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Regional Innovation Fund (RIF)


The Regional Innovation Fund provided support to promote the adoption of innovation and the spread of best practice across the NHS. NHS England took over the management of the RIF in 2013 and ran two consecutive calls for 2013/14 and 2014/15 years funding 87 projects in total. The last funding call for projects closed in May 2014.

The fund provided an opportunity for the NHS to change lives, helping clinicians to work in new ways, and driving the changes that patients want to see. The RIF also encouraged strong partnerships with industry and third sector to drive the adoption of new technologies.

Click on the list below or use the browse option to view a selection of case studies produced by RIF teams.


Video Pre-Operative Assessment Clinic

Case study arrowAs a tertiary referral centre for the South West of England, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Trust found 40% of patients were travelling large distances to attend hospital for treatment (more than an hour each way).

Video Pre op image40% of patients also had to take a further half day or more off work to attend their appointment, and found parking difficult and expensive. The trust was keen to demonstrate that we can use low cost video conferencing software to facilitate “rapid” roll out across multiple sites. This approach meant that we need minimal investment in hardware and can use clinic space flexibly around the other demands on our services. The trust has invested in a dedicated, secure version of the WebEx Video Conferencing Software (Cisco Systems) which is run from our own servers and was used in this project.

The trust set up a “one stop” video pre-operative assessment process so that patients can be seen by clinic staff via video link with the remote hospitals before they are listed for surgery.  They undergo the same detailed pre-operative assessment and counselling as before and any tests or investigations required are arranged the same day.  The pathways have been designed to ensure that patients have an experience as similar to an actual face to face appointment as possible and have active case management by a dedicated pre-operative assessment nurse until the date of their surgery.

Key learning points

  • Careful attention to pathway design with regular monitoring of patient outcomes and experience has allowed us to avoid any significant problems whilst the system was introduced
  • Patients are really grateful that we are trying to minimise their number of journeys to hospital and appreciate the effort that goes into developing these clinics
  • We have reduced delays (by 5-7 days) in our referral to treatment time pathways without having a negative effect on the quality of our assessment or the quality / duration of the inpatient treatment.

"I was very pleased to be part of the video pre op assessment. Everything worked well and I saved a great deal of time.  I hope it becomes a regular routine."

Award Value: £20,130


Funding source Logo


Contact Name A Johnson Email address abjohnstone@doctors.net.uk

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