Patrick Keady

NHS Innovation Live



NHS Live has done it again! They promised lots. And then they’ve delivered so much more. Their latest outing, NHS Innovation Live, took place today at the Queen Elizabeth II Center, London.


Designed as a platform for sharing and celebrating some of the many achievements in today’s NHS, the event was hosted by Kathy Sykes, Professor of Sciences and Society at Bristol University and a Trustee of NESTA (National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts). Kathy has a knack for being in the right place at the right time. Not a stranger to the media, I like her balanced approach. Kathy is open to the people that she meets, while not loosing sight of the scientific rigour that she has been immersed in throughout her career.

Gill Hicks gave today’s keynote address. Gill lost both of her legs from below the knee on 7th July 2005. Gill told us about the hour or so that she was trapped in a London Underground carriage, her three cardiac arrests before she got to hospital, the make-shift stretcher used to get her there, the Paramedic who challenged discussions to pronounce Gill dead, the Consultant that told her ‘you will get better’, the nurse who got her to the hospital hairdresser just a week after the bombings, the cafeteria staff that chatted with her every morning, the physio who coached her back to her independence and the many other NHS staff that helped her through her recovery.


Interlaced with lots of humour about being Australian and some of the funnier experiences during her recovery, Gill held the mirror up to the 600 delegates at NHS Innovation Live. And what the delegates saw in the mirror, was a former NHS patient that was truly grateful for the services that the NHS provides. What they saw in the mirror was more than sufficient for many of the delegates that had travelled from near and far. And there was so much more to come.


They had many choices. Which two of the twelve breakout sessions would they attend. Did they want to learn how to release the innovator In themselves, or how social innovation can create a new model of health for men. Or maybe they wanted to know more about how Royal Bolton Hospital adopted LEAN Thinking. For the geeks, they could hear about generating and using patient stories to improve the NHS via Web 2.0 technology. Performance people could hear how an SHA is intelligently using information to the manage performance of its PCTs and Trusts. Other choices included how social and cultural background contributes to health beliefs and attitudes to mental distress, the excitement of setting up a social enterprise organization, how to nurture an idea and transform it into something really tangible and effective, exploring the role of charities and other third sector organisations in health innovation, using observation to find out what people do and how they carry out their work, improving understanding and the experience of patient and staff, and understanding mental illness from the perspective of service user.


Yet another excellent NHS Live event – well done to the NHS Live team. Why not sign up for their next event. Its free and they’re at



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