Staff honoured for providing best new ideas to improve patient care
HSC Innovations officially unveiled the top innovators across the Health and Social Care (HSC) Trusts on Tuesday 25th May and rewarded them for coming up with a raft of exciting new ideas to improve patient care.
All 60,000 HSC employees – from domestic assistants to surgeons – were challenged in March to put forward innovative ideas to transform healthcare or lead to vital medical breakthroughs as part of Northern Ireland’s first-ever Elevation Awards, organised by HSC Innovations.
A total of 12 finalists from across all five HSC trusts were chosen by an expert team of health and business specialists for the inaugural awards, which took place at Belfast’s La Mon Hotel. From these, three entries made the top grade in the specialist categories.
Stephen Wallace, an Infection Control Information Officer at the Southern Health and Social Care Trust, won top slot in the most competitive category, ICT Idea of the Year, for coming up with an innovative new way to help hospitals to keep tabs on cleaning and cut hospital-acquired infection rates.
Technical Instructor at the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, John McAuley, took the winning prize in the Equipment of the Year category devising a new product for use in occupational therapy that could save therapists valuable time and enhance patient care.
Belfast Health and Social Care Trust also took the lead in the Diagnostics and Pharmaceuticals Idea of the Year category when Clinical Scientist, Dr Derek Fairley, accepted the winning award for developing a novel molecular diagnostic tool which could help in the global fight against bacterial meningitis and septicaemia.
Dr David Brownlee, Innovation Adviser at HSC Innovations, said:
“Our congratulations go to each of the winners and all the finalists who were shortlisted for the first ever Elevation Awards. It’s vital that we keep coming up with new, exciting and innovative ways to address unmet clinical needs, and to develop solutions that will ultimately improve patient care. HSC Innovations provides a platform along with our industry and clinical partners to identify, protect and develop ideas towards commercialisation and implementation.”
The best overall entries from each of the five Trusts were also recognised, with Dr Philip Gardiner from the Western Trust, Patrick Maguire from the Northern Health and Social Care Trust and Rosemary Bird for South Eastern Trust all receiving accolades for their ideas. Stephen Wallace from the Southern Health and Social Care Trust also won again in this category, as did Dr Derek Fairley from the Belfast Trust for his submission.
Professor Bernie Hannigan Director of R&D for Health and Social Care said:
“The ideas put forward were really great. They demonstrate a huge range of skills and talent so we know that innovation to benefit patients is really possible all across the trusts. I hope that these new awards will encourage even more of our brilliant staff to take up the innovation challenge. I congratulate everybody on what they have achieved already. Now let’s keep the ideas flowing and use them to transform the services we deliver for our community.”
HSC Innovations is funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills through its Public Sector Research Exploitation (PSRE) fund, Health and Social Care Research and Development Division of the Public Health Agency (HSC R&D Division) and Invest Northern Ireland.