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Clinical Lead Gordon McKenzie Joins NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme

Upstream's Clinical Lead Gordon McKenzie has been accepted onto the NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme.

The programme, which is designed to offer opportunities for clinical, NHS staff and health professionals, aims to develop their entrepreneurial aspirations during their clinical training period.

"The programme is designed to support NHS staff who are working in innovation alongside their NHS role," explains Gordon.

"The whole idea behind it is to encourage people who work in the NHS to think innovatively and support those who wish to carry out their entrepreneurial aspirations while remaining in their NHS role."

Darren Crombie, Founder and Director of Upstream (left) and Gordon McKenzie Clinical Lead (right)

Retaining the pool of talent is a huge priority for the NHS, as it drives up the quality of care delivery.

The programme is a great fit for Gordon, who - alongside working with Upstream - works at Hull York Medical School. He's currently a Doctoral Research Fellow undertaking a PhD in Geriatric Oncology and Specialist Registrar in Ear, Nose and Throat Surgery at Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

"For a while, I've been interested in becoming a Clinical Entrepreneur, but before joining the Upstream team, I wasn't working actively in innovation so couldn't apply," he continues.

"When I joined the Upstream team, I knew that applying for the programme was the right step forward."

This year, the Clinical Entrepreneur Programme was highly competitive, with over 700 applicants; of which, only around 140 individuals were selected.

On a day-to-day basis, Gordon works with Darren and the rest of the team to provide clinical opinion about product features, evaluate supervised machine learning models and also develop and approve Clinical Risk Management Plans.

The training programme offers several valuable benefits for NHS staff, such as mentoring and coaching, facilitation of relationships with commercial organisations, education and learning opportunities, networking and funding, alongside regular Pit Stop events that focus on creating successful startup businesses.

The concept for the scheme was set out in 2015 at the Health and Care Innovation Expo. Since then, NHS England and Health Education England have worked closely with doctors, academics and industry partners to develop the programme, which launched in September 2016.

A number of organisations currently support the programme, including National Institute for Health Research, UKTI/Healthcare UK, AHSN Networks, NHS Providers, NICE, MoD, Public Health England, NHS Digital and the Cabinet Office.

"The programme is all about creating solid partnerships between the NHS and private sector so that we can make sure the NHS is sustainable and continues to deliver quality care to all," Gordon adds.

Discover more about Gordon and his incredible work and speak to a member of our team today.

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