Innovation key to improving services and reducing waiting lists, 90% of NHS Scotland staff say

InnoScot Health has published findings from a recent survey highlighting how 90 percent of staff agree that “innovation must be at the heart of improving NHS Scotland services and helping to tackle pandemic backlogs”.

The research study asked 602 NHS staff between October and November 2022 a series of questions around innovation and change for NHS services.

The survey found that 64 percent of staff consider themselves to be innovators “to some extent” and say they have ideas to improve the NHS. 71 percent of healthcare workers said that they have offered ideas on how to enhance the delivery of healthcare on one or more occasion.

Participants noted that primary motivators for innovation were to improve the wellbeing of patients and to support their own colleagues; drivers included improving efficiency, making a difference to patients and making the working lives of staff easier.

Dame Anna Dominiczak , Scotland’s chief scientist for health, commented on the study: “The challenges facing NHS Scotland are well reported, however as we work towards the modernisation of NHS Scotland, this survey makes it clear that staff are a major part of the solution.

“It shows that there is an undoubted desire to innovate from within in order to improve outcomes for both patients and those working within health and social care. It underlines our belief that the NHS is a great driver of innovation – dedicated, hard-working staff understand the issues and how we can help solve them.”

Anna continued: “As leaders, I believe that to rise to current challenges – and look beyond them too – we need to support and encourage fresh NHS ideas, while strengthening partnerships across the sector. More and better collaboration, with targeted and expert support, will help get innovation into patients’ hands quicker.”

On the survey she said: “This survey shows that now is absolutely the right time to do that; to really utilise the vast enthusiasm, talent and depth of healthcare expertise that we have here in Scotland, take the workforce’s most transformative, innovative ideas and accelerate their development and ultimate adoption back into the NHS.”

Graham Watson, executive chair of InnoScot Health, added: “Our survey has illuminated a positive picture of support for transformative NHS-led innovation. We have now arrived at a key juncture for NHS Scotland amid significant winter challenges – and it must be considered an opportune time to leverage the promise of pandemic-inspired new ways of working. The NHS workforce message is clear – we can and want to innovate at this pivotal time for healthcare.”