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How it works

A discussion in the Health Innovation Lab

A new way of thinking about healthcare delivery

The Lab brings together people from a wide range of professions, with various skill sets and various experience of using and working in healthcare services. 

The Lab’s uniqueness is its use of data to clarify need and impact, and its focus on bringing the next generation of leaders into the learning process alongside current systems leaders.

Utilising the collective wisdom of these people to view current health and social care provision, the Lab looks at it through different lenses – from the business through to the user, from the process involved to the impact in localities and with populations.

Infographic of how the Health Innovation Lab works

The Lab Change Process

The model developed for the Lab is based on adaptive systems and innovation theory.

There are 6 steps:

  1. Discovering: Generating a shared picture and understanding of what’s really going on in your place at locality and health and social care system levels, using data.
  2. Collaborating: Agreeing collectively what you want to change – the problems you want to solve together.
  3. Journeying: Undertaking visits (which could be locally, nationally, or internationally) to places that have made progress in these areas, or have ideas that might help you.
  4. Committing: Bringing that intelligence back into your system to determine together what you want to commit to through testing.
  5. Prototyping: Undertaking prototyping of solutions (rapid cycles of implementation and review), to determine the ones that will work. This includes the assessment of predicted and actual impact.
  6. Adopting: implementing the solution across your system.

Enabling innovation through...

  • Collating data from a wide range of sources to understand what’s really going on in this system
  • Generating a possible picture of the future with emerging leaders
  • Open thinking using established innovation techniques: both adaptive systems and innovation theory
  • Connecting innovators locally, nationally and internationally
  • Protoyping to translate innovations into practice locally
  • Research to inform policy
  • Inquiry across the partnership to inform advocacy (to policy)

Social innovation labs explained

Prof. Becky Malby gives a short briefing on the nature of innovation labs (PDF File 122 KB).

Partners in innovation

The Health Systems Innovation Lab brings together:

  • Places that are innovating in health and social care (in UK and abroad) alongside places that want to adopt innovation locally
  • A core team of experienced learning facilitators to deliver group-based workshops
  • A data team to support local prototyping and the development of data capacity locally
  • A development agency
  • London South Bank University, which provides the home for the collective

The Lab is further supported by a Council whose role will be to enable advocacy into policy making. The make-up of the council draws from leaders who are closely identified with the current policy context.

All ‘nodes’ have access to one another, and the ability to access the group in a way and depth that suits their needs. The composition of the Lab changes in response to external needs.

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