NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme (CEP)

The NHS Clinical Entrepreneurship Programme one-year mentoring and professional development programme that supports entrepreneurial and innovative thinking among healthcare professionals.

The programme provides health and social care staff working in the NHS with a pathway to develop their health ideas in to a commercial product or service.

Invest NI is working with Health Innovation Research Alliance NI (HIRANI) and NHS to provide their staff working in Northern Ireland with the opportunity to apply and take part in this programme for the first time.

Who can apply?

CEP is open to all NHS staff; from doctors to administrators; pharmacists and nurses to IT support.

How to apply?

If you work in the NHS in Northern Ireland and have an idea which you believe could benefit health and social care, please submit your “Pitch” using the CEP Portal by 2 November 2021.

Download: NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme Applicant Guidance

Application support

To view a recording of the NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme webinar, click here

To view a recording of our NHS Clinical Entrepreneur – Pitch Optimisation session, click here

Details of the NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme (CEP):

  • It is a workforce development programme for both clinical and non-clinical NHS or HSC staff (including but not limited to…Doctors, Dentists, Healthcare Scientists, Nurses and Midwives, Allied Health Professionals and Pharmacists, Social Workers, Managers, and Administrative/ Clerical Staff) who are selected by a competitive recruitment process. 
  • Run by NHS England and NHS Improvement, the programme has been developed with entrepreneurial clinicians, academic leaders, and industry partners.
  • The curriculum covers all aspects of setting up and running a business, including attracting investors, applying for funding, and ensuring appropriate corporate governance. 
  • The programme offers mentoring, networking, education, customer matching, resources, development tools, and more.
  • So far, over 700 clinical entrepreneurs from the NHS have been supported to develop over 400 innovations, since 2016. It has raised over £225 million in private and public sector funding, and created over 1000 jobs, and benefited 16 million users.

Aims of the NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme include to:

  • Support the healthcare workforce to develop and scale their most innovative ideas for the benefit of patients, staff, and the wider NHS. 
  • Develop the skills, knowledge and experience needed to successfully develop and spread innovative solutions to the challenges facing the NHS. 
  • Develop leadership capability to deliver on the promise of digital health, genomics, data analytics, advanced technology and social networks for the patients. 
  • Allow entrepreneurs to pursue their innovation without having to leave the health service.
  • Provide a wider benefit to economic growth through inward investment in the health, social care and life science sectors.
  • Support invention, commercialisation and adoption of new products, services, and care pathways by enabling commercial, social, public and charitable sector entrepreneurship.

What else is available to help local health and social care entrepreneurs?

In addition to this Invest Northern Ireland also has its range of entrepreneurship support to offer those at all stages of their journey. So, if you are not ready just yet for CEP, we may be able to help you develop your innovation for future NHS CEP rounds. Support and advice on technology transfer is also available through HSC Innovations. This initiative is being supported by HIRANI and HSC Northern Ireland.

Supporting statements and speakers at NHS Clinical Entrepreneurs Webinar - 30 September 2021

Mark McCarey
LLB Acting Chief Executive, Northern Ireland Medical & Dental Training Agency (NIMDTA)

'When I meet with staff across the HSC, I am continually impressed with the innovative ideas that they have to improve patient care. The introduction of this programme provides the potential for such thinking to gain further traction within the service through direct support, development and investment.'

Professor Tony Young picture

Prof. Tony Young
National Clinical Director for Innovation NHS England & Founder Clinical Entrepreneur Programme

Professor Tony Young is an NHS Consultant Urological Surgeon turned serial entrepreneur, founding four MedTech start-ups. He’s Director and Chair of Medical Innovation at the School of Medicine at Anglia Ruskin University and co-founded the £500m Anglia Ruskin Med-Tech Campus – a series of MedTech and advanced engineering science parks in Essex. In 2014 he was appointed as the first National Clinical Director for Innovation at NHS England, and the following year founded the Clinical Entrepreneur Programme – the world’s largest entrepreneurial training programme for clinicians.

Bernadette Porter MBE

Bernadette Porter MBE picture

Bernadette is an alumnus of the NHS Innovation Accelerator programme and a current NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Fellow. She is the founder and CEO of NeuroResponse(r) – a digital care model co-designed with patients and families to improve quality of life for people living with long-term neurological conditions.

She has worked in neurology for over twenty-five years. She is an Honorary Consultant Nurse in Multiple Sclerosis at The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, UCLH NHS Foundation Trust and The Royal Free Foundation Trust.

Bernadette has published widely and has a track record of successfully and collaboratively challenging multidisciplinary teams to deliver patient focused care. She is actively involved in service design and patient focused research agendas. She has received many awards including an MBE for services to nursing, the inaugural HSJ top 50 NHS Innovators List and E-health Nurse for the UK in 2014.

Under Bernadette’s leadership, NeuroResponse(r) has grown to support patients living with long-term neurological conditions, by providing an anticipatory care plan (via secure online portal) and QR-coded urine kits with a home-collection service and courier to a pathology lab, which is integrated to an NHS 111 urgent care centre with trained clinicians on hand 24/7. The GPs can review results and e-prescribe personalised antibiotics and follow up patients linking to neurology colleagues as required.

When COVID-19 severely impacted the ability of neurology centres to offer blood monitoring routines, Bernadette answered the call by rapidly designing and delivering the NeuroResponse @Home blood pathology service which has a COVID-tested and PPE-equipped phlebotomist visit the patient's home and deliver the sample to the laboratory, which is sent on to the neurology centre next day.

The service has been shortlisted for a Nursing Times 2020 Award (Managing Long-term conditions).

NeuroResponse(r) have produced a video to explain how the service works, and Bernadette has written a blog to explain how it was set up. To learn more about NeuroResponse(r) care pathways, please email hello@neuroresponse.com

Bernadette is thoroughly enjoying the Clinical Entrepreneur programme, in particular the opportunity to discuss ideas with like-minded clinicians who are close to the problems and have innovative solutions. She would highly recommend the programme to any nurse or midwife.

'I am thoroughly enjoying the Clinical Entrepreneur programme, in particular the opportunity to discuss ideas with like-minded clinicians who are close to the problems and have innovative solutions. I would highly recommend the programme to any nurse or midwife.'

Dr. Scott Martin

Dr Scott Martin picture

Dr Scott Martin is co-founder and CEO at Recourse AI, a deep technology company focused on natural language processing (NLP) for healthcare consultations. Scott is a medical doctor, graduate of Manchester Business school, and Clinical Entrepreneur Fellow at NHS England. Scott founded Recourse AI alongside Dr Maksim Belousov, PhD in Artificial Intelligence, to develop game changing solutions to enhance the performance of clinicians in patient consultations, for example communication skills, using their proprietary conversation engine. Their award-winning 'flight simulator for healthcare' has attracted almost £1m in funding from Innovate UK and others, with clients including the NHS, MoD, global pharma, and top US medical schools. Scott and his team, now based in Manchester, are proud to be building on local alumnus Alan Turing's legacy as the 'Father of AI', on a mission to accelerate learning curves, reduce medical errors, and enhance patient care.

'There is nothing more valuable than a well thought out critique of your business, and the programme offers exactly that. Joining this network of clinician innovators gave me a really unique opportunity to learn from those at different stages of their business journeys, and from a wide variety of clinical specialties and backgrounds. If you think access to valuable advice and connections could accelerate your idea, get involved!'

Supported by:

Clinical Entrepreneurship Programme - Supporting Orgainsations Logos