Public Procurement and Property

World Health Day 2023

April 6, 2023 by No Comments | Category innovation, NHS Scotland, Scotland Innovates

To celebrate World Health Day 2023 (tomorrow, 7 April), we have invited Scotland’s Health Industry Partnership (SHIP) to take part in a Q&A on our blog, raising awareness of the programme with our procurement and property audience.

One of SHIP’s aims is to accelerate the adoption of innovation to support NHS Scotland’s Recovery Plan. SHIP work with NHS Innovation test beds to support open innovation challenges, and have been working with National Procurement to use new Public Contracts Scotland (PCS) functionality to engage with industry through Preliminary Market Consultations (PMCs) and open market Pre-Commercial competitions.  

We (Scottish Government) have collaborated with a number of partners, including NHS National Services Scotland, to develop a national supplier led innovation service: Scotland Innovates. This service provides an easy to use, secure route to connect with the entire Scottish Public Sector. The Scotland Innovates website provides a landing zone for current and potential suppliers looking to promote new ideas for innovative products or services, it also provides news, event information and useful innovation guidance. Scotland Innovates submissions related to the Health sector may be directed to SHIP challenges or considered for the SHIP demand signalling plan.

Enjoy this special guest blog from SHIP, and look out for more innovation-themed blogs in the coming months.

1. Can you give us an overview of what SHIP is and the work you do?

The Scottish Health and Industry Partnership (SHIP) programme is a Scottish Government initiative jointly led by Health and Economy, and has dual aims:

  • Accelerating the adoption of innovation to support NHS Scotland’s Recovery Plan
  • Increasing the contribution of the life sciences sector to Scotland’s economy, attracting investment, and creating jobs.

SHIP develops and supports a range of consortia – bodies that bring together industry, academia and health and social care, to identify and prioritise national areas of need in services, service delivery and outcomes that will benefit from innovative solutions. Working with the NHS Innovation Test Beds, SHIP supports open innovation competitions that enable companies to work with the Test Beds to co-design and co-develop innovative solutions.

2. 2023’s World Health Day theme is “Health for All” , how can innovation motivate action to tackle the health challenges of today  ̶  and tomorrow?

The consortium approach brings together subject expertise from clinical, research, policy and industrial perspectives to accelerate creative solutions to our most pressing challenges. They identify and prioritise national gaps or areas of need in services, service delivery and outcomes which could benefit from innovation and connect these with investment opportunities.

3. How does SHIP decide what challenges to take forward?

A national Demand Signalling Plan is developed and updated on a regular basis. Demand Signalling is the process by which the key research and innovation questions and priorities facing the NHS are developed and articulated to partners across academia, industry, third sector and the NHS. The plan sets out national priorities for innovation within health and social care.

4. Can you give us examples of some live opportunities?

There are currently several challenges open for application:

5. Can you give us examples of recent successes?

There are two challenges that have recently moved into the Phase 1 project stage:

Mental Health Challenge

The Mental Health challenge was launched in 2022 with an aim to develop disruptive innovative solutions that address:

A – Supporting people who are not currently receiving treatment and addressing the backlog of patients on waiting lists.

B – Delivering person-centred and equitable Mental Health support and services to people who are currently receiving treatment by optimising clinical and social care pathways.

Five companies have been awarded contracts to take forward Phase 1 projects.

Company Project Title Challenge Area Region
Voxsio Supporting Young People Who Can’t Access Face to Face Services A North
MyHelp Ltd Supporting psychologists with the delivery of information for patient self-care B North
Red Star AI Ltd AI Powered Patient and Operational Dashboards for Eating Disorders B West
Wysa Ltd Wysa: Innovating access to psychological support for young people A South East
Sentireal Empowering young people with mental health conditions and assist them as they await their initial CAHMS appointment. A South East


Eye Health Challenge: Glaucoma

This challenge was also launched in 2022. The aim of the challenge is to develop innovative solutions focused on home (or near-patient) glaucoma monitoring to better identify patients at risk of losing vision, and to reduce the individual and societal costs of sight loss. This will include home tonometry, home assessment of visual function and potentially optic disc imaging.

Three companies have been awarded contracts to take forward Phase 1 projects.

Company Project Title Region
City University of London Eyecatcher: Preventing avoidable blindness through smart home-monitoring of glaucoma South East
PeriVision PeriVision remote perimetry validation study West
Optonet Home assessment of visual function in glaucoma with Optonet West

6. How is the new innovation functionality on Public Contracts Scotland (PCS) supporting your work?

During the challenge development stage, we are using the PCS innovation functionality to carry out Preliminary Market Consultations. This allows us to engage with industry in an open and transparent manner and understand what solutions may already be in development.

Thank you, SHIP! Subscribe to our blog for more innovation-themed blogs in the coming months – and check out the Scotland Innovates service.

Look out for innovation sessions at this year’s P4H Conference, including “International Engagement in Innovation” and a Keynote Address from Campbell Roxburgh, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

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