NHS Innovation Awards 2009 Winners

To the background of Lord Darzi’s announcement of a £20million challenge fund for Innovation, more than 150 people from Industry and the regional NHS gathered at the Tankersley Manor Hotel on Tuesday April 28th for the awards evening of Medipex’s 2009 NHS Innovation Competition.

The awards, now in their fifth year, provide a platform to showcase new technology developed by NHS staff from around the Yorkshire and Humber region with benefits that can be adopted and used both regionally and nationally.

The sponsors of the Innovation Competition and award ceremony were the Strategic Health Authority, Yorkshire Forward, CPD 4 Health Innovation, Urquhart-Dykes & Lord, Access to Finance, Medilink and Skills for Health.

Prize money totalling £10,000 was awarded on the night to help the winners in the three categories to develop their innovations further.

The big winners on the night were a blood testing tool to accelerate the identification of antibiotics for treatment of patients with MRSA, the ‘dignity’ mobile bidet dryer commode, resources which allow staff to communicate better with children who have learning difficulties and a training simulator to improve the training of staff in radiology and x-ray procedures.

Medical Devices and Diagnostics Category

For the first time ever at the awards, one of the categories had joint winners. Tom Darton and his team from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust shared the first prize of £4,000 with Andy Speechley of Independent Care Products Ltd who had been working with Avril McCarthy of the Devices for Dignity HTC based at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals. Ã¢â‚¬Â¨

Tom Darton and his team received their prize for the work they had done developing a new blood screening test which helps to cut down the time in identifying those antibiotics which can be used to treat patients with MRSA from more than 24 hours to just 4 hours. The test, which could be easily adopted by other NHS Trusts has the potential to save costs by reducing the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics such as meropenem, shorten hospital stays and prevent side-effects from these broad-spectrum antibiotics.

The ‘Dignity’ mobile bidet/dryer commode is the concept of Andy Speechley, a member of the public who developed the device to help a friend who had suffered a stroke, and, as a side effect, suffered from incontinence. Andy has been working with Avril McCarthy and the Devices for Dignity team at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals to develop the idea further and has received recognition for this idea from a wide range of people. The device is a mobile bidet/dryer commode for the disabled and elderly who are unable to clean themselves satisfactorily after using the toilet. It has a built-in washer and dryer function which can be controlled by the user or by a carer and the device can be moved from room to room. Potentially, the device has real benefits for both patients and carers as it improves a patient’s quality of life and decreases the amount of unpleasant tasks that a carer has to perform.

Runners-up in the category were John Wilson from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Neil Wright from Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

Find out more about the other finalists in the Medical Devices and Diagnostics category.

Software and ICT Category

The Virtual Cath Lab (VCL) designed and developed by Shawn Larson of Connecting for Health was the winner in the Software and ICT Category.

The VCL is a PC-based computer simulation of medical procedures with two main components; the simulation of fluoroscopy (X-ray) equipment and simulation of the clinical radiology procedure.  It is based on 3D games technology and will run on any Windows PC.  The software simulates exactly how the equipment works in the real world and so provides a completely radiation-free training environment. 

The runners-up in the category were Steve Jessop from Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Martin Waugh of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Kirsty McDonald of Sheffield PCT.

Find out more about the other finalists in the Software and ITC category.

Training and Publications Category

The information and communication resources for children with special needs in hospital developed by Judith Short of Sheffield Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust was the winner of the Training and Publications category.

Children who have learning and communication disabilities often exhibit extreme anxiety associated with treatment at the hospital.This may be due to unpleasant procedures, the unfamiliar environment, fasting or their loss of routine.Conventional information resources or the usual methods of explanation do not always suit their particular needs.So far, communication resources using symbols to explain the timeline of a trip to daycare for surgery have been developed to help children to understand the sequence of events.Key steps in the process are highlighted by a colour-coded chart.A post-operative choosing chart allowing children to point to symbols representing feelings, wants and need, and a symbol version of the food choices available for their first meal after surgery have also been developed.The team hope that the charts and ideas could be easily adapted and used by other NHS Trusts to improve communication with special needs children.

Kevin Channer of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Angela Earnshaw of Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Anne Wood of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust were the runners-up in this category.

Find out more about the other finalists in the Training and Publications category.

Medipex would like to acknowledge and thank the sponsors and supporters of our 2009 Innovation Competition: