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‘LIMBS ALIVE’ LIFTS HEALTHCARE AWARD

Added: (Wed May 13 2009)

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A series of specially designed computer games which can be played by children with cerebral palsy scooped first prize in last night’s (May 7th) Bright Ideas in Health Awards 2009 ceremony.

Unable to play on modern consoles due to impaired movement, the ‘Limbs Alive’ games use wireless controls to allow the children to play computer games.

As well as giving hours of enjoyment, the activity has been found to have therapeutic benefits repairing and improving movement in impaired limbs.

Developed by a team from Newcastle University in conjunction with The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the suite of games won £2500 in last night’s Awards staged at the Hilton Hotel in Gateshead.

Janice Pearse, Research Occupational Therapist and member of the Developmental Neuroscience Group at Newcastle University: said

“Most of the commercially available games are just too fast and complex for some children with limbs affected by cerebral palsy. We recognised there was an opportunity to work on making them accessible to more people.

“For 18 months we have been working with game developer Giordano Ferdinandi and now have a suite of games that the children love and which is helping them with their motor skills.

“We are receiving ongoing financial support from The Children’s Foundation and are looking to create an extended package of games which motivate the kids are fun to play.”

Second place in the innovative device category went to a team from South Tees Hospitals NHS Trust for developing improved radiology equipment that reduces time patients undergoing uncomfortable breast biopsies. 3rd place went to an aid to reduce damage to the throat caused during ventilation developed by Sunderland Royal Hospital.

Highly commended awards went to special gloves for the treatment of eczema developed at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust and a device that improves treatment for those with bladder problems The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

First place in the innovative service category went to Tracey Peters and the team from South Tyneside Primary Care Trust for improving the care of people with learning difficulties. ‘My Health Record’ service is already being used by 700 people in South Tyneside and provides each patient with a record of their individual needs. Patients keep their record and hand it to doctors and carers so that they better understand how to deal with that patient.

Tracey Peters is Head of Service, Learning Disabilities, NHS South of Tyne and Wear and has worked for the NHS for over 20 years on improving and shaping NHS services for people with learning disabilities. She said:

“The idea came about due to the number of people with learning difficulties encountering problems when accessing mainstream hospitals. People with learning difficulties, especially those on the autistic spectrum, have very individual needs.

“Little things such as drinking from a blue mug or approaching a patient in a certain way can cause extreme reactions in someone with autism and result in wasted trips to hospital and wasted appointments.

“Now patients can turn up with their ‘My Health Record’ and anyone not used to their needs can quickly see how to interact with them.

“It’s fabulous to win this award because the work hasn’t been recognised before and often mental health services are marginalised.”

Second place went to the ‘Hi We Can Help’ website which supports the work of drug action teams developed by Roweena Russel from North Tyneside Council’s Drug Action Team. Third place went to a programme established by Jane Townsley and Jean Kennedy at Northumberland, Tyne & Wear NHS Trust, called ‘Recipe for Success’ to help people suffering from Anorexia Nervosa improve their meal planning and understanding of nutrition.

Highly commended were a back to work assessment tool developed at Northumberland Care Trust and a new clinic at County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust
for massaging and improving hygiene of patients suffering from limb spasticity that results in clenched hands.

The awards are organised by the NHS Innovations North team at technology transfer company RTC North and showcase the most exciting new services and devices developed by employees in the region’s NHS Trusts.

Backed by the region’s NHS Trusts, this year’s awards are sponsored by Newcastle Science City, NHS North East, Cels and HealthConnect, One NorthEast, UDL Patent Attorneys, Marks and Clerks Patent Attorneys, Hargreaves Elsworth Patent Attorneys, Watson Burton LLP, DLAB at The Institute of Design Innovation, Teesside University and The Centre for Design Research at Northumbria University.

Professor Sir Miles Irving, Chairman of NHS Innovations North, said:

“It has been another year of outstanding success in the search for new ways of improving our National Health Service.

“Innovation in healthcare covers a wide variety of activity, from laboratory research to the vast potential for innovation that lies in the minds of those that work at the front end, delivering NHS services.

