Methods that involve building capacity and capability enable development ranging from focused skills to broader development at personal and organisation level or provision of focused dedicated resource.
Five methods or levers have been identified in this category and are summarised below.
The effectiveness of these methods will vary depending on context, but key strengths of methods which build capacity and capability include:
- Sustainable approach as it supports skills for both current and future adoption/spread activities[i]
- Supports broader workforce development
- Potential to support adoption across the system, not just in relation to one product/category
- Can influence culture of innovation, and be effectively used in tandem with peer networks to share learning across workforce[ii]
- May also support implementation science and innovation pipeline/development of improvement practices[iii]
- Ability to share practices and develop peer to peer support
However, there will be limitations to these methods which may include:
- Additional challenges in demonstrating and evidencing link between methods and spread
- Challenges in releasing staff to participate[iv]
- Impact may be crowded out by other priorities if implemented alone
Methods and levers
National skills and coaching development programmes
Programme to support selected individuals e.g. ‘innovation or improvement fellows’ to spread their innovation, staff to develop entrepreneurial skills; or coaching ‘academy’ approaches. Examples include the:
- Clinical Entrepreneur Programme,
- Innovation Agency coaching academy
- Quality improvement fellowships.
Dedicated resource provision
Direct provision of central or regional expert staff or funds to support frontline with adoption – often project management or specialist finance, or implementation and improvement expertise, usually temporary provision. Examples include the:
- Academic Health Science Network,
- Improvement ‘train the trainer’ programmes and network support to develop local faculty teams e.g. QSIR
- National Demand and Capacity Team.
Broad education / personal development
Provision of training and broader development to increase capacity of local staff to support development and adoption of innovation and improvement. Examples include:
- School for change agents on Futurelearn
- Massive Open Online Courses (Improvement Fundamentals, Lean Online)
- Impact Framework resources and webinar series.
Innovation / improvement specific-capacity building
Provision of training to increase capacity to adopt specific interventions. May be provided by industry or specific company but also centrally co-funded or funded. Examples include:
- Folkslab Toolkit
- ABPI Case Study Repository – a portal for examples of collaborations
- QSIR portfolio of improvement capability building programmes.
Systematic use of learning to review, inform and improve care and services. Examples include:
Practical considerations for use
|Method or Lever||Stage of development *||Audience and scale **||Resources needed||Timeframe|
|National skills and coaching development programmes||From ideation to spread||National, regional or local||Support from national programmes||1-3 years|
|Dedicated resource provision||Spread||Local||Dedicated support and expertise to engage and embed with local systems||1-2 years|
|Broad education / personal development||Ideation to spread||Usually local||Resources and expertise to deliver training; and to release staff to engage||Variable|
|Innovation / improvement specific-capacity building||Prototype/testing or spread||National, regional or local. Targeted by clinical specialty||If centrally co-funded or funded, resource and expertise to fund training and resources to release staff to engage||Variable|
|Learning systems||Ideation to spread||Usually local||System wide engagement, embed as the usual way of working||1-3 years and ongoing|
* Stages of intervention development – Ideation, Proof of concept, Prototype/Testing, Spread
** Audience and scale – national/regional/local, targeted by clinical speciality / product/ problem
[i] The Health Foundation. The Spread Challenge: How to support the successful uptake of innovations and improvements in health care. Available from: https://www.health.org.uk/publications/the-spread-challenge
[ii] Sibley A, Ziemann A, Robens S, Scarbrough H, Turvey S. Review of spread and adoption approaches across the AHSN Network. Available from: https://www.ahsnnetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Spread-and-adoption-review-final.pdf?utm_source=website&utm_medium=news%20story&utm_campaign=Spread%20and%20adoption%20report
[iii] RAND Europe. Galvanising the NHS to adopt innovation. Available from: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/509629/nhs-adoption.pdf
[iv] Department of Health. Innovation, Health and Wealth: Accelerating Adoption and Diffusion in the NHS. Available from: https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20130107013731/http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_131299