Insights for innovators

Understanding current health and care priorities

We gather these system insights from a range of sources, including our ongoing work and engagement with local health and care providers and commissioners. We are keen to support innovators who are developing or already have potential solutions in these areas.

If you have an innovation that addresses any of the challenges listed below, or are working in another area about which you’d like to better understand the relevant system priorities, we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with us at

We have curated a selection of resources around our current system priorities. We are responding to the needs expressed by our local and national health partners, which we then communicate to innovators. These will be updated when new insights are available or other priorities are highlighted.

Cardiovascular Disease


Health Technology

Net Zero

NHS England Insights and Priorities

Patient and Public Involvement


Urgent and Emergency Care

Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)

As outlined in the NHS England Long Term Plan, CVD is a major priority for the health and care system. Here are a range of resources and further reading detailing some of the key issues and considerations.

Pathway published: lipid optimisation pathway following an acute cardiovascular event (The Health Innovation Network, 2023)

Working in partnership with the Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) and National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), the Health Innovation Network has published a clinically approved pathway to support secondary care clinicians in lipid optimisation. The pathway can be viewed on the website as well as more information on the National Lipid Management and Familial Hypercholesterolaemia programme of work.

The future of CVD care in an evolving system (Heart UK, 2021)

This report from the charity Heart UK reflects on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on CVD care. It highlights the learnings and opportunities that arose from the de-prioritisation of care during the pandemic.

Research demand signalling: National Stroke Programme (NHS England, 2022)

This NHS England report highlights the priority areas for research to inform national Stroke policy and supports the NHS Long Term Plan targets for England. It builds upon the work of the   to develop a clear direction for future research and investment activity.

CVD Prevent Report (NHS Benchmarking Network and the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities, 2021)

This report is a national primary care audit that extracts routinely held GP held data covering diagnosis and management of six high risk CVD conditions. The audit provides data to highlight gaps, identify inequalities and identifies opportunities for improvement.

Cardiovascular disease high impact interventions (NHS England website)

The NHS England website outlines the current high impact interventions for CVD diagnosis and treatment. It provides information on costs, impact and expected outcomes.



Clinical Risk Management Standards (NHS Digital, July 2020)

This NHS Digital webpage details the standards (DCB0129 and DCB0160) which suppliers must comply with to be commissioned by the NHS.

AHSN Network Perspective on Digital and Data Innovation – The AHSN Network

This report, produced by the AHSN Network, feeds into the government led Hewitt Review  to support accelerating innovation to improve patient care and staff experience. Using examples and case studies from the Network, the report provides key findings and recommendations for the future landscape of digital and data innovation the health and social care sector.


Health Technology


EPSRC Health Technologies Strategy (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, 2023)

This strategy outlines how engineering and physical sciences research can
play a key role in ensuring health service delivery is suitable for the future.


Net Zero

NHS England has committed to a net zero health and care service by 2040. Here are a range of resources which explore the local and national plans as well as the AHSN network’s support for innovators wanting to find out more about how the Net Zero requirements will apply to them.

Greener NHS programme (NHS England website)

This is the homepage for the Greener NHS programme. It includes the national plan, case studies, news and updates and opportunities to sign up to the Greener NHS bulletin.

Taking account of Carbon Reduction Plans in the procurement of major government contracts (Government Commercial Function, 2023)

These documents from the Government Commercial Function provide guidance for writing and submitting carbon reduction plans when tendering for government contracts. The webpage includes guidance, frequently asked questions and a carbon reduction plan template.

Delivering a ‘Net Zero’ National Health Service (NHS England, 2022)

This NHS England report outlines the NHS commitment to net zero by 2040 and the approach needed to achieve this target. It provides an overview of interventions as well as opportunities for an accelerated timeline.

Net Zero local green plans (NHS England South West):

Each of our Integrated Care Systems have produced a Green Plan, in line with the national NHS England Net Zero plan. The plans outline the local challenges, as well as their approaches and targets to achieving a net zero health and care system.

Environmental Sustainability AHSN Network (AHSN Network)

This is the AHSN Network website for environmental sustainability. It details the role of the AHSNs, as well as ways in which innovators and healthcare workers can get in touch with the network.

Net Zero innovator guide (Health Innovation Kent Surrey Sussex and Health Innovation Oxford and Thames Valley)

Health Innovation Kent Surrey Sussex and Health Innovation Oxford and Thames Valley have produced a guide to help innovators working with the NHS towards its net zero ambitions.

It’s a comprehensive one-stop-shop, as well as providing links to further resources supporting carbon reduction and sustainable development. It includes a step-by-step guide and self-assessment checklist for innovators on achieving net zero.

How Health Innovation Networks are supporting innovators to achieve Net Zero (Health Innovation West of England)

Watch a video explaining how Health Innovation Networks can help you get your product and organisation ready for the NHS NetZero supplier roadmap.

NHS England Insights and Priorities

We have pulled together a range of reports, plans and websites from national NHS and AHSN Network sources to highlight the health and care system insights and priorities.

