Service and Team
The Innovation, Research and Life Sciences (IRLS) group within the Commercial Directorate is responsible for NHS England and NHS Improvement’s work to support the adoption and uptake of innovative technologies, to encourage and enable effective and efficient research, to contribute to implementation of the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy and the expanded remit of the Accelerated Access Collaborative.
The Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) was formed in response to the independently-chaired Accelerated Access Review. In March 2019 Lord Prior, Lord Darzi and the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care agreed a vision to bring the innovation ecosystem together under a ‘boosted’ AAC and asked NHS England and NHS Improvement to establish the AAC unit with a joint reporting line into the Secretary of State for Health and Social care. As part of the NHS Long Term Plan and the government’s Life Sciences Sector Deals, the ‘boosted’ AAC is the umbrella organisation for UK health innovation which includes acting as the front-door for innovator support and setting the strategy for the entire health innovation ecosystem.
The AAC brings together industry, government, regulators, patients and the NHS to remove barriers and accelerate the introduction of ground-breaking new treatments and diagnostics which can transform care. The AAC supports all types of large-scale innovations: medicines, diagnostics, devices, digital products, pathway changes and new workforce models.
The NHS Long Term Plan highlights the role that research, and innovation will play in responding to the challenges that the health service faces.
The Chief Executive of the AAC and Director of IRLS as a compassionate senior NHS leader will lead a growing diverse team who lead on harnessing the opportunities of research, adoption of innovations and partnering with industry to deliver for the NHS and patients.
This includes to:
- Be the visible senior NHS England and NHS Improvement leader for supporting the life sciences sector and the government’s Life Sciences Industrial Strategy.
- Accountable to lead the Accelerated Access Collaborative working with the AAC Chair, NHS Chief Executive and NHS Board, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, government and leaders in the health innovation system.
- Ensure delivery of programmes to benefit NHS and patients, and shape the future AAC strategy while delivering on current priorities:
- Innovation Service
- Horizon Scanning
- Demand Signaling
- World-leading Testing Infrastructure
- Stronger Adoption and Spread
- Agreed Funding Strategy
- Further develop NHS England and NHS Improvement's strategic vision for backing scientific development, research, initial adoption and spread of innovation, coordinating and supporting the work of different teams so that our work programmes are more coherent, aligned and mutually reinforcing
- Lead and strengthen NHS England and NHS Improvement’s and the AAC's work programmes to drive adoption and spread of innovation, including through the sponsorship of AHSNs, test beds, the National Innovation Accelerator, Clinical Entrepreneurs, SBRI Healthcare, Innovation and Technology Payment programme, Rapid Uptake Products, AI Health and Care award and support to Early Stage Products.
- Fulfil NHS England and NHS Improvement's responsibilities for supporting research, working with NIHR, and the research community
- Lead and develop an inclusive team of circa 85 people, and provide wider leadership for the Commercial Directorate and NHS England and NHS Improvement and the Accelerated Access Collaborative.