• We are seeking an evaluation partner to undertake a mixed-methods evaluation of our Adopting Innovation programme, which will fund four innovation hubs as centres of expertise and support within NHS provider organisations to help them become better adopters of innovation. 
  • The evaluation will provide practical insights into the approach used by the innovation hubs to effectively set up and support the infrastructure, systems and conditions to encourage adoption of innovations. 
  • We anticipate bids of up to a maximum of £250,000 (inclusive of VAT and expenses). The evaluation will run from November 2021, with delivery of a final evaluation report in summer 2024.
  • The deadline for responses is 12.00 (midday) on Friday 10 September 2021.

The challenge of adopting innovation

Health care improvement is not only about identifying innovative solutions to the challenges facing the health service, but ensuring those solutions are widely taken up and successfully implemented across services. Our report The spread challenge identified that adopting and implementing innovations developed by other organisations is hard to do successfully. However, in light of increasing pressures on the NHS, promoting the adoption of innovations that have the potential to improve patient outcomes and/or improve the effectiveness of care delivery is more important than ever. 

To help address this, the Health Foundation has set up an Adopting Innovation programme, which is funding four innovation hubs in the NHS to promote a local approach to pulling in appropriate innovations to a local health system, so that innovations are adopted that respond to the local needs and context. 

Evaluation of the Adopting Innovation programme

We are looking to appoint an experienced evaluation partner to undertake a mixed-methods evaluation of the Adopting Innovation programme from November 2021. The evaluation will comprise of:

  • A formative evaluation – to draw shared learning from the set-up and implementation of the hubs, their working relationships across partner organisations and stakeholder groups, and their approach to building a culture to support the adoption of innovation in their local health systems. The information will be used to help each hub understand their own processes and ways of operating, and to gather learning from other hubs, to enable improvement and course corrections during the programme lifespan.
  • A summative evaluation – to assess the extent to which the hubs are able to effectively support local adoption of innovation, and better understand the ways in which the principles for successful spread and adoption interact to support (or hinder) adoption of innovation. 

The successful evaluator will have demonstrable experience of developing effective working relationships with a wide range of stakeholders, as well as a strong understanding and experience of evaluating multi-site interventions. They should also be able to demonstrate interest in and knowledge of contextual factors likely to determine effectiveness in adopting innovation.

The evaluation partner will need to carry out in-depth analysis of findings and synthesise these into a report which can be used to influence key stakeholders at multiple levels in the health and care systems. The Health Foundation will work closely with the evaluation partner to help to shape the evaluation outputs so they have maximum impact.

The successful evaluator will be required to work with us from November 2021 to the end of 2023, with delivery of a final evaluation report in summer 2024. 

How to apply

If you are interested in submitting a proposal, please follow the steps below to complete your application. 

  1. All applicants must read the Invitation to Tender in full before completing the online application form. It is recommended that applicants also read the Adopting Innovation Call for applications to understand what is required from teams setting up an innovation hub, and the information about the four sites selected to be innovation hubs.
  2. We strongly encourage that you watch our information webinar (see video below), which provides applicants with the opportunity to hear more about the Adopting Innovation programme and the aims and requirements of the evaluation. 
  3. All applications must be completed and submitted via our online system, AIMS. You need to first register on AIMS before you can complete the online application form. It is important that you register as your organisation rather than as an individual. Please include the contact details for the person you wish to be the primary contact for your application. Full guidance on accessing, completing and submitting your application via AIMS can be found in the Applicants user guide. We recommend that you keep a copy of this manual to hand to refer to while you complete your application.
  4. The deadline for online applications is 12.00 (midday) on Friday 10 September 2021. We will not accept proposals submitted after this time.
  5. You will be informed whether your proposal has been shortlisted in the week commencing 11 October 2021. 
  6. We intend to interview a selection of shortlisted bidders on 20 and 21 October 2021 to explore proposals in more depth. 
  7. The evaluation work will start in early November 2021.

If you have any queries relating to the tendering process or the nature of the service required, please email research.mailbox@health.org.uk

Information webinar

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