Delivering the Innovation Agenda
2006 - 2007
Foreword by Sir Miles Irving
British medical research, resulting and ways of improving the delivery of
from a programme of increasing services, but were put off taking them
funding to scientists and clinical forward because of the complexities
academics, is acknowledged as a of obtaining funding and exploiting
major international success story that their ideas.
appears set to continue.
It was for them that the Departments
The NHS Plan, recognising the of Health and Trade and Industry
importance of such activity, has established NHS Innovations with
declared that the NHS should be the creation of a network of nine
an organisation with innovation at Innovation Hubs tasked with the
the heart of its business, and should development of these bright ideas
ensure that innovations are identified and exploiting the associated
and developed in the interests of intellectual property.
Sir Miles Irving FRCS, FMed Sci patients and society as a whole.
Chairman, NHS Innovations North The result has been a wave of interest
In the process of encouraging and by the staff of the NHS, from which
developing this way of thinking, it many successful developments have
became apparent that a research arisen. In the financial year 2006-07,
gap existed in that the bright ideas 54 deals were executed, 36 patents
of large numbers of busy individuals filed and three new companies
working at the sharp end of service formed. This has confirmed that
delivery were not being exploited. the previously untapped source of
ground-breaking ideas is of financial
Doctors, nurses, therapists, laboratory benefit, has encouraged an evidence-
scientists, managers, porters and based approach throughout the NHS
some patients have all been amongst and has demonstrated to all the staff
those who could see new devices that their ideas matter.
Introduction by Dr Maire Smith
In spite of an average age of just Innovation within both Education and
four years, the nine NHS Innovation Commerce is already being delivered
Hubs are now exposing the culture by the Hubs through collaborative
of innovation that lies at the heart of research with universities, licences
the NHS and the creative potential and new companies. By working
that exists amongst its staff. This collegiately in marketing, training,
report captures numerous examples IT, university collaboration and
of that creativity. governance, the Hubs are helping
build the knowledge economy in the
The Hubs are also realising the field of Healthcare innovation.
commercial potential within that
creativity and ensuring that the Working alongside their local
rewards are retained in the NHS for partners, the Hubs are helping to
the benefit of the service and patients. bring about transformational change
Dr Maire Smith During the year, the Hubs doubled in the NHS, attracting recognition
Executive Director, Technology and their commercial deals and yielded in the form of national and regional
Product Innovation, NHS Institute dividends from innovative technology awards. They are also building
for Innovation and Improvement
in the form of improved effectiveness national links with the devolved
and efficiency for patients, cost administrations of Wales, Scotland
savings benefits and, in some cases, and Northern Ireland and, with the
income generation for local Trusts. National Innovation Centre, starting
to share best practice internationally.
The work of the Innovation Hubs
embodies the priorities in the The Innovation Hubs are well placed
Government’s 10-year Science on the innovation landscape, with a
and Innovation investment plan. productive future to help accelerate
Recent Government emphasis on change at the local level.
NHS Innovation Hubs
NHS Innovations East
NHS Innovations North
NHS Innovations East Midlands
NHS Innovations South East
NHS Innovations West Midlands
NHS Innovations North West
NHS Innovations Yorkshire and Humber
NHS Innovations London
NHS Innovations South West
April 2006 – March 2007
• The major categories for innovations are medical diagnostics and laboratory,
ICT and software, publications, therapeutics and drug delivery, and medical
devices and equipment.
• The Hubs filed thirty-six patents during the year.
• Fifty-four deals were agreed. These include the first deal from the Hubs’
presence at the 38th World Forum for Medicine, MEDICA, the world’s largest
medical technologies trade fair.
• The technology behind the company spun out by NHS Innovations North,
Pulse Diagnostics, won the Technology Innovation category in the Health and
Social Care Awards.
• Three new companies were formed based on NHS Intellectual Property and
• Leeds Reproductive Biosciences Limited
• EPAQ Systems Limited
• NuovoPROBE Limited
• During the year the Hubs had approximately 1,000 projects under review.
• Over two thirds of the projects under review were technology-related. Of the
third of projects that were service-related, most had commercial potential.
• NHS Innovations East Midlands won the ‘Service Award’ category, in the
Health and Social Care Award, for their Enuresis e-learning package.
• The Hubs are building stronger links with the university sector, and have put
in place a system of agreements to cover work and jointly owned IP from
• Eighty-two people are employed by the nine regional NHS Innovation Hubs.
