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Innovation is recognised as essential to the future of the NHS for three important reasons:

1) Innovation improves and extends lives. Innovation in the NHS is about making a real and tangible difference to the lives of millions. Across the NHS, countless patients bear witness to the power of great ideas.

2) Innovation connects and drives quality and productivity in the NHS.  The NHS faces a challenging future with increasing financial pressures and continually increasing demand for improved quality of services.  It is clear that the NHS must raise its game to develop more high-quality and cost-effective interventions if it is to keep improving.

3) Innovation will support the UK economy.  The NHS remains a major investor and wealth creator in the UK, and in science and engineering in particular.  Innovation is not just about the future of the NHS and health and social care, it is about the future of our country’s economy too.  

The challenge for the NHS is to achieve the systematic adoption and diffusion of innovation at pace and scale. It is therefore crucial that best practice, innovative ways of working and new technologies are not only identified and adopted locally; but are shared and spread across the NHS.  

The Department is leading some high-level projects to aid the spread of innovation in the NHS:

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