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Practice teams invited to apply for £10k innovation fund in West Midlands

by Beth Gault
15 June 2022

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Practice teams in the West Midlands have been invited to apply for up to £10,000 in funding to help overcome barriers to being more innovative in the way they work.

The funding, from the West Midlands Academic Health Science Network (WMAHSN), hopes to bring about ‘tangible enhancements’ to workforce practices or patient experiences.

Projects will need to focus on spreading or adopting innovation or improvement related to human factors. Human factors refer to environmental, organisational and job factors, as well as human and individual characteristics that can influence behaviours at work, according to the Health and Safety Executive.

Typically, human factors interventions look at reducing errors through considering what people are asked to do, who is doing it and where they are working.

Alongside the money from the Human Factors Workforce Fund, successful teams will receive WMAHSN support for a six-month delivery period.  

The network is particularly interested in projects that focus on maternity, severe mental illness, chronic respiratory disease, early cancer diagnosis and hypertension case-finding.  

The WMAHSN has said examples of projects could include improving a task design to increase the safety, the design and layout of physical healthcare environments or ‘patient flow redesign’ to ensure that the patient care journey is safe.

This new fund is open to any individual or team working in health and social care in the following areas:

  • Birmingham and Solihull
  • Black Country and West Birmingham
  • Coventry and Warwickshire
  • Hereford and Worcestershire
  • Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent
  • Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin.

The WMASHN is one of 15 Academic Health Science Networks set up in 2013 by NHS England with the aim of spreading ‘innovation and improve access to high-quality, patient-centred healthcare’. 

Fran Ives, human factors specialist at WMAHSN, said: ‘The Human Factors Workforce Fund enables organisations to increase their human factors work whilst also focusing on resolving some of the inequalities found within healthcare.

‘By supporting human factors focused projects, across the local health and social care sector, we are able to improve human wellbeing and system performance, and as a result improve delivery of services and patient outcomes.’

Applications are open until Sunday 3 July and interviews will take place on 15 July.  

Would you like to access the latest information, guidance and case studies on financial, HR, IT and other primary care issues? Join us on June 24 at the Novotel London West for Management in Practice London. With a multi-stream agenda presented by an expert panel of speakers, this is a unique opportunity to learn, meet your peers and discover the latest innovation from a selection of suppliers. Secure your free ticket here

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