What is Innovation & Improvement?

At HPFT, continuing to provide high quality services and meet the needs and expectations of the people who use our services is central to what we do.

We want to move from providing ‘good’ services to ‘great’ ones and we know that to do this we will need to make changes.

The NHS needs to radically transform itself to ensure that it remains sustainable and that the people who use health and care services (that is all of us!) receive more choice and control in what is available, how we access it and when and where we can get what we need.

As we move into the future of health and social care, we will need to be better at what we already do and find new ways to meet the needs of the people who use services; we need to improve and we need to innovate.


When we think about innovation we may picture something akin to invention – creating something completely new, possibly something to do with technology. However, Innovation is not invention.  It is the process of turning an idea or invention into a product or service that delivers value to the ‘customer’.  It is the difference between having an idea and bringing that idea to life.

Innovation at HPFT is thought of in three broad categories, as illustrated in the diagram below:


The Thinking Differently approach is the area that would contain the ‘game changing’ innovations - the ideas that fundamentally alter the services we provide.

The Harnessing Good Practice approach is all about differentiated delivery of existing services – doing what we currently do but in different ways.

The Continuous Quality Improvement approach describes improvement as a way of life, embedded in everything we do.  It is the relentless and systematic drive towards improving current service delivery, making things better for service users, carers or staff, reducing costs or improving the experience. 


There is, of course, an overlap between these approaches but it doesn’t matter ‘which one’ you are doing, as long as things are changing for the better. 

Whatever the conceptual labels we might ascribe, if someone is having an idea and then making it happen in a way that delivers value to the customer, that is innovation - and by implication, improvement.

Our belief is that everyone can - and should - be involved in making positive changes and that the people who use and deliver the services are best placed to do that.

You may have an idea for a radical new way of providing services, or have seen something work in another organisation that could make things better at HPFT or perhaps you simply have ideas for making what you currently do ‘better’.  Whatever the size and scale of your ideas, there is a place for them to be explored within HPFT. 

Don’t wait for someone else to improve it for you – do it yourself using 'improvement thinking' and the help of the resources and learning you will find in the Innovation & Improvement Hub.