Develop case studies

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.

Here are some case studies exploring our work at the ‘Develop’ phase of our innovation pipeline from 2023-24.

Trialling AI-based optimisation technology in the homecare sector

Through our Domiciliary Care Workforce Programme, we have been trialling the use of artificial intelligence (AI) based optimisation technology in the homecare sector.

We have worked with two local authorities, Cornwall Council and Bristol City Council, to pilot the use of Procomp’s Strategic Optimisation service.

Procomp is a Finnish company, which works with a third of the Finnish domiciliary care workforce. They use an AI-based solution to optimise planning, reduce mileage and improve carer utilisation.

We delivered the Domiciliary Care Workforce Programme in partnership with Health Innovation South West and NHS England Workforce, Training and Education South West (formerly Health Education England).

Our evaluation of the programme identified opportunities for local authorities and care providers to improve the planning of homecare, offering potentially significant benefits for care workers, service users and the social care sector as a whole.

Read the evaluation report at

Integrated care plays a pivotal role in delivering high-quality services to the population of the South West. I’m genuinely enthusiastic about witnessing how AI technology can begin to positively influence the provision of domiciliary care, enhancing efficiency and enriching the experience for both care-providers and recipients within our communities.

Christian Brailsford Regional Lead for Nursing, Midwifery and Social Care, NHS England South West

Speeding up clinical diagnosis of cardiac arrhthmias

We have worked with North Bristol NHS Trust (NBT) to assess the benefits for patients and staff of a cardiac monitoring solution that is seen as a technological advancement from traditional electrocardiogram (ECG) Holter monitoring systems.

Our evaluation of NBT’s implementation of iRhythm’s Zio device shows it has successfully improved system efficiencies by increasing the number of patients completing the diagnostic pathway, decreasing waiting times for monitoring and identifying cardiac arrhythmias that otherwise would have been missed.

An important feature of the patch technology is the ability for longer monitoring periods and Zio can be used for up to 14 days. The evaluation demonstrated that high numbers of arrhythmias were identified using the Zio device after the five-day monitoring period traditionally carried out by Holter monitors. These would have gone undetected using the previous system or patients may have required the fitting of a repeat device,
with the associated delay to treatment.

Read the evaluation report at

Breastfeeding support for new mothers in Gloucestershire

Anya is a pregnancy, parenting, and breastfeeding support app that uses cutting-edge 3D interactive technology and AI intelligence to assist new mothers. We have supported Anya since its founder participated in our Health Innovation Programme in 2018.

We have partnered with Gloucestershire’s Local Maternity and Neonatal System (LMNS) to pilot and evaluate the use of the app to increase breastfeeding initiation and continuation rates in younger and deprived populations.

We supported Anya in their successful bid for SBRI Healthcare funding to enhance the app to ensure it was suited to a wide range of cultures and backgrounds and is accessible to all mothers.

Ahead of the pilot, we carried out a survey of maternity staff to understand their views, feelings and experiences around breastfeeding support and the use of technology. The insights from staff provided valuable groundwork to inform how we implement the mobile technology.

The evaluation report will be published in early 2025.

The aim of the project, which will be implemented and evaluated by Health Innovation West of England, is to improve breastfeeding rates across the county but, in particular, in the areas identified as having the lowest breastfeeding rates.

Dawn Morrall Clinical Lead, Gloucestershire Local Maternity and Neonatal System

Improving care for NIV patients

While there has been a slight improvement in recent years, mortality rates for patients receiving non-invasive ventilation (NIV) in England remain higher than in many other countries.

To help address this, our Improving NIV Care programme is working with the six acute hospitals across the West of England to introduce a standardised NIV 5 care bundle, based on the British Thoracic Society’s quality standards.

The aim is to reduce mortality rates to 10% or lower for patients who require acute NIV for type 2 respiratory failure. We are supporting implementation of the care bundle with quality improvement (QI) approaches and tools to ensure that the right support is given to clinicians.

In 2023 at least 100 lives have been saved across the West of England through the introduction of the NIV care bundle.

This programme is due to complete in autumn 2024 and we will share our evaluation report and lessons learned.

