The NHS delivers free, quality healthcare for all, regardless of our ability to pay or social circumstance. This is a truly unique service, however, with an ever-increasing UK population, the NHS is under growing pressure to continue to provide these services. Currently, the NHS needs to make £30 billion of efficiency savings by 2020. Lord Ara Darzi, Director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London, believes that driving future health innovation will be integral towards helping to close this gap.

Harnessing the NHS workforce to deliver entrepreneurial health solutions can ‘future proof’ the NHS. Development of health technology with expert clinical guidance is vital towards providing the most efficient healthcare solutions for the NHS. This is the idea that innovation should be encouraged from the inside, and as such, the NHS is pioneering a new movement of NHS ‘Intrapreneurs’.

Like normal entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs are motivated by seeking new ways to tackle problems. The only difference is that they do not own the organisations they work for. Intrapreneurs naturally seek to apply an entrepreneurial attitude to their daily roles. For the intrapreneur, success means more than succeeding at an individual or personal level, and intrapreneurs are instead motivated by the prospect of making a sustainable impact to their organisation.

Courses such as the NHS’s ‘Clinical Entrepreneur Fellowship’ training program demonstrate that the NHS is beginning to pay attention to the entrepreneurial talent of its 1.3 million staff. This scheme aims to provide core business training to doctors in starting, running and scaling their own business. In order to advance the potential of clinical intrapreneurship, the NHS needs to adopt further resources alongside such courses to foster best clinical intrapreneurship practice.

Organisations promoting a good intrapreneurship culture encourage employees to take ownership of their organisation, and this drives innovation from the inside out. Virgin Atlantic Airline planes harnessed the design skills and enthusiasm of a young employee towards successfully directing the development of new plane seats. In not outsourcing this project, Branson nurtured employee intrapreneurship and cultivated a motivated workforce alongside large-scale company success.

“Many millions of people proudly claim the title ‘entrepreneur.’ On the other hand, a title that hasn’t gotten nearly the amount of attention it deserves is entrepreneur’s little brother, ‘intrapreneur:’ an employee who is given freedom and financial support to create new products, services and systems.’ While it’s true that every company needs an entrepreneur to get it under way, healthy growth requires a smattering of intrapreneurs who drive new projects and explore new and unexpected directions for business development.” – Sir Richard Branson

So how can we begin to harness the potential of health intrapreneurs and start improving the NHS today? One important factor will be providing clinicians with opportunity to connect and collaborate with the UK’s vibrant start-up and SME environment. empowers intrapreneurial clinicians to instantly connect to health-related projects that matter to them. HealthMakeSpace offers the opportunity to collaborate with local businesses and startups ready to partner with clinicians and start developing clinically relevant health technology today.

In this way, HealthMakeSpace encourages collaboration of the NHS with the UK’s vibrant start-up sector, tackling the most pressing healthcare challenges through innovation. The platform has been developed in partnership between Selfless, Imperial College Health Partners and clinicians. As a result, HealthMakeSpace has been specifically designed to fit in with a clinician’s career progression, and produces an automated CV for time spent working on entrepreneurial projects.

HealthMakeSpace demonstrates a doctor’s commitment to their chosen specialty and rewards clinicians spending time to develop health technology products and helping to tackle the NHS innovation gap!

So whether you are an entrepreneurial healthcare professional or health technology startup, sign up to HealthMakeSpace at today and start driving great health technology ideas forward!

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Overcoming the NHS Innovation Challenge with Health Intrapreneurs

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