More than £150,000 will be awarded to new ideas to address England's biggest healthcare challenges in the first wave of 2015's NHS Innovation Challenge Prizes.
The challenge is part of a broader drive to embed innovation across the NHS, which includes the NHS Innovation Accelerator and Test Bed programmes, the vanguard sites around the new models of care and the Health and Care Innovation Expo in September.
The 2014-15 NHS Innovation Challenge Prize for the Use of Technology - worth £100,000 - led to a new referral system in Southend for patients suffering a mini-stroke that has increased the number of high risk patients being seen within 24 hours from 17 per cent to 96 per cent. If successfully adopted across the NHS, this referral system could save an estimated £116 million a year.
Applications for this year's prize fund are now open, and anyone working in the NHS with an innovation that will improve the way that services are delivered can apply.
MSD is providing £100,000 for the prizes with the remaining £50,000 funded by NHS England. As well as prize money, all winners will receive a tailored package of professional support from internal and external partners to help them develop their innovation and spread it across the system.
The two categories in the first wave are:
The deadline for applications is 12pm 14 September 2015 and winners will be announced in November. More information and key dates are available on the NHS England website.