Health CommitteeWritten evidence from Merseyside and Cheshire Health Innovation Education Cluster (ETWP 89)

Diffusion of Innovation and EducationThe I and E of HIEC

Innovation and Education Clusters have been a recent attempt to energise adoption of innovative/best practice into mainstream frontline health care delivery. The key characteristic of the HIEC concept is the fusion between spreading innovative practice and the provision of novel approaches to educational programmes. The aim ultimately is to integrate the best examples of these into both undergraduate and postgraduate curricula. Whilst there are a range of excellent organisational structures across the NHS which focus on research and nurturing innovation in health, few ask the simple question “What are your good ideas, show us how they have made a positive impact on patient care, and we will help you to bring these benefits to more patients, more quickly”. HIECs are set up to do this. We hope that this concept and the very early learning from the existing HIEC network across the NHS in England will be sustained in the new innovation and educational architecture currently being established.

HIECsFusion of NHS and HEI

Our second point is to underline the significant value of the NHS and the University sectors coming together as equal partners under the banner of the HIEC. Whilst these relationships pre-existed HIECs, in this HIEC we have the relevant Deans of all our regional Universities involved in the development of the NHS workforce sitting alongside the Postgraduate Medical Dean, and senior representatives of the local NHS provider organisations. This has supported a joined-up approach, and critically, openness in consideration of workforce planning and development issues which we would be concerned to lose, and which we do not see replicated currently in the new Education Network arrangements in this area.

We hope the committee finds these comments of some value in its considerations.

December 2011

Prepared 22nd May 2012