About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

Calling all future health and care leaders

This year’s Health Summit coincides with the five year anniversary of when we first started exploring the 100 Day Challenge method.

Since then, the People Powered Results team has worked to pioneer new approaches to achieving change and innovation in complex health and care systems that put people at their heart.

In five years Nesta has supported the delivery of 42 challenges across more than 30 sites up and down the UK. Over 10,000 frontline practitioners and citizens have benefited directly from the efforts of 100 Day Challenges - with much larger numbers reached as sites spread and scale new approaches.

So what’s a 100 Day Challenge?

In a nutshell, it is a structured innovation process that unlocks the knowledge and expertise of frontline health and care practitioners, and the people who they help and support, to come up with solutions to the challenges they face in their services and care.

These are intensive periods of action, experimentation and collaboration (100 days is not a long time) that bring together frontline teams across whole local systems. They usually include people from health, social care and the voluntary and community sector. There is no single approach and each local area throws up its own unique set of demands, challenges and personalities.

It’s only when you dig a little deeper into the numbers that a clearer picture emerges about the impact that the 100 Day Challenge method can have.

What is the impact?

Some of the results have been eye-opening:

  • The Home Safe, Sooner initiative in Stockton led to a 35 per cent drop in delayed discharges (and a saving of £900,000 in 2017-18)
  • Teams in Hertfordshire achieved a 19 per cent decrease in A&E attendances of older people with depression or anxiety
  • In West Essex a frontline team achieved 24 per cent reduction in A&E attendances and 50 per cent reduction GP attendances (for children and young people with mental health problems)
  • In Tameside the challenge focused on those at risk of Diabetes. At the end of the challenge, 49 per cent were no longer Pre-diabetic and 67 per cent had reduced their Hba1c levels.

The results that have emerged from the 100 Day Challenge approach would not take place without the buy-in of local leaders who aren’t afraid to explore the power dynamics and top-down hierarchies of the systems they are in charge of, and invite and welcome new ways of working. The 100 Day Challenge process would not work without the ‘permission’ of those who control the purse strings.

Ultimately the approach is about putting people at the heart of solutions to health and care problems, which requires local systems and leaders to behave and work differently. We are facing a crisis in health and care where innovation can’t just be a novelty - new ways of working, and leading, need to be at the heart of service delivery.

At this year’s Health Summit we’ll be launching our five year anniversary report exploring the impact of 100 Day Challenges on people and places, and hearing from our partners, grantees and others about how they have reimagined leadership to create change.

We’ll also be exploring other diverse models of leadership - what they look like and how to put them into practice. If you’d like to join us on 15th July as we reimagine leadership in health and care, please register your interest.


Robert Jamieson

Robert Jamieson

Robert Jamieson

Senior Consultant, People Powered Results

Robert was a senior consultant for People Powered Results in Nesta's Health Lab.

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