NHS: Innovation

Health written question – answered on 20th March 2014.

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Photo of Heather Wheeler Heather Wheeler Conservative, South Derbyshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps are being taken to promote innovation in specialised services following the indefinite suspension of the Specialised Services Commissioning Innovation Fund; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Jane Ellison Jane Ellison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

From April 2013, it became the responsibility of NHS England to directly commission specialised and highly specialised services.

NHS England has a unique opportunity to promote innovative specialised care as part of its direct commissioning responsibilities, and is working with around 1,700 clinical leaders and patient representatives across the country as part of the clinical reference group structure to identify, test and prioritise improvements to patient care, outcomes and experience.

Examples of this include NHS England's novel Commissioning through Evaluation programme, partnership working with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and the National Institute for Healthcare Research to identify research and evaluation priorities and undertake early consideration of new evidence, the development of quality dashboards, and the opportunity for stakeholders to propose service changes as part of our wider strategy development.

Agreed innovations can now be more consistently and promptly rolled out across the country as part of consistent national service specifications and policies, and form part of the contracts with all commissioned providers.

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