Annual report 2023-24: transforming lives through health and care innovation

Welcome to our annual report for 2023-24

Download the full publication here as a PDF or browse the online contents below.

This past year has been a transformative period for us. Not only have we changed our name to better reflect our role as the innovation arm of the NHS, we have also co-created an ambitious five-year strategy setting out a clear roadmap for how we will discover, develop and deploy proven innovation to achieve better and fairer health outcomes for our local populations.

Steve West, Chair and Natasha Swinscoe, Chief Excecutive of Health Innovation West of England

Our commitment to supporting a vibrant health innovation ecosystem has never been more evident. This year, we successfully supported 235 innovators, fostering exciting advancements with the potential to benefit patients and health systems alike. Our collaborative efforts across the national Health Innovation Network have resulted in £475.8 million being leveraged by innovators through grants and private investment, a testament to the robust support and guidance we provide and demonstrating the important role we play in driving economic growth.

We are particularly proud of the significant impact our programmes have had on patient care. The PreCiSSIon care bundle, which has now been used to treat 6,000 mothers following caesarean births in the West of England, exemplifies our dedication to putting evidence into practice. Similarly, our non-invasive ventilation care bundle has saved at least 100 lives, highlighting our commitment to introducing effective, lifesaving innovations.

Our focus extends beyond immediate health interventions to include systemic improvements across various care pathways. The establishment of 84 communities of practice through our national Polypharmacy programme and the engagement of 98% of primary care networks in our lipid management programme are just two examples of how we are fostering a culture of continuous improvement and collaborative learning across the health and care landscape.

One of our proudest achievements is the ongoing success of PERIPrem. Since its launch, nearly 3,000 premature babies in the South West have benefited from this unique perinatal care bundle, which continues to reduce brain injury and mortality rates among preterm infants. Born in the West, this innovative approach is now being delivered across Wales and other parts of England.

Training and capacity building remain at the heart of our mission. Through our RESTORE2 programme, we have trained 3,217 care staff to better identify and respond to signs of deterioration. Our Black Maternity Matters community has grown to include 161 health and care professionals, all working together to improve maternal health outcomes for Black women and encourage anti-racist practice.

Engaging and collaborating with diverse communities is crucial to our approach, ensuring the needs and insights of people with lived experience inform the development of innovation.

Over 900 secondary school children have shared their insights with the charity ERIC about living with bladder and bowel conditions, helping to inform better care practices and support systems for young people. Meanwhile, our South West Learning Disabilities Collaborative continues to grow, now encompassing 458 members dedicated to improving health outcomes for people with learning disabilities.

As we look to the future, our vision remains clear: to increase the uptake of innovation across health and care services, driving forward improvements that have a positive impact on the lives of people in our communities. We are committed to growing a well-networked community of enthusiasts who bring fresh thinking and new ways of doing things, ensuring that the innovations we support are adopted widely and effectively.

We extend our heartfelt thanks to our dedicated staff, partners, and the wider innovation community for your continued support, energy and collaboration. Together, we are transforming lives through health and care innovation, building a healthier future for all.

Our year in numbers


innovators were supported by our industry and innovation team this year


of primary care networks in the West of England engaged through our lipid management programme


£475.8 million

leveraged by innovators through grants and private investment with support from the national Health Innovation Network


health and care professionals have now joined our Black Maternity Matters community


mothers in the West of England have been treated to date using our PreCiSSIon care bundle following caesarean births



care staff received training in spotting signs of deterioration through our RESTORE2 programme, which completed in October 2023


lives saved through introduction of our non-invasive ventilation care bundle


people attended our online and in-person events



jobs created by companies supported by the national Health Innovation Network


people are now members of our South West Learning Disabilities Collaborative



communities of practice have been created across England through our national Polypharmacy programme


people accessed support and resources via our online Innovation Exchange


views of our Academy video resources to date



premature babies have been cared for in the South West to date using our unique PERIPrem perinatal care bundle



secondary school children shared their insights in our report with the charity ERIC about living with bladder and bowel conditions


Identifying promising solutions to meet health and care needs

Innovation starts by thoroughly understanding the problems we need to solve.

We do this at Health Innovation West of England by embedding ourselves in and working collaboratively with our local health and care systems. By nurturing active networks and communities and learning from their insights, we can better understand and respond to their priorities for innovation and improvement.

Through our needs analysis activities, we engage with health and care professionals, networks and communities to gain their collective insights, providing tools and techniques to help them identify and describe the needs and challenges that would benefit most from new approaches.

Many innovations show early promise, and identifying and supporting those that can help address real needs is critical. As part of the national Health Innovation Network, we play a vital role in this.

Our team offers a range of support services and guidance to innovators who are developing products and services with the potential to improve patient outcomes, increase efficiencies and grow the UK health sector economy.

Read case studies from the Discover phase of our innovation pipeline

I was not able to finish at my primary school or to take my next steps by attending a secondary school because of the lack of support for children with bowel issues. We go through enough without people listening to us. We need our voices to be heard and for people to be more understanding of our needs.

Participant ERIC Young Champions project


Bringing together innovators and health and care providers to accelerate proof of value and market readiness

In this phase of the innovation journey, we bring together innovators, researchers, health and care professionals, patients and service users and other stakeholders to experiment, prototype, test and make a business case for new solutions and ways of working.

We work with innovators to refine their ideas and develop them into viable business propositions that could have a real impact on the health outcomes of our local communities.

And we work with health and social care providers to consider promising innovations and evaluate those with potential in real world settings, assessing the cost benefits and building an evidence base to facilitate wider adoption and spread.

Read case studies from the Develop phase of our innovation pipeline

The Zio patch technology is making a real difference for our patients – providing timely and accurate diagnostics at the convenience of the patient whilst also releasing clinician time. This evaluation has demonstrated the scale of benefit of using these technologies and will support the NHS to accelerate rolling out these technologies.

Suzanne Hatfield Cardiac Physiology Manager at North Bristol NHS Trust


Supporting the health and care system to adopt and spread proven innovations

As innovations develop into real world solutions and services, our role moves to identifying and supporting those with the greatest potential to improve health and care across the West of England and beyond.

Our focus is on selecting innovations and innovative practice with a proven clinical evidence base to spread more widely across our local systems.

We act as a facilitator or guide in encouraging adoption and spread, using quality improvement approaches to continue testing, learning, adapting and refining.

Read case studies from the Deploy phase of our innovation pipeline

As a GP partner with a significant number of elderly and vulnerable patients under my care, I found the Action Learning Set invaluable for building confidence in working with patients to tackle polypharmacy. This includes the provision of patient support aids and approaching difficult ‘de-prescribing’ conversations with more structure and clearer objectives.

GP Winchester