The Hubs cover a population of almost 680,000 clinical staff across England.
• The NIC is working with the Hubs to strengthen further their governance
systems and metrics to develop even more robust and professional services.
NHS Innovations East
NHS Innovations East is looking back Capable of being inserted up to ten
on another exciting and successful times faster than current devices,
twelve months and looks forward it will be particularly useful when
to capitalising on its productive first emergency lung isolation is needed,
two years. such as in field situations, as well as in
general and thoracic surgery.
In that period there have been more
than 70 innovation disclosures. Among Potential savings are impressive: for
the 10 so far commercialised are new elective procedures treatment costs
diagnosis and treatment devices, will be halved, while for trauma
equipment to increase hospital hygiene, situations there is nothing comparable
and fresh approaches to medical on the market and IP protection is in
practices. Registrations of Intellectual place in the UK, US, EU, China, India
Property and development fund and Japan. Following Medica, P3-
expenditure have continued to grow, Medical signed a nine-month option
both of which will help mature the to negotiate an exclusive licence and
project portfolio to commercialisation, to help with IP-related costs during
including four that are expected to clinical trials at Papworth. CE marking
reach that stage in Q1 2007-08. should follow.
With income from commercialisation Simon Talbot, the company’s managing
increasing, and being returned to the director, said: “The opportunity
NHS, NHS Innovations East plans its to deal directly with professionals
continuing evolution by promoting experienced in technology transfer is
licensing opportunities to the wider a great example of how the NHS and
business sectors in the UK and overseas. the private sector can co-operate to
facilitate innovation in patient care.”
In 2006-07 considerable worldwide
interest was shown in a novel The unsightly effects of scarring
endotracheal tube designed by Dr following surgery, trauma and burns
Sunit Ghosh, a consultant anaesthetist could be reduced significantly by a
at Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation new technique involving a single,
Trust. When NHS Innovations East precisely-timed insulin injection. In a
featured it at Medica 2006, the research breakthrough which could
world’s largest medical and healthcare benefit millions of people annually,
trade fair, it made a big impression the use of insulin to reduce levels of
on P3-Medical Limited, a UK-based scar tissue is being developed by Dr
devices manufacturer. Claire Linge, Group Leader in Cell
Biology at the Research Institute, further development of the software
Northwood, Middlesex. Preliminary tool to build strategic alliances with
clinical trials have produced promising other software solutions and increase
results and the technique, for which a the number of care pathways.
patent is pending, will be progressing
into full-scale clinical trials during the The Innovations Hub is an honorary
coming year. member of i10, an organisation
that provides businesses with easy
NHS Innovations East is assisting Dr access to the academic expertise and
Linge with the patent application facilities within universities and higher
and negotiating with pharmaceutical education institutions in the East of
companies to progress the research England.
into large-scale trials.
The Hub has also supported inventors
at the East of England SHA in the
development of ‘scenario modelling’
software that determines the level
of healthcare provision required as
the population size, demographic
and mechanism of service provision
NHS Innovations East established
ownership of the intellectual property, The opportunity
as this was dispersed between a to deal directly
number of NHS stakeholders, and
negotiated the development of the
scenario generator software with experienced in
Simul8 Corporation on behalf of the technology transfer is
SHA. This included joint ownership a great example of how
of the software, 200 free licences
the NHS and the private
to Simul8’s platform technology (to
be used by the NHS) and a royalty sector can co-operate to
on commercial sales of the software facilitate innovation in
outside the NHS in England. patient care.
The NHS Institute for Innovation
Simon Talbot, MD P-3 Medical
and Improvement (NHSIII) is funding
NHS Innovations North
Hub Director Dr Richard Hoare has 2005 with his tracheosophageal valve
a clear message for NHS innovators cleaner (more colloquially, the ‘flush
in the North East: “IP is an asset that brush’), a device that raises the quality
must be looked after, so don’t be of life of post-laryngectomy patients
suspicious of us - use us”. by improving the cleaning of voice
There is plenty of evidence that
his words are heard. Since NHS NHS Innovations North patented the
Innovations North was established in device and licensed it to manufacturer
2002, 10 products have been brought Novagen, which is now seeking
to market, including most recently a distribution opportunities through
blood tag label reader, a paediatric market leaders in the ENT arena.
