NNUH staff win innovation awards

Staff at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital have won two awards in the 2010 Innovation Competition organised by Health Enterprise East (HEE), the NHS Innovation Hub for the East of England.

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust consultant radiologist Dr John Cockburn won first prize in the Medical Technology category for his Aura Device for increasing needle visibility in ultrasound, a simple, inexpensive, sterile and disposable item.

From the same trust, practice development nurse, Stevie Read won a runner-up prize in the Tackling Inequalities category for the idea of a liaison nurse for people with learning disabilities working in an acute NHS Trust, allowing specific health and safety needs to be addressed.

It is the second time Dr Cockburn has won an innovation award. In 2007, alongside Mr Simon Wemyss-Holden, consultant laparascopic and hepatobiliary surgeon, he won first prize in the medical devices category of the National NHS Innovation Awards for developing a pioneering procedure that “cooks cancers”.

Dr John Cockburn, interventional radiologist and Mr Simon Wemyss-Holden, laparascopic and hepatobiliary surgeon, won the award for their invention: Bimodal Electric Tissue Ablation (BETA). This is a new technique which destroys inaccessible tumours using an intriguing development of current practice (radio frequency ablation-RFA).

Prizes totalling £10,000 were presented to winners by the TV news anchorman Huw Edwards at a special Awards Dinner held on Wednesday 22nd September at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford.

The 2010 competition was open to staff working in all branches of the NHS throughout the region to put forward ideas for products and services which will benefit patients. This year it comprised five categories: Medical Technology, Software & ICT, Patient Safety, Moving Care Closer to Home and Tackling Inequalities. This year 65 entries were received.

Dr Anne Blackwood, HEE Chief Executive, said: “This is our sixth Annual Innovation Competition and we have been extremely impressed by the number and creativity of the entries we have received across the five categories.

“This year we have three new ones – Patient Safety, Moving Care Closer to Home and Tackling Inequalities – reflecting current healthcare priorities which have attracted a wide range of innovations to meet these particular challenges.

“I should like to thank everyone who has taken part in this year’s competition and also our sponsors whose generosity and support is very much appreciated.”

Notes to editors:

• Health Enterprise East Limited (HEE) is the NHS Innovation Hub in the East of England, supporting NHS staff across the six counties of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.

• Part of a National Network of nine NHS Innovations Hubs, HEE provides a broad range of professional IP management services to the NHS Trusts across the East of England to enable staff from all disciplines to identify, evaluate and take forward innovations – both products and services – which can benefit patients.

• HEE also provides services to commercial companies, facilitating access to NHS clinical, scientific and technical expertise to speed the development of new products and services. Advice can be provided on clinical evaluation of new medical devices and market research to support the adoption of new technologies. Licensing opportunities for NHS innovations are also publicised by HEE.

• Each year, HEE organises a high-profile Innovation Competition, inviting entries from NHS Trust staff across the region. In 2009, the fifth competition was held, attracting over 80 entries across five categories and with prize money totalling £20,000 to help winners develop their ideas.

• Based at Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire, HEE is funded by the NHS East of England, the Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) and East of England Development Agency (EEDA).

• Since it was established in 2004, HEE has commercialised over 30 innovations on behalf of NHS Trusts in the East of England. Potentially this could result in significant savings for the NHS.




Monday 27th of September 2010 05:00:19 PM