry in which to assess key trends. Each group then wrote a white paper arguing for uptake of a chosen trend. We were given the medical industry and chose to argue for telehealth.

As our white paper stated, things need to change in the NHS for it to keep up with rising demand; and there are many ways for us to use technical and digital innovations in health care. But the NHS is a super tanker and what is needed is leaders who can turn it around, to benefit both patients and staff.

Sir David is one of those leaders and is taking a proactive approach at the helm of Alder Hey, at a time when it is urgently needed by a cash-strapped NHS.

There are innovative, creative and clever people out there who have brilliant ideas which will improve our health care system. Bringing people together and proving how much is possible is what happened at the Hackathon – and is continuing to happen.

Thank you to the team at Alder Hey for welcoming me to their world of health care innovation - and filling me with plenty of optimism.

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