imaging chair, a hand splint and a
urine flow meter. HDA medium, a test for antibiotic-
resistant strains of MRSA and other
So far the Hub has favoured licensing micro-organisms, won the regional
as the route for exploiting technology NHS Bright Ideas in Health Awards
transfer, although it expects to see 2006 for its inventor, Dr Michael Ford,
spin-outs and joint ventures increase Operational Services Manager at
in number. Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital. Halving
the standard diagnosis time, the HDA
Pulse Diagnostics was its first spin- medium is now patent pending in the
out, which it set up in April 2006 UK and internationally. Six overseas
with Newcastle-upon-Tyne Hospitals diagnostics companies are interested in
NHS Foundation and venture capital manufacturing it and a deal is awaited.
partner Exomedica, to commercialise
a low-cost, non-invasive arterial In the last six years, Occupational
disease detection system. With Therapist Philip Renforth has made
potentially significant cost savings for and used well over 3,000 neoprene
the NHS and promising overseas sales splints at Wansbeck General Hospital,
opportunities, the Hub is now seeking Ashington. Now his guide to making
additional funding for clinical testing simple, cost-effective and user-friendly
and evaluation. splints is being sold on ennovations.
co.uk, the e-commerce website that
Peter Samuel, Consultant ENT NHS Innovations North runs jointly
Surgeon at Sunderland Royal Hospital, with the North West and Yorkshire
approached Innovations North in and Humber Hubs.
An Occupational Health Officer, Lynn
Pattinson at the County Durham
and Darlington Acute NHS Trust, has
come up with a novel stool designed
to eliminate muscle pain experienced
by professionals, such as midwives,
who work at a low level. NHS
Innovations North has protected the
stool through a registered design, and
it has now been successfully licensed
to MDTi - a leading UK medical
goods manufacturer. The Hub is
supporting preliminary trials and, on
launch, the product will be available
to other UK Trusts as well as the wider
healthcare market, with the potential
of improving occupational back care
for clinicians in a broad range of
With more innovations under
development, venture capital
partner, Exomedica, has offered
NHS Innovations North £1 million to
invest in further spin-outs. Alternative A test for antibiotic-
sources of venture capital are also resistant strains of MRSA
being considered for other potential
and other micro-organisms
projects, including a method of
is halving the standard
automating the haemodialysis
of premature babies (in which diagnosis time. The HDA
a Malaysian company is already medium is now patent
interested), a diagnostic blood test, pending in both the UK
an eye diagnostic and an IT-based and internationally. Six
training and communications system
for NHS staff.
companies are interested
in manufacturing it and a
deal is awaited.
NHS Innovations East Midlands
Patients of all ages are now When Derby Hospitals occupational
benefiting from the medical devices, therapist Jan Nicholson wanted
therapeutics, diagnostics, software to develop her idea of a low-cost
and service delivery improvements book page-turner for children
that NHS Innovations East Midlands with disabilities, local Rolls Royce
has helped develop during the past apprentices agreed to take it on, but
four years. were unable to make a prototype.
The project was then transferred
Some innovations, however, are to NHS Innovations East Midlands,
specifically designed for children. which brought in REMAP, a charity
‘All About Nocturnal Enuresis’, whose retired engineers and
for instance, is a novel e-learning craftsmen make working prototypes
package that won a Care of Children of equipment for the disabled free
Award in 2006. of charge. After resolving a number
of deficiencies, they produced a
Originally a Nottingham University successful version and Nottingham
Hospitals Children’s Clinic-based Rehab Supplies is now selling the
support project, NHS Innovations product through its catalogue.
East Midlands took it over and
helped develop it into a ‘must-have’ In 2006 the Hub identified an
facility for paediatricians, GPs, health international company with a
visitors, child psychologists, nursery significant problem sourcing human
school teachers and parents. Enuresis tissue to support its research.
nurses in particular have praised the Leicester Bone Bank is the largest
packs highly. hospital-based repository of bone
for transplant in the UK and has a
With all IP rights protected, packs are robust and well regulated system for
now being made available through the harvesting and processing surplus
charity ERIC (Education and Resources bone. The East Midlands Hub
for Improving Childhood Continence), facilitated the relationship between
and Nottingham Rehab Supplies is the two parties and provided advice
taking a licence and will feature it in on how to allow the legal transfer
its 2008 catalogue for international of samples to the company. This has
sale. A spoken option is available for helped support the not-for-profit work
children with poor reading skills, and it at the bone bank as well as move
has even been translated into Gujerati forward the company’s research into
for use in India. regenerative medicine.
