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The NHS (National Health Service) Clinical Entrepreneur Programme (CEP) is the world's largest workforce development programme which allows NHS workers to pursue healthcare innovations. The NHS staff learn to successfully develop and spread innovative solutions to the challenges facing the NHS. Social responsibility is the positive and additional contribution of an innovation/ company to society, their ecosystem and community. Many companies know the benefits of a socially responsible approach (customer engagement, team purpose, enhancing reputation, access to contracts requiring adherence to the Social Value Act or the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals) but the challenge has always been a lack of accountability for innovators or businesses in this area.
The UK's National NHS England Clinical Entrepreneur Programme is one of the largest healthcare innovation programmes in the world. Every year, approximately 150 clinicians with an idea or innovation to improve healthcare are accepted onto the programme with an idea or innovation to improve healthcare. There is a new approach within the Clinical Entrepreneur Programme which aims to embed a social purpose into all innovations, using a new principle called B.A.S.E. (thus named because it aims for entrepreneurs to use it as a base for building their innovations). This is a novel approach. Innovation in healthcare needs a socially responsible BASE to an idea or business, which considers the Benefit to society, Advocacy and Accountability, Sustainability and Social Purpose and Ethical leadership by Empowering and Enabling others.
The BASE approach was trailed within the NHS England Clinical Entrepreneur Programme. Firstly, BASE principles were taught face-to-face and on-line. Secondly, the programme itself modelled a socially responsible BASE in its own operational activities. Thirdly, clinical entrepreneurs were able to work through a form and able to submit their social purpose, socially sustainable activities and supply chain aims, which allowed case examples to be highlighted. The BASE programme is a simple, cost-effective approach to engage, improve and lightly monitor socially responsible activities within a health workforce innovation program.
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