Championing Quality

Transforming Care Homes #carehomehack

NHS England's new care models programme is one of the first steps towards delivering the Five Year Forward View and supporting improvement and integration of services. Fifty vanguard sites were chosen to deliver the programme and will act as the blueprints for the NHS and the inspiration to the rest of the health and care system. Six of the sites are dedicated to enhancing health in care homes, which was the focus for a unique event, the Collaborate to Improve Care Hackathon, inspired by Chief Scientific Officer Professor Sue Hill OBE and her national Quality Improvement Champions Network of healthcare scientists. Working in partnership with the Innovation Agency in the North West, the vanguard sites and the New Models of Care team supporting them, Professor Hill and the Quality Improvement Champions Network brought together 150 professionals from a range of backgrounds over two dynamic and fast paced days in July 2016. This pioneering event was supported by the masters of healthcare hackathons from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston.

Special thanks go the hackathon organising committee: Helen Liggett, National Lead for Quality Improvement, Chief Scientific Officer's team, NHS England; Kaiya Chowdhary, Viapath, on behalf on the Future Leaders in Innovation Haemostasis and Thrombosis-Nutristasis Unit and, from the Innovation Agency, Juliette Kumar, Associate Director for Improvement and Education; Jen Cheetham-Gilroy, Project Manager/Lead for Healthcare Scientists and Allied Health Professions and Catherine Gresty, Head of Events.

The Quality Improvement Champions Network of healthcare scientists is a network of innovators and problem solvers seeking to collaborate with national teams and key stakeholders who may require their expertise to transform patient care. See their great work here (PDF) and if you would like to link to the expertise in their network then email at You can also view the contribution healthcare science makes to high quality patient care here.

Fiona Carragher

Accelerating innovation

JULY 2016, LIVERPOOL: Fiona Carragher, Deputy Chief Scientific Officer for England, urged "some of the brightest brains" among healthcare scientists and engineers, clinicians and other healthcare professionals, social care staff, designers, IT specialists and industry representatives to collaborate, create and innovate at the ground breaking healthcare hackathon, funded by Professor Sue Hill OBE.

William Roberts

Why care homes?

William Roberts, National Care Homes Programme Lead, New Care Models Team, NHS England, explained the aims behind the Enhanced Health in Care Homes (EHCH) programme. These are to improve the quality of life, healthcare and planning for people with long term conditions in care and nursing homes, Extra Care Living Schemes and the community.

In his presentation William set out the four core values enshrined in the EHCH programme which are clinical engagement, patient involvement, local ownership and national support.


Judgement day

Fiona Carragher led the panel of six eminent hackathon judges who had the challenging task of choosing one winning team from the 14 whose pitches spanned topics ranging from mental health, hearing and quality standards to safety, telecare and family support.

The Winners


Sense and Sensibility's seven strong team pitched a winning idea to address undetected hearing loss and enable those living in care homes to reach their potential. They fielded a passionate team with a diverse skill mix including a biomedical scientist, audiologist, care home advisory service lead, effectiveness officer and clinical scientist.

One of the key features of the team's solution to preserve the dignity of people in care homes was that it was co-designed with a patient focus. Judges were particularly pleased to hear from team member and patient advocate Jean Straus.