“This year has seen a surge in entries which reflects the appreciation amongst staff that their ideas, whether a new device or a better way of delivering a service, are of relevance and will be taken seriously.”

“So groundbreaking have been many of the submissions we received this year that the judging panel had difficulty in honing down on ten entries to receive awards.”

NHS Innovations North is one of a network of Innovation hubs across the UK set up to help make the most of new ideas within NHS Trusts and improve healthcare. Delivered in the North East by RTC North, the project will benefit from £800,501 of European Union investment from the ERDF Competitiveness Programme 2007-13, managed by regional development agency One North East.

The ERDF programme is bringing over £250m into the North East to support innovation, enterprise and business support across the region.

For more information on the Bright Ideas in Health Awards, call Barbara Marriner on 01915164400, email: enquiry@nhsinnovationsnorth.org.uk or visit: www.nhsinnovationsnorth.org.uk

CONTACT: Jamie Ollivere at RTC North on Tel: 01915164400 Mob: 07950566182 or email jamie.ollivere@rtcnorth.co.uk

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS:

Special Award for Sustained Endeavour

The Bright Idea...Paediatric Haemodialyser
Peritoneal dialysis uses the peritoneal membrane, a sac that lines the walls of the abdominal cavity, to perform dialysis in vivo. In the event of acute renal failure in preterm babies however, peritoneal dialysis sometimes cannot be administered. As a result, haemodialysis using external equipment to filter the blood outside of the body, can be considered, but the design of commercially available haemodialysis machines means that the risk of haemodialysis in babies remains high. Moreover, the current process of haemodialysing a baby weighing less than 3kg requires donor blood, which some babies reject. Compounding this, conventional haemodialysis is not considered feasible for babies weighing less than 1000g. The device developed reduces the risks associated with haemodialysis and enables the procedure to be carried out on those babies for whom there is currently no alternative.

The Innovators...
Malcolm Coulthard, Consultant Paediatric Nephrologist, Royal Victoria Infirmary and Jean Crosier, Nurse Specialist, Paediatric Nephrology – Malcolm and Jean devised the basic principle of the technique and worked with Nick Everdell, Engineer, to develop a prototype automated system.

Regional Medical Physics Department - Clive Griffiths, Michael Drinnan, Michael Whitaker, Rob Beckwith, Phil Harrison, John Riddle, Richard Bergman, Jim Wightman, Frank McArdle, Adrian Davidson are redesigning the system to be more straightforward to use, to comply with medical equipment safety standards and to be suitable for use in other hospitals.

The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Innovative Technology or Device Category

1st Prize

The Bright Idea…Limbs Alive - Video Games to Promote Bimanual Function
Children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy learn strategies and techniques to manage tasks with one hand even if there is only mild impairment in the affected limb. With age, children increasingly neglect the impaired hand and this leads to an increasing motor skill deficit. If this is addressed during childhood, by increasing use of the affected arm, this component of the impairment is preventable or reversible. Limbs Alive is a suite of video games that have been designed in conjunction with children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy and their families to provide effective therapeutic intervention, by requiring two hands for their control.

The Innovators…
Professor Janet Eyre, Professor of Paediatric Neurology, Developmental Neuroscience Group, Newcastle University and Honorary Consultant Paediatric Neurologist - Janet leads a programme of research which centres on the normal development of the control of upper limb movement in children and adolescents.

Janice Pearse, Research Occupational Therapist, Developmental Neuroscience Group, Newcastle University - Janice leads the group in the development and validation of methods of assessing upper limb function and in devising, evaluating and implementing new therapeutic strategies for improving arm and hand function.


Giordano Ferdinandi - Giordiano is responsible for the development of the games, from R&D to the implementation of proprietary technologies and gameplay elements.

Sara Graziado, PhD candidate, Developmental Neuroscience Group, Newcastle University - Sara is responsible for the game and level design and takes on the role of creative director.

Newcastle University in conjunction with The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

2nd Prize

The Bright Idea…Radiology Equipment
X-ray guided breast biopsies are widely performed for analysis of micro calcifications identified on mammography and are an important tool in the patient’s diagnostic pathway. The radiology equipment invented, known as the Hilina, halves the procedural time for x-ray guided breast biopsy in patients who are suspected of having breast cancer. The device will improve patient care and result in improved workflow with reduced waiting times for the investigation.

