NHS England and the academic health science networks are to invest in innovative business projects that help family doctors cope with increasing demands placed on their practices.
The demand for general practice is at its highest ever level.The number of face-to-face consultations increased by 13% between 2010 and 2015 at the same time as the number of GPs was declining.
GPs are expected to face increasing demands on their practices as more and more elements of care are pushed out of hospitals and into general practice.
The NHS is seeking to fund projects under SBRI (Small Business Research Initiative) in three areas:
- workload and demand management: solutions that better forecast the demands that will be placed on surgeries and help to release GP time
- diagnostics and earlier triage: technology that allows rapid diagnostic testing to take place within general practices rather than in acute care
- self-care: products that help the patient to look after themselves in partnership with their GP
- the competition is open, and the deadline for applications is at noon on 24 November 2016
- single companies or organisations from the private, public and third sectors, including charities, can apply
- up to £100,000 is available for individual feasibility studies in the first stage of the competition
- successful projects could attract contracts of up to £1 million for further development of the idea
- funding is available in the form of 100% funded development contracts
- briefing events will be held in Cambridge on 25 October 2016 and in Bristol on 27 October 2016