Medipex NHS Innovation Awards 2006

Staff from across Yorkshire and Humber’s National Health Service were awarded prize money totalling £8000 for showing the world new ways of providing better healthcare for patients, at the Medipex NHS Innovation competitions 2006 award ceremony, held on 1st March 2006 in York.

Device or technology

Category winner

Immersive (virtual reality) tools for clinical training of therapy radiographers

Andrew Beavis, Roger Phillips and James Ward, Hull & East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust

On the job training for students on the latest radiotherapy machines is restricted to clinical placements only and the opportunity to practise outside of these placements is essentially non existent. The idea is a virtual reality trainer that exactly mimics both the high energy LINAC equipment, the treatment room and the therapy experienced by the patient. Students using the 3-D simulator walk around the room, operating the equipment and the patient. A pilot study ran in 2005 with a group of students saw immediate success.


Specialist radiographic callipers

David Brettle, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

The radiographic callipers is a simple idea to improve the accuracy of fitting prosthetics such as an artificial hip when relying on a digital X-ray of a patient rather than traditional photographic film images on paper.


EMU (Electronic Measurement of Urgency)

Ben Heller, Chris Chapple and Anand Patel, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Overactive bladder syndrome affects 1 in 6 of the population and can result in people becoming virtually house bound as well as being embarrassing to talk about. It is a difficult symptom to treat effectively because of the difficulty in collecting reliable data on frequency and quantity. EMU is a simple hand held patient operated device that electronically registers all of this information for the doctor to then make an accurate diagnosis.


Making useful hospital statistics available to local health community

Kevin Beatson, York Hospitals NHS Trust

The CEO of York Hospital noted that this idea is one of the most significant changes in IT for many years. Key indicator information in summary form is provided in real time every 15 mins to Operational managers, lead clinicians & bed managers and GPs across York & Selby. This assists with managing patient waits, bed availability, discharges and theatre time – it helps to plan admissions by GP’s, to fast track emergencies and effectively treat minor ailments.


Computer input device for the severely disabled

Aejaz Zahid and Graham Newiss, Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

This idea is similar to morse code – it allows people who at best might only be able to control 2 switches such as a suck blow or eye brow click to type and hence communicate with the outside world & they don’t even need to be sat at the pc.

Innovative service delivery

Category winner

Hull Statin Calculator

Eric Kilpatrick, Hull & East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust

2.5 million people in are currently prescribed statin drugs to control cardiovascular risk through its cholesterol lowering properties. There are 5 licensed statin drugs available, each with different efficacies and costs, for a GP to know how much statin to prescribe and which drug to use is more often based on guesswork. This invention is a spreadsheet that allows a GP to establish the correct statin dose for each patient and to review the most cost effective product to achieve the desired results.


Watch It

Mary Rudolf, Leeds East PCT

Watch It is a community programme for obese children and it aims to motivate kids and parents to lead healthy lifestyles thro’ a mix of individual appointments, counselling and group activity sessions. Kids of between 8 – 16 years of age attend a 12 month WATCH IT programme run by Health trainers who are individuals selected for personal qualities rather than with formal qualifications. There are a number of other innovative aspects to the programme the main one being it is run in the community and involves the community.


Early Communication Screening Tool

Margaret Pratt, Barnsley PCT

Research has shown that early intervention is paramount for prognosis and treatment of childhood communication problems. The Screening tool has been developed in to a complete package aimed at children from as young as 7 months up to 3.5 years age and ensures each child is referred appropriately for speech and language development.


Tai Chi as rehabilitation for patients with balance disorders

Samantha Lear, Sheffield Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Patients with balance disorders who are undergoing rehabilitation have found Tai Chi to be helpful to them improving balance and a rewarding social activity and it has helped the hospital reduce its waiting list.


The use of EPO to preoptimise patients before cardiax surgery

Sean Bennett, Debbie Pinchon, Jenny Rumsby and Carol Hargreaves, Hull & East Yorkshire Hospitals Trust

The idea was stimulated by the desire to reduce the amount of transfused blood being used on cardiac patients by use of EPO which is a natural stimulant of haemoglobin.

Gareth Lloyd Jones, Chairman of Medipex said, “We have once again seen innovation delivered from the very heart of Yorkshire and Humber ’s NHS.  With so many free thinkers throughout trusts across the region, its position at the forefront of innovation in Healthcare Technology will be secure for years to come.”