Review three major innovative developments in NHS health provision from the last five years. Explain the important of these three service innovations for the provision of NHS care in East London and offer an evaluation of their usefulness and success.
Today, the innovative development in the NHS influences the development of the NHS and health care services nationwide. At the same time, the effectiveness of innovative developments plays a particularly significant role in such regions as East London, where the quality and availability of health care services is not always fair and equal. To put it more precisely, in spite of all the progress of the modern NHS and health care services, a considerable part of the UK’s population, including a part of the population living in East London cannot benefit from the most advanced and essential health care services. At any rate, the problem of the availability and inequality in health care services and innovative developments in the NHS traditionally aim at closing the gap between the UK’s citizens living in different parts of the country and taking different social standing. In actuality, the successful development and introduction of innovations is crucial for the overall success of the NHS and for the high quality of health care services being delivered to all citizens of the UK, especially in such regions as East London, where the population is in need of available health care services of high quality.
The innovative development in the NHS is a strategically important direction in the development and provision of health care services in the UK. In the time of the unparalleled technological and scientific progress, the quality of health care services in East London and some other parts of the UK are unfairly low, while the gap between private and public sector of health care services is still enormous. A considerable part of the UK population heavily relies on the NHS and public health care services as the only source of health care services and the quality of these services defines the quality of life of many people living in the UK, especially East London. In addition, the quality of health care services is not just the question of the individual health but it is also and mainly the question of the public health.
In this respect, it is important to lay emphasis on the fact that the innovative developments in the NHS often focus on the introduction of new technologies and methods of treatment in the NHS. In actuality, the innovative development in the NHS is closely intertwined with the technological and scientific development at large because the innovative developments in the NHS are grounded on the latest technological and scientific developments not only in the field of medicine but also other sciences. For instance, information technologies play an extremely important role in the modern society and in the modern NHS. This is why innovative developments in the NHS often involve the introduction of new information technologies in the NHS.
In such a context, the development of innovations and their successful introduction become one of the primary concerns of the modern NHS. However, this is exactly where the problem arises because the innovative developments need substantial financial resources, whereas the introduction of innovations nationwide needs even more substantial financial resources than the development of innovations proper.
In this regard, the funding of the NHS defines, to a significant extent, innovative developments in the NHS. The NHS is funded by the state that makes the NHS dependent on the revenues and spending of the state budget. At the same time, the dependence of the NHS on the state funding limits consistently its financial resources because private medicine often has better funding from private sources and private medicine can deliver the higher quality of health care services compared to public medicine (Fuchs and Emanuel, 2005). This is why many innovative developments in the NHS aim at the search of new, more effective sources of funding and optimization of existing mechanisms of funding innovations and their implementation in the NHS.
In actuality, it is possible to single out several programs and innovative developments that can optimize the funding of innovation researches and implementations and contribute to the wider introduction of innovations in the NHS. Among these innovative developments, it is possible to single out the following: the Health Innovation Challenge Fund, the NHS National Innovation Center, and the Small Business Research Initiative (SMRI) launched by the NHS in East of England. Remarkably, the aforementioned innovative developments refer not only to national programs but also to regional ones, which are focused on specific regions with special needs and demands concerning health care services and their availability to average citizens.
The NHS National Innovation Center operates nationwide. The purpose of the NHS National Innovation Center is to facilitate the introduction of technological innovations in NHS hospitals across the UK (Hill, 2006). In fact, the NHS National Innovation Center provide the support to innovative developments in the field of health care services, which can improve the quality of health care services, offer new methods of treatment and other useful innovations that can improve the contemporary health care services consistently. The support of innovative developments from the part of the NHS National Innovation Center manifests through the acceptance and adoption of innovative treatment and new technologies in NHS hospitals nationwide. At this point, such regions as East London need particularly such a support because local hospitals cannot always implement innovative treatment and new technologies because of bureaucratic obstacles and scarce financial resources. The NHS National Innovation Center facilitates the introduction of innovative treatment and new technologies eliminating bureaucratic barriers. In the past, the introduction of such innovations was very complicated and researchers had to waste a lot of time and money to license their innovative treatment and technologies. As a result, when they were introduced in East London they were not absolutely up-to-date and new, more prospective, innovative treatment and technologies have already been developed but could not be introduced in NHS hospitals. Therefore, the NHS National Innovation Center helps to tackle this problem successfully.
Furthermore, the Health Innovation Challenge Fund (HICF) is another important innovative program that targets at and facilitates the wider introduction of innovations in the NHS nationwide. The HICF is a 100 million, five year parallel funding partnership between the Wellcome Trust and the Department of Health (Davis, et al., 2006). In fact, the HICF facilitates the introduction of innovations and innovative treatments in NHS hospitals through funding of particularly prospective projects and their introduction in health care setting. In this respect, it is worth mentioning the fact that the HICF is an example of the effective cooperation between the state agency and private company. Such cooperation is extremely important taking into consideration the lack of financial resources for the introduction of innovations in NHS hospitals. This problem is particularly significant for East London, where the local population has particularly extensive health care needs and many low-income families cannot afford health care services of the high quality which are not available to them within the NHS and it is only private clinics that can provide such services. The HICF funding of innovations can tackle this problem and make effective health care services, technologies and treatment available to all citizens of the UK, including those living in East London. On the other hand, the HICF has its own limitations, including a 100 million fund and five year term of the cooperation between the Wellcome Trust and the Department of Health.
At the same time, there are more region-oriented innovative developments in the NHS, such as the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) which targets at East England specifically, including East London, to support and fund the wide introduction of innovative treatment and technologies in NHS hospitals (Pinkerton, 2000). Remarkably the SBRI is partly funded by the European Regional Development Fund that facilitates and improves the funding of the NHS and innovative developments which can be implemented successfully with the help of the SBRI. In addition, the SBRI implies the larger involvement of small business in the maintenance and funding of the NHS with a particular focus on innovations and their introduction in NHS hospitals. The SBRI stimulates the local communities to participate in the funding of NHS and develops social responsibility of the contemporary business. This innovative development does not simply facilitate the introduction of innovations in the NHS but also it contributes to the close cooperation between the NHS and local communities. As a result, health care services receive the support not only from the part of the state but also from the part of business and local communities. What is more important is the fact that such regions as East London benefit from the SBRI because the SBRI targets at such regions as East London specifically (Snell-Jones, et al., 2003). These regions are particularly vulnerable to poor public health and the lack of financial resources for the wide implementation of innovations. In such a situation, the assistance at the local level is particularly important and helpful because financial and human resources work for specific regions enrolled in the SBRI.
Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is possible to conclude that innovative developments in the NHS contribute to the improvement of the quality of health care services and make them available to a larger amount of people in the UK. The aforementioned innovative developments are particularly important in regard to the development of health care services of the high quality in East London and other regions where the population suffers from the poor public health and where the lack of financial resources prevents NHS hospitals from the wide introduction of innovations. As a result, the successful implementation of innovative developments facilitates consistently the introduction of innovations and improves the quality of health care services in NHS hospitals.