Dick Vinegar, the Patient From Hell, wrote about the Westminster Health Forum last month on “accelerating innovation in healthcare” at which I was presenting.

I gave a somewhat contrarian view on ‘innovation’ with a few ideas on escaping the NHS Giant Hairball. My presentation is published on slideshare and previewed below.

Dick writes:

Possibly the most disruptive speaker was Rob Dyke of Handi (Health Apps Network for Development and Innovation), who helps clinicians to write apps. He is scornful about “big IT” in healthcare. First, it doesn’t work very well. It costs billions, and, worst of all, does not talk to other big-IT systems. Handi’s apps, he claimed, are open-source, and consequently do work together.

Thanks for moniker Dick, I’ll get some new business cards printed.

More disruptively, he believes that an “Institute of Innovation” is the ultimate oxymoron, because “you cannot institutionalise innovation”. Instead you have to “be agile, hack things together, funnel ideas, forge solutions, tweet about them, blog about them; fail lots, win some”.

While I must thank Roy Lilley of NHSManagers.net for the ultimate oxymoron line, the message still stands. Of the all the speakers, I at least gave some opportunities for innovative practice and the real networks for innovation in healthcare IT as found in HANDI Health.

In my book, the Handi approach to innovation, although piecemeal and informal, is more likely to change the culture of the NHS than Sir David’s stately institutions for innovation.

HANDI Health has this culture change at heart, Dick. Thanks for the vote of confidence.