Anyone can benefit from a Derby
hand surgeon’s idea of a plastic sleeve
that allows a patient’s arm to be
sterilised before he or she goes into
the operating theatre. NHS Innovations
East Midlands obtained patent
protection and then asked Medex
(part of Smiths Medical) to produce
a prototype. Medex is now licensed
to market the sleeve to the NHS.
Meanwhile, discussions are taking
place about a similar sleeve for legs.
RaDOS (Research and Development
Operating System), a professional
and accurate way of managing
the requirements of the Research
Governance Framework for Health and
Social Care and R&D support funding,
is the result of two years’ work by a
team at Broxtowe & Hucknall PCT.
Other NHS Trusts are now buying a
generic version for local adaptation.
Anyone can benefit
from a Derby hand
surgeon’s idea of a
plastic sleeve that
allows a patient’s
arm to be sterilised
before he or she
goes into the
NHS Innovations South East
“It can seem a long and daunting task rheumatoid arthritis treatments,
getting new technologies adopted EvaluLogix is expected to save the NHS
by the NHS.” For delegates attending hundreds of thousands of pounds.
the Hub’s Practical Partnerships in
Healthcare symposium in December Former Health Minister, Lord Hunt of
2006, this might have sounded Kings Heath, was clearly impressed,
rather a discouraging theme. They calling it “A wonderful example of
soon discovered, however, that the innovation from within the NHS being
intention was to firmly demolish such developed in partnership with the
a perception. private sector for the benefit of all.
The role of NHS Innovations South
They heard that, although an East in this process has been crucial.
innovation could take several years to Their work shows that staff within the
reach the market, no-one in the NHS NHS are often best placed to identify
with a good idea should be dissuaded needs and come up with creative
from approaching their Hub as the first solutions”. Development partner EPS
step towards turning it into reality. Research is now marketing EvaluLogix
in the UK.
Indeed, as Chief Executive, John
Stedman, felt confident enough to Another novel service developed
say soon after taking up his role in during the year uses state-of-the-art
early 2007: “We have developed credit card-sized tracking devices for
a significant pipeline of projects dementia patients. Not only does
and established good working it allow them to live in their homes
relationships with NHS innovators and longer, but can quickly locate them if
management that provide a good they do wander off.
foundation for 2007-08”.
Dr. Rupert McShane, Consultant
One of several completed licensing and Honorary Senior Lecturer in Old
deals was that with Roche, the global Age Psychiatry with Oxfordshire and
pharmaceutical giant, for EvaluLogix, Buckinghamshire Mental Health
pioneering anti-TNF (tumour necrosis Partnership NHS Trust, brought this
factor) software invented by Dr Raashid idea to NHS Innovations South East,
Luqmani, Consultant Rheumatologist which then brokered a partnership
at Oxford’s Nuffield Orthopaedic between the NHS and GPS technology
Centre. By radically simplifying experts, FollowUs Ltd. After
the complex process of assessing refinement, the product is now being
a patient’s suitability for advanced marketed throughout the UK.
Recent licence agreements included
one on behalf of Portsmouth Hospitals
NHS Trust for ALERT® (Acute Life-
threatening Events - Recognition and
Treatment), a one-day training course
now being used globally.
Also from Portsmouth came Vitalpac,
a handheld software system enabling
clinical staff to monitor and track in
real time the progress of acutely ill
patients in hospital. The benefits are
improved patient care and better use
of hospital resources.
By radically simplifying
the complex process
of assessing a patient’s
suitability for advanced
is expected to save
the NHS hundreds of
thousands of pounds.
NHS Innovations West Midlands
David Gleaves, Chief Executive of the help of Professor Serguei Semenov
NHS Innovations West Midlands, of Keele University. Potential investors
summarises his Hub’s role as: “The were identified and the Hub then
interface between the NHS and the worked closely with the inventors,
commercial world. Our insight is the investors, the Trust and Keele
unique. Whether your idea is complex in the formation of NuovoPROBE
or simple, we are interested - it could Ltd, dedicated to the technology’s
well make a difference. And when commercialisation. NuovoPROBE is
we think an idea can be developed, now actively seeking funding from the
we always pass the baton to the best EU and other sources.
runner”. Proof is not hard to find.
