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New tool to help NHS innovation

NHS CEO David Nicholson has set out his ambition “for an NHS defined by its commitment to innovation, demonstrated both in its support for research and its success in the rapid adoption and diffusion of the best, transformative, most innovative ideas, products, services and clinical practice.”

However, the spread and adoption of new ideas is a huge challenge for those within the service and a survey of staff needs has led to the development of the NHS Institute’s new Spread and Adoption Tool.

Diane Ketley, Head of Research and Evaluation says: “This tool allows the user to self-assess against success factors for spread and adoption and offers information, useful resources and learning materials to help strengthen areas that need attention. The tool has been designed to be easy to use and applicable to all staff at all levels and all settings. The tool focuses on what an individual, in their role, needs to do to improve the spread and adoption of innovations. We believe this tool is unique.”

The tool is a free, web-based application that has been designed to be easy to use and help healthcare staff at all levels increase the extent and speed of the sustainable spread and adoption of new ideas.

The tool has two main sections: Asses, which provides a self assessment of the readiness and likely success of the spread and adoption of any innovation or improvement. The user inputs their information on three core areas of People, Innovation and Context; The other section is Browse – which provides guidance, access to additional tools and case studies for strengthening areas that are weak. The tool will automatically consolidate the assessment and all bookmarked resources into an e-mail that can be shared with others.

The spread and adoption tool as well as being accessed via PCs or laptops, it will also work on iPad, Windows or Android based-tablets.

Laura Davies, the Patient experience and membership manager at the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases, NHS Foundation Trust says: “Continuous innovation is important in service organisations; however there has been a lack of innovation structures and processes in the NHS. This tool will help in tackling this, as it will enable crucial considerations, and present a more solid case for whether an innovation needs more work, in turn this can make a case for more realistic spread and adoption timelines, which will ultimately lead to longer-term success.”
The Spread and Adoption Tool is available at