Honour for the innovators

A BLOOD testing technology that can significantly improve the effectiveness of antibiotics and a new development in the way clinical staff work with special needs children were among the winners at an innovation awards ceremony yesterday.

The Medipex NHS Innovation Awards, now in their fifth year, provide a platform to showcase new technology developed by the NHS.

They are backed by Medipex, the organisation that helps nurture the development and commercialisation of innovation within the region's NHS.

Tom Darton, of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, was joint winner in the Medical Devices and Diagnostics category for his blood testing tool to improve the effectiveness of antibiotics.

Andy Speechley, of Independent Care Products, and Avril McCarthy, of the NIHR Devices for Dignity HTC, also won for their Dignity mobile bidet/dryer commode. The blood testing tool for antibiotics reduces the time it takes to screen potentially infected blood from one-to-two days to four hours. Patients will receive the most effective antibiotic therapy at least 24 hours earlier than by current conventional methods.

The commode allows the disabled and elderly to clean themselves after using the toilet, providing a degree of independence to users even if they cannot access the bathroom.

Judith Short, of Sheffield Children's NHS Foundation Trust, won the Publications and Training Materials award for her work on improving the way staff communicate with special needs children.

The Software & ICT category saw Shawn Larson, of NHS Connecting for Health, take first place for a cutting edge tool to help train staff in x-ray and radiology procedures.

His Virtual Cath Lab (VCL) provides a real time 3D version of x-ray equipment and the clinical radiological procedure that can be controlled by the user and used on any PC.