NHS Scotland staff have been urged to submit their ideas for new innovations to develop pioneering treatments for pregnant women and new mothers.

InnoScot Health – the healthcare innovation agency – is calling on healthcare professionals to promote and support good child and maternal health.

The call is in line with Scottish Government health policy. Its Women’s Health Plan (2021-2024) set out a bold strategy to improve health and reduce health inequalities; long-term plans for improving maternity and neonatal care are being remobilised following the pandemic and Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC) is a continued commitment to providing all children, young people, and their families with the right support at the right time.

InnoScot Health is a formal partner of NHS Scotland and believes that identifying ideas drawn from the deep expertise and experience of the workforce can improve how the service provides the right care for every woman and baby, while giving all children the best possible start in life.

Inspiring the workforce to come up with new ways of working is vital, and to help encourage staff to come forward with innovative ideas, InnoScot Health’s package of support for NHS Scotland staff includes support up to the value of £25k for initial seed funding, regulatory support, project management, and the extensive innovation expertise of its highly experienced team.

Ideas that InnoScot Health are looking for could include:

  • Devices for managing and monitoring pregnancy
  • Innovations to improve labour and delivery
  • Technologies for neonates needing specialist care
  • Improving outcomes for mothers with co-morbidities
  • Support for women experiencing mental health problems before and after delivery

Head of innovation at InnoScot Health, Robert Rea, said: “It is vital that we improve the outcomes of maternity and neonatal care for all women, babies, and families in Scotland, and place more focus on mental health and inequalities.

“In 2020, women were three times more likely to die by suicide during or up to six weeks after the end of pregnancy compared to 2017-2019. We also know black and Asian women have a higher chance of dying during pregnancy compared to white women, while further inequalities remain an issue.

“But we have an opportunity to work collaboratively to improve pregnancy and perinatal services and are calling on NHS Scotland workers who have vast experience and insight to come forward with their ideas and solutions.

“Workforce innovators with breakthrough ideas can be the difference that makes for improved patient outcomes.”

Ideas can be submitted via www.innoscot.com