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About TheHill

TheHill was founded in 2016 to build a community to support digital innovation in Oxford. Its aim was to catalyse change by facilitating connections between staff, patients, entrepreneurs and businesses. It received backing from Oxford AHSN (now Health Innovation Oxford)  and Oxford Health Partners. TheHill was hosted by Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH) from its inception, and during 2020 raised funding to support activity. In 2021 TheHill became a permanent entity within OUH and is now fully embedded within the trust as their innovation team.

In 2020 our work at TheHill, as with the whole of the NHS, was largely reshaped by the pandemic, but 2021 was a year of consolidation. With the backdrop to developments through the initial pandemic months of 2020, and with a structural review of TheHill’s place within OUH unfolding in the same year, we had found our space within OUH, established partnerships and networks, and developed a revised programmatic approach which builds on the work of the past years while making exciting progress against our objectives.

In April 2021 the OUH Trust Management Executive approved a pilot for TheHill as a Digital Innovation Service for the Trust and approved a programme for a year. Within six months of the pilot we were able to demonstrate an ability to streamline and accelerate innovation processes and TheHill was made permanent within the Trust, to establish a dedicated process for identifying, supporting and managing digital innovation.

Our Goals

We aim to increase digital innovation adoption in the NHS to improve efficiency and effectiveness, thus empowering staff and benefitting patients.

Our Objectives

  • Identify needs within OUH and match them with digital innovations.
  • Build capacity, understanding and skills to enable NHS staff to engage with, and champion, digital innovation.
  • Support SMEs and individuals to understand the NHS better and bring their innovations to market.
  • Connect people, systems and resources to encourage a thriving ecosystem that promotes partnership, investment and digital solutions for the benefit of all.
  • Facilitate adoption of innovation into the Trust through our innovation pipeline process.

Our Values

  • Purposeful:
    We challenge ourselves to seek meaningful change and measure the impact of our work on staff and patients.
  • Community-orientated:
    We are a compassionate, diverse team, who collaborate with and empower the people in our digital health communities,
  • Innovative:
    We constructively challenge each other and our partners to improve processes, take up opportunities and try new approaches.
  • Sustainable:
    We seek to build long-lasting change, improve capability and capacity, and be economically, socially and environmentally sustainable.

Working within OUH strategic themes

TheHill’s digital innovation agenda drives Digital By Default through providing the relevant opportunities and technologies; fosters a culture of innovation through community building and cross-divisional collaborative activities; and continues the Trust’s reputation for World Class Impact by ensuring we are at the forefront of digital innovation.

Many of the technologies in TheHill’s pipeline enable Close to Home Care through remote monitoring and patient communication.

We run workshops to determine needs and share best practice, and have established a pipeline of digital innovation for the Trust.

We are a diverse, collaborative team who maintain an agile and resourceful approach to digital innovation.


Fun Fact: TheHill (so named because of the geographical position of healthcare in Oxford, concentrated at the top of Headington Hill) was founded in 2016 by a team that included a member of OUH staff, to build a community to support digital innovation in Oxford.

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