image002 A team from Hft – a national charity supporting people with learning disabilities – has been selected by the Health Foundation, an independent health care charity, to be part of its £1.5 million innovation programme, Innovating for Improvement.

The second round of the Innovating for Improvement programme is supporting twenty-one health care projects in the UK with the aim of improving health care delivery and/or the way people manage their own health care by testing and developing innovative ideas and approaches and putting them into practice.

The initiative from Hft will take Lincus – an existing application that tracks health and wellbeing and allow people to better communicate how they are feeling – and integrate it with the Health Equalities Framework (HEF) – an outcomes-based framework which identifies the impact of services in reducing exposure to known determinants of health inequalities. This development will allow Hft to better monitor the health and wellbeing of people with learning disabilities supported by the charity, with the ultimate aim of improving long term health and wellbeing outcomes for this group.

Integrating Lincus and the HEF will allow for much easier collation and analysis of health and wellbeing information; and improve the quality and timeliness of interventions, solutions and actions.

The project will be undertaken in Hft services in Bradford and Gloucestershire and builds on the findings from Death by Indifference and the Confidential Inquiry into Premature Deaths of People with Learning Disabilities.

Over the course of the programme the team will develop its innovative idea and approach, put it into practice and gather evidence about how the innovation improves the quality of health care and wellbeing insights.

The team will be led by Hft’s Personalised Technology team, working closely with the creators of Lincus, technology SME Rescon, and the creators of the HEF.

Sarah Weston, Innovation Manager for Hft said: “We are really delighted to be working with the Health Foundation on this exciting and innovative project – particularly as Hft is the only third sector organisation to be awarded a grant in this round. By being better able to monitor the health and wellbeing of the people Hft supports, we will be able to offer better and more targeted support – ultimately improving outcomes for the people we support. In addition, these insights can be shared with a variety of stakeholders, allowing them to play their part in improving the health and wellbeing of people with learning disabilities.”

Gill Clayton, Programme Manager from the Health Foundation said, “We are very excited to be working with such a high-calibre of teams, who all have great innovative ideas. As an organisation we are keen to support innovation at the frontline, therefore I am pleased that we will be able to support these ambitious teams to develop and test their ideas over the next year.

“Our aim is to promote the effectiveness and real impact of the teams’ innovations and show how they have succeeded in improving the quality of health care, with the intention of these being widely adopted across the UK health service.”

The programme will run for fifteen months and each project will receive up to £75,000 of funding to support the implementation and evaluation of the project