Making healthy connections

Doing business with the NHS just got easier for Lancashire SMEs.

A new support programme aims to help Lancashire businesses with products or services of interest to the NHS make the right connections.

Support is tailored to help pre start-ups, and new and established businesses develop and grow their products and services.

Over the next three years the aim is to support 100 new and existing SMEs, enabling them to create 60 new jobs and launch 25 new products.

The partnership is focused on business growth through acceleration, adoption and the spread of innovation in health and social care, and is funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The programme offers an impressive package of clinical and commercial assistance and support.

There’s also help with procurement advice, help on regulatory approval, access to business planning tools and one-to-one coaching.

Dr Liz Mear, chief executive at the agency, who also chairs NHS North West Procurement Development, says: “It’s hard for small businesses with great new products to break into the NHS – even when there is proof that the products can improve care and save time and money. “HBCL is a great way for a business to get an introduction to the NHS, receive support to develop the product further and navigate NHS procurement.

Andrew Leeming, Boost programme manager at Lancashire County Council, adds: “What’s unique and exciting about the Healthcare Business Connect Lancashire programme is a focus on health and wealth.

The project is currently working with businesses refining and adopting ideas and products in areas that include patient self-management, healthcare technology, diagnostic support, community-based provision, carer support and mental health services. However, it is interested in helping all health and social care innovations. Steve Adams, commercial business manager for the Innovation Agency, says: “If you have an innovation or product that can make care and services better, safer, faster and cost-effective then contact us now for help in achieving your ambitions.”

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