NHS England Medical Director Sir Bruce Keogh visited the region to celebrate the very best innovations developed by healthcare staff in the North East and North Cumbria.
The 13th Bright Ideas in Health Awards, held at the Hilton NewcastleGateshead, acknowledges the recent ideas and innovations developed by our region’s frontline NHS staff and healthcare SMEs to help make the NHS better.
Sir Bruce was guest of honour at the event, which was attended by 450 people, during which he delivered an inspiring speech about innovation and how it is something that everybody can take part in.
He also praised the collaborative work of the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSN). Speaking at the event, he said: “As the AHSNs have grown we are beginning to see some fantastic successes. They bring people together and it’s this that creates a synergy.
“The Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria has had some remarkable results and all this is down to remarkable hard work from visionary people. It’s down to collaboration and it’s down to the generosity of people who are prepared to share their ideas.
“Events like this help so many people with new ideas who might not have known where to go with them 10 years ago. I say thank you and well done for all your achievements.”
A wealth of dynamic and innovative ideas were submitted for this year’s awards with more 200 entries received – the highest in the history of the event.
A panel of judges selected winners in five categories: Innovative Technology or Device, Service Improvement, Innovation in Primary Care, SME Innovation and Patient and Public Involvement - Making Research Better.
Some of the winning ideas included an improved IVF egg collection procedure to save both clinician and embryologist time and a project aimed at empowering GP practice patients to become ‘Practice Champions’.
Sheinaz Stansfield, Practice Manager at Oxford Terrace and Rawling Road Medical Group in Gateshead, was part of the team from NHS Newcastle Gateshead Clinical Commissioning Group that led the ‘Practice Champions’ project, which won the Patient and Public Involvement – Making Research Better award.
The team have developed 39 patients as ‘Practice Champions’ who have been trained to support the GP practice, other patients and the broader community, with the aim of taking a population health and wellbeing approach to the provision of GP services.
Sheinaz said: “The Practice Champions initiative has brought such a positive, vibrant and enthusiastic contribution to the practice. The award funding will help us to run groups for a full year and contribute the to the veterans event they are planning on 11th November as part of our flu campaign.
“As a practice we are delighted to be working with them to improve services for all our practice population.”
The winners will receive a cash prize along with sustained development support to assist with the commercialisation of their product or service.
Dr Nicola Wesley, Head of NHS Innovations North and Director of Innovation at the AHSN NENC, said: “Every year we’re blown away by the passion and dedication of NHS staff and healthcare SMEs in identifying and developing new ways of doing things within the NHS. The wealth of talent in our region really is something to be proud of. I echo Sir Bruce Keogh’s sentiments and say a very big well done to all our winners, runners up and all of the people who submitted entries this year.
“A big thank you also has to go out to our fantastic speakers and our generous sponsors.”
The event, which was hosted by TV presenter and journalist, Kim Inglis, welcomed a prestigious line up of speakers including; doctor of medicine and TV presenter Dr Kevin Fong; Ivan Hollingsworth, Parent Trustee for the Children’s Heart Unit Fund; Alison Shaw from the North East Futures UTC; Gordon Ollivere, CEO at RTC North Limited; and Bob Paton, Chairman at RTC North Limited.
The Bright Ideas in Health Awards is organised by NHS Innovations North, a service delivered by RTC North Ltd with support from the Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria (AHSN).
The full list of winners and runners up are as follows:
Innovative Technology or Device Category
1st place – Improved IVF Procedure Egg Collection, Professor Alison Murdoch, The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
2nd place – Fixation Device for Use in Opthalmic Imaging, Nicholas Gray, County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust
3rd place – Patient Slide Sheet, Diane Hindson, County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust
Highly Commended – Ventricular Assist Device Cartoon Character Vest, Catherine Forster, The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Service Improvement Category
1st place – Recovery Focussed Care Transfer (ReFleCT), Coleen Mercer-Quinn, Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust
2st place – Post Operative Pneumonia Prevention, Iain McCallum, Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust
3rd place - Patient/Relative Programme for Self-Administration of Subcutaneous Chemotherapy, Wendy Anderson, South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Highly Commended - Urology Rapid Access Unit, Gary Musgrove, City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust
Innovation in Primary Care Category
1st place – Social Prescribing for Long-Term Conditions, Embedded in Primary Care, Tara Case, Ways to Wellness
2st place – Lifecycle Primary Care Mental Health Service, Mandy Bowler, South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust
Highly Commended - Butterwick Motor Neurone Disease (MND) First Contact Group, Anthony Hanratty, South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Highly Commended - Nurses Learning Together Across Cumbria, Angela Pollard, NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group
SME Innovation in Healthcare Category (sponsored by Onyx Health)
1st place – Femeda Ltd – ‘Pelviva’ device designed to re-educate weak pelvic floor muscles for treatment of urinary incontinence in women
Highly Commended - Ibex Innovations – ‘Collection of Bone Fragility Data in Routine Fracture Scans’
Highly Commended - Mammoth Technologies - ‘Improved Pressure Relief’ cushion
Patient and Public Involvement Category (sponsored by the Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria)
1st place - Practice Champions. NHS Newcastle Gateshead Clinical Commissioning Group