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Calling all Project Leads and Senior Project Leads. We are recruiting!

Do you want to be part of an innovative, dynamic organisation that is committed to delivering the best care by the best people? We are looking to appoint people who are as passionate about high quality care as we are.

We are looking for talented individuals to support Care City’s work as an innovation centre for healthy ageing, testing and growing the use of digital innovations across health and care services. This is a chance to develop your career, and to make a real difference in an exciting team, where big ideas meet real public services, and help them to do better.

Project Lead Vacancy

Care City is a project-based organization, composed of ten smart, committed people working as  a dynamic, supportive team. We are delivering eight different projects, for partners ranging from NHS England to the Healthy Foundation to the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham. At present, we our work includes scaling social prescribing, preventing strokes and falls, supporting carers to learn and thrive and helping to create a ‘healthy new town’ within Barking Riverside.

With this range of work - and the freedom to develop new projects to support healthy ageing in East London – this means that we are able to help colleagues to learn from diverse projects, focus on the areas they are most passionate about and work with us to develop programmes of work for the future, which grow as they develop.

You will start by working on our work with the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham, who we are collaborating with to drive digital innovation in social care. This will likely be alongside work on a second, smaller project. The allocation of projects will contine to change, as you and our work develop over the coming months.

To learn more about this role and to apply click here.

Senior Project Lead Vacancy

The post holder will be a leader at Care City, shaping whole programmes of work and contributing to its overall strategy. They will lead and plan major projects, supported by project managers, and shape and support the teams to deliver them. They will manage members of Care City staff, helping our talented and committed team to develop and grow, and drive organisational development. They will be a key representative of Care City, holding key partner relationships and becoming recognised as one of the central figures of Care City, raising its profile through speaking engagements and through the media.

Responsibilities will include:

  • Contributing to Care City’s strategy
  • Leading selected programmes of work
  • Managing project teams
  • Managing selected client and partner relationships
  • Contributing to business development and communications

You will start by working on our work to create an 'Innovation Exchange' for East London, helping innovators and health and care leaders to develop, test and scale innovations that can improve patient outcomes and experiences and save money for the public purse.

To learn more about this role and to apply click here.


We are working in partnership with ESCAPE-pain, seeking to improve the mobility independence and health of over 45's living with osteoarthritis and chronic joint pain. Today we start recruitment for a Programme that aims to support those living with joint pain in their hips or knees and osteoarthritis and provides them with the skills to manage their symptoms more effectively and set goals that will motivate patients to continue exercising.

Joint pain and stiffness are common, but they can be disabling and have a significant impact on the ways people are able to lead day-to-day life. As we get older our joints and the muscles and ligaments that surround them become more susceptible to degeneration, often as a result of the stresses and strains they have withstood throughout our lifetime.

People who experience joint pain and stiffness will often be told they have osteoarthritis. This affects approximately 8 million people in the UK, and is becoming more common as we live longer. Care City in collaboration with ESCAPE-pain are running a series of physiotherapist-led sessions, taking place at the Sue Bramley Centre, Barking. Commencing on the 20th August, this 12-session programme, twice a week for 6-weeks, for people over the age of 45 aims to:

  • Enable them to manage their joint pain, helping them to carry out normal activities without fearing pain
  • Help them to appreciate the benefits of simple exercise, encouraging them to become active and independent
  • Provide them with the skills and suggest ways that they may manage their symptoms more effectively
  • Work with them to plan their activities and set goals they can achieve through exercise
  • Provide a fun, group-based activity to allow people suffering from joint pain to discuss and overcome their issues together!!

John Craig, Chief Executive, Care City commented “Many people think osteoarthritis and joint pain is untreatable, however this is not correct. Whilst getting rid of joint pain completely is not possible, there is a lot that can be done to reduce pain and maximise a patient’s ability to do what they want. The commencement of this programme is another step towards our goal of helping our local residents achieve a healthier, happier, more independent older age. It also supports our vision for Barking Riverside as a Healthy New Town”.

Mike Hurley, Clinical Director and originator of the ESCAPE-pain programme, commented “Care City is a really exciting initiative, so we’re really delighted that our ESCAPE-pain programme has been identified as something that might help the large number of people struggling with joint pain. We’re confident ESCAPE-pain will prove as effective in the other centres across the UK, helping the people of Care City to live better lives.”

About ESCAPE-pain

Enabling Self-management and Coping with Arthritic Pain through Exercise – ESCAPE-pain – is a rehabilitation programme for people with chronic joint pain that integrates simple education, self-management and coping strategies, with an exercise regimen individualised for each person undertaking the programme.

The programme aims to help people understand their condition better, and to realise that exercise is a safe and effective self-management strategy, that can be used to reduce joint pain and the physical and psychosocial effects of joint pain.

ESCAPE-pain has been recognised with awards from both the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) and the British Society for Rheumatology, and is cited in the NICE clinical guidelines for osteoarthritis. More recently, ESCAPE-pain has been recommended as a preferred intervention for musculoskeletal conditions by Public Health England in a Return on Investment tool which showed a positive ROI of £5.20 for every £1 spent.

About the Health Innovation Network

The Health Innovation Network is the Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) for south London, one of 15 AHSNs across England. As the only bodies that connect NHS and academic organisations, local authorities, the third sector and industry, we are catalysts that create the right conditions to facilitate change across whole health and social care economies, with a clear focus on improving outcomes for patients. This means AHSNs are uniquely placed to identify and spread health innovation at pace and scale; driving the adoption and spread of innovative ideas and technologies across large populations.

John Craig, Chief Executive of Care City, blogs about their experience of innovation and improvement through their work as an NHS England Test Bed.

Saturn V launched the first space station, but legend has it that the plans for the rocket were lost. In recent years, NASA scientists looking to re-energise lunar exploration have not been working from documents – they have taken a 40-year-old Saturn V into their workshop, and tried to fire it up.

Is it a farce that NASA’s engineers have to start again? Not at all. The story that the plans for Saturn V were lost is false. Plans just aren’t as valuable as we think. NASA’s plans didn’t get close to capturing what it really took to make the rocket’s 1 million components, let alone how to make them work together.

Abstracted from the people who use them – and the culture in which they work – brilliant tools and plans make much less sense than we might expect. The problem for health care is that this kind of abstraction happens a lot.

Many improvement teams are clinically dominated, and spend most of their time working inside single health care organisations. Abstracted from the development of new tools and approaches, they can struggle to challenge prevailing orthodoxy.

At the same time, too much innovation is outside-in, driven by technologists and entrepreneurs rather than clinicians and patients. Abstracted from the people who use their products, they can focus too narrowly on specific transactions, and miss the bigger picture.

At Care City – through our work as an NHS England Test Bed – we have seen first-hand the effect of overcoming these divides, and better connecting technologists, entrepreneurs, clinicians and patients.

Even the best and most radical innovations require the same painstaking improvement cycles to really work and achieve excellence. No matter the quality of training, support and information, clinicians – like those NASA engineers armed with reams of blueprints – have a huge amount to do to make sense of an innovation and to make it work. Implementation is a creative act.

Equally, clinicians who only want to improve outcomes for their patients can drive dramatic innovation. Care City worked with Alivecor’s Kardia Mobile – a mobile ECG – looking at its potential for the atrial fibrillation pathway. We tested the technology with a huge range of stakeholders to generate ideas. We tested screening services, both within GP practices and community pharmacies. Building on what we learned, we tested a new pathway, enabling community pharmacies to refer directly to a one-stop clinic at Barts Health. The evidence suggests that this pathway is quicker, more cost-effective and has the potential to prevent 1,600 strokes nationwide.

But who was the innovator in this example? In the language of the Test Bed programme, it is Alivecor, but their product is unchanged by the process.  Leaders and clinicians on the other hand – like Dr Sotiris Antoniou from Barts Health – have led the development of a new pathway.

As Care City reflects on its first Test Bed programme, it is absolutely clear to us that the Health Foundation is right that improvement across health and care will not be achieved without the infrastructure, skills and relationships to support it.

We also reflect on some of the distinctions we take for granted in health care. First, health care still distinguishes strongly between improvement and innovation. Both are useful terms, and the way innovations introduce a ‘new dimension of performance’ is distinct. However, do these activities need to be pursued separately, by different people, in different organisations in different ways? This distinction may reinforce both the insularity of improvement work and the disconnection of innovation from the needs of health systems.

Relatedly, health care thinks of improvement as a science and innovation as an art. Is there much more to this than the personalities and habits of those engaged in the work? Improvers must retain ambition for dramatic progress, and be open to uncertainty and to the toughest challenges we face. Innovators must remember that – however beautiful the app or the tool – the only real benchmark is better outcomes for people using the innovation.

Lastly, we believe we should be more sensitive to the number of conversations that are about innovations or workforce, but not both. As shortages not just of money but also of people intensify, we need to be clearer that the purpose of all innovation is productivity. Developing our people and the tools they use should happen together, and that will be at the heart of Care City’s work for the future.