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In pursuit of its smart health and care agenda, NHS Liverpool CCG is playing a formative role in a number of innovation programmes to generate intelligence, improve services and contribute to policy development.

Core smart health/care programme activity is set out below in paragraph 4, but falls into 3 main categories:

  1. building a smart-health & care eco-system
  2. prototyping and deploying smart health & care products and services
  3. “opening up” health & care services to innovation




Part-funded (£1.8m from September 2016–August 2019) by European Regional Development Fund, Liverpool City Region Health Innovation Exchange works to accelerate the rate at which small local businesses develop and commercialise innovative products/services for the health and care industry. It creates a collaborative community that connects SMEs to expertise and support from within the NHS and care community.

The Health Innovation Exchange (HIEx):

  • delivers specialised SME support across the innovation cycle – invention, co-creation, testing and market routes
  • stimulates and supports collaboration and co-creation to enable industry develop and test innovations in real world settings
  • generates additional finance to accelerate market growth and scale innovation

and will enhance the regions capacity as a centre of excellence in scaling smart and innovative solutions whilst enabling the health and social to deliver more effectively and efficiently.

Health Innovation Exchange delivery partners are Liverpool CCG (lead), Aimes Grid Services, Alder Hey NHS Trust, Innovation Agency, LCR LEP, LJMU and Mersey Care NHS Trust working together to support LCR SMEs, especially those working in service, digital, creative, technology and some life science sectors, that can generate healthcare and societal benefits - particularly where LCR is a market leader and has a smart specialisation strategy.

It includes supporting SMEs to repurpose their technologies (encouraging companies that do not currently work in the health, care and well-being space to apply their products and services to the sector). Hub partners are working together to:

  • improve existing business support so that it understands technology, care and health markets and has the ability to speak the same language
  • enable citizens, care and health services and practitioners with technology
  • align R&D (academia and NHS provider trusts) and delivery (industry) to the needs and expectations of end citizens
  • drive collaboration
  • retain talent
  • exploit the full potential of engagement with leading edge SMEs and regions elsewhere in Europe.

And help service and technology businesses tackle barriers along the route(s) to market.

Current Position:

The Health Innovation Exchange offer is proving very attractive to LCR SMEs with c62% of programmed businesses being identified and signed up in the 1st 12 months of activity.

The key programme challenge has been engaging a broader range of NHS and social care partners with appetite and capacity to consider SME innovation with a view to test deployment.


Part-funded by Interreg Europe (£1.7m from January 2017-December 2021), Innovation in Health and Care for All (ITHACA) aims to share experiences and good practices on smart health and care innovation, to improve active and healthy ageing of the population. ITHACA involves 9 EU regions with a shared ambition to accelerate the scaling up of smart health and care innovation that can support active and healthy living and secure the triple win of economic growth, more sustainable health and care systems and improved wellbeing of Europe’s citizens. Its primary goal is to improve Structural Funds’ policies and implementation across the smart health and care innovation cycle (invention, co-creation, market testing, validation, scaling up) and to enhance regional and interregional ecosystems.

Recognising that effective, innovation cycle outcomes require enhanced cooperation between multiple stakeholders, ITHACA incorporates interregional collaboration, involving a wide range of expert stakeholders, that comprises exchange of good practices, mutual learning, peer assessment, knowledge transfer, targeted coaching and collective, co-designed policy development

The first phase of the project began in January 2017. It involves 9 EU regions – all of who are members of the CORAL (Community of Regions for Assisted Living) network.  It will deliver its results through interlinked project activities and outputs during 3 sequential steps: (1) Identification and Analysis; (2) Interregional Mutual Learning; (3) Knowledge Transfer and Action Planning.

Current Position:

Drawing learning from HIEx activity, NHS LCCG is lobbying ITHACA partners to make communication and engagement a priority of exploration and learning.

