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Ideas for NHS Innovation Encouraged by NHS South West Chief Executive

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The chief executive of the NHS in the South West, Sir Ian Carruthers, has asked NHS staff for their input and ideas on how the National Health Service can be improved. He wrote an open letter to everyone working in the NHS – not just those in the South West region – in the hope that it would invite good ideas and suggestions to be submitted.

Sir Ian Carruthers is conducting a review on NHS practices for the coalition government. The period for responses to be received lasts until the 31st August. All responses can be made online on a government run website.

“Innovation must be encouraged and nurtured by each of us. This requires a fundamental change to the way in which people currently work,” Sir Ian stated in his letter. “At the heart of this is strong leadership – both clinical and managerial at all levels in the system. It will require all leaders to identify and tackle the behaviours and cultures that stand in the way of innovation.”

He also mentions “system incentives”, and stated that they should always “support and encourage innovation”. It is hoped that by inviting the workforce to become more pro-active in making suggestions and coming up with ideas, the NHS will improve and be more cost effective in many different ways.

Once the input has been reviewed and collated, Sir Ian will publish the report on NHS innovation in November 2011. The letter also stated, “We need to experiment more and be less risk averse. We need to take a longer term view on investments and we need to ensure staff are supported to introduce and scale up new ideas and technologies.”

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