Driving successful innovation roll out

A new guide to innovation implementation, readiness and resourcing has been published sharing practical learning from the Health Innovation Network’s successful adoption and spread of the national Focus ADHD programme.

Despite the impact of the pandemic on non-emergency services the three-year ADHD programme exceeded its targets and by June 2023 had benefited 65,000 young people.

The new guide collates the critical success factors, focusing on five core areas that should be considered for any transformation programme to be successfully implemented and sustained. These are:

  • Understanding the context
  • Raising awareness
  • Building will
  • Supporting implementation
  • Changing behaviour.

The guide can be adapted to any innovation programme – large or small – and includes example toolkits and resources for project leads.

Highlights from the document were the topic of a recent Innovation Insights webinar run by Health Innovation East Midlands (HIEM), who led the Focus ADHD programme on behalf of the 15 local Health Innovation Networks (formerly AHSNs).  The slides and recording can be accessed on demand.

The Focus ADHD programme started in 2017 as a Real-World Evaluation in the East Midlands in three ADHD services, before being commissioned by the NHS (via the Accelerated Access Collaborative) for national roll out across England between 2020 and 2023, coordinated by the 15 local health innovation networks.

During this period, the health innovation networks supported NHS services across the country to make changes to the way they diagnosed ADHD in young people. By the end of June 2023, the three-year programme had positively benefitted around 65,000 patients in England across 149 NHS sites.

In Greater Manchester, following successful pilots starting in 2017, the Health Innovation Manchester team commenced work in September 2020 with the aim of bringing new, objective, computer-based testing into Mental Health Trusts and Community Paediatric Services to improve the diagnosis of ADHD. The programme worked to introduce the QbTest method within all eligible services, which would increase the efficiency and accuracy of ADHD diagnosis. Following the launch of QbTest in Greater Manchester, over 5,500 ADHD assessments were completed in 16 services across 5 sites during the rollout phase of the project (2019-2021), with QbTest now the standardised method for assessing ADHD across the region. The successful rollout of this programme has led to a reduction in time-to-diagnosis for those in need of ADHD assessment, more objective measures during assessment that lead to more robust decision making, and better outcomes in terms of health and wellbeing for young people. All of which ultimately creates time and cost savings for the system and healthcare service users.

Professor Prathiba Chitsabesan from the National Steering Group, Academic Health Science Network, ADHD Focus Programme and Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist (Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust) said, “The national-level initiative to introduce QbTest as a new, objective measure for ADHD assessment was a great initiative for the region. We were very pleased to work with our mental health and community service providers to successfully introduce the measure across GM, and have seen a positive effect on services and service user outcomes ever since the programme was rolled out.”

If you would like to explore the support available for your own innovation and transformation programmes, get in touch with your local health innovation network.

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