Improving patient flow to maximise operational efficiency in the Acute Sector

SBRI Healthcare NHS England competition for development contracts

The acute sector represents around half of NHS England spend and will therefore be a key contributor to these efficiency gains. Within this context, there is a major opportunity to improve operational efficiency in acute care by better management of patient flow through and out of acute care. This cuts across many aspects of the patient journey, but focuses on activities that can enable more efficient progress through diagnostic, therapeutic and rehabilitation services towards hospital discharge.

Identified via consultation with clinicians and other stakeholders working in acute care, under the primary theme of ‘Improving patient flow’, we are inviting applications in three key categories:

• Category 1: Improving in-patient journey whilst receiving care within the hospital

• Category 2: Improving use of resources during the patient journey within acute care

• Category 3: Improving efficiency of hospital discharge

Increasingly we need to understand how to improve flow into, within and out of hospitals by focussing on how to prevent admission, by increasing the proportion of day cases, reducing the length of stay for those people that need to be admitted and by thinking about how to improve discharge and reablement processes. It is important to consider the whole patient journey and to avoid any changes to patient flow that compromise safety or system reliability.

Whilst the NHS has undoubtedly improved performance in this area, there is still significant need to identify innovative solutions to improve patient safety and experience and whilst driving down costs, increasing efficiency and productivity.

Competition Brief

Improving patient flow to maximise operational efficiency in the Acute SectorImproving Patient Flow

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About SBRI Healthcare

A new national Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) Healthcare competition is being launched by NHS England in partnership with the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSN’s) to find innovative new products and services. The projects will be selected primarily on their potential value to the health service and on the improved outcomes delivered for patients.

The competition is open to single companies or organisations from the private, public and third sectors, including charities. The competition will run in two phases:

• Phase 1 is intended to show the technical feasibility of the proposed concept. The development contracts placed will be for a maximum of 6 months and up to £100,000 (inc. VAT) per project

• Phase 2 contracts are intended to develop and evaluate prototypes or demonstration units from the more promising technologies in Phase 1. Only those projects that have completed Phase 1 successfully will be eligible for Phase 2.

Developments will be 100% funded and suppliers for each project will be selected by an open competition process and retain the intellectual property rights (IPR) generated from the project, with certain rights of use retained by the NHS.

The competition opens on 8 June 2016. The deadline for applications is 1200hrs on 28 July 2016.

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