Innovation UK > News > Innovation UK Vol5-1 > Patient care at its best

Logo of website section Patient care at its best

Patient care at its best

A look at the innovations conceived by NHS staff that have been turned into reality to benefit their patients

Each year, thousands of ideas for new medical devices, software and service delivery come from staff working in a wide range of roles within the NHS. So how are these innovations turned into reality to benefit the patient experience?

England has nine regional NHS Innovations Centres (hubs), aligned to Regional Development Agency and Strategic Health Authority boundaries. The hubs were established with a number of objectives: to identify, develop and commercialise ideas and innovations conceived by NHS staff to benefit patients; to convert research into products; to maximise revenue from innovations; and to enable Trusts to gain commercial income from selling their clinical expertise.

Already, new products and services have been developed for NHS patients and there is a substantial pipeline of new products. This means that NHS Innovations save money for the NHS; the latest estimate is that collectively the hubs have progressed 90 innovations, of which the top 10 have the potential to save £170m per annum. The innovation network also ensures that intellectual property is protected on behalf of NHS Trusts.

So what are some of the latest innovations?


Papworth BiVent Endotracheal Tube
A novel device to successfully isolate one lung from the other during thoracic surgery and improve patient safety has been invented by Dr Sunit Ghosh, based at Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in Cambridgeshire. The Papworth BiVent Endotracheal Tube allows ventilation to one lung to be stopped whilst maintaining ventilation of the other. NHS Innovations East helped to access a suitable commercial partner, P3 Medical Ltd, which now has an exclusive licence to the commercial rights for the ET Tube, following rigorous clinical investigation of the invention at the Trust.

The Burn Bin

Needle Disposal Cabinet
A ?burn-bin cabinet? allowing drug users to deposit their used needles anonymously ? and safely ? has been created by a drug rehabilitation worker at North Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. Bob Hudson was helped to develop his idea by NHS Innovations East, which negotiated a licence deal with Essex-based company A&R Engineering Ltd and assisted with marketing expertise and promotion.

The secure, safe and easy-to-use bin, fitted with a unique one-way disposal slot has been made in two versions to provide solutions for different locations.

Top Grub
A fun game to teach children about the nutritional values of different foods and encourage them to make healthy choices has been developed by NHS Innovations East. Top Grub is based on the popular children?s game Top Trumps and comprises 33 full-colour cards, contained in a box and featuring a different food, with nutritional values given in terms of fat, sugar, salt, protein, fibre and calories. There?s also a fun fact about each food featured.


A unique, two-layer sterile field procedure mat that facilitates a more asceptic non-touch approach to a variety of medical procedures, for example dressing changes, catheter changes and line changes, has been devised with the help of NHS Innovations North West. MedMat, which has been developed by ErgoMedica Limited and distributed by Sunlight Clinical Solutions, has an integrated waste bag which collects and contains all nonsharp clinical waste created at the site of the procedure. TrusTECH®, NHS Innovations North West, also runs Smart Solutions for HCAI, a national programme which invites businesses to put forward products and technologies to be assessed in the fight against hospital superbugs. (For more information, visit


Bone Disease Management System
A new computer software tool to help doctors manage the bone-disease problems associated with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), has been developed with the help of NHS Innovations South East. The Bone Disease Management System (BDMS), the brainchild of the internationally recognised Consultant Nephrologist Paul Altmann of the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust, helps doctors select the most appropriate medication, at the right dose, resulting in better care, improved outcomes and more cost-effective prescribing.

Child Protection Training Aid
All too frequently, NHS staff are called upon to make a judgement as to whether a child has been physically or sexually abused. Even for experienced, highly skilled staff, this can be a difficult one, especially in cases of possible sexual abuse involving younger children. Failing to identify abuse can obviously have extremely serious consequences for the child, whilst an incorrect child abuse ?diagnosis? can be devastating for the family. This new device has been designed by one of the country?s leading clinicians ? an acknowledged expert in the field of child abuse ? to help train healthcare practitioners to identify cases of abuse.

Isolated Mains Power Socket (IMPS)
The modern hospital uses a huge range of electrical and electronic equipment, from conventional lighting to sophisticated diagnostic, surgical and treatment tools. Developed at the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust, the Isolated Mains Power Socket (IMPS) is for use in interventional and surgical situations, to improve the safety of patients and staff.

The device, which looks like a small, wall-mounted box, combines increased capacity and load-handling with significant reductions in cost, installation and ?downtime?. It is compact, meets the latest MHRA, MEIGaN and HTM 06-01 electrical safety standards and has innovative energy-saving features.


The Hydrant
A novel drinking aid to help improve patient hydration was invented by Mark Moran, whilst recovering from a serious back operation and unable to access the jug and cup beside his bed. The Hydrant, a one-litre water bottle with a patented cap and integrated handle/hanging bracket to hook onto a bed, trolley or wheelchair, also has a delivery tube with a bite valve which can be clipped to the patient?s garments. Through the Trust Innovation Leader at University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, NISW helped Mark access expert advice from healthcare professionals, infection control and medical equipment specialists.


Dr Paul Seabright, Head of Business Development, HE; Bob Hudson, Inventor and Adrian Roberts, Managing Director, A&R Engineering

The Wheelchair Lift
An innovative idea, from an employee of South Birmingham PCT, allows a wheelchair to be lifted easily into the boot of a car. The lift can be manual or totally automated; both systems are very simple to use, cheap to construct and fit any size of car.

MidTECH helped develop and design the Wheelchair Lift and also managed IP protection and commercialisation. A licence agreement was negotiated on behalf of the Trust and a Spring product launch is planned.

The Drape
A consultant at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust has developed a new product to lower the risk of kidney patients catching a super bug. It also helps reduce the feeling of claustrophobia many patients experience by having a transparent section covering their face and will aid nurses? observation and reassurance of the patient during the procedure.

Hook-On IV Stand
Community healthcare staff from Wolverhampton City PCT have developed the Hook-On, a portable lightweight drip stand that enables bags of intravenous drugs or fluids and monitoring equipment to be securely attached so that nursing staff can safely administer treatment to patients at home.

It can also be particularly useful in military operations in field hospitals and at multiple accident/incident scenes.

For further information on NHS Innovations Hubs, vist:

Added the 25 August 2009 in category Innovation UK Vol5-1

social bookmarking

  • (subscribe feed): Key Technology, healthcare, NHS, Innovations Hubs in Facebook
  • (subscribe feed): Key Technology, healthcare, NHS, Innovations Hubs in Twitter
  • (subscribe feed): Key Technology, healthcare, NHS, Innovations Hubs in Ok Notizie
  • (subscribe feed): Key Technology, healthcare, NHS, Innovations Hubs in Diggita
  • (subscribe feed): Key Technology, healthcare, NHS, Innovations Hubs in Segnalo
  • (subscribe feed): Key Technology, healthcare, NHS, Innovations Hubs in Technorati
  • (subscribe feed): Patient care at its best in Google Bookmarks
  • (subscribe feed): Patient care at its best in Windows Live Space
  • (subscribe feed): Patient care at its best in Netscape
  • (subscribe feed): Patient care at its best in Yahoo! My Web
  • (subscribe feed): Patient care at its best in
Tags: Key Technology, healthcare, NHS, Innovations Hubs