The award-winning NHS Innovation Accelerator, or NIA, supports faster uptake and spread of high impact, evidence-based innovations across England’s NHS, benefitting patients, populations and NHS staff.

The NIA is an NHS England initiative delivered in partnership with the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs). This national accelerator has a unique dual focus on personal development for individuals (‘Fellows’) and bespoke support to spread an innovation.

Since 2015, it has supported the uptake and spread of 62 evidence-based innovations across more than 2,210 NHS sites. Independent evaluations report that NIA innovations save the health and social care system £38 million a year.

Professor Stephen Powis, National Medical Director for NHS England and NHS Improvement, says:

“The NHS Long Term Plan puts the latest technology and innovation at the heart of people’s care and the future of our health service. Right across the NHS patients are benefitting from world-beating innovations, spread as part of this programme, and now even more patients will be supported by new tools.”

NIA in the West of England

Here at the West of England AHSN, we have worked with a number of NIA Fellows including MIRA Rehab, the Joint Pain Advisor and the Low Carb Programme; predominantly through signposting to the right people in our member organisations.

In March 2020, 11 high impact innovations joined the NIA, including one developed here in the West of England: The WaterDrop. Developed by Mark Moran MBE, The WaterDrop is a low-cost, high-impact innovation enabling patients to easily access fluids at any time without needing to call for help. This innovation helps prevent dehydration and avoidable intravenous drips and could provide a breakthrough in a variety of health and social care settings. Mark received support for The WaterDrop back in 2016 through the Health Innovation Programme (HIP), our immersive bootcamp for healthcare entrepreneurs.

If you are interested in any of the NIA Fellows and would like further information, please contact Alex Leach or Dave Evans.