NHS LCCG recently developed and hosted a workshop in the Netherlands to bring together small businesses from the Liverpool City and the Noord-Brabant regions to explore how industry can be better engaged in smart health/care policy making.  The output from this session was fed back and sense checked at the Co-Design seminar held in Krakow in June 2018.


The ALTAS (Assistive Living Training and Skills) Programme was led by NHS Liverpool CCG and co–funded by Erasmus+ from September 2015 to August 2018.

The aims of the ALTAS partnership were to:

  • address the shortfall in training and skills development for care and health practitioners
  • establish a recognised standard, curriculum, course and qualification
  • stimulate demand for and increased uptake of innovation
  • provide an opportunity to continuously update the curricula and standards

This transnational collaboration included partners from the UK, Spain, Norway, Denmark, and the Netherlands.  A full list of the partners can be found here.

The programme has created a toolkit to help trainers to develop staff knowledge, understanding and skills to ensure that they:

  • are confident in applying the most appropriate technology for clients;
  • can understand and explain the benefits of the technologies to clients;
  • can understand the use, development and impact of the technologies;
  • can engage confidently with technologies to make informed, ethical and sustainable decisions; and
  • can raise awareness of the benefits of assistive living technologies with their colleagues and clients.

The programme has also tried to address the different educational requirements in health and social care between EU regions, to ensure that the toolkit is generally applicable across Europe and can be adapted to train staff at a variety of levels.

You can find the ALTAS Toolkit here.



DISH is a 3-year, pan-European Sector Skills Alliance programme that “kicked-off” in December 2018. It is a led by the Region of Southern Denmark (Hospital of Southern Jutland), and brings together 19 partners*.

DISH aims to produce “concepts” to support the development of workforce and organisational skills required to deploy and scale smart health/care. This contributes to the implementation of the EU 2020 Strategy as well as the main goals of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP on AHA) in terms of skills development and job creation. In this respect, for Liverpool City Region, DISH is a successor to ALTAS.

Current Position:

Partners are working to develop solutions that can be tested in “real life” situations; training concepts for instance, will be developed as “on the job training”, with elements of simulation and work place practice.  In each country, a minimum of 100 practitioners will be involved in co-producing and testing.

 * Liverpool City Region partners, NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Edge Hill University and the City Regions e-Health Cluster LTD are working with:

Southern Jutland Hospital, South Denmark European Office, University College Lillebaelt and Welfare Tech from Denmark

Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Norwegian Smart Care Cluster, Vaksdal Municipality from Norway

The Health Department Valencia-La Fe, Polytechnic University of Valencia and Polibienestar Research Institute from Spain

Lübeck University, BioCon Valley GMBH and University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein  from Germany

John Paul II Hospital from Poland

European Health Management Association (EHMA) from Belgium

European Connected Health Alliance (ECHAlliance) from Ireland

DISH is funded by Erasmus+ Programme, Key Action 2: Cooperation for Innovation and the Exchange of Good Practices, Action Type: Sector Skills Alliances (SSAs).


STOP & GO Project – digitising home care services - Liverpool City Council is a member of the EU Sustainable Technology for Older People – Get Organised -    STOP & GO programme ( )

The main objectives of the programme were to:

  • develop a common procurement template for health and social care for older people
  • encourage interaction with other countries
  • stimulate technical Innovation

STOP and GO focused upon procuring services enabled by technology instead of “just” innovative technology itself.

The programme ran to April 2018 and having procured the Help to Live at Home product in the prescribed way in late 2016, Liverpool City Council has now implemented and evaluated.

The eHealth Cluster supported Liverpool City Council in delivering this programme. In the first phase, digital care records were deployed by home care providers across the City using the PASS System. The second phase:

  • used IoT technology across a LoRaWAN network
  • Safehouse sensors were deployed in over 2,000 homes across the City,
  • the Caring Cloud App was used along with the sensors in a trial by Liverpool City Council.

