The annual Innovate Awards were held last night (29 September 2022), by the AHSN network, and three projects connected with KSS AHSN were finalists. Other projects won on the night, but our projects did exceptionally well to be recognised at this level.  Congratulations to them all.

Find out more about these highly successful projects below.

Innovation Spread Award – 2 finalists

Hexitime CIC – the collaboration platform and timebank for improving health and care services

Hexitime is a digital platform that empowers workforces and networks to share knowledge, skills and services. It allows innovators to access specialist knowledge, or gather data within their NHS Trust by volunteering their time elsewhere, earning time credits.

The platform is a timebank, so when people help each other to improve healthcare they are reimbursed for their time using a tokenised currency they can in turn spend on themselves.

At the core of Hexitime’s concept is reciprocity, and it is the first platform of its kind, facilitating the exchange of innovation skills in a healthcare setting. Participants can ask for something they don’t have, or offer their expertise in a certain area, and the system matches requests with skills.

KSS AHSN is a strategic partner with Hexitime, supporting their work, and helping them develop their organisation to become a Community Interest Company.

As an example of how Hexitime works, Sarah is a busy nurse with an idea to improve her service. She needs to collect some data and analyse it, to take her idea to the next stage. With time credits in the bank, she uses Hexitime to connect, and spend an hour working with Adam, a trainee doctor in a neighbouring service, who can help her run an audit. Adam is grateful for the connection, as he has been wanting to participate in an improvement project for his personal development. He earns an hour of credit from his work with Sarah, which he uses to contact a colleague for some support with a literature review he needs to publish his own work.

Hexitime was founded by John Lodge, currently Programme Director for Continuous Quality Improvement at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Dr Hesham Abdalla, Consultant Paediatrician and Head of Quality Improvement at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Trustee of the Point of Care Foundation.

I believe innovation and improvement can thrive the most where titles or grades don’t stop you from making a difference. At KSS AHSN, we recognise the value of people’s skills and their experiences in helping to transform lives through innovation and Hexitime is an innovation that allows people to do just that…through the indiscriminate currency of time.

George Anibaba, KSS AHSN

We created Hexitime because we wanted to tap into the wealth of talent and ideas in the healthcare community ready to collaborate around service improvement, but we wanted to do so in a way that respected and rewarded people’s time.

John Lodge, Hexitime Co-founder

In tough times, Hexitime leverages the power of professional communities. You can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.

Dr Hesham Abdalla

We’re delighted that Hexitime has been recognised by the Innovate Awards. Even being in the competition as a finalist against such a great selection of other projects is great for us as we celebrate and raise the profile of timebanking as a mechanism to improve services across health and care.

John Lodge, Hexitime Co-founder

Dr Julian platform for mental healthcare speed of adoption across the NHS.

Dr Julian Nesbitt was an A&E Doctor before moving into general practice, and has seen first hand the scale of the mental health issue currently facing the NHS in this country. He saw the potential for a digital platform to connect therapists with patients, levelling out any geographical imbalance between need and supply, and linking patients with therapists who specialise in their particular areas of need. Since launching as a concept in November 2015, the platform has now evolved to offer far more than just a connection service.

The Dr Julian platform is now an end-to-end mental health process, from a therapy dashboard that patients can access themselves, with their electronic health record, access to relevant (and proven) self-help tools, and ‘homework’ notes from therapy sessions. They can book and rearrange their own therapy appointments, which saves a huge amount of admin time, and brings a significant degree of personal choice to the mental health care system.

For healthcare providers, the platform effectively and efficiently brings workforce to plug gaps, with minimal admin cost, and helps to reduce waiting times and the consequences of delayed treatment for mental health patients.

As of September 2022, the Dr Julian platform has 200 therapists, operates through 25 NHS services, and supports 2,500 appointments per month – soon to be expanding to 4,000. There are exciting plans underway for the future, using ever-improving tech, and with the possibility to expand into other areas of healthcare. Chatbots are being explored, to support patients through therapy ‘homework’, and answer easy questions, although this will never replace trained human therapists.

As well as the service provision, Dr Julian has now started licensing its unique platform technology to other service providers to use the platform with their own staff. The system is able to bring all the elements of case management, electronic health and letter record, patient facing dashboard, booking and assessment systems all into place as an end to end solution.

KSS AHSN has been a great support in our journey all the way through. Has really supported us in our scale up journey into the NHS ensuring we are keeping close contact with NHS priorities and what’s needed in the marketplace.

To be a finalist in the Innovate Awards is great recognition for the hard work of the team, and it’s thanks to that team that the platform has reached the scale that it has.

Dr Julian Nesbit, Founder

Net Zero Innovation of the Year

Accurate transport emissions and critical insights: the open-source Context of Vehicle Emissions (COVE) tool

The Context of Vehicle Emissions (COVE) Tool is a freely available and adaptable open-source tool developed by Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust (KCHFT). The tool supports the accurate calculation of emissions associated with business mileage, tracking uptake of no-emission vehicles, verifying compliance with requirements for mileage-claiming vehicles and generating insights into opportunities for route optimisation and use of alternative transport to complete journeys.

Forming part of the Trust’s Net Zero work, this tool is going to be key to reducing the Trust’s current business mileage, which was in excess of nine million miles in the 2019-2020 year. The entire project is intended to make sense from a health perspective, together with improving cost effectiveness and reducing environmental impact.

The tool contextualises existing mileage claim datasets by leveraging the Department for Transport’s Vehicle Lookup Service to calculate vehicle specific emissions per journey as opposed to relying on averaging methods. The trust collaborated with an internationally leading university to refine the code, and improve the accuracy of the output.

Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust is excited to join a number of pioneering NHS providers , to develop and share projects like the COVE Tool. These projects provide foundations for new collaborative ways to work with data and highlight how these insights can support evidence-based decision-making processes.

Dan Wright PhD, Head of Sustainability at Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust