Health Secretary announces new ‘innovations’ fund

Alex Neil said the new Innovation Fund would aim to  boost the development of new ideas. Picture: TSPL
Alex Neil said the new Innovation Fund would aim to boost the development of new ideas. Picture: TSPL
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An “innovations” fund to develop new and pioneering treatments for patients has been launched in Scotland, the Health Secretary announced.

Alex Neil said the Health and Social Care Innovation Fund would aim to raise millions of pounds to boost the development of new ideas.

The Scottish Government has given £100,000 to establish the fund, with hopes that it can attract further funding through attracting donations and European grants.

Speaking at the NHS Scotland conference in Glasgow, Mr Neil also announced how funding of £10 million announced earlier this year would be used to help 300,000 older patients be cared for at home.

The innovations fund will be managed by the Golden Jubilee Hospital in Clydebank. The Scottish Government said the fund would not be used for mainstream services or research activities that are currently funded through existing routes.

Instead, it would “support initiatives that create and turn excellent ideas into services for patients”.

Mr Neil said: “There should be no doubt that innovations have the power to improve the health and lives of many Scottish people.

“I’ve been fortunate to see for myself some of the ground-breaking work already happening in our NHS and meet some of the people who are developing new and better treatments for patients.

“This dedicated fund is about giving those innovators the support they need to turn their excellent ideas into world-leading health services for the people of Scotland.”

Jill Young, chief executive of the Golden Jubilee National Hospital, said: “At the Golden Jubilee, we have an excellent track record in innovation, paving the way with pioneering concepts in treatment and research for the people of Scotland.

“We are very excited about the possibilities and potential that the future holds as we move onto our next chapter as a national resource for the NHS in Scotland.”

The new fund follows an announcement in March that £10 million will be invested in pioneering telehealth and telecare technology, such as consultations conducted by videolink and technology to allow patients to monitor their own health at home.

Yesterday Mr Neil confirmed that the funding would be used to support 300,000 older people to have access to the modern technology they need to stay in their own homes.