The Innovators…
Dr Geoffrey Naisby, Consultant Radiologist, James Cook University Hospital - Geof is the lead Radiologist for the symptomatic breast service in South Tees and he designed the Hilina and led the project.

Hilary Harris, Clinical Lead Radiographer for Breast Imaging, James Cook University Hospital - Hilary managed the Hilina project and co-ordinated it throughout. Hilary is a mammographer with over 20 years experience and more recently extended practice into breast ultrasound and guided biopsies.

Dr Kevin Robson, Clinical Scientist, RMPD, Newcastle Freeman Hospital- Kevin is responsible for the routine quality assurance testing of the mammography and biopsy systems and contributed his expertise to testing the radiation safety and image quality of the Hilina.

Dave Owst, Chief Clinical Technologist, RMPD, Cleveland Unit - Dave adapted the prototype and has engineered additional Hilina units to a professional standard.

South Tees Hospitals NHS Trust

3rd Prize

The Bright Idea…Intubation Aid
Endotracheal intubation is the use of an endotracheal tube to protect a patient's airway and provide a means for mechanical ventilation. Despite being a commonly used process, there are many situations where standard endotracheal intubation is found to be difficult. These can lead to problems such as failure to intubate the trachea, damage to the vocal cords by the endotracheal tube or damage to the endotracheal tube by the teeth. This intubation aid is a simple and easy to use device which assists in intubation, particularly when visualisation of the larynx is difficult.

The Innovator…
Dr David Laws, Consultant Anaesthetist, Sunderland Royal Hospital - David has worked at City Hospitals Sunderland for 8 years. His clinical and research interests include the perioperative care of emergency, vascular and maxillofacial surgical patients.

City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust

Highly Commended

The Bright Idea…Princess Gloves for Eczema Sufferers
The wet wrap treatment for children with eczema involves the application of steroid creams followed by a number of layers of bandages to the affected area. The use of the word bandages can often cause children to worry about the process and to be resistant to the treatment. The Princess Gloves for Eczema Suffers have been developed to allay the fears of children and to make the treatment less daunting and unpleasant.

The Innovator…
Kay Matthews, Learning and Development Advisor, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust - Kay has worked in the Training and Development Department at for 4 years, with her role including management of the Corporate Induction programme, rolling out the Knowledge and Skills Framework, and developing and delivering other staff training sessions.

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust

Highly Commended

The Bright Idea…Full Indicator for Urine Collection Bag
Overfilling of urine bags can lead to reflux of urine along the urinary tract. Urinary reflux can be damaging to the kidneys and is a common cause of urinary tract infections. Moreover, when a urine bag is full it can potentially cause trauma to the neck of the bladder on account of the downwards pull of the catheter. The innovative device can be attached to a urine bag and alerts the user in the event that the bag becomes full.

The Innovators...
Mike Broadhurst, Head of Bioengineering, RMPD, Newcastle General Hospital - Mike manages the Technical Aid Service, developing equipment for clients with disability.

Dr Charlotte Platten, Clinical Scientist, RMPD, James Cook Hospital - Charlotte has provided project supervision and scientific support.

Terry Grice & Steve Heseltine, Clinical Technologists, RMPD, Newcastle General Hospital - Terry and Steve are members of the Technical Aid Service and specialise in the field of electronic assistive technology.

Phil Harrison, Chief Clinical Technologist, RMPD, Newcastle Freeman Hospital - Phil provides project management to the Technical Aid Service in the area of electronics.

Bob Tapper, Clinical Technologist, RMPD, James Cook Hospital - Bobassists in the design and development of electronic and mechanical parts for new products.

Andrew McDonald, Clinical Scientist, RMPD, Newcastle General Hospital – Andrew is a specialist in electronic assistive technology for the Technical Aids Service.

