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TheHill continues to work to support digital innovation in health and care

TheHill’s purpose has always been to improve health and care using digital technology. We firmly believe that the best way to do this is through engaging and enabling the many talented people in our community. In this time of crisis, we remain committed to supporting and developing that community and the innovations that will make the NHS stronger and better.

Supporting the NHS

As a hosted organisation within the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, we are working hard to support the efforts of health and care staff over the coming months. In addition to our community events (see below) we will also be working directly with colleagues to add our expertise to the COVID-19 efforts. If you’re a staff member within OUH or Oxford Health NHS Trust and there’s something specific you’d like our help with right now please contact our team.

Connecting our community

Different people within our community are facing huge and different challenges, from frontline staff working long hours under pressure, to parents balancing home education and work, to those furloughed from work or isolated in their homes without their usual social and professional contacts. It’s hugely important that we continue to support one another, understand each others’ experiences, and work together to make the best of the current situation, as well as continuing to build relationships for the future.

As such, we will continue to provide a space for discussions, introductions and innovative ideas to help the delivery of health and care. In recognition of the fast-paced environment we find ourselves in, we’ll be offering points of connection once a fortnight rather than our usual once every two months. The first two such connection points are:

TheHill community call
We will be hosting two sessions to talk to our community as an opportunity to discuss issues, problems and solutions and share your ideas for coping with the current crisis. Two dates have been added to our events calendar and more will be announced over the coming weeks.
Register for Wednesday 8 April 20:00 – 21:00 BST
Register for Thursday 9 April 12:00 – 14:00 BST
You do not have to join for the entire time period, these are open sessions, however please book ahead so we know who to expect.

TheHill social mixer on Twitter
For our April networking event we have partnered with the BioEscalator team to bring you another evening of networking opportunities and an insightful talk from a healthcare leader. This event was originally scheduled to take place at the BioEscalator. Due to the ongoing situation with the coronavirus disease pandemic we will now be co-ordinating this event through Twitter. Please register on Eventbrite for updates about how to participate.

If you are interested in either of these, please register your interest on Eventbrite and further details will be sent to you.

Supporting start-ups and innovators

Innovation is hugely important now and for the future, to make the NHS stronger and to deliver better health and care to everyone. We will continue to support you to create and develop new ideas as best we can.

We have a number of programmes running at the moment including our Innovation Support for Business workshops, NHS Market Access Accelerator and Open-API Bootcamp. We are exploring digital modes of delivering our content through webinars and distance learning and working with our partners to adapt timeframes and deadlines in line with the developing world situation. Updates and information about some of these programmes can be found below and we will also keep you up-to-date though our website and our Twitter account: @TheHillOxford.

We will also be sharing details of programmes geared specifically to COVID-19, and this has been added to our focus areas for the Accelerator programme this year.

We want to talk to the start-ups we‘re working with about how we can best support you over the coming weeks and months. That conversation can be by phone or video conference or by email: we’ll work with you though whatever platform works best for you. If you’d like a connection sooner rather than later, please contact us.

NHS Market Access Accelerator – deadlines extended to 6 May 2020

We know many of you have been looking forward to this programme and we already have some exciting applicants. We intend to continue with our planned programme through a new digital delivery mode and will be fast-tracking innovations relevant to the current crisis.

In recognition of the current situation, we have extended the application deadline by one month to 6 May 2020. Successful applicants will be notified in mid-May, with the programme beginning in June.

If you have not yet applied and would like to do so, please find the application link here. If you have already applied and have concerns about your availability please contact us.

Open API Bootcamp – Autumn 2020

For the long term sustainability and usefulness of new innovations, interoperability and integration with EPRs and other systems is essential. Our OpenAPI Bootcamp focuses specifically on this issue and offers the opportunity for technical deep dives with our expert partners.

It is impossible to predict if the Bootcamps will be able to go ahead as planned in September and October. To mitigate this, we are putting together an alternative plan for online delivery of the content between 14 September and 23 October.

Applications will remain open for the current period as expected and we continue to seek strong new innovations from entrepreneurs interested in exploring interoperability with existing systems.

Future Digital Skills – programme launch postponed until 2021

Thank you to members of the clinical community who joined in our series of focus groups and expert interviews and participated in our survey on digital skills in January and February this year. We shared the needs assessment with our project partners and are advocating the delivery of the programme to clinicians is delayed due to the current circumstances. Academic development of the curriculum will continue in line with the needs analysis but delivery of the programme to staff will be postponed.

How to contact us

TheHill team is now working from home as part of the effort to practice social distancing and avoid the spread of the virus. You can contact us by email at connect@thehilloxford.org or leave a message on our phone number 01865 572875 which will continue to reach us.

Best wishes to everyone in these challenging times,

Megan Morys-Carter, Programme Director, TheHill