What is the Innovations Unit?

The Innovations Unit (IU) is a distinct unit within Education for Health, set up to give the charity enough capacity and flexibility to try out unusual and innovative ideas which have not been part of our mainstream delivery.

We know that the environment in which we work has changed dramatically over the last five or 10 years, and that we want to keep pace with the changing market. The IU allows us to try out new ideas without compromising the delivery of our core education and training offer.

Primary Care Networks

As the NHS Long Term Plan introduces Primary Care Networks (PCNs), Education for Health is developing a suite of options to support networks in becoming established and delivering high quality and effective care.
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What other sort of things is it looking at?

The IU is looking at a range of about 20 projects. These fall into four main areas:

  • better use of service data (such as creating an upskilling tool or evaluating a service development)
  • helping NHS organisations to better engage their patients and communities (such as running workshops on BAME community engagement )
  • encouraging professional development and networking (such as training for Health Care Assistants or developing practice manager networks)
  • encouraging self-care by patients (such as helping patients to sustain lifestyle changes to manage type 2 diabetes).

We are also planning a flagship conference for 2019 looking at how education and training can support service redesign.

Some of our work is behind the scenes working with the NHS, for example, to develop a tool or to analyse data. Some of our work will be in delivering new types of training workshops, either to Education for Health’s core audience in primary care, or to new groups of professionals.

Who is in the Innovations Unit?

The unit currently has two team members:

  • Stephen Ryan – Director of Innovation
  • Elle Sawyer – Business Support Officer (part-time)

The unit also has a team of external consultants, with a wide range of backgrounds and skills, who will deliver the bulk of the unit’s work.

Information Flyers

What effect will the Innovations Unit have on Education for Health?

The aim of the unit is to try out new ideas which, if successful, can then become part of the Education for Health standard offering. In the course of developing these new ideas, the IU is also identifying contacts and business opportunities which are shared with other parts of the organisation (particularly the Strategic Partnerships team) to generate new business for our core offers.

We recognise that not all innovations will succeed, and the standalone nature of the IU allows us to wind down any unsuccessful projects without adversely affecting the rest of the charity.

How can I find out more?

If you want to know more, please email us on innovations@educationforhealth.org or fill in the form below, selecting Innovations Unit, and your details will be passed to our team.