The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Finalists in Innovative Service Delivery Category

1st Prize

The Bright Idea…My Health Record
Patients with learning disabilities frequently find it difficult to understand the questions that form part of the standard health assessment that is conducted following referral to Acute Hospital services. This, combined with the unfamiliar environment in which patients are assessed can lead to vital information going unrecorded. My Health Record is a tool designed for use in the patient’s home, by a person familiar to the patient, with the aim of maximising the information which is captured and ultimately improving patient care for those with learning difficulties.

The Innovators…
Tracey Peters,Head of Service, Learning Disabilities, NHS South of Tyne and Wear - Tracey has worked for the NHS for over 20 years, including improving and shaping NHS services for people with learning disabilities.

Gail Brady, parent/carer - Gail has dedicated her own time over the past 30 years to ensure that services respond to the individual needs of people with a learning disability, playing an instrumental part in the development of My Health Record.

Maria Sonner, Co-Chair of the Health Focus Group (user group) - Maria has helped My Health Record to improve the service that people with a learning disability receive when in acute settings.

Debra Stephen, Head of Nursing/Lead Matron for South Tyneside Foundation Trust - Debra has been a nurse for 21 years and has played a key role in embedding My Health Record within the acute services, to improve access to mainstream services for people with a learning disability.

Tracy Dawson, Assistant Head of Service, Learning Disabilities, NHS South of Tyne and Wear - Tracy has been working with the Health Focus Group to promote My Health Record.

South Tyneside Primary Care Trust

2nd Prize

The Bright Idea…Hi We Can Help Website
The hiwecanhelp.com website is a problem solving resource for people affected by drug use; drugs workers, families, loved ones and people who use drugs. It has been designed to create an online community for drug users, their families and drug action teams throughout the UK. A national resource where people affected by drug abuse can find help and information, the website also assists front line staff to share resources and best practice. Hiwecanhelp.com adds a new dimension to both harm reduction and drug treatment, and was developed to respond to a need for an effective online support community.

The Innovator...
Roweena Russell, Harm Reduction Manager, North Tyneside Drug Action Team, North Tyneside Council – Roweena was introduced to the drug field in 1995 when working in a supported housing project for homeless people who had an AIDS diagnosis in Dublin's North inner city. She has worked with harm reduction services and structured day programmes before taking up her current post and developing the Hi website.

North Tyneside Primary Care Trust

3rd Prize

The Bright Idea…Recipe for success
For patients with conditions such as Anorexia Nervosa, the process of re-feeding can be complex. It is often hindered by hospital prepared food which doesn’t fit with the patient’s therapeutic programme or allow the patient to have an input into their menu. The Recipe for Success project enables young people with varied mental health problems to take responsibility for what they eat, learning skills in nutrition, meal planning, budgeting and cooking. The idea comes from a belief that the work completed with these patients should aim to promote independence, daily living skills and self esteem.

The Innovators…

Jane Townsley, Registered General Nurse, Young Peoples Unit, Prudhoe Hospital – Jane has worked at the YPU for 19 years and has been the driving force behind the project. Its success however has been credited to staff members both past and present.

Jean Kennedy, Support worker/housekeeper, Young Peoples Unit, Prudhoe Hospital – Jean provides assistance in menu planning and ordering food, ensuring the smooth running of the project and acts as project lead.

Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Trust

Highly Commended

The Bright Idea…Dystonia and Spasticity Nail Care Competencies
Clients experiencing limb spasticity often develop hand problems. This can lead to problems with nails as the fingers are clenched causing the hands to be prone to overheating leading to skin damage, breaks and potential infection. The specialized clinic, at Walkergate Park Hospital, allows clinical staff to spend quality time massaging the hands, cutting the nails and promoting effective hand hygiene. The competency framework, based on education, assessment of risk and client centered care planning includes full training on all aspects of hand care. This is then followed by a series of practical clinical assessments.

The Innovators…
Lesley Kidd, Department Manager – Lesley has clinical and operational responsibility and has over 20 years experience in Neurological Rehabilitation.

Deborah Best, Registered General Nurse and Val Jackson Registered General Nurse – Deborah and Val are practitioners in the nurse led clinics.

Julie Long, Nursing Assistant – Julie supports the various practitioners. She has been instrumental in identifying the need for a nail care competency framework.

