applying for a north west regional innovation fund award
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Applying for a North West Regional Innovation Fund award. Manchester, 29 July 2010. What RIFs are for.

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what rifs are for

What RIFs are for

The purpose of Regional Innovation Funds (or RIFs) is to identify, grow and diffuse tomorrow’s best practice in the NHS. Their focus is on service innovation, healthcare delivery, health improvement, and patient empowerment

Ultimately, the aim is to:

  • Lead to longer, more fulfilling lives for patients
  • Enable people at the frontline find better ways of caring for patients
  • Foster a pioneering NHS and raise standards
the rif portfolio so far key stats

The RIF portfolio so farkey stats

There are £246 million good ideas out there. 1921 applications received by 10 SHAs

184 funded projects in 9 SHAs for a total value of £14.3 million

Innovation in progress – each SHA set up a different RIF process

  • Open calls vs focus on one clinical pathway
  • Smaller and larger grants and prizes

One aim: unearthing and diffusing good ideas

the rif portfolio so far challenges addressed

The RIF portfolio so far challenges addressed

Reducing pressure on hospital delivering more care in the community and at home

35% of funded projects focus on LTCs and 15% on acute episodes

72% are set outside of hospital

18% are expected to keep people out of hospital or reduce their length of stay


Virtual community ward project

Community IVT services

the rif portfolio so far challenges addressed8

The RIF portfolio so far challenges addressed

New ways of improving efficiency and streamlining services

27% of funded projects propose the re-engineering of existing services

10% propose the digitisation of records and processes

7% propose the integration of services across primary, social and family care

18% are expected to deliver improved processes (i.e. Better coordination in service delivery, reduced administrative burden, better cooperation between services, improved commissioning etc.)


Short stay hip replacement programme

Telestroke. Delivering 24/7 stroke thrombolysis using Telemedicine.

the rif portfolio so far challenges addressed9

The RIF portfolio so far challenges addressed

Harnessing patient and carer knowledge and expertise: enabling self help and self management

16% of funded projects are set in people’s homes and 47% in the community

9% are expected to enhance patients’ skills in self help and mutual support


Getting sorted – online tools for young people with diabetes

Group directed therapy for chronic pelvic pain syndrome

the rif portfolio so far challenges addressed10

The RIF portfolio so far challenges addressed

Better models of prevention

9% of funded projects focussed on the staying healthy clinical pathway

10% are expected to deliver improved prevention and awareness about health issues


Strength and balance classes for fall prevention

Preventing repeat alcohol admissions

the rif portfolio so far challenges addressed11

The RIF portfolio so far challenges addressed

Enabling patients to navigate the health service more effectively and maximise the effectiveness of clinicians

10% of funded projects use new media to deliver services (i.e. Telehealth, digital access to information)



The Journey From In-Patient Specialist Mental Health Services

the rif portfolio so far challenges addressed12

The RIF portfolio so far challenges addressed

More effective end of life services

Projects focussing on End of life care had the highest success rate nationally: 20% (15% in NW)


Dementia and End of Life Care: Spreading best practice

Unified DNACPR strategy

what makes a good application lessons learnt from the national perspective

What makes a good application lessons learnt from the national perspective

Strategic fit – articulate clearly how your project fits with SHA priorities and what is innovative about it

Impact – demonstrate how your project will make a difference in terms of quality, access to service, cost savings...

  • Being able to quantify expected benefits helps! Include data on baseline, impact projections and expected return on investment

Implementation and leadership – clear milestones, team make up, leadership, stakeholder involvement, reasonable timescales, sound budget, clear monitoring and evaluation plans

Sustainability and scalability – show how the project will continue beyond RIF. Engagement of key stakeholders, plans for diffusion. Scalability and transferability of project idea

Partnership – 70% of funded projects had at least one partner and 80% of these had at least one non-NHS partner.

creating spaces for your innovation

Creating spaces for your innovation

RIF is only one of the avenues to realise your idea

Connect with the gate keepers– make connections with decision makers and budget holders who can “buy” your idea and make it happen

Demonstrate the value of your idea– be able to articulate the benefits and, if relevant, savings that your idea will deliver. Clear, robust numbers will help you capture the attention of your potential commissioner

Don’t forget to plan for sustainability– think long term! How will you sustain and diffuse your project?

Connect with other innovators– and use resources available for innovation in the NHS (i.e. NHS Institute, NIC, Hubs etc.)