The Bright Ideas in Health Awards is now celebrating its 19th year. The Awards are organised by Health Innovation North East and North Cumbria (HI 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.

We are delighted to announce our headline sponsor for 2024:

Category sponsors

NHS England Education North East Logo
Centre for Process Innovation

Our other sponsors

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Teesside University Sponsor Bright Ideas in Health Awards
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NHS County Durham Darlington

For sponsorship opportunities please contact

The Bright Ideas in Health Awards 2024 Categories are:

Innovative Device or Technology

Sponsored by The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI)

This category is open to organisations in the North East and North Cumbria and 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 or those working with 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.

Benefits of entering this category: The winner will have the opportunity to further develop their product working with the specialist product development and innovation teams of CPI and HI NENC.

Download Category Criteria

Outstanding Industry Collaboration

This award recognises the development of a collaboration between the NHS and 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.

This category will be of particular interest to those companies who are already collaborating with the system or those companies who have a mature enough innovation who are looking to partner with the NHS.

Download Category Criteria

Clinical Education

Sponsored by NHSE Education North East and North Cumbria

The category is open to individuals, teams or organisations that provide innovative teaching and learning methods, including the development of devices, platforms, solutions, and initiatives that raise education quality, in any health and social care setting, for any clinical learner.

Eligibility: This category is for any group of clinical learners regardless of which setting they work or are employed in. This category is not open to those who have been funded from or are employed by NHSE NENC in any capacity or is a NHSE NENC or an NHS England national initiative.

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

Download Category Criteria

Demonstrating an Impact

The aim of any patient safety initiative should be to reduce unexpected or unintended harm within the healthcare system.

Some issues we know and understand, and yet they remain ‘wicked’ problems which we haven’t been able to resolve. There are other more subtle issues that only become apparent when we look at safety systematically. The Patient Safety Incident Response Framework (PSIRF) encourages a change in safety culture, moving away from only looking at what goes ‘wrong’ to also understanding why, in the majority of cases, it goes right.

The focus of patient safety initiatives is to improve the system to make it easier for staff to ‘do the right thing’, and ultimately reduce the risk of an error that can lead to harm. Whether we are dealing with local or system wide issues, the introduction of PSIRF supports a safety culture with a greater focus on improvement, and the engagement of staff and patients in identifying and co-designing solutions to improve patient safety and staff wellbeing.

This award recognises initiatives that directly impact on safety, and also those that improve safety culture within an organisation. Patient Safety initiatives may focus on people, such as methods and processes to improve communication between teams or encourage staff and patients to speak up about risk; or be more system-focused, looking at tasks, tools, technology, environment, or the organisation. System initiatives may include user friendly apps or improved ways to improve the interoperability of systems, encouraging standardisation or introducing automation to a task or process to reduce variability. Ultimately, initiatives and improvements are successful and sustainable when they are identified or recognised by those who face the issues in their daily work, and the solutions are codesigned with them.

Eligibility: This category is open to healthcare organisations, teams and collaborations across the public and third sectors who have developed successful and continually improving patient safety initiatives.

Download Category Criteria


This award recognises innovators or organisations who have gone above and beyond.

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.

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Digital Innovation

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.

Eligibility: All NHS organisations (including providers, partnerships and systems), General Practice and primary care organisations.

Download Category Criteria

Sustainable Healthcare

Since 2008, the NHS has tracked and reported its carbon footprint, regularly improving its methods and monitoring our progress in meeting the commitments of the Climate Change Act (2008).

Climate change and our impact on public health and the environment is recognised as one of the key global challenges of the 21st century. The health sector has a vested interest in improving public health by addressing the causes of air pollution and climate change.

The NHS long-term plan includes commitments to becoming a ‘greener’ NHS. Two clear and feasible targets emerge for the NHS net zero commitment, based on the scale of the challenge posed by climate change, current knowledge, and the interventions and assumptions that underpin this analysis:

  • For the emissions we control directly (the NHS Carbon Footprint), net zero by 2040, with an ambition to reach an 80% reduction by 2028 to 2032
  • For the emissions we can influence (our NHS Carbon Footprint Plus), net zero by 2045, with an ambition to reach an 80% reduction by 2036 to 2039.

Making these ambitions a reality will affect decision making across all areas of the healthcare system and require environmental impact assessment to become a key driver of innovative service delivery.

This award will recognise those organisations redesigning working practices to deliver greener and more efficient services, and who are actively adopting new innovations to reduce waste, water, energy consumption, carbon and single-use plastics.

Eligibility: All NHS organisations (including providers, partnerships and systems), General Practice and primary care organisations.

Download Category Criteria


Health inequalities are the preventable, unfair and unjust differences in health status that arise from the unequal distribution of social, environmental and economic conditions within societies, which determine the risk of people getting ill, their ability to prevent sickness, or opportunities to take action and access treatment when ill health occurs.

NHS England and NHS Improvement’s Core20PLUS5 approach aims to support the reduction of healthcare inequalities experienced by communities most at risk at both national and system level. The approach defines a target population cohort; i) the 20% most deprived and ii) ‘PLUS’ groups experiencing poorer than average care. It also identifies ‘5’ focus clinical areas requiring accelerated improvement – maternity, severe mental illness, chronic respiratory disease, early cancer diagnosis, hypertension case finding and lipid optimisation.

This award recognises innovative and creative initiatives which aim to reduce healthcare inequalities at a national or local level – especially those which align with the Core20PLUS5 approach. Therefore, award entries should have a focus on the most deprived communities, inclusion health groups (any population group that is socially excluded).

Judges are looking for entries that drive tangible improvements in access, experiences and outcomes for patients, carers, people and/or communities. Winners will be projects co-designed and co-produced with patients, built on strong local partnerships, that use data and insights effectively and intelligently to target interventions and demonstrate measurable impacts outlining what has actually made a difference to communities.

Eligibility: All NHS organisations (including providers, partnerships and systems), General Practice and primary care organisations.

Download Category Criteria

Women's Health

Sponsored by The North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System

This category relates to an idea for the development, or implementation of a new technology or service that will positively impact upon the health of women, in alignment with the 7 priority areas of the National Women’s Health Strategy

  • Menstrual health and gynaecological conditions
  • Fertility, pregnancy, pregnancy loss and postnatal support
  • Menopause
  • Mental health and wellbeing
  • Cancers
  • The health impacts of violence against women and girls
  • Healthy ageing and long-term conditions

Eligibility: All NHS organisations (including providers, partnerships and systems), General Practice and primary care organisations, local councils, voluntary and community services.

Download Category Criteria


Sponsored by NIHR Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria

This award is open to research teams of impactful studies that address the health needs of people in the North East and North Cumbria region. Examples could include studies from primary care, secondary care, public health, or community settings that target local priority areas such as mental health, dementia care, and major causes of premature mortality; and/or studies that address major health needs of under-served communities.

Studies must be on the NIHR portfolio to be eligible for this award.

Download Category Criteria

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The Awards will open for entries w/c 15th April 2024 and close on
Wednesday 31st July 2024.

The finalists ceremony will take place on Thursday 21 November 2024 at The Hilton Newcastle Gateshead Hotel.

This is an invite only event.

© 2024 Bright Ideas In Health Awards

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