Lynsay Duke, Senior Occupational Therapist – Lynsay has over 16 years experience within Neurological Rehabilitation, providing therapy assessment and a splinting clinic.

Leanne Allsopp, Senior Physiotherapist– Leanne has 10 years of experience working in the Neurological setting.

Gill Gallagher, Lead Nurse Advisor –.Gill’s work has been to support and help devise the competency assessment framework.

Kevin Chapman, Infection Prevention and Control Modern Matron – Kevin supported the team and has been instrumental in coordinating the development of the project.

Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Trust

Highly Commended

The Bright Idea…Condition Management Analysis - Helping People with Conditions Back to Work
This programme, part of the Pathways to Work Scheme, is delivered by health professionals to assist patients with mild to moderate health conditions to assess the feasibility of returning to work. The Condition Management Analysis tool has been developed to monitor data related to the scheme to determine its effectiveness and provide programme performance data for both the Department of Health and Jobcentre Plus.

The Innovators…
Fiona Bell , Data Systems Manager, NHS North of Tyne - Fiona has worked for Northumberland Care Trust for 5,years. Her work has included Technical Support, Project Management, Business Planning & Design and Implementation of IT Systems.

Tony Lundy, Manager of Condition Management Programme, NHS North of Tyne - Tony has worked in the social care field for 30 years, latterly in developing initiatives that support people disadvantaged by illness or disability into employment.

Shaun Wheatley, ITPS – Shaun, working for ITPS, was commissioned by NCT to work with Fiona and Tony to build the CMP system.

Northumberland Care Trust

Highly Commended

The Bright Idea…Patient Equipment Decontamination Unit

Healthcare acquired infections are infections that are acquired in hospitals or as a result of healthcare interventions. The risk of acquiring an infection can be minimised by maintaining high standards of infection control through regular cleaning. The Patient Environment Decontamination Unit will enable key equipment in need of regular cleaning to be identified and decontaminated. The equipment is then given a unique tracking number to enable cleaning frequency to be tracked.

The Innovators….
Ron McKenzie, Head of Facilities, County Durham & Darlington NHS Foundation Trust - Ron has worked in the NHS for 39 years. Ron’s work has included the introduction of the Better Hospital Food Initiative, Protected Mealtimes and ward housekeepers.

Stuart Wray, Catering & Housekeeping Manager, County Durham & Darlington NHS Foundation - Stuart has worked at Darlington Memorial Hospital for 20 years, starting as a chef to his present role. During this time Stuart has been part of a very successful Patient Environment Department winning many awards for the Catering and Domestic Services.

County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust



NHS Innovations North... is the innovation and intellectual property management service available to all NHS Trust in the North East of England and is delivered by RTC North on behalf of the NHS.

NHS Innovations North acts as a broker between industry, academia and the health service to bring NHS employees’ bright ideas to life, turning them into products and services that improve healthcare and generate revenue for both the NHS and its industrial partners.

It is one of the nine regional hubs across the NHS in England and is funded by the Department of Health, the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills and is part financed by the European Union’s ERDF Competitiveness Programme 2007-13, securing £800,000 ERDF investment through regional development agency One NorthEast. The ERDF programme is bringing over £250m into the North East to support innovation, enterprise and business support across the region.

The team at NHS Innovations North have experience and expertise in prior art exploration, market research and the commercialisation process. This encompasses all aspects of NHS technology from identification of ideas through to appropriate protection and establishing licensing agreements.

RTC North... is an independent company delivering initiatives and providing services to support economic growth. Our consultants excel in the areas of technology transfer, commercialisation, business growth and open innovation and have worked with thousands of local companies since 1989 to create jobs, wealth and a better quality of life for the people of Northern England.

Employing 70 people at its headquarters in the North East, RTC North is the parent company of RTC NorthWest in Liverpool and RTC Yorkshire in Leeds. Both companies were established to provide services across the Northern Way.

RTC North and its subsidiaries act as delivery partners for business support programmes on behalf of One NorthEast, Yorkshire Forward, the Northwest Development Agency and the European Commission.

Submitted by:Jamie Ollivere
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