The core focus of an NHS Hack Day is not really to generate usable “products” or “winning”.
Offering prizes is our way of incentivising innovation, and perhaps gives you a little something in return for your time. Having credible external judges helps everyone feel like they’re part of something real, and it’s always interesting to hear feedback on our ideas from practising clinicians, working developers, real patients, people involved in policy or whoever we are fortunate enough to have on the judging panel.
Saturday mornings are all about pitches for projects to work on over the weekend. We have some advice for making a great pitch that you might find helpful.
Groups form quite organically, and some people join several groups rather than committing to just one project. You may choose to join a particular group because you were inspired by the pitch, because you have skills you think might be useful, or for any reason at all. Sometimes groups end up merging depending on how the hacking goes.
On the Sunday afternoon, each group gives a short presentation about what they have achieved, and we invite a panel of judges to watch these and decide how to award various prizes.
(These often take the form of the highly sought-after NHS Hack Day t-shirts.)
A good guide to the kind of projects that tend to do well is the criteria for projects we supply to judges.