A look back at this year’s NHS Health and Care Innovation Expo

This year’s Health and Care Innovation Expo in Manchester was once again well-attended with an impressive speaker list which included Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, Chief Executive of NHS England, Simon Stevens and NHS England Medical Director, Sir Bruce Keogh addressing the audience.

One of the key areas of focus was the evolution and expansion of the vanguard programme, which was established during 2015 to improve the coordination between urgent and emergency care services to ease pressure on accident and emergency services within the NHS and to develop new care models to act as best practice blueprints for the NHS in the future.

This focus on bridging the gap between community and emergency departments is one seen in many countries around the world to try and get the right care to the right people. It is also designed to ensure that patients do not embark on costly treatment paths inappropriately adding costs and potentially delaying appropriate treatment.

During the course of the exhibition, a number of representatives from vanguards visited our booth where we showcased our VitalScan device. We explained how an early “rule out” model could be used to better diagnose patients with chest pain before they enter the accident and emergency care path. While the current GP model would immediately refer any patients experiencing chest pain to A&E departments, the new vanguard model will see GPs taking on some of the initial triage process. Accurate and reliable rule out tests will be key to this success. In addition, there was a lot of discussion about how VitalScan and the Cardiac Tool Kit could be used to monitor high risk cardiac patients over time.

The 2016 NHS Innovation Expo highlighted that there is a real appetite for change and innovation within the NHS; change that can deliver process improvement, cost savings and patient outcome benefits is the focus of a number of initiatives and programmes. This appetite is seen across the full UK health sector, National Institute for Health Research, Department of Health, NHS England and the Academic Health Science Networks. We look forward to continuing to engage positively with representatives from all of these organisations to help deliver improvements to services that will ultimately enable patients to access the care and treatment they need more quickly.