The West of England AHSN’s Future Challenges programme is a ground breaking new way we are supporting innovators and local partners to pilot innovations and validate them in a real-world setting.

Our key aim of the programme is to generate evidence to support the wider introduction of promising new innovations to address an identified health and care challenge.

The process

The programme follows an open innovation methodology, and starts with identifying key health and care challenges that may benefit from innovative solutions. Working with our members and key stakeholders, including clinicians and commissioners, we have so far identified and launched challenges on the following themes:

  • Keeping Healthy at Home
  • Young People and Mental Health Resilience

Once the challenge is identified, a call is issued and innovators are invited to apply.

Our expert panel chooses the most promising solutions from a wide range of submissions, which are then paired with local health and care providers keen to trial them. We also  identify specialist independent evaluators for each project to assess the impact and potential scalability of the projects. The objective is to build high quality evidence to support possible future commissioning decisions.

The successful projects are selected primarily on their potential value to the local health economy and on the improved outcomes delivered for service users. Up to 12 months of project funding is offered to both the innovator and trial site.

The Future Challenges  |  Young People and Mental Health Resilience

Our call to innovators focused on two main priorities identified in the West of England:

Building and promoting resilience

Asking “what if we could use digital technology to help support the emotional wellbeing of young people by building resilience and thereby reduce the occurrence of mental health issues in the future?”

Early identification

Asking “what if we could identify needs earlier, allowing more timely support to young people and reducing the incidence of more serious problems developing?”

Two successful projects will be running during 2020 and completing in 2021: MiHUB and SmartGym Gloucestershire.

More details on the original challenge

The Future Challenges  |  Keeping Healthy at Home

Our call to innovators focused on two main priorities identified in the West of England:

Staying well and confident

Asking “what if we had technology, knowledge and the confidence to manage our own condition as an expert?”

Staying connected and supported

Asking “what if we could improve health literacy and fully support self-management?”

Two successful projects that will be running during 2020 and completing in 2021: Replenish-ME and Moving to Better Health

A further Covid-19 response pilot was also run in 2020/21 to support maintaining physical activity levels amongst patients with a respiratory diagnosis who could not access Pulmonary Rehabilitation during the Covid-19 crisis. Read more about Keeping Active During Covid-19.

More details on the original challenge