The Staff Innovation Fund

Local enthusiasm to work across organisations was perhaps best demonstrated by the reception given to the Staff Innovation Fund in January 2016, a one-off resource of £300k to encourage the development of service improvement initiatives. The Fund was designed to energise and empower staff by providing opportunities for exploring smaller scale replicable innovations and supporting locally-driven solutions.

Proposals had to be delivered in specific teams and locations and demonstrate immediate visible change with a commitment to share learning across the wider system.

Greeted with a great enthusiasm, 49 proposals totalling more than £1million were submitted for consideration. A panel of senior Tower Hamlets Together representatives and a local carer assessed each proposal for its potential to strengthen integrated health and social care, improve quality and safety, build more robust partnership working across services and with the voluntary and community sector, service users, carers and the wider community, develop new ways of using information technology and other enablers, enhance organisation development and the skills and expertise of the workforce, increase efficiency and effectiveness to improve value for money.

Following the assessment, the panel agreed to support 22 proposals. Six of these were discontinued so the Fund ended up helping to deliver 16 projects covering a range of issues including:

  • Embedding a pharmacist in the Mission Practice to enable the self-management and empowerment of patients
  • Using an ‘ELFy’ app to support self-management, particularly focused on women from BAME communities
  • Health promotion through the arts: workshops to address child exploitation
  • Working together with young mothers and female patients at the Aberfeldy Practice to increase exercise and other activity
  • Creating over 60 Practice Health Champions at St Paul’s Way
  • Bringing the Blithedale Practice and William Davis primary school closer together through the ‘GROW – kids’ health club’
  • Practice Health Awareness events at Chrisp Street Health Centre for elderly and vulnerable patients and their carers and young people

Following presentation of an evaluation of the Fund to the THT Board in October 2017 (see attached report for further detail) it was agreed to allocate £42k underspend to the four most successful projects. Their challenge is to explore sustainability and learning about innovation alongside the development of the new Locality Health and Wellbeing Committees and demonstrate their responsibility to ‘ensure that innovative local models of care are appropriately evaluated and where possible implemented borough-wide.’

  • North East Locality: “Herlink”: Promoting awareness of sexual exploitation through the arts by piloting sexual exploitation awareness drama workshops in the newly re-organised Tower Hamlets Community Youth Service Hubs
    Leads: Stephen Sandford, Professional Lead for Allied Health Professionals, East London NHS Foundation Trust, and Geraldine Bone, London Borough of Tower Hamlets ‘A’ Team Arts
  • North-West Locality: Primary Care Occupational Therapist at The Mission Practice to provide home visits for housebound patients with complex needs and/or long term conditions, practice based appointments for such patients who can visit the practice, short interventions for behavioural change support in areas such as eating, exercise, smoking, sleeping, and onward referral to community health services for provision of equipment and allied health interventions
    Lead: Dr Laura Vaughan, Mission Practice
  • South East Locality: Exercise without a referral – using the learning from its initial stage, this project will explore problems and barriers associated with patients exercising, work with partners (including Poplar Harca) to develop programmes and encourage uptake, and explore opportunities to share good practice
    Lead: Joy McEwen, Practice Manager, Aberfeldy Practice
  • South West Locality: Further promoting the ELFy app, already piloted with Account 3 a local voluntary and community sector organisation working with women from BAME communities, the app is designed to facilitate behavioural change through empowerment and gentle prompts about medication, prescription, flu vaccination alerts and reminders
    Leads: Professor John Wass, Sarah Spain and Simon Carebery (external consultants) with Dr Kamilla Kamaruddin, East One Health Surgery

Are you a Tower Hamlets resident? We would love to hear from you!

If you have any feedback regarding our services, or suggestions of ideas and initiatives that may improve the healthcare and wellbeing of people in Tower Hamlets, please get in touch. We look forward to hearing from you.