NHS England 2023/2024 Priorities and Operational Planning Guidance (NHS England, 2023)

This NHS England report sets out the priorities for 2023/2024, which form the basis for assessing NHS performance alongside the local priorities set by systems.

Integration and innovation: working together to improve health and social care for all (Department of Health and Social Care, February 2021)

This policy paper from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) outlines legislative proposals for a Health and Care bill. It seeks to remove bureaucratic barriers and strengthen partnerships to improve our health and care system for everyone.

NHS Long Term Plan (NHS England, 2019)

The NHS Long Term Plan sets out the vision to redesign patient care and future-proof our health and care service. The plan has been divided into chapters but also covers specific topics such as cardiovascular disease, digital transformation and workforce. This supports innovators to understand how the vision will be applied to specific clinical pathways and identify opportunities.

NHS Core20PLUS5 (NHS England website)

NHS Core20PLUS5 is a national approach to reducing healthcare inequalities. The NHS England website provides information on programmes as well as case studies and data insights.

NHS Children and Young People Core 20PLUS (NHS England website)

NHS Children and Young People Core20PLUS5 is an extension of the nationwide healthcare inequalities approach, with a specific focus on children and young people.

Getting It Right First Time Programme (Getting It Right First Time website)

This is a national programme designed to improve the treatment and care of patients through in-depth review of services, benchmarking, and presenting a data-driven evidence base to support change.

The programme undertakes clinically led reviews of specialties, combining wide-ranging data analysis with the input and professional knowledge of senior clinicians to examine how things are currently being done and how they could be improved.

Patient and Public Involvement

One size doesn’t fit all: re-imagining medicines information for patients (Kent, Surrey, Sussex AHSN, the UK National Innovation Centre for Ageing and Unity Insights, March 2023)

This report presents the findings of engagement work with patients and healthcare professionals to understand what people think about current medicines product information and if it could be improved using digital solutions. Using the survey responses, the report makes a series of recommendations which will inform a roadmap for electronic product information.

Urgent & Emergency Care: acting on patient and public perspectives (Eastern Academic Health Science Network, 2022)

This report from Eastern Academic Health Science Network provides insights into people’s experiences of urgent and emergency care (UEC), including the barriers and enablers to accessing appropriate services at the right time. Using this public steering group, the report makes four recommendations to support patients in accessing UEC services.

Create Open Health: Voices for Change (West of England Academic Health Science Network, 2022)

This report from the West of England AHSN explores some of the challenges experienced by those living with or caring for someone with bladder and bowel conditions. It presents insights and recommendations for meaningful and enduring change with the public and patient voice at the centre.


There is a national priority to improve diagnosis and treatment of respiratory conditions. We have gathered insights from national and charity sources to highlight the key challenges and issues patients and clinicians face.

COPD in the UK: delayed diagnosis and unequal care (Asthma + Lung UK, 2022)

This report presents the findings of the Asthma + Lung UK COPD patient survey. It highlights delays and barriers to accurate diagnosis, a decline in the quality of care and a disproportionate impact of deprivation.

Respiratory Medicine (Getting it Right First Time Programme National Specialty Report, March 2021)

This report presents the findings of 58 deep dive visits to respiratory services. It makes recommendations for the healthcare system and provides actions to achieve them.

Digital Asthma (Asthma UK, 2020)

This report from the charity Asthma UK seeks to examine how the national digital priorities can translate to improvements in asthma services within primary care. It provides evidence through case studies and makes the case for these to be scaled nationally.

Taskforce for Lung Health – 5 year plan (Taskforce for Lung Health, 2019)

This plan from the Taskforce for Lung Health is a collaboration between patients, health care professionals and other lung health experts. The taskforce makes recommendations across the prevention, diagnosis, care, and end of life stages.

On the edge: how inequality affects people with asthma (Asthma UK, 2018)

This short report from the charity Asthma UK outlines the relationship between health inequalities and asthma. It makes recommendations to tackle causes and triggers, improve access to basic care and increase engagement in healthcare through digital innovation.

Urgent and Emergency Care

Urgent and emergency care: Rapid insights and opportunities for innovation (May 2023)

There are many challenges facing providers and commissioners of urgent and emergency care, which have been further compounded and complicated by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Whilst these challenges are well documented, it can be difficult for the innovation community to understand how best to help the system to address these.

Health Innovation West of England conducted a rapid insight exercise during the autumn/winter of 2022/23 to explore this challenging area. This involved a review of published policies and research, alongside engagement with local health and care system partners across the West of England.

Read our guide for a summary of the high-level themes uncovered through this review and raised by stakeholders relating to urgent and emergency care. We hope these insights will help to inform and signpost innovators interested in helping to address these challenges.

Getting It Right First Time Programme

This is a national programme designed to improve the treatment and care of patients through in-depth review of services, benchmarking, and presenting a data-driven evidence base to support change.

The programme undertakes clinically led reviews of specialties, combining wide-ranging data analysis with the input and professional knowledge of senior clinicians to examine how things are currently being done and how they could be improved.