Views & Reviews Personal View

We should harness the power of our colleagues’ fresh ideas

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 17 July 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f4538
  1. Christopher Tiley, general practitioner trainer, River Street Surgery, St Austell PL26 6UE, UK
  1. christopher.tiley{at}

With the health service under increasing pressure to make efficiency savings, Christopher Tiley says it needs a system to ensure that workers’ ideas are not lost

In 1993, the year after I graduated, I had a great idea. In people with spinal injuries, it could still be possible to control elements of the environment (or even paralysed limbs) by sensing the electrical activity of the brain and providing it with outputs other than its damaged motor tracts. I wrote to the dean of my old medical school (a neurophysiologist) and a surgeon in Oxford working on electrode implants.

A few years later I wrote to an eminent neuroscientist at the Medical Research Council, asking if it might be possible to make cortical activity visible in a transgenic model by using the bioluminescent jellyfish protein aequorin. I have written to a high profile consultant epidemiologist to try to further my understanding of health inequality and recently suggested to one of the royal colleges that an “app” development unit might be a good way of introducing ideas from the grass roots into the market place …

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