Greenhalgh et al description of innovation as ‘a novel set of behaviours, routines, and ways of working that are directed at improving health outcomes, administrative efficiency, cost effectiveness, or users’ experience, and that are implemented by planned and coordinated actions.”

This description can easily be applied to NHS Direct since some innovations might be technologically based whereas others are concerned with changing practice.   NHS Direct is one of those that blurs the boundaries in this arena.

According to Barlow, of the Policy Exchange, spreading innovation and best practice in the NHS involves tow forces: ” a ‘push’ from government and commissioning organisations…and a ‘pull’ from health service delivery organisation” such as PCTs.   The question to ask is that if these two forces are not present then the introduction of an innovatory practice of technology is greatly hampered.  Can this be applied to NHS Direct in 2000 and have the local organisations now effectively changed the service of NHS Direct to something that it was never planned to be?

Another definiton of innovation has been taken from Geoff Mulgan’s piece ‘ Innovation in the Public Sector’

“Successful innovation is the creation and implementation of new processes, products, services and methods of delivery which result in significant improvements in outcomes efficiency, effectiveness or quality”


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