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i-Thrive goes to Downing Street

Anna Moore was invited to attend a celebration at 10 Downing Street to talk about the i-THRIVE programme and CAMHS transformation. 

On the 5th of July, the NHS turned 70 and to celebrate the occasion the Prime Minister hosted a party at Downing Street. I was surprised and proud to be invited to attend along with 150 other people, who represented the wide variety of fantastic work being undertaken across the NHS. These included a selection who were receiving awards for over 40 years of service, those who were champions of education, innovation and entrepreneurship and charities who had won awards for their work supporting the NHS.

I attended as an NHS Innovation Accelerator Fellow, representing the i-THRIVE programme, as a result of the work we have undertaken to support child mental health service transformation. NHS England’s NHS Innovation Accelerator Programme aims to speed up the delivery of innovation into practice in the NHS by providing Fellows and the innovations they represent with support for dissemination and innovation. Currently research indicates that it takes on average 17 years for innovations to become a routine part of clinical practice, leading to significant lost opportunities to improve outcomes for patients and their families. Through working with fellows, they aim to support delivery of the Five Year Forward View, identify barriers to implementation and work together with other key organisations such as NHS Improvement and Monitor to bring about changes in the system to enable more rapid translation of evidence into practice.

Meeting Theresa May was really exciting, of course! Although much of the fun was experiencing the history of Downing Street and thinking about all the people whose footsteps we were walking in. The meeting with the Prime Minister itself was fairly brief (we were squeezed between Brexit negotiations and her travelling to Chequers). However, I was lucky enough to be selected to meet her in a small private group, and so was able to talk in some detail about CAMHS transformation and the current challenges of delivering whole system change, the importance of innovation in the NHS and the opportunity that new ways of working like THRIVE present, as well as the challenges to successful implementation across the NHS, social care and educational settings.

The i-THRIVE programme has been an NIA Accelerator for three years and is a partnership between the AFNCCF, The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, UCL Partners and the Dartmouth Centre for Healthcare Delivery Science in the US. We have a small central team that supports local areas which have chosen to use THRIVE as the basis of their transformation. We have developed an evidence-based approach to implementation called i-THRIVE. Sites are members of the i-THRIVE community of practice and there are regular shared learning days with representation from all over the UK (including Ireland and Scotland), as well as case studies highlighting the great work sites are doing, and a tool kit to support implementation. The COP now includes 72 CCGs and nearly 49% of all children and young people in England live in an i-THRIVE site.