Hundreds of healthcare professionals gathered to celebrate the North of England’s most promising innovators at the 2017 Bright Ideas in Health Awards.
Now in its 14th year, the event, held at the Hilton Hotel Gateshead, showcases the achievements of NHS staff and healthcare SMEs working towards improving patient care in the North East and North Cumbria and beyond through pioneering product or service ideas.
This year, inspirational fundraiser Claire Lomas MBE, who became the first person to finish the Great North Run wearing a pioneering bionic suit, celebrated with the winners and gave a moving speech about how innovation changed her life after she was paralysed from the chest down in 2007.
Claire said: “It has been a huge honour to speak at the Bright Ideas in Health Awards and meet many inspiring people who have achieved so much. I have fond memories of the region after taking part in the Great North Run so it’s great to be back for this special event.
“The NHS has played a big part in my life and the people I’ve met who work for the NHS are incredible and don’t always get the recognition they deserve. That’s why I think the awards are such a fantastic way to celebrate their achievements.
“My bionic suit is a great example of innovation and demonstrates just how far ideas have advanced. I believe we can achieve anything we set our minds to and I’m excited to see how these award-winning ideas evolve and improve patient care in the years to come.”
Beating tough competition from the 21 finalists in the running, the 2017 winners included a non-invasive test for bladder cancer; a specialist training programme for allergies; a laboratory sample pallet; an Acute Kidney Injury awareness initiative; falls prevention training; treatment for inherited kidney disease and a direct GP booking service.
All the winners in the seven categories receive a cash prize to help develop and commercialise their ideas.
Inventor Andrew Turner, was part of the winning team at City Hospital Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust and Gateshead Health Foundation Trust, in the Innovative Technology or Device category. The team scooped the award for its Laboratory Sample Pallet project, designed to accommodate different sized tubes, to improve efficiencies, reduce costs and save on bench space.
Andrew Turner said: “It’s a great honour to win the Innovative Technology or Device category at their year’s awards and fantastic for the whole team to be recognised for our hard work and dedication.
“The awards is a great platform for creating an ethos to instil innovation for our regions healthcare professionals, no less so than for our team who came together to collaborate from a number of backgrounds in healthcare to utilise credible data to deliver a solution capable of driving greater efficiencies in the NHS.
“With the Trust currently receiving around 10,000 samples for analysis in the laboratory every day, we looked at where we could improve the current model to significantly reduce inventory and consumables to make efficiencies all round. Feedback from NHS staff has been very positive and we’re excited to extent the project further.”
The Patient Safety and Quality Improvement category was won by South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and CRAB Clinical Informatics Limited with their bright idea, ‘Reducing Patient Harm Associated with Acute Kidney Injury (AKI).’
The team aimed to reduce patient harm associated with Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) across their Trust, especially within high “AKI risk” yet low “AKI aware” clinical areas. They delivered over 50 dedicated AKI workshops to multidisciplinary staff throughout the Trust and further promoted and sustained a Trust-wide “AKI aware culture” through novel ideas that included staff dressing up in a homemade kidney outfit.
Dr Jonathan Murray, Renal Consultant at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are thrilled to receive this award, which reflects a great deal of hard work and support from within and beyond the Trust’s renal team. We also wish to acknowledge the support of CRAB Clinical Informatics who enabled us to benchmark our Trust’s AKI rates against national levels – and then measure the impact of our AKI Programme, which coincided with a significant and sustained fall in AKI rates our Trust, especially across surgical wards. We also wish to thank Sarah, my wife, who helped hugely with our innovation by making our homemade kidney outfit!
“The renal team has been approached by Trusts elsewhere in the country who are keen to share our ideas – and we are currently developing strategies to promote AKI care within Primary Care and across the Primary-Secondary Care interface.”
Hundreds of pioneering entries were submitted for this year’s awards, showcasing the calibre of ideas taking shape in the healthcare profession today.
The Bright Ideas in Health Awards is organised by the Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria (AHSN NENC) in partnership with RTC North and the NIHR Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria (CRN NENC).
Dr Nicola Wesley, Chief Operations Officer at the AHSN NENC, said: “The Bright Ideas in Health Awards ceremony is one of the key highlights in the AHSN annual calendar. It’s fantastic to celebrate such passion and innovative ideas from forward-thinking healthcare professionals. Every year we are blown away by the standard of entries, the determination and drive to improve quality, efficiency, access and cost effectiveness in the NHS.
“We’re very excited about the possibilities that lie ahead and working with all the winners to develop their ideas further.”
Andrew Buckley, RTC North Chief Executive, said: “All of this year’s bright ideas are raising the benchmark of innovation and standards of care in the NHS. I wholeheartedly congratulate all of the finalists and winners and hope they will inspire even more people to pioneer healthcare innovations in the near future.”
Nadine Bleasby, Chief Operating Officer at the CRN NENC, said: “The North East and Cumbria is world-renowned for research in healthcare and it’s wonderful to see success recognised in the Bright Ideas in Health Awards.”
The full list of winners and runners up are as follows:
Innovative Technology or Device
1st place: Laboratory Sample Pallet – City Hospital Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust and Gateshead Health Foundation Trust
Runner up: Care Home Digital Tablet – Transforming Healthcare in Care Homes – NHS Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group
Runner up: Device for the Detection of Peripheral Arterial Disease – The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Outstanding Industry Collaboration with the NHS
1st place: A Non-Invasive Test for Bladder Cancer – Arquer Diagnostics Ltd.
Runner up: Central Venous Line Fall Out in Renal Patients – City Hospital Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust
Runner up: Structured Digital Prescriptions For Orthotics – Peacocks Medical Group
1st place: MOSAIC Honeycomb Seamless Care Model – The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Runner up: Rib Attack enhanced Recovery Pathway – County Durham & Darlington NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Durham
Runner up: Pathway of Care – NHS Newcastle Gateshead Clinical Commissioning Group
Patient Safety and Quality Improvement
1st place: Reducing Patient Harm Associated with Acute Kidney Injury – South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and CRAB Clinical Informatics Limited
Runner up: Mental Health Pathways – North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust
Runner up: Dialogue and Action in Acute Childhood Illness – The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Primary and Community Care
1st place: GP Direct Booking Via NHS111 – North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust
Runner up: No More ‘People in Suits’ – NHS Newcastle Gateshead Clinical Commissioning Group
Runner up: Introduction of School-based Diabetes Clinic – The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Most Innovative Education Provider
1st place: Falls Prevention Training – North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust
Runner up: Evaluation of Training in Obsetric Emergencies – ‘SimMom’ – City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Sunderland
Runner up: North Tees and Hartlepool Education Alliance – NHS Hartlepool and Stockton Clinical Commissioning Group
Research Delivery Impact
1st place: National Renal Complement Therapeutics Centre – The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Runner up: Limbal Stem Cell Therapy – The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Newcastle University
Runner up: Delivery of Research Awareness to Service Users, Carers and Staff – Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust