Local NHS Trust clinician wins competition with novel innovation

A clinician from Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust has been named the winner of the first-ever ‘Innovation Voucher Competition’ launched in partnership with Medovate and Medipex.

Liam Stout, a Surgical Advanced Clinical Practitioner has been awarded an innovation voucher worth up to £5,000 to further develop his novel innovation for abscess management. The system seeks to reduce the need for surgery as part of the abscess management process, promoting faster recovery times and pain improvements for patients.

The pioneering concept uses a minimally invasive approach that can be carried out under local anaesthetic, thus reducing the need for operating theatre time and resources and surgical bed space.

Liam, who has worked for the Trust for 15 years, fought off competition from five other shortlisted clinical entrepreneurs to win. Entry to the competition was open exclusively to NHS employees from within Medipex’s member organisations across the Yorkshire & Humber and East Midlands regions.

Speaking about his achievement, Liam said: “I am extremely excited to now have additional support from Medovate and Medipex to develop this pioneering abscess management concept further. Traditional surgical intervention in the treatment of abscesses has been associated with increased pain, poor wound healing, poor aesthetic results and prolonged patient recovery through painful packing of the resulting wound. Therefore I hope that this new concept will holistically benefit this patient group and help to negate the recognised physical and psychological pitfalls in current management practices.”

Liam Stout is a Surgical Advanced Clinical Practitioner at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust

Acute abscess treatment often requires general anaesthesia, use of operating time and surgical bed space. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there is now a critical need to develop safe, effective, non-surgical options in the management of this condition.

In Western Europe, 0.5–0.6% of the population seeks treatment for cutaneous abscesses annually. In the UK, one study found the incidence of abscess or boil over a seventeen-year period was 512 and 387 per 100,000 people-years in females and males respectively.

The total costs related to treatment and management can be significant – one study alone which looked at one particular type of abscess estimated annual costs in the UK of £1.4–£2.5 million.

Robert Donald, Innovation and Licensing Officer at Medovate, said: “Developing promising ideas into a real-life product that can be successfully adopted by the NHS can be an incredibly daunting challenge which is why we wanted to launch this competition. Over the coming months, Medovate and Medipex will now work with Liam and his team at the Trust to use the £5k prize money to further the innovation, including further concept design and prototyping work. Watch this space!”

The Innovation Voucher Competition was exclusively open to NHS staff for them to submit their innovative ideas in the field of medical technology which has real potential for further development, specifically those designed to improve hospital or patient outcomes in the fields of surgery, emergency and critical care.

Dr Lindsay Georgopoulos, CEO of Medipex, added: “One of the greatest challenges that our NHS innovators face is obtaining financial support to de-risk early-stage ideas. This innovation voucher will allow Liam invaluable support to progress his idea, making it more attractive to grant funders and commercial partners and greatly enhancing the prospect of successfully taking a novel device to market”.

Medovate is a dynamic medical device company dedicated to manufacturing and bringing innovative medical technologies to market. In partnering with Medipex – an award-winning healthcare innovation hub that works closely with NHS inventors and clinical groups to develop healthcare innovations that deliver better patient care, improved services and generate cost savings – the two organisations will look to support new NHS-created medical device innovations through the full development cycle.

Want to find out more about research that’s happening in our local hospitals? Check out CHFT’s Research and Development pages here.

Also: Local NHS Research efforts feed into national success against COVID-19!

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