The Primary Care Innovation Centre May 2023 Edition:

“May-be we seek investors”

By Liz Leggott, Project Manager



Welcome to the May Blog and a month of Bank Holidays, or so it feels!  So many great things happening this month, its hard to pick what to talk about!

I travelled down to London at the start of this month to a face-to-face Clinical Entrepreneur session; I navigated my way there, through the tube and back home again… for a self-proclaimed ‘country bumpkin’ I was particularly pleased with myself!  I heard lots of great and interesting speakers talking about the world of funding; about raising capital and investment for our projects, looking at the relationships with venture capitalists and angel investors and what would the expectations be from you and your business.  Although I feel that the Innovation Centre and the digital projects within it are not really for profit and ultimately the business is not mine to make money from, I do feel I owe it to the success of the Hub to take what I can from this advice and put it into action.  Below are just a few of the organisations we heard from.

May also sees us quickly progressing the plans for the fit out of the second floor of the arena.  We’re meeting regularly and checking our requirements against new drawings, checking technical information about what specific training rooms need to look like and perform and rapidly becoming aware of the possibilities once the space is ready!

I must concentrate on the business element of this project now.  With the merger of HEE and NHSE I need to understand what will that look like, how will the funding flow, who will be in a role that I need to speak to about recurrent funding, and will there be any significant changes to the way individual projects will be funded?? I need to design the business with income streams in mind, I have to understand what monies will be available to sustain it and therefore what I need to make by other means to meet the running costs.   Will there be any funds available to help with the costs of the arena space?

So, with the words of financial wisdom ringing in my ears from London and these intricate tasks in front of me, May seems to be a month to explore this.  My aim is to draw up a plan to create a buzz around the project with potential investors, to look at some professional PR materials and perhaps approach businesses with a proposal…. But first, to get a few of these in a row.

On a less expensive note… I’ve made more connections recently with creators of platforms that gather open-source products (free at point of use… or at the very least, more cheaply than expected), so that it provides a single point of access for digital tools such as VR and AI.  This means that with the right guidance we could create our own digital learning tools more cheaply and quicker than waiting for a developer to start coding a project from scratch for us.  It means that with the insight and experience of our educators and the employment of a simulation technician or digital apprentice, we can make our own bespoke tools for teaching without the need for excessive funding; however, that being said with organisations like Innovate UK we can apply for funds for those projects that require a little more refinement or development. This has to be a key factor in the business design.

In addition to these creator platforms, I’ve made a connection with a fellow NHS CEP member who with his team have an events management platform that we as a team plan to test and use.  We use sites like Eventbrite and MS Forms alongside our own excel spreadsheets and email accounts to create, share and register attendees to various events and training sessions.  This site claims to restrict all that activity to one site, makes communications cleaner, direct and succinct and offers an unlimited access to activity data, rolling the whole often complicated experience into one site.   It’s still early days in our use of it but the developers are happy to implement any suggested changes and improvements we want to make to the site.  If you want to check it out for any of your projects and events go to MedTribe or I’d be happy to introduce you to the team.

As I progress the project down the road, I sit and contemplate what it will look like.  Will I look back in 5 years’ time and wonder how it all came to be?   How did we manage such a brave project? How did we (the WTH) change the landscape of training for our Primary Care colleagues with some nifty technology and a bespoke space to learn in?  Changes in culture and in mindsets are never easy to implement but I guess anything that is ultimately for a positive change and for the good of our workforce and the service provided to our patients, it  has got to be worth doing and doing well.

Thanks for reading about my May!