Last Monday Helen attended the Better Care Victoria (BCV) Innovation Fund forum held at Latrobe Regional Hospital. The forum provided an update on the recent work of BCV, including highlights of previously funded projects, and introduced the new 2018-19 funding round.
There are currently 11 sector-led BCV Innovation Fund projects that are currently being rolled out from the 2017-18 funding round. These were launched by the Minister for Health in December 2017. It was interesting to see that at least 6 of these projects were initiated from the primary care sector and 5 projects were initiated by regional/rural health services. To read more about these projects and follow their progress go to https://www.bettercare.vic.gov.au/innovation-projects
The new funding round for 2018-19 will open on March 12 and closes on 13 April. It is a two staged application process with applicants being notified of the outcome in June and a further assisted business case development process being undertaken with the shortlisted applicants. Final assessments and recommendations will be completed in August.
Important takeaways from the briefing we as follows:
A registration of interest must be made on the website for each idea/project/concept that you wish to develop. The registration of interest does not bind you to making an application, it is basically used to ensure that BCV will have the staff resources available for assessing applications and providing business case advice.
The focus areas of for the Innovation Fund 2018-19 are:
- Access to outpatient services
- Access to emergency and urgent care
- Quality and Safety
BCV representatives were keen to point out that these areas were deliberately chosen to have very wide potential application across the health sectors and that the review panel applied a very liberal interpretation of these headings.
There are two types of applications that will be considered. The first are scaling (replication with place-based enhancements) of proven projects. These could be nationally or internationally proven projects that may have application to a Victorian health context. The second are new innovations – projects or concepts that have not been developed or trialled elsewhere. It appeared that they were very keen on scaled projects. Helen has some excellent notes on scaling and would be happy to send to anyone who is interested.
The remainder of the session concentrated on some important factors that need to be addressed to support your application. This particularly related to some of the unsuccessful applications from previous rounds.
- Make sure that you clearly articulate your organisation’s capability and project sponsors. A good project needs a good project lead, with a strong support team and executive sponsorship at an appropriate level.
- Consider and address project sustainability issues. Do you have the right organisational culture to lead change? Do you have consumer and employee buy-in? Can you sustain the project when the dollars have gone?
- Focus on the strength of you partnerships. Do you have the right people around the table? Do you have a good track record of working together? Each partner will need to make an in-kind contribution and should include a letter that acknowledges their roles and responsibilities in the project.
- Do you have the right clinicians and consumers engaged? Will consumer engagement be meaningful? Need to have a co-design focus.
Helen is available to discuss these matters further and provide assistance for any partners who are interested in developing a collaborative proposal for this fund. Feel free to call her on 0438 164 528 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out more about the current funding round go to https://www.bettercare.vic.gov.au/innovation-fund