What every innovator should know before completing their innovation record

Quick tips to help you get the most from the NHS Innovation Service

Everyone who registers with the NHS Innovation Service completes an innovation record. This captures all the information about your innovation and what help you are seeking.

Your innovation record is a live document, which you can update at any point in your journey. After completing it as fully as possible, submit the record for our needs assessment team to review. They will use the information you’ve provided to determine which support organisations are best placed to support you. Gemma Snell is one of the needs assessors who looks after this stage of the process, and has shared her top five tips for completing your record.

1) The guide is there to help

Before filling out your innovation record, read through this useful guide, which is available on the website. It is packed with information about the service, how it can support an innovation, and should hopefully answer any questions you have.

2) Give a clear description of your innovation

Once your innovation record is submitted we’ll use the information supplied to get a sense of what stage your innovation is at, and which organisations can help you on your journey. It really helps us to have a clear, full description of your innovation so we can make the right recommendations. Assume that we do not know anything about your innovation and how it works. Avoid using jargon and write in plain English to clearly explain what it is.

3) Provide as much evidence as you can

To enable us to make the best recommendation about who can support you, provide as much evidence as you can in your record. You should include details on your progress so far, how the product has developed, any pilots or trials, or funding you may have secured. This will help us develop a clear picture of your offer to the NHS, and avoid the need to contact you for more information. Do not forget to refer back to the useful guide to help you complete your record.

However, it’s also fine if you are unsure what evidence to supply – that’s what we’re here for. Remember, you will be able to add more information later, as it becomes available.

4) Keep checking for updates

Once we’ve completed our needs assessment, you will be able to see on the service which organisation you have been referred to. When an organisation has an appropriate support offer for you, they will be in contact via the service.

To make sure that they have all the information they need from you, they can message you and request actions from you through the service, so it’s important to keep checking for updates.

5) Keep your innovation record up to date

As you develop your innovation with support from the service, you'll need to continue to update your innovation record. This ensures that the organisations in the service have the most up-to-date information, so that they are better prepared to support you at the right time. By doing this, you'll have faster access to the right support and can accelerate the development of your innovation.

Headshot of Gemma, an NHS Innovation Service Needs Assessor

Gemma Snell, Needs Assessor

Published at May 24, 2023