Find out more at


Building on the success of our award-winning PreciSSIon project to reduce surgical site infections (SSI) after elective colorectal surgery, we launched a successor project working with six acute hospitals and maternity units to reduce SSIs following caesarean births, using an evidence-based care bundle of four elements.

This has been supported through the use of a bespoke digital reporting tool provided by Cemplicity, making it easier for patients to provide feedback following caesarean surgery.

6,000 mothers in the West of England have been treated so far using the PreCiSSIon care bundle.

Analysis of data to date has shown that women with a higher body mass index (BMI) at booking are at increased risk of an SSI, so the next phase of the PreCiSSIon programme is for a six-month trial using negative pressure dressings with women with a BMI of 35 or over, in addition to the rest of the care bundle.

Find out more at

Black Maternity Matters

Black women face significant disparities in maternal health outcomes, with higher mortality and stillbirth rates compared to white women. The root causes are attributed to systemic biases, structural racism, and a lack of racial literacy and anti-racist theory and practice within healthcare services.

In partnership with Black Mothers Matter, Representation Matters and BCohCo, we launched the Black Maternity Matters project in 2022 to tackle these issues by providing targeted anti-racism education, peer support, and QI transformation projects.

Informed by the evaluation of the pilot phase, the Black Maternity Matters collaborative delivered two further programmes of the training between May and December 2023 in Bath and and in Gloucestershire, as well as another programme in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

There are now 161 health and care professionals from across the West of England in our Black Maternity Matters community.

We are continuing the programme in 2024/25 and running further cohorts to reach more maternity and neonatal staff across the West of England. In addition, we have expanded our focus by creating a new Senior Leaders cohort, including chief executives, chief nursing officers, medical directors, heads of midwifery, and ICB leads across the wider South West region.

Find out more at

Truly inspiring to see the work that’s being done to ensure that health inequities are reduced and health rights are restored. It is a civil right for all to have access to healthcare that listens, learns and grows.

Dr Karen Joash Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Living Well with COPD

The Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England have launched a new investment of £30 million through the Health Technology Adoption and Acceleration Fund (HTAAF) to propel innovative medical technologies that have received a NICE Early Value Assessment more quickly into patients’ care pathways.

Through this programme we are supporting Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) Integrated Care Board (ICB) to develop and deliver the Living Well with COPD project.

This is a service model that provides digitally enabled care using specialist applications and remote monitoring equipment to empower people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to take control of their health, while reducing calls to GP practices and admissions into local hospitals.

Find out more at

Health Innovation West of England provided key project management support to help us introduce the digital solution for the Living Well with COPD scheme. Working collaboratively with us and our digital providers, Doccla and myCOPD, their skills and experience have proved invaluable in rolling out this large-scale programme for local people with COPD.

Seb Habibi Deputy Director of Transformation at Healthier Together

Innovation for Healthcare Inequalities Programme

NHS England’s Innovation for Healthcare Inequalities Programme (InHIP) aims to increase awareness and adoption of evidence-based innovations that can reduce healthcare inequalities, improving access, experience and outcomes for Core20PLUS5 populations.

We have supported two InHIP projects in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, and Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire, both of which focused on lipid optimisation for patients with raised cholesterol in the most deprived areas.

We have completed an evaluation of these projects, revealing a range of valuable learnings around targeting CVD related health inequalities in deprived areas.

The evaluation of all InHIP projects around the country will form an impact and learning report to ensure collective insights inform the development of Wave 2 projects, which will be undertaken during 2024/25.

Find out more at

Testing innovative approaches for post-pandemic healthcare

The NHS Insights Prioritisation Programme was launched in 2021 to contribute to the recovery from COVID-19, build resilience and deliver benefits to patients.

The Health Innovation Network and the NIHR Applied Research Collaborations (ARCs) teamed up for the projects, benefitting from each other’s unique skills and links with system partners. Each project received a share of £4.2 million funding from NHS England and the Accelerated Access Collaborative.

The local collaboration between NIHR ARC West and Health Innovation West of England focused on the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme. The scheme funds non-GP healthcare professionals, such as physiotherapists and paramedics, to work in primary care.

Read the evaluation report at

Back to Annual Report 2023-24