Healthcare pioneers are being invited to apply to a new programme aimed at rolling out the latest treatments and services across the wider NHS.

The NHS innovation accelerator programme is being launched this month by Sir Bruce Keogh, the medical director of NHS England.

Applicants to the programme should currently be leading or developing a new technology, service or process that has the potential to improve outcomes for patients.

Successful candidates will be offered the chance to develop their ideas and see them adopted on a larger scale. They will be given support, including being matched with a high calibre mentor, such as Lord Ara Darzi, professor of surgery at the Institute of Cancer Research and Imperial College London, and Chair of the Institute of Global Health at Imperial College London or Sir Sam Everington, board member for the King’s Fund.

The NHS Innovation Accelerator programme is being run by UCLPartners, of which the Royal Free London is a member, along with The Health Foundation and NHS England.

The NHS is facing many pressures, including an ageing population, more long-term conditions, rising costs and constrained budgets. Finding new ways of delivering care and cost effective solutions is essential if the NHS is to meet these challenges.

Sir Bruce Keogh, medical director of NHS England, said: “Britain has made a significant contribution to medical science and humankind. The smallpox vaccine invented by Edward Jenner is said to have saved more lives than have been lost in all wars. Sir Ronald Ross won the first British Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology for his discovery that malaria was carried by mosquitoes. Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin and Crick and Watson discovered the structure of DNA. We are responsible for the first test tube baby, the first stem cell transplant and the ability to stop and restart the heart – which is the basis of modern heart surgery.

“The Innovation Accelerator will build on our enviable history of discovery and innovation by embracing cutting-edge healthcare innovators from around the world to improve patient care while reducing costs and providing better value for the taxpayer.”

Professor Stephen Powis, medical director of the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, added: “I know that so many members of staff are using innovative techniques or have developed new ways of running services, which have been of real benefit to our patients. I would like to encourage as many of our staff as possible to apply to this scheme, so that more NHS patients across the country can benefit from your ideas.”

The first wave application process is now open. Innovators from across the international healthcare spectrum are invited to apply. For more information, including criteria and the application form, please visit The closing date for applications is 27 February 2015.

Image: Professor Stephen Powis, medical director of the Royal Free London.


Notes to editors

Media contacts: Mary McConnell on 020 7472 6665 or email

About the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

The Royal Free began as a pioneering organisation and continues to play a leading role in the care of patients. Our mission is to provide world class expertise and local care. In the 21st century, the Royal Free London continues to lead improvements in healthcare. 

The Royal Free London attracts patients from across the country and beyond to its specialist services in liver, kidney and bone marrow transplantation, haemophilia, renal, HIV, infectious diseases, plastic surgery, immunology, vascular surgery, cardiology, amyloidosis and scleroderma and we are a member of the academic health science partnership UCLPartners.

In July 2014 Barnet Hospital and Chase Farm Hospital became part of the Royal Free London.