The younger generation are at the forefront of the newest tech, newest trends, and newest ways of thinking, so it is only right that the health and care provided to our children and young people matches up.

Over the autumn months, Kent Surrey and Sussex Academic Health Science Network (KSS AHSN), NiHR Kent Surrey and Sussex Applied Research Collaborative (ARC KSS), Surrey Heartlands ICS (SyH) and Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (SaBP) came together to plan and put on a roadshow, to highlight the priorities for Children and Young People in Surrey and shine a light on the art of the possible when it comes to innovation in health and care.

On Friday 11 November, colleagues from across the CYP health and care landscape were invited to the Surrey Heartlands Health Tech Accelerator for the Surrey Children and Young People’s Innovation Roadshow. Alongside the commissioners, transformation leads, charity heads, clinicians, academics and members of Surrey County council (to name a few), we also had ambassadors from the Surrey User Voice and Participation Team. It was essential to the roadshow team to keep the morning centred around young people, and to not lose sight of the voice of those who would be on the receiving end of this work and our three ambassadors really endorsed this thinking.

The morning kicked off with Becca Randell, CYP Mental Health Implementation Lead for KSS AHSN and ARC KSS and Emilios Lemoniatis, Chief Digital Ethics and Privacy Officer for SaBP introducing the aims of the day:

  1. Showcase innovations available to support work with children and young people – the art of the possible.
  2. Facilitate system leads to share their key innovation needs – what do we need to focus on?
  3. Facilitate collaborative working opportunities – there is strength in numbers, lets work together to improve outcomes.

Jenny Partridge, Tech Nav Programme Manager KSS AHSN, then took the mic, and with the support of Rafiah Patel, Chief Digital Ethics and Privacy Officer SaBP and the 3 ambassadors from the Surrey User Voice and Participation team, lead everyone through a series of quick-fire pitches from a selection of innovators working in the CYP space from Mental Health to Surgery to Speech and Language support.

In a virtual Dragon’s Den style, the innovators had 5 minutes to pitch their innovation and 5 minutes to take questions from the room. Although this session was not geared towards procurement of any innovations presented, it provided a flavour of what could be used to improve patient outcomes for CYP in Surrey and gave the innovators an opportunity to hear the kinds of queries and criteria that their solutions need to speak to, such as ensuring platforms work with diversity in mind, and whether apps designed for younger children could also help those in their teens. Not only from the multi professionals in the room, but also the young people themselves.

The pitches ignited a fire in our attendees at what they could be utilising, with one guest on departure telling us that she ‘Couldn’t believe what she has heard today! The possibility that is out there for the taking is amazing!’

The second half of the morning was all about Ideation, asking attendees to get under the skin of what Surrey’s health and care providers want and need for their children and young people. Arjun Sikand, Director of Innovation SyH, took the room through a series of questions to promote discussion around the key innovation needs. On an interactive forum, attendees were asked:

  1. What are your 3 key CYP Health and Social Care priorities in Surrey?
  2. Are there any new CYP innovations/products/services you would like to see adopted in Surrey?
  3. What resources are needed to explore/trial/adopt new CYP innovations in Surrey?

The last question was particularly important, because realistically you can’t implement new services or products without the capacity and assets to do so. Attendees had been shown what could be achieved, it was now time to talk about how to achieve it.

The roadshow made it clear that the multi professionals working within CYP know what they want, they know where their pain points are, and they have great ideas on what is needed to fix them. It also made clear that work is happening in CYP, the innovations are out there and that by tapping into KSS AHSN and ARC KSS support those solutions can be sourced, tailored, trialled, and implemented with an air of ease.


With all aims hit, bellies full from the lunch provided and the opportunity to network with those in the room, the roadshow was a great success – we even had a couple of guests who had to leave early wishing they could stay for longer to really absorb everything being said in the room.

The conversation, however, doesn’t stop with this roadshow. This work now needs to be put into action and all the organisations that partnered to make the event happen will continue to be on hand to turn the discussion into reality. And if you think that you would like to be involved in an event such as this, plans for the next Roadshow are underway for Spring 2023.