Table 2

Factors that are significantly associated with innovation success with illustrative quotes

Significant factors by theme (significant to value or expansion)Illustrative quotes
Theme 1: Project aimsNone of the factors related to the aims of the project were significant.
Theme 2: Resources and support
  • There were sufficient members of staff with the right skills to meet the requirements of the initiative (significant to expansion and value).

  • Members of staff had sufficient energy and time to dedicate to the initiative (expansion).

  • There was sufficient administrative support to deliver and maintain the initiative (expansion).

  • There was sufficient educational support to deliver and maintain the initiative (expansion).

‘The programme support sat with one individual rather than a team and as highlighted previously the administrative/programme support hadn't been entirely appreciated/factored in at the outset of the programme.’ (R16)


‘There are innovators out there who are doing things on their own, and the person I'm thinking about is not in a very good place. He’s got virtually no support, and I don't know how he does it.’ (FI2)


‘The resources needed in terms of administration and support were underestimated. We input far more time and admin resources than originally planned.’ (R15)


‘The envelope of funding available did not enable us to fully develop a training package which was what we had initially hoped to do.’ (R25)
Theme 3: How the project interfaced externally
  • External political or societal factors impacted negatively on the delivery of the initiative (value, scored negatively).

  • We had opportunities to demonstrate the benefits of this innovation within our organisation and/or to other organisations (value).

‘The project piggy-backed on the current social movement highlighting the needs of mental health.’ (R18)


‘Hearing has always been the poor relation to other health issues even though everyone knows someone struggles with their hearing either family or friends.’ (R35)
Theme 4: Organisational factors
  • The initiative integrated well into existing organisational structures, programmes or policies (expansion).

  • The initiative was hampered by opposition from within the host organisation (expansion).

‘The project was presented in [area] Council, [area] NHS Trust, to the public health team in the council and the voluntary sector in [area]. It was aligned with local priorities and local initiatives. A journal article is being drafted.’ (R13)


‘There was also a disconnect between commissioner priorities & [the host organisation’s] priorities in relation to the programme, which impacted on its sustainability & roll-out.’ (R16)
Theme 5: Personal factors
  • I was internally motivated to implement this initiative (value).

  • I found working on the initiative personally rewarding (value).

  • I feel I had the right skills/experience/training to implement and sustain the initiative (expansion and value).

‘I was very motivated to implement this project which was demanding as I had no protected time for it. Nonetheless, you do what is needed to achieve a goal.’ (R18)


‘I am very proud of our achievements and that the work has become a routine part of our culture and system of working.’ (R28)


‘On reflection I needed to lead this project more strongly. I tried to be facilitative and not prescriptive, but the staff were not experienced enough to utilise this opportunity. They needed more direction and support. There was some conflict between the educators and the substantive staff.’ (R10)
Theme 6: Project management
  • The project had sufficient input from experts with the necessary knowledge and experience (value).

  • We were able to demonstrate the effectiveness of the project (value).

‘As the project was run within [university] and [tertiary hospital trust], there was plenty of expertise to call upon as required.’ (R6)


‘The ongoing reporting allowed for the results to be understood early in the project, shared and used in the strategy for delivering education across [region].’ (R5)


‘A robust evaluation was undertaken of the programme, along with regular review points to inform adaptations/opportunities for improvement.’ (R16)
Theme 7: Tasks of the projectNo factors relating to the tasks of the project were significant.
Theme 8: Team processes
  • There was ongoing orientation and training available, for example, to new staff or to build capacity (expansion).

  • The initiative had leadership and/or champions who were committed and capable (expansion and value).

  • Team members were able to express their opinions, and their opinions were valued (expansion and value).

‘We always express the value of our service users, administrator, and other members of the team and meet regularly to discuss well-being, progress, and evaluation.’ (R33)


‘The team got on. It was a lovely team and dynamics. We all believed in the idea and were excited about it. Obviously the project needs expertise in [technology], so in that regard the work was dependent on the availability of such expertise within the team.’


‘Leadership hasn't been invested in providing the platform for the workshops & curriculum to be rolled out. Lip service given by leadership.’ (R56)


‘This programme was carried out by a team but lead by myself. Other parties lacked the time and incentive to commit to running and leading the programme after the 12 months of my time being project lead.’ (R46)
Theme 9: Collaborative and participatory practices
  • Staff who were responsible for delivering the initiative were involved as partners, and were able to shape the initiative (value).

  • The beneficiaries (patients/service users) were involved as partners, and were able to shape the initiative (value).

  • The community in which it was situated was involved as partners, and was able to shape the initiative (value).

  • There was a collaborative network of people/organisations that helped to support and sustain the initiative (expansion and value).

‘We've had some sort of service user involvement all the way through… that’s really improved the way we’ve reflected and talked… it gives a genuineness to what we're trying to achieve… the fact that you go and work with the associates and carers, you actually go and look at the environment, you spend time with the nurses that you’re going to be teaching and all the other people that you’re working with, really helps to, you know, it definitely adds value to the project.’ (FI3)


‘There was a single practitioner using the resource on her own, and now it is nationally recognised… Without that level of support: the time, the people and the resources, we wouldn’t have got anywhere. It’s been a fantastic level of support. They designed an implementation toolkit to support practitioners embedding the programme locally.’ (FI2)


‘The team at the [innovation network] were fabulous and so supportive.’ (R12)
  • The nine themes and factors were derived from a qualitative review of the literature supplemented by stakeholder interviews. Significant factors were derived through a survey that explored salience of factors to outcomes. Survey respondents are indicated by R(n) and follow-up interview respondents by FI(n).