Professor Spiteri said: “The Hub has
Some of the innovations licensed supported and assisted both the Trust
during the year were brought to the and myself continuously through what
Hub’s attention through its annual has proved to be a long and complex
innovation awards. One example was process towards commercialisation.
a novel application of a safe in-situ This is new and unfamiliar territory
imaging technique called Optical for us, and I have no hesitation in
Coherence Tomography (OCT) for stating that, without their specialist
the screening and diagnosis of lung expertise and involvement, it would
and other cancers, pioneered by a not have been possible to progress
team of clinicians and scientists led by the innovation to this stage”.
Professor Monica Spiteri at University
Hospital of North Staffordshire. If such an innovation represents the
complex end of the scale, then few
Using a database of OCT images and could be much simpler than the
the corresponding histology images, ‘dressing loop’ from Catherine Sykes,
surgeons will be able to determine deputy head of the occupational
exactly which tissue needs to be therapy service at University Hospital
removed, thus reducing the number Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.
of cases where cancerous tissue In the screw-top container is a large
remains and therefore the amount of elastic band which, under guidance
post-operative treatment required. from an occupational therapist, a
patient must be able to remove,
Initially, NHS Innovations West put both feet through, and bring
Midlands filed a patent to protect up the body and over the head.
not just the original IP, but also Success means that he or she can be
subsequent improvements made with discharged.
For around a fifth of patients needing
to be assessed before discharge, this
reduces the length of time the pre-
discharge assessment takes, meaning
they can go home more quickly and
free up beds for others - evidence that
simplicity is no barrier to ideas that
save time and give value for money.
This innovation has been licensed to
Nottingham Rehab Supplies, which
plans to market it with a CD for use
by occupational therapists.
Catherine said: “I never thought I’d
be classed as an inventor. I’m thrilled
that this invention is now about to
become a commercial product that
could help occupational therapists and
patients around the country, or even
I never thought I’d be
classed as an inventor. I’m
thrilled that this invention
is now about to become a
commercial product that
could help occupational
therapists and patients
around the country, or
even the world.
Catherine Sykes, innovator
NHS Innovations North West
NHS Innovations North West into the skull and spine for
(TrusTECH ) has developed a wealth
administering pain relief.
of experience in the management of IP
from the NHS to improve healthcare. In response to the growing number
of companies and universities seeking
Using its specialised knowledge, it appraisal of new medical devices and
continues to provide a service to medicinal products, NHS Innovations
regional NHS Trusts to maximise North West has been developing
the potential of their innovations a web-based clinical expertise and
and ideas and develop them into trial database.
successful products and services. As a
result, patient care improves and the The database, known as ACTNoW®,
Trusts and innovators benefit from the holds information on clinical staff in
revenue generated. the region with a proven capacity to
undertake clinical trials. Information
During the year under review, for includes the expertise from NHS Trust
example, a consultant ENT surgeon and Clinical Trial Units, Research
at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Networks, university and local
Trust, motivated by the lack of an Research Ethics Committees and PCTs
appropriate training aid, came to from across the region.
NHS Innovations North West with a
plaster of Paris prototype of a human ACTNoW® has 900 registered
head with a realistic replaceable nose individuals or organisations interested
structure. The model allows doctors in taking part in clinical trials, and
and students to practise rhinoplasty, the Hub continues to collect data
the common yet complex procedure through on-line registration. In 2006,
popularly known as a ‘nose job’. TrusTECH® began to work with two
other Innovation Hubs to develop one
Having first protected the IP, NHS resource for the North of England.
Innovations North West identified a
Kent-based company, Adam,Rouilly Key users of ACTNoW® are
Ltd, as a potential manufacturer, and universities, Strategic Health
agreed licence terms. Authorities, and the pharma and
medical device industries to gain
In a similar development, Adam, direct access to clinical expertise.
Rouilly also made a manikin that
allows doctors and students to Thanks to ACTNoW®, a greater
practise accurate needle placement number of clinical trials are now
taking place across the North West, December 2006, the gown has been
resulting in better patient outcomes. extensively promoted, generating
The database has increased revenue orders from Trusts nationwide and
for the Trusts, fostered a closer hospitals overseas.
working relationship with industry and
is helping build NHS research capacity With backing from North West
and capability. Development Agency, NHS
Innovations North West acquired the
NHS Innovations North West, jointly franchise for, and has taken over the
with the University of Manchester, management of, Medilink North West
also negotiated and signed an in order to develop a viable business
options licence for a novel pelvic floor support network for the North West
stimulation device undergoing clinical medical technology community.
trials in Autumn 2007.
