31 October 2023

Dr Phil Jennings

Dr Phil Jennings, Chief Executive of Health Innovation North West Coast, has been appointed Vice Chair of the Health Innovation Network.

The Network acts as the innovation arm of the NHS and comprises 15 regional networks across England, of which Health Innovation North West Coast is one.

The Network has just begun a new licence under a new name: it used to be known as the AHSN Network, while Health Innovation North West Coast was known as the Innovation Agency.

Dr Jennings is a GP who practises in Wirral and has a particular interest in cardiology.

He has two roles in the Network: he leads the Cardiovascular Clinical Working Group which is designing new programmes of work incorporating innovation across the field of cardiovascular medicine; and he is the lead for the Accelerated Access Collaborative’s Innovation for Healthcare Inequalities Programme.

He said: “We know that innovation will have a significant bearing on the direction the NHS takes. The North West Coast abounds in creativity, as other regions do, but innovative solutions to our challenges can sometimes be frustrated by unforeseen obstacles.

“We’ve had long experience in our region in overcoming those barriers to adoption and I hope to bring my experience in dealing with those obstacles to the national role.”

The new licence, the third commission the Network has received since its inception in 2013, signals a continued focus on both increasing the uptake of innovation in the NHS and using it to create economic growth through innovator support.

The Network has appointed Richard Stubbs, CEO of Health Innovation Yorkshire and Humber, as its new Chair. He is a member of the NHS Assembly, an advisor to Healthcare UK, and created the Innovate Awards in 2022 which recognises health innovators in the NHS and industry. 

A vocal proponent of tackling health inequalities, some of his recent work has included the importance of diversity in health innovation.

Richard Stubbs said: “This is a critical and challenging time for the NHS and innovation has a role to play in helping us to deliver services effectively, safely and efficiently, freeing up more clinical time for patient care.  

“As a Network we have learnt an incredible amount in the past 10 years about what makes health innovation work, and the conditions for success we need to ensure are in place to allow for spread and adoption of new ideas.”

In May 2023, the Government and NHS England agreed to re-license England’s 15 Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) under the revised badge of the ‘Health Innovation Network’, to reflect their key role in supporting development and spread of innovation across health services.

Set up in 2013 by NHS England to act as innovation arms of the NHS, AHSNs support the spread of all types of innovation in the NHS, from new technologies to ways of working and service improvements.

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