Lessons from the HIECs

The HIECs, being cross-sectoral partnerships, had very strong links with the academic community.  Many of the HIECs were based in universities and therefore had a strong orientation towards the education and learning aspect of their mission – the “E” in HIECs.  The university sector also contributed to the rigour with which the evidence base supporting innovation was examined prior to the implementation of a new technology or process; and also the attempts of the HIECs to evaluate the impact of their activities against a range of measures.  Some of the limitations to this evaluation activity, given the short length of life of the HIECs and their relatively small scale of operations, are discussed further in the reports contained elsewhere in this section.

There is another important way in which the HIECs sought to discharge their responsibility towards developing the evidence base.  Given that the HIECs were the first comprehensive attempt to develop cross –sectoral working across the whole of the NHS in England, and given that there was no formal evaluation of the investment in HIECs by DH prior to the development of “Innovation Health and Wealth” – the next stage of investment in innovation adoption and spread – the HIECs themselves were anxious to collaborate into an assessment of their success in carrying out their mission.  For this reason, all 100{79f878acaa41f375dcd804cc8c058b5459a5482f20a3b9f87269b26c8734749b} of the HIECs agreed to participate into a study of aspects of their development.  The study was led by Dr. Pavel Ovseiko of the University of Oxford and actively supported by the Chief Executive of his local HIEC, Dr. Catherine O’Sullivan.

“The Implementation of collaborative governance in cross-sector innovation and education networks: evidence from the National Health Service in England”  was published online in 2014 to view please visit:- 


Establishing and developing cross-sector health partnerships (paper submitted for review January 2015) Catherine O’Sullivan, Pavel V. Ovseiko, Susan C. Powell

Finally, through one of the legacy projects, the Centre for Innovation and Knowledge Exchange (a legacy of the Greater Manchester HIEC) will be coordinating further work by Dr. Richard Cutherbertson of Said Business School, University of Oxford, together with Dr. Sue Powell, Dr. Pavel Ovseiko and Dr. Catherine O’Sullivan.  This work aims to consider the measures of success for innovation networks in healthcare. For further information, please contact: S.Powell@mmu.ac.uk


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