Innovation Programme

The Innovation Programme is being developed as a mechanism to collect, validate, and share NHS finance innovations.

What is an ‘innovation’ and who can submit one?

If you work for NHS Finance and have worked as an individual or as a team to ‘execute an idea which addresses a specific challenge and delivers better value to an organisation’ and this has already been implemented or is currently live (in active use) then you should submit an application now!

Why should i submit an innovation?

The Forum’s Innovation Programme is being developed as a mechanism to collect, validate, reward and share NHS finance innovations in a structured and accessible way.

An innovation that has been deployed in one team is unlikely to work when deployed in exactly the same way in another team. The significant variation that exists in NHS Finance means entirely different systems and entirely different processes can be found in the same organisation. When we look at this scaled across all NHS organisations it is unsurprising that a solution/innovation that works well in one place does not work in another.

This programme will therefore focus on the problems these innovations are trying to overcome as it is these problems that Finance teams face that are similar across the NHS.

We expect to collect many different innovations that are trying to overcome the same problem. Our intention is to group these innovations by problem and share the successfully peer reviewed ones so we can begin to better understand the common problems that exist. By doing this, we will learn how organisations have innovated to address these problems, and inspire other NHS Finance teams to tackle these problems in new and innovative ways

What happens when I submit?


Applications will be submitted through an online form. Supporting evidence/documentation can be uploaded to support the application.


Forum staff will review all application submissions and ensure these are anonymised before distributing to pre-selected peer reviewers. A minimum of three peer reviews will be required per application. Each peer review will consist of a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) Analysis and a recommendation for recognition or further development. The review for the first cohort of innovations is taking place in the month of November 2021.


Forum staff will share anonymised feedback from the peer reviews with successful innovators. If the collated feedback from the peer review does not meet the minimum requirement for recognition, then the applicant will receive all the feedback including constructive notes and are encouraged to review and resubmit their application at a later date. Feedback will be distributed to applicants in the month of December 2021.


Successfully peer reviewed innovations will be published on the One NHS Finance website. When published, innovations will credit the innovator, any collaborators, and the organisation as applicable. The first successfully review cohort will be published in December 2021

What is the programme timeline?

Each cohort cycle lasts three months. For the remaining 2021/2022 year there will be two cohorts:

Cohort 1 – Closed

Cohort 2 – Launches January 2022

  • Application window – January 2022 (Click here to be reminded)
  • Review window – February 2022
  • Innovation publication and programme review – March 2022

What do i do now?

Download the Innovation Application Guide which summarises the questions and provides more detail on the process itself.

By October 2022 we want to hear from every NHS Finance team in the country, about the great things they have been doing and how they have innovated around the problems they face. We hope that through this programme we can learn from each other and inspire teams across the country to innovate and submit their own implementation for peer review.