Skip to main content

Fostering Innovative Delivery

This section covers topics such as risk management, research and resources.

Fostering innovative delivery is about being creative in the delivery of public services – working from evidence and taking managed risks to achieve better outcomes. Core concepts are thinking outside the box, willingness to try something new and experimenting with new modes of delivery. However it’s expressed, the principle is the same. The best organisations are open to new ideas and are prepared to be creative, to try things and to take managed risks in the process. There might be a difference here between rhetoric and practice, since some organisations will say that they are innovative (and will actually believe that) but in practice fear of failure or criticism will be the prevailing attitude.  

This is where risk management comes into the principles.  Most organisations have risk management processes which are at least adequate in principle. The issue is the extent to which in practice the organisation is actually managing risk rather than maintaining risk registers to satisfy the auditors.  Really good organisations will be prepared to take managed risks and at times be prepared to fail. They will recognise that in these complex times they need to have a discerning risk appetite – much more careful with the banking arrangements, for example, than in trying different ways of doing things; and they will base their decisions on evidence of what seems to be working and what doesn’t. 



Research in the NHS has benefits to both patients and the service. Fostering research and innovation can improve patient safety and develop better services.

Before any research can take place in the NHS, it is important to ensure that the research undertaken and supported in Wales is done so properly and sensitively; respecting the rights, dignity, safety and wellbeing of patients and clients. The Research Governance Framework for Health and Social Care in Wales Second Edition (2009) (see link below) identifies the responsibilities that fall to research sponsors, funders, researchers, employing organisations, care organisations, care professionals and participants. Each has a part to play in ensuring that any research undertaken in the area of health and social care meet these standards.

NHS Organisations

Health care organisations' duty of quality includes research governance. They should ensure that their patients, service users and carers, and care professionals are provided with information about any research which may have a direct impact on their care, their experience of care, or their work in the organisation. They should ensure that activities are presented as research, only if they are managed as research within the Research Governance Framework.

NHS Sponsors

For any research study covered by the Research Governance Framework, it is for the sponsor to be satisfied that clear agreements are reached, documented and carried out, providing for proper initiation, management, monitoring and financing. NHS organisations can, if arrangements are in place, act as sponsors.

More information about research governance requirements for organisations and sponsors can be found in section 3 ‘Responsibilities and Accountability’ of the Research Governance Framework Second Edition.