5 core themes to help the roll out of successful healthcare innovations

December 4, 2023 | Jo Barosa | ADHD News

The process for an ADHD diagnosis can include many steps because of a surge in patients and subjective reports from parents, teachers, and observation of patients. As a result, many patients across England seeking diagnosis and treatment for ADHD are facing long waiting times and unavailable or underfunded services.

Qbtech and the Health Innovation Network partnered from 2020 to 2023 to deliver the Focus ADHD National Programme with the goal to improve clinical services’ ADHD assessment pathway by implementing QbTest, an objective test used alongside other clinical measures. The Health Innovation Network (HIN) comprises 15 local health innovation organizations to support health and care systems.

Following the programme, the HIN has published a new guide to innovation implementation, readiness and resourcing, sharing practical learning and successful adoption and spread of the national Focus ADHD programme.

Five core themes have been identified to help the roll out of successful healthcare innovations:

  1. Understanding the context
  2. Raising awareness
  3. Building will
  4. Supporting implementation
  5. Changing behavior

The guide can be adapted to any healthcare innovation programme regardless of size.

What is the Focus ADHD National Innovation Programme?

Before the Focus ADHD programme, a national real-world evaluation in the East Midlands began in 2017 over the period of a year with the goal to accelerate ADHD diagnoses and improve efficiency. It was coordinated by the 15 local health innovation networks and its success in demonstrating routine clinical value led to the national adoption of QbTest across 150 clinics by 2023.

Real world implications of the National Innovation Programme

The evidence-based findings revealed that integrating the objective assessment tool QbTest into the ADHD care pathway led to quicker diagnostic decisions, resulting in faster access to appropriate treatment or alternative care pathways. The subsequent cost-benefit analysis confirmed positive cost savings for the NHS of around £10 million, and not only benefited patients but also increased satisfaction and confidence in decision-making among clinical staff, freeing up valuable time of over 20,500 hours.

Since the launch of the Focus ADHD programme in 2020, QbTest is being used in 69 trusts across 150 sites, benefitting nearly 65,000 children and young people in England. The programme’s success significantly impacted ADHD services and families across the country, proving instrumental in addressing challenges that NHS England face.


The success of the programme has been acknowledged through various awards, including the HSJ award in 2018 for best innovation in mental health, the HSJ Partnership Award in 2022 for the best mental health partnership with the NHS, and the Innovation Spread Award in 2023. QbTest has also been recognized in the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) Medical Innovation Briefing [MIB318] in 2023.

Overall, it has demonstrated the power of health innovation in transforming care delivery within the NHS. Find out more with the Health Innovation Network’s guide which provides valuable insights and a practical roadmap for implementing similar transformative programmes.

Get in contact with us to learn more about our objective ADHD tests

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