Staff from Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals are celebrating after beating other NHS trusts from across the region to win an innovation award for providing a pioneering, high-quality service for patients.
They won the regional Medipex NHS Innovation Awards for establishing a new, in-house manufacturing unit that creates custom-made devices for children and adults who need specialist support or stability for their bones and joints.
Previously, patients attending Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals had devices to support their feet and legs, known as orthoses, supplied from private companies, resulting in delayed treatment for patients and higher costs for the Trust.
Patients can now have same day repairs, with fewer clinical appointments, while still keeping their independence and mobility. They can also choose to have their orthotics made in a range of different patterns or colours.
Sarah Bowers, orthotist manager, said: “Using private manufacturers meant we were dependent on their timescales and commercial costs. That’s why we decided to do something totally different and set up our own unit with three highly-skilled orthotics technicians and an apprentice.
“Patients get a bespoke service. The technicians craft anything from tiny leg braces for toddlers with developmental conditions, to body braces for acute trauma and orthopaedic conditions. They also make a range of foot insoles and supports, all created to the perfect fit and level of comfort.”
Mike Pinkerton, Trust chief executive, said: “This is a great example of how innovation has given patients a much improved service, which is more responsive to their needs and at the same time more efficient and cost effective. Well done to our orthotics team.”
Medipex Ltd is the innovation hub for NHS organisations in Yorkshire and the Humber and the East Midlands. These awards highlight excellence in the use of technology and pioneering ideas by NHS staff to improve patient care and make services more efficient.
Pictured with the Medipex award are, left to right, Andrew Finfer, partner at Ward Hadaway; Mike Pinkerton, Trust chief executive; Sarah Bowers, orthotist manager; and TV presenter and NHS paediatrician Dr Ranj Singh.