New Health Innovation pilot to support NHS leaders with digital skills and development

Health Education England (HEE) is promoting a new pilot scheme to help NHS leaders develop greater digital skills and awareness.

The Health Innovation Placement (HIP) Pilot is described as a ‘new personal development offering’ aimed at boosting decision-makers’ knowledge and understanding, as part of a move to increase know-how across the NHS workforce.

HEE states that ‘the influx of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and the proliferation of the Internet of Things (IoT) is revolutionising clinical and working practices’, meaning that ‘those charged with leading transformation and change’ must be ‘equipped to horizon-scan, understand and evaluate new innovations and best practice’.

The new pilot, provided through HEE’s Digital Readiness Programme, is intended to introduce leaders to startups and SMEs and provide the opportunity for collaboration. This would include leading on the development of a solution to an NHS problem and learning how to develop and ‘extract’ the opportunities that are available through digital innovations.  

The year-long scheme, billed as an opportunity to support career development, will start in early 2022 and requires part-time commitment. Participants will be provided with around 100 hours of education events, workshops and masterclasses, as well as placements in SMEs, and mentors for support.

Designed to meet the needs of people with different schedules and learning styles, the HIP pilot will involve 10 x 1.5 days of direct education at evenings and weekends, as well as around two hours of time per month with senior mentors.

Aimed at both clinical and non-clinical leaders from across the NHS, and those who are required to ‘drive and implement practical transformational change within their organisation or system’, the pilot is seeking between 10-20 applicants that are ‘keen to broaden their experience’.

It’s hoped the pilot will ‘bring a new mindset to addressing NHS transformation challenges’, ‘enthuse people to embrace digital solutions as the norm’, provide ideas to take back to day-to-day working, and create a network of leaders ‘dedicated to driving change’.

Interested parties must submit their expressions of interest by 8 December 2021, with the final selection for the pilot expected by the end of that month.

To submit your expression of interest and find out more about the application process, visit the HEE website or email