The Bright Ideas in Health Awards is now celebrating its 17th year. The Awards are organised by The Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria (AHSN NENC).

The Awards celebrate the achievements of individuals and teams working within the NHS, industry and academia, who have risen to the challenge of telling us how, and where, they believe that the services provided to patients can be improved, either through a technical innovation or through better service delivery.

Everyone can play a part in developing innovative solutions to the healthcare challenges that we face every day. The competition, depending upon the category, is open to all SMEs, NHS organisations and academic institutions in the North East of England and North Cumbria.

Why should I enter?

Our proud sponsors

Headline Sponsor

ICS North East & Cumbria REV

The Categories for the Bright Ideas in Health Awards 2021 are:


Development of an Innovative Device or Technology

Sponsored by CPI

This category relates to an idea for the development of a new medical device, new piece of equipment or diagnostic tool.

This will have been developed by a member/s of staff within the NHS. This may be an independently led project, or work carried out as part of a team, or through collaboration with either a company or university. We are extremely interested in learning of how your work has been picked up and adopted elsewhere.


Outstanding Industry Collaboration

Sponsored by RTC North & Innovate UK EDGE

This award recognises the development of a collaboration with industry that addresses a significant need(s) and has or will have a major positive impact on patient care.

This includes, but is not limited to, reduction in treatment time, cost benefit etc. Applicants should be able to demonstrate how the collaboration provides an innovative solution(s) and how it can add benefit within the NHS.

Covid 19 Innovation Award

Celebrating Innovation Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a significant transformation in practices over recent months.

This award will recognise individuals or teams that have found new ways to deliver consistently safe care despite the challenges of COVID-19, or who were driving significant improvements pre-pandemic. We are also interested in the dissemination of your success in terms of how your work has been adopted elsewhere.


Innovation Champion Award

This award recognises innovators or organisations who have gone above and beyond in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Celebrating those who have truly nurtured an innovation adoption culture where good ideas are quickly identified and spread within and beyond the boundaries of the organisation.

Digital innovation

Digital Innovation in Health & Social Care

Sponsored by NENC ICS Digital Care Programme

This category recognises initiatives that have used technology and digital systems in a truly innovative and patient-focused way to improve healthcare provision.

Entrants must be able to demonstrate the benefits of their initiatives in terms of improved health outcomes, patient experience or service effectiveness.

Examples may include: Introducing technology to capture data that is accessible to all professionals and services involved in individual patients’ care; Using existing technology in new ways to increase its benefits; and Developing new ways of capturing data on patient outcomes or service effectiveness. Whilst innovation is undoubtedly important its value is strengthened by its ultimate adoption.


Innovation in Hospital or Community Education

Sponsored by Health Education England North East (HEENE)

The category is open to individuals, teams or organisations that provide innovative teaching and learning methods, including development of devices, platforms, solutions and initiatives that raise education quality and make it accessible for relevant groups.

This category is not open to those who have been funded from or are employed by HEE (NE) in any capacity, or is a HEENE or national initiative.

Please ensure that you have developed your submission with all who were involved with the project, and appropriate credit is given.


Demonstrating an Impact upon Patient Safety and / or Quality Improvement

For patient safety, the products and services considered in this category will have demonstrable and positive consequences.

Though not necessarily supported by evidence from the field the potential for reductions in harm, changes in process or treatment resulting in better safer care must be intrinsic to the design and application of the innovation. This can be anything from the development of a technology, system or process, training programme or patient led initiative.

For quality improvement, this award aims to provide recognition for innovations that lead to quality improvement, which could include, but are not limited to, patient safety, clinical outcomes, patient experience and / or safety culture.

Making Healthier, Happier Places and Spaces – Innovations in the Built Environment

Making Healthier, Happier Places and Spaces – Innovations in the Built Environment

This exciting new category is open to any sector which can demonstrate completed projects or ideas that promotes and supports citizen physical and / or mental health through urban design and built environment interventions.

Research Impact Award Panorama

Research Impact Award

Sponsored by NIHR Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria 

This category is open to organisations in the North East and North Cumbria and is sponsored by NIHR Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria.

This award will be presented to the research team of an NIHR Portfolio study that has demonstrated innovation in the way a study has been delivered during the pandemic across the North East and North Cumbria.  Examples could include: innovative staffing models, adapting processes, or delivering a service in a different way e.g. virtual or home-based.

NHS Staff Recovery

Helping our Workforce to Recover from the Pandemic

A collaboration between the Academic Health Science Network North East and North Cumbria and Yorkshire & Humber AHSN.

Sponsored by NHS North East and Yorkshire 

Identifying improvements and innovations to support the health and well being of our workforce, to ensure that services are constantly improved and positive innovations are retained in the longer term.

We are particularly keen to hear from NHS and Social Care Organisations, including the voluntary sector, across the North East, North Cumbria and Yorkshire and Humber.


Details and Closing Dates

The closing date for 2021 entries was 11.59pm on 22 September.

Finalists have been informed. An online ceremony took place on 25th November.

© 2021 Bright Ideas In Health Awards

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