NHS Innovation Awards 2006 Winners

Staff from across Yorkshire and Humber’s National Health Service were awarded prize money totalling £8000 for showing the world new ways of providing better healthcare for patients, at the Medipex NHS Innovation competitions 2006 award ceremony, held on 1st March in York.


Device or Technology Category

First prize

Patient care was a central theme to this year’s awards, seeing the winners providing some truly innovative solutions to healthcare problems, with Andrew Beavis, Roger Phillips and James Ward of Hull & East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust winning the First Place Prize for their Immersive (Virtual Reality) tools for Clinical Training of Therapy Radiographers.

On the job training for students on the latest radiotherapy machines is restricted to clinical placements only and the opportunity to practise outside of these placements is essentially non existent. The idea is a virtual reality trainer that exactly mimics both the high energy LINAC equipment, the treatment room and the therapy experienced by the patient. Students using the 3-D simulator walk around the room, operating the equipment and the patient. A pilot study ran in 2005 with a group of students saw immediate success. 

Joint second prize

David Brettle of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust shared second place prize for specialist Radiographic Callipers. The radiographic callipers is a simple idea to improve the accuracy of fitting prosthetics such as an artificial hip when relying on a digital X-ray of a patient rather than traditional photographic film images on paper.

Joint second prize

Ben Heller, Chris Chapple and Anand Patel of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust shared second place prize for EMU: ‘Electronic Measurement of Urgency’. Overactive bladder syndrome affects 1 in 6 of the population and can result in people becoming virtually house bound as well as being embarrassing to talk about. It is a difficult symptom to treat effectively because of the difficulty in collecting reliable data on frequency and quantity. EMU is a simple hand held patient operated device that electronically registers all of this information for the doctor to then make an accurate diagnosis.

Highly Commended prize 

Kevin Beatson of York Hospitals NHS Trust with ‘MAKING USEFUL HOSPITAL STATISTICS AVAILABLE TO LOCAL HEALTH COMMUNITY’. The CEO of York Hospital noted that this idea is one of the most significant changes in IT for many years. Key indicator information in summary form is provided in real time every 15 mins to Operational managers, lead clinicians & bed managers and GPs across York & Selby. This assists with managing patient waits, bed availability, discharges and theatre time – it helps to plan admissions by GP’s, to fast track emergencies and effectively treat minor ailments.

Highly Commended

Aejaz Zahid and Graham Newiss of Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust with “COMPUTER INPUT DEVICE FOR THE SEVERELY DISABLED”.  This idea is similar to morse code – it allows people who at best might only be able to control 2 switches such as a suck blow or eye brow click to type and hence communicate with the outside world & they don’t even need to be sat at the pc.

Innovative Service Delivery Category 

First prize 

Eric Kilpatrick of Hull & East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust won the First Place Prize for the use of the ‘Hull Statin Calculator’. 2.5 million people in are currently prescribed statin drugs to control cardiovascular risk through its cholesterol lowering properties. There are 5 licensed statin drugs available, each with different efficacies and costs, for a GP to know how much statin to prescribe and which drug to use is more often based on guesswork. This invention is a spreadsheet that allows a GP to establish the correct statin dose for each patient and to review the most cost effective product to achieve the desired results.

Second prize 

Mary Rudolf of Leeds East PCT won the Second Place Prize for WATCH IT. Watch It is a community programme for obese children and it aims to motivate kids and parents to lead healthy lifestyles thro’ a mix of individual appointments, counselling and group activity sessions. Kids of between 8 – 16 years of age attend a 12 month WATCH IT programme run by Health trainers who are individuals selected for personal qualities rather than with formal qualifications. There are a number of other innovative aspects to the programme the main one being it is run in the community and involves the community. 

Third prize

Margaret Pratt, Children’s Speech and Language Therapy Service of Barnsley PCT won Third Place Prize for EARLY COMMUNICATION SCREENING TOOL. Research has shown that early intervention is paramount for prognosis and treatment of childhood communication problems. The Screening tool has been developed in to a complete package aimed at children from as young as 7 months up to 3.5 years age and ensures each child is referred appropriately for speech and language development.

Highly Commended  

Samantha Lear and the Audiology Science Team of Sheffield Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust won the Highly Commended Prize for TAI CHI AS REHABILITATION FOR PATIENTS WITH BALANCE DISORDERS.  Patients with balance disorders who are undergoing rehabilitation have found Tai Chi to be helpful to them improving balance and a rewarding social activity and it has helped the hospital reduce its waiting list.


Sean Bennett, Debbie Pinchon, Jenny Rumsby and Carol Hargreaves of Hull & East Yorkshire Hospitals Trust won the Commended Prize with THE USE OF EPO TO PRE OPTIMISE PATIENTS BEFORE CARDIAC SURGERY.  The idea was stimulated by the desire to reduce the amount of transfused blood being used on cardiac patients by use of EPO which is a natural stimulant of haemoglobin.

Gareth Lloyd Jones, Chairman of Medipex said: “We have once again seen innovation delivered from the very heart of Yorkshire and Humber ’s NHS.  With so many free thinkers throughout trusts across the region, its position at the forefront of innovation in Healthcare Technology will be secure for years to come.”

Medipex would like to acknowledge and thank the sponsors and supporters of our 2006 Innovation Competition: