NHS appoints The Social Kinetic for innovation drive

The NHS is using comms to help it "behave more like Google" and introduce radical thinking.

NHS: looking to introduce radical thinking
NHS: looking to introduce radical thinking
NHS Horizon, a unit it has created to scout out the best healthcare ideas from around the world, has recruited specialist comms agency The Social Kinetic.

The NHS Horizon team, led by chief transformation officer Helen Bevan, has charged the agency with helping to present it to the health sector.

Claire Cater, founder of The Social Kinetic, explained that Horizon would be using "significant contacts" globally as it sought out new ideas and tested them.  

"We are looking to help the NHS behave more like Google," she said: "When Google innovates it both uses people from within and looks around the world. It allows its people to spend the time to invest and develop that innovation, with a focus on it having a tangible benefit to society."

Radical thinking is needed to make the health service more sustainable under pressure from an ageing population and an increase in chronic diseases, Cater argued.

The NHS is attempting to cut £20 billion from its budget by 2015.

"We need to think of radical and different new ways in which to save money and make things better for the patient," Cater said.

The Social Kinetic has also won a separate brief from the NHS’ Improving Quality team to promote the NHS England Innovation Challenge, which rewards new thinking from within the service.

It offers prizes of £150,000 for groundbreaking practice and a £1m prize for major breakthroughs in certain areas of healthcare.

The agency will improve the positioning and branding of the prizes, as well as raising their profile.

Cater, a former Bell Pottinger director, founded The Social Kinetic in 2011.

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