Perioperative care funding

NHSX is working in collaboration with NHS England and NHS Improvement, and Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT), on initiatives that support the elective recovery and restoration of services.

Streamlining perioperative pathways by supporting the introduction of digital solutions that will reduce the administrative burden on staff, increase capacity, and improve the patient safety and experience. Preoperative assessment and eConsenting are FY21/22 priorities, with a focus on Enhanced Recovery After Surgery to follow (though solutions which scale the end-to-end pathway are highly desirable and welcome).

A Perioperative Care Adoption Fund is available for initiatives that will digitise the perioperative care pathway. The focus of the Adoption Fund is on pre-operative assessment capabilities that are pathway agnostic, with digital approaches that also enable transformation of the post-operative elements of the pathway particularly welcome.

The focus of the Adoption Fund is to enable transformation of High Volume Low Complexity pathways (GIRFT, 2021), with up to 60% of people on waiting lists requiring high-volume surgery such as cataract removal, hernia repairs or joint replacement operations

Applicants can apply for up to £500,000 to support the testing and implementation of evidence-based technologies initiatives which support sustainable pathway redesign. Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) are the target recipient of funding to support standardisation of clinical pathways and the adoption of GIRFT best practice across local populations.

Applications from interested ICS’s can be submitted between 12 August to 17 September 2021.

Get involved and submit your application

The application form for the opportunity to receive perioperative care funding is available as a document that you can download and complete (ODT, 85 KB).

Once completed all forms must be returned by email to by 17 September 2021 and include "Perioperative care - Adoption Fund Application (insert your ICS name)" in the subject line.

If you have any queries prior to submission, please email and include the same process as above in the subject line.

Please ensure you have read the guidance criteria below to help prepare your application.

Guidance to support applications

Prerequisites to applying for funding

Applications from ICS’s need to be from those who have an active interest in introducing or scaling up digital innovations within the perioperative care pathway and have already done some thinking in this area.

The chosen technologies may not have been scaled but must demonstrate early promise in the following priority areas:

Treatment and recovery

Use of digital solutions to support individual's care and needs early, including supported self-management, easy access to advice and information when necessary, shared decision making and improving communication across care settings to avoid unnecessary clinical care delays.

Funding available

Funding is available for ICSs to identify, procure, mobilise and implement digital tools into clinical pathways that can support the perioperative care pathway.

ICSs can apply for up to £500,000 each to support the testing and implementation of evidence-based technologies along the perioperative care pathway which support sustainable pathway redesign.

Expectations of the Integrated Care System

Each ICS would be:

  • offered funding (up to £500,000) to purchase and implement a new or existing digital technology
  • invited to join a community of digital innovators in perioperative care, discuss and share learning and resources online every 4 to 6 weeks (frequency to be agreed)
  • expected to produce a case study at the end of the project, share useful resources and take part in show and tell events to share learning as appropriate

Each ICS is required to implement the digital technology by early 2022.

This initiative will be of interest to ICSs interested in digital transformation to manage High Volume Low Complexity clinical pathways and reduce overheads such as Did Not Attend (DNA) levels. Benefits are likely to be seen by March 2022, making it an accelerated programme of work that expands into FY22/23. Draft Data Points for continuous measurement include:

  • Outcome measure: Pre-operative assessment appointment capacity & % of patients fully digital - expected increase
  • Balance measure: On the day cancellation - expect no change or reduction in cancellation for medical reasons
  • Process measure: Time between pre-operative assessment referral and completion - expect reduction in wait time
Application process

Submissions for funding must be from ICSs but collaborative bids are welcome from across ICS and multiple organisations including from NHS trusts and their partners, who can make combined bids where there is an identified lead ICS.

Applications submitted by ICSs need to show active engagement from local partners, senior level buy-in and be willing to share learning with others.

Applicants will have live pathways to work on and the internal resource, commitment and desire to implement technology by early 2022.

Please provide a breakdown of planned activity and the impact on pre-operative assessment services in your application submission:

  • A breakdown of planned activity (which builds on innovation rather than business as usual processes)
  • The expected impact of this funding on perioperative care services
  • Associated measures/metrics and how these will be measured through the lifecycle of the programme
  • Evidence of current clinical priorities and how these will be progressed/improved
  • Specific set targets e.g. numbers of citizens that innovations will support by condition/pathway/region
  • Clinical setting(s) within which innovations will be deployed
  • Cashable and non-cashable benefits (with a supporting profile where possible)
  • Funds you are bidding for and how the resource will be utilised for maximum effect / value for money
Out of scope

There is other national funding in the following areas available and therefore they will not be considered for this funding:

  • Accelerator ICSs
Scoring criteria

There are seven sections to complete, below is the scoring criteria.

Scoring criteria
Section % of total score Scoring criteria
Contact details 5% All required contact information is present. The project has a Senior Responsible Officer and Finance approver. All lists of all participating organisations are given.
Funding requested 10% Funding request is within the limit. A breakdown of how the funding is to be used is provided. No requested funding items are out of scope.
Summary of proposal 20% It is clear what the project is wanting to do and why; there are clear benefits and an approach for evaluating these is offered; there is clear learning for others across the community.
Which outcomes will the proposal meet? 20% The project demonstrates clear alignment to regional / national priorities. It is clear the project considers a whole pathway redesign approach which aligns with national priorities.
The technology 15% The technology identified appears to solve a real-world problem in the cancer pathway. Funding requested / spent represents value for money. A clear plan for commissioning / procurement and evaluation is presented.
Sustainability; local priorities; governance and conditions of participation 20% Clear and robust governance arrangements are presented. Local relationships are in place OR there is a clear plan to engage with these organisations / people. All conditions for participation are met.
Risks,issues and mitigations 10% Key risks to delivery have been identified and mitigated.

All applicants need to ensure that submissions are registered for consideration in line with the deadline dates set out below.

August 2021

  • Application process opens on 12 August

September 2021

  • Information webinars to be held on 7 September, 10-11 am - please email for more information
  • Application process closes on 17 September
  • Shortlisted applicants notified on 1 October 

October 2021

  • Final decision made and successful applicants informed on 8 October

March 2022

  • All funding spent
  • Case study produced (or in the process of of being drafted)