BNSSG Healthier Together

Community of interest event: Innovative ways to improve access to services


An update from the Innovate Healthier Together Programme.

Delegates around a table having a conversation at an event.

Our first Innovate Healthier Together Fellowship community of interest in-person meeting took place on the 19 June at Futurespace, UWE Frenchay Campus. The session was compered by one of our Founding Fellows, Marc Griffiths, Pro Vice Chancellor for Health at UWE, and focused on the theme ‘innovate ways to improve access to services’.

Fellows from across primary and secondary care, public health, academic and VCSE organisations attended the event which opened with a presentation from Paul Howarth, founder of Akumen Ltd, and expert in patient lived experience, who gave both a theoretical and personal account of the importance of psychological safety in health and care and the necessity for psychologically safe places for innovation to thrive.

Fellows then broke out into discussion huddles to consider different access of innovative ways to improve access to services. One group focussed on the coproduction of community care, the other on governance across boundaries. The conversations were inclusive and thoughtful covering a breadth of challenges for innovation such as legislation and regulation, baked in bureaucracy, intellectual property, financial constraints and the requirements for real-world impact to justify continuation of innovative approaches. They also discussed the need for innovation to be community-led, bottom-up and inclusive of diverse voices, putting patients at the centre and working towards a service model where every contact counts.

Feedback from the Fellows was the community of interest was a good opportunity to share different perspectives on issues and valuable for knowledge exchange and sharing ideas. They said the discussions were thought-provoking and inspiring but were rooted in everyday practice. All attendees committed to take at least one action to facilitate innovation at work following the event. 100% of Fellows agreed in the event feedback that they had formed new connections and increased their understanding of being innovative in health and social care following the event.

As we closed the session, we distributed Innovate Healthier Together Fellowship lanyard pins – a wearable identifier for our Fellows showing they are member of our new health and care innovation community.

The next community of interest is currently being planned. If you’re not yet an Innovate Healthier Together Fellow but would like to access future community of interest events, you can register here. Or, if you’d like to find out more about future activities, please email

An Innovate Healthier Together Programme badge on an NHS landyard.