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Frequently asked questions

Q. What is Innovation Factor?
A. Innovation Factor is a service provided to NHS organisations which are members of TRUSTECH. It is an online service which allows staff to submit ideas and innovations which could the improve services or care they deliver. TRUSTECH will examine your submission, undertake some preliminary research and send you bespoke feedback and guidance on what your next steps could be.

Q. What is TRUSTECH?
A. TRUSTECH is the NHS Innovation Service. We've helped NHS organisations discover, develop and introduce innovative products and services which can improve patient experience or make cost savings for over 15 years. We're located at Central Manchester University Hospitals' main campus.

Q. What happens after I submit my idea to Innovation Factor?
A. TRUSTECH will perform an initial assessment of the potential for development and/or dissemination of your idea. This assessment will then be sent back to you in the form of a bespoke feedback package.

Q. Who else will see my idea/innovation?
A. Nobody else will see the information you submit. As with all submissions to TRUSTECH, it will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Q. How long will it take for my idea to be assessed?
A. We aim to return all submissions within two weeks. However, depending on the nature of your submission, it may take longer than this to assess. 

Q. What are the likely outcomes of TRUSTECH's assessment?
A. TRUSTECH may redirect your submission to an appropriate department within your Trust, such as Transformation, Human Resources or PMO.

On assessment, TRUSTECH will provide recommendations on the next steps you could take at the discretion of your NHS organisation. This could include a further in-depth assessment of the evidence of healthcare need, research into competing products (currently available or in development), potential market size and the likely attractiveness of the innovation to its customers. The outcome of this process will provided to you in the form of an audit report.

Q. How long will it take for my idea to be developed?
A. This will largely depend on the nature of your idea. Development times may range from 6 months to more than 6 years (see TRUSTECH case studies for examples).

A specification may need to be written and your idea may need to be developed into a prototype. Prototypes may then need further development and testing. Once it has met regulatory requirements (e.g. CE Mark, MHRA) it will need to be evaluated to ensure its clinical effectiveness. Your innovation may also need to meet certain regulatory requirements or undergo an evaluation. This process requires time and funds. TRUSTECH can assist you at each step of the development cycle.

Q. Who will own the Intellectual Property (IP) in my idea?
A. Generally, any IP generated by an employee in the course of employment belongs to the employer. Therefore, it is likely that the IP in your creation is owned by your employer. It should also be noted that TRUSTECH provides membership services to NHS organisations and not individuals.

Q. Will I receive a share of income generated by the Trust from the commercialisation of my idea?
A. NHS Trusts are encouraged by the Department of Health to have revenue-sharing provisions for employee innovators in the event revenue is generated from the commercialisation of an innovation. You should consult your Trust's IP policy for more information about this.