Research and development

Innovation, technology and R&D

A more sustainable health and care system should utilise innovation, technology and research and development - particularly where they act as catalysts for each other and the rest of the system.

The purpose of the module document Innovation, technology and R&D (Publications Gateway Ref. No. 02653) is to set out proposals and approaches that will improve the sustainable health and wellbeing of people across England. It is the product of collaboration with many organisations and individuals across the system that have helped to highlight and define good practice in innovation, technology and R&D.

This module is separated into three main sections:

1. What we mean by Innovation, Technology and R&D in relation to sustainability
2. Themes
3. Proposals

The full module can be downloaded below along with implementation notes to support delivery.


Implementation Group

A group has been formed to take forward the work of this area of focus.

Over the next five years, the Group intends to ensure that
1.            Recognised and tested technologies and models of care that improve health and care in low carbon and sustainable ways, helping mitigate the sector’s environmental impacts, have been identified and are readily accessible to policy-makers.
2.            National policies recognise this and local health economies are incentivised to adopt them.
3.            Gaps in research and barriers to innovation and implementation are addressed systematically to ensure that progress is based on a sound and growing body of evidence.
4.            Innovation that reduces environmental impact, enhances social value, improves safety, reduces cost, and improves quality of care is routine in the planning, development and delivery throughout the health and care system – from new models of care and illness prevention, to facilities management, financial mechanisms, and workforce development.

It will do this using the following six principles:

a) Prepare for change:  identify gaps / processes which have long lead times and where research needs to be started now
b) Take a Population / system based approach
c) Align the work of the Group with emerging system wide priorities, institutional policies, and staff/public values.
d) Embed sustainability as a dimension of quality in the same way as safety, effectiveness and patient experience.
e) Quantify co-benefits, prioritising action where research and implementation for longer term sustainability are also deliver health, financial and social benefits in the short term
f) Accelerate direct engagement of the research / policy / implementation / improvement world:  funders, commissioners, researchers, publishers….

For more information about the group please contact David Pencheon.