LONDON: The UK's National Health Service is using communications to help it “behave more like Google” and introduce radical thinking.
NHS Horizon, a unit it created to scout the best healthcare ideas from around the world, has recruited specialist communications agency The Social Kinetic.
Claire Cater, founder of The Social Kinetic, explained that Horizon will use “significant contacts” around the world as it seeks new ideas and tests 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 UK's health service more sustainable under pressure from an aging population and an increase in chronic diseases, Cater argued.
The NHS is attempting to cut £20 billion, or about $32 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 £1 million 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.
This story originally appeared on the website of PRWeek UK.