Current Position:

Stop & Go has now finished to much praise from European Commission. The programme has generated interest across Europe, Ann Williams, Liverpool City Council Adult Social Care, recently spoke about how the EU Funded project is changing Home Care services in Liverpool at the eHealth Conference in Tallinn, Estonia and the Active and Assisted Living (AAL) Forum.

The programme won a (UK) “Go Procurement” award and is shortlisted for a SIPs procurement award.

Some elements of Stop & Go have been taken forward into the 5G activity set out below.  


Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LCR LEP) and Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) have been awarded Interreg Europe funding to support a pan-European programme called HELIUM.

HELIUM builds on successful LCR programmes undertaken to date, such as the Innovate Dementia programme, that used a “Living Lab” approach (bringing together (1) industry, (2) universities, (3) healthcare/public sector and (4) end users/patients/public) to successfully develop new products, including the House of Memories app.

Much like ITHACA, the objectives of HELIUM are to share and use European good practices to inform local practice and improve LCR policy/strategies to increase the efficiency of resource use/commercialisation of innovation. HELIUM is structured to reflect the different phases of the innovation process to:

  • scout Innovation – identification of regional, best practice, and baseline measures (e.g. research to business collaborations, tech transfer, innovation vouchers etc)
  • stimulate Innovation – structure and processes to underpin living labs (e.g. standardisation of approach)
  • valorise Innovation – business plans to support technology implementation
  • uptake of Innovation – commissioning/procurement models, evaluation

Evidence is being gathered (predominantly by a LJMU researcher for LCR), shared across European partners, synthesized, with a view to improving regional policy and practice.

Current Position:

The main phase (phase I) of the Helium project is coming to an end and focus is shifting to monitoring of LCR best practice.


Liverpool 5G Consortium recently received 3.5 million from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS) 5G Testbeds and Trials programme, to help deliver the government’s 5G strategy.

The consortium led by Sensor City, includes: Blu Wireless Technology, AIMES, Inventya, DefProc, Digicredis, CGA Simulation, Sensor City, Liverpool City Council, Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust (RLBUHT), Liverpool University, and Liverpool John Moores University (supported by LCR eHealth Cluster.) It is a dynamic partnership, that brings together public sector organisations and industry from Liverpool and beyond.

11 programme testbeds and trials are focused upon those parts of Liverpool that have limited access to reliable broadband. There is also a plan to connect Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospital and Sensor City with the new Accelerator, in the Knowledge Quarter.

Blu Wireless Technology is using mmWave 60GHz technology to bring gigabit connectivity to communities. Health and social care professionals will deliver care at patients’ homes, to show how fifth generation networks can support the benefits of home care and health/social care consultation.

All of the trails have measurable social benefits and follow on from existing Liverpool Council Stop and Go activity. The trials running will employ cutting edge technologies like low-cost unlicensed mmWave 5G broadband, sensors, open source networking, artificial intelligence, mixed reality, virtual reality, Smart Health, robotics and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Current Position:

Programme set-up.


Liverpool (City Region) European Issues Forum (LEIF)

Recognising that value can be added by working with colleagues from other smart specialisation programmes, NHS Liverpool CCG has played a formative role in the development of LEIF. This Forum is led by Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, supported by LCR Brussels office and brings together colleagues from the economic sectors of:

  • Health/care
  • Environment
  • Transport
  • Skills
  • Maritime

with an interest in innovation and economic growth and, for example:

  • sourcing bid partners
  • access to intelligence about investment opportunities
  • sharing resources inc. intelligence and data
  • increasing capacity
  • improving LCR
  • increased visibility

doing things differently and doing different things! LEIF has started to identify:

  • how/where do we examine overlap between sector priorities?
  • how do we communicate and share across sectors?
  • where is the sharing, communication and facilitation capacity?
  • can we develop a stronger more joined up relationship with LCR academic institutions?

And more practically:

  • what/where are the smart specialisation groups working on priorities identified?
  • what are the routes in/out of these groups?
  • who are the ”super-connectors” i.e. people that have a foot in many groups and/or sectors?

A selection of research and learning from our programmes can be viewed here: