TheHill secures UK government funding and Barclays support to help advance digital innovation in the NHS

November 28, 2023

TheHill, which supports digital innovation within the health sector across Oxfordshire, has been successful in securing the support of the Barclays Ecosystem Partnership Programme funded by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology. The support will provide early-stage digital health businesses with the tools they need to overcome the barriers of beginning their start-up journey working closely with the needs of staff at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH).

The NHS long term plan, which looks at the priorities of the health service over the next 10 years, cites the need for sustainable health and social care in the UK. This is fuelling the recent UK healthtech upsurge, the adoption of a range of digital tools in the health sector and the need to set up proper digital foundations.

The Barclays Ecosystem Partnership Programme will allow TheHill to deliver a start-up labs programme which is designed to support entrepreneurs, healthcare workers and researchers to improve efficiency in the NHS. These funds will also allow TheHill to identify unmet needs within OUH, allowing new digital technologies to be put towards the highest impact use cases.

Nurses, Midwives and Allied Health Professionals (NMAHPs) will have the opportunity to work alongside companies to gain an understanding of entrepreneurship and get their own innovative ideas off the ground.

It is anticipated the programme will contribute to the development of the digital health economy by generating new digital health companies, creating more employment opportunities, and raising investment in the digital health sector.

The Oxford Trust will add support as a project partner, with an ongoing grant to the team, as well as meeting and office space.

Megan Morys-Carter, Director of TheHill, commented “We are delighted to be able to work with Barclays and The Oxford Trust (our project partner) to further grow the important digital health ecosystem in the UK. This project will follow our needs-led approach, starting with engaging frontline staff in articulating needs and contributing to solutions, ultimately leading to stronger digital health companies with a good problem-solution fit.”

Matt Corbidge, Head of Eagle Labs, Barclays said: “We are proud to be able to facilitate funding for this programme which looks to accelerate the development of new technologies in the health sector and ultimately support the future of the NHS. The funds will support key areas in relation to the needs of staff at the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust as well as provide guidance to early-stage digital health businesses offering nurses and midwives the opportunity to develop and grow their ideas for improving the health service.”

Minister for Tech and the Digital Economy, Saqib Bhatti said: “Through the Digital Growth Grant, TheHill will bolster their support for early-stage digital health start-ups, fostering innovations that align closely with the operational and care needs of our NHS. This is a step towards transforming patient care by integrating pioneering digital technologies developed in collaboration with healthcare workers.”

Nicki Campling, Director of Innovation & Operations at The Oxford Trust said: “We are delighted that TheHill has been successful in securing funding from the Barclays Ecosystem Partnership Programme. The Oxford Trust is pleased to further contribute to the TheHill’s innovative Start-up Labs programme to support early-stage digital health businesses by providing an ongoing grant and office and meeting space for the team at our Wood Centre for Innovation in Headington.”

For more information about TheHill and the work they do to empower digital innovation in health and care across Oxfordshire and beyond, visit



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