Airedale leading the way with innovation

A junior doctor from Airedale Hospital has won a regional award for inventing a special training aid.

Dr Joel Copperthwaite, who is a Clinical Fellow in A&E based in the hospital’s Emergency Department, has invented a simulation trainer, a device which trains clinicians in how to insert a tube into the neck vein, known as a central line.  The line is then used for monitoring critically unwell patients and giving medications. Dr Copperthwaite’s device trains clinicians how to carry out this task safely and competently.

The awards were presented by Medipex and the Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) at a special Innovation Showcase event for NHS partners from the Yorkshire & Humber Innovation Champions Network and the North East & North Cumbria Innovation Scout Network. 

“Currently we’re exploring the options around patenting the device, and linking in with other trusts to help to test it and confirm its usability,” explains Dr Copperthwaite. “The Innovation Champion business case award of £1000 will go towards taking my invention further. The testing phase and comparison trials with other existing devices will take several months but then I hope to have a product that we can start to manufacture and sell.” 

Carole Paley, Head of Research and Innovation at Airedale, is delighted that Dr Copperthwaite has won the award; “Innovation is in our DNA here at Airedale, and we have a strong reputation for it, led by our telemedicine service. Joel has special interest in simulation which has led him to inventing this device.

“We want to encourage more of our staff to feel that they can innovate, and on 20 January will be running a special Innovation event here at the hospital in conjunction with the Innovation Champion Network.  The event is designed to help our people to look at a problem, consider possible solutions and then understand how they can take it further.  And it’s not just medical inventions – it could be something to support nursing practice, an idea about a particular pathway or something to make our corporate support services work better.  It’s part of our investment in sharing good ideas, and in turn reaping the rewards of that investment with revenue back into the Trust that can be reinvested in patient care”. 

For more details about this free event and the Innovation Champion Network, go to: or contact Carole Paley on 01535 292278.

Dr Fabian Seymour, who co-managed the Innovation Champion Network across the Yorkshire & Humber region says “This network connects NHS entrepreneurs and other people interested in supporting NHS innovation across our patch. The workshops we provide are free to anyone from our NHS organisations who have an interest and we encourage as many people to come as possible. I’m delighted for Dr Copperthwaite and Airedale for this award which I hope will help really kick start the development of his idea.”


For further information contact Katie Lister, head of communications at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust on 01535 294544, mobile: 07775 761674 or email:
Follow Airedale NHS Foundation Trust on Twitter@AiredaleNHSFT


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