An app to help paramedics locate the nearest specialist services, and a programme supporting cancer patients to rebuild their lives after treatment, have been announced as winners of a regional medical innovation competition.
The 2014 Medipex and Y&H AHSN NHS Innovation Awards and Showcase is run by Medipex Yorkshire & Humber, the organisation that helps to nurture the development and commercialisation of innovation within the region's NHS.
Celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, the competition aims to provide a platform to showcase pioneering new ideas and technologies developed by NHS staff to improve patient care and make services more efficient.
This year, the awards were also partnered by the Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network (Y&H AHSN), a new regional partnership between patients, health services, industry, and academia.
Richard Pilbery from Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust was joint winner in the Software and Telehealth category with his smart phone app that helps paramedics get patients quickly to the best care possible. The app can tell ambulance services which emergency and other services are available in the area, in particular specialist facilities such as trauma, stroke and heart centres, which may not be based at the nearest hospital.
Jane Archer from York Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust won the Secondary Care category with a programme to help cancer patients rebuild their lives after their formal treatment is completed. The four-day course helps people to manage their fear of recurrence, fatigue, diet, sexual concerns and to pick the right level of physical activity and plan for the future.
In total there were eight winners across five categories, chosen from more than 60 entries received from NHS organisations, companies and universities working with the NHS across Yorkshire and Humberside. They were announced at a formal ceremony in Wakefield hosted by TV doctor Ranj Singh, a paediatrician and co-presenter of the CBeebies show, Get Well Soon.
Richard Clark, joint chief executive of Medipex, said: “We’re very proud to be celebrating the tenth anniversary of these awards, with many of the new ideas that we’ve showcased and supported over the years having gone on to make a real and positive impact on patients in the NHS and beyond. It’s also fitting that the Y&H AHSN has partnered with us to support these awards, as new ideas are most likely to become reality through a successful partnership between NHS staff, patients, academic expertise and commercial backing.”
The winners of the 2014 Medipex and Y&H AHSN NHS Innovation Awards and Showcase are:
- GP and Primary Care category: Alex Bates from West and South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Commissioning Support Unit has developed a tool to help commissioners and GPs make sense of the 4,500 guidelines, on which they must decide where to send patients so they receive the right care. In particular, the tool helps to identify where the guidelines cause patients to be referred for procedures that aren’t actually needed – thereby improving patient care and saving money
- Software and Telehealth category (joint winners): Richard Pilbery from Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust for the app for paramedics (as above); and Robin Howes from Northern Lincolnshire & Goole Foundation Trust who has developed an online system that enables key information to be shared quickly and easily across a hospital, including information on patient diagnosis and treatment, availability of beds, location of patients, progress of samples for analysis and infection control information. The system also reduces delay in discharging patients, enabling important details on ongoing care to be transferred directly to GP surgeries
- Mental Health and Wellbeing category (joint winners): Nick Rowe from York St John University and Jill Copeland from Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust have been working together to offer short courses for people who use mental health services to help them develop confidence, improve their life skills and reduce social inclusion. The courses include exercise and music classes, theatre, dance, art, life coaching and business start-up and are taught by university staff and students, providing the students with useful experience. The programme has seen a 30-60% reduction in use of mental health services by those taking part; and Chris Payne from NAViGO, the not-for-profit social enterprise that runs mental health services in North East Lincolnshire, has developed a holistic assessment aimed at improving health outcomes for patients with severe mental illness. By combining ECG, body composition analysis, urine and blood analysis with healthy lifestyle and weight management advice, over two thirds of patients were found to have previously-undiagnosed physical illnesses and were referred for faster treatment
- Medical Devices and Diagnostics category: Darren Treanor from Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has developed the Leeds Virtual Microscope, which enables clinicians to view digital pathology slides of tissue more easily on a computer screen – rather than seeing them through a microscope. The digital system enables advanced image analysis and faster access to second opinions and can also be magnified up to a multiple screen ‘power wall’, for use in teaching, training and research
- Secondary Care category (joint winners): Jane Archer from York Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for the programme supporting cancer patients (see above); and Dr Safia Jabeen from Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust has set up the Chandni Clinic in Dewsbury to provide sexual health services specifically for Asian and Muslim women, resulting in a three-fold increase in those accessing the service. The clinic is staffed by female clinicians skilled in multiple Asian languages and care is provided within the context of Islamic tenets. The service is backed up by a series of community-based lectures to encourage attendance