The Hub is also looking at the use of
essential oils as an active ingredient
in body washes for use by immuno-
compromised patients, and as a
preservative in other general cosmetic
products. License negotiations are
now taking place.
Of course, innovations do not
necessarily have to be medical devices, Thanks to ACTNoW®, a
as demonstrated by the modesty- greater number of clinical
protecting hospital gown designed by trials are now taking place
Karen Jacob, Linen Services Manager
across the North West,
at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS
resulting in better patient
outcomes. The database has
Following initial market research, increased revenue for the
NHS Innovations North West Trusts, has fostered a closer
managed the IP issues, selected West
working relationship with
Yorkshire-based Interweave Textiles
industry and is helping build
Ltd to make the gown, and handled
negotiations and legal agreements NHS research capacity and
between it and the Trust. Launched in capability.
NHS Innovations Yorkshire and Humber
Richard Clark, CEO of NHS In November 2006 the Hub formed
Innovations Yorkshire and Humber, EPAQ Systems Ltd to commercialise
(Medipex) believes that success breeds software for an interactive personal
success. Indeed, ideas for commercial assessment questionnaire for women
activity, on which the Hub focuses, with pelvic floor problems. Developed
continue to be plentiful, with nearly by Dr Stephen Radley, also from
20 deals, including three spin-outs, so Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Trust, and
far completed, and a fourth pending. systems designers Illuminaries Ltd, it
enables patients - even those with no
The first spin-out was Aperio pc experience - to answer questions
Diagnostic Ltd in March 2006, on screen and print a diagnostic
which the Hub set up with fellow report. Forty UK hospitals intend to
shareholders Exomedica (an early- order it and it has been acclaimed
stage innovation developer), Sheffield internationally, particularly in the US.
Teaching Hospital and Biofusion.
The device in question is a cervical A new spin-out company, Imagel
cancer probe that gives an immediate Ltd, is to be formed to market a true
answer with 90 per cent accuracy, 3-D dosimeter developed by the
developed by Dr John Tidy, Consultant Hull and East Yorkshire NHS Trust,
Gynaecologist at Sheffield Teaching and York and Hull universities. The
Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and device is now being trialled at leading
Emeritus Professor Brian Brown, from radiotherapy centres and is expected
the University of Sheffield’s Medical to be available commercially soon.
The Hub has also co-invested in
Multi-centre clinical trials and the Leeds Reproductive Bioscience Ltd to
regulatory processes required for develop a novel diagnostic tool for
UK and overseas marketing are improving success rates of in-vitro
now taking place, while a simpler fertilisation procedures.
version is being considered for
developing countries. The fact that some hospital staff
find lifting heavy drip bags quite
Dr Mark Fisher, Exomedica’s challenging could soon change
Technology Director, said: “This following the development of an
development demonstrates how ergonomically superior, motorised
collaboration between the academic drip-stand. Based on an original
sector and the NHS can generate a design by the Medical Engineering
truly disruptive technology”. section of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust, it has been
licensed to manufacturer Pavillion
Medical Ltd, UK.
The acronym IRPS will undoubtedly
become increasingly familiar. Standing
for Interactive Radiotherapy Planning
for Students, this on-line system
fills an important training gap and
makes expensive support systems
unnecessary. First it shows users how
isodose distributions are produced,
then tests their newly acquired
The idea was developed by Drs John
Conway and Stephen Tozer-Loft and
a team from the Radiotherapy Physics
Department at Sheffield’s Weston Park
Hospital. IRPS is being sold worldwide
on line through the e-commerce
In an interesting departure from
mainstream activity, an MBA student
is currently assessing the commercial
potential of this website for his demonstrates how
MBA dissertation. The website was
designed by the Innovation Hub for
products emerging from the NHS, and the academic sector
is shared with the other two Northern
and the NHS can
generate a truly
Dr Mark Fisher, Technology
NHS Innovations London
NHS Innovations London (NHSIL) has products to the ATAG™ device at the
made good progress in its first year, moment and the Hub believes that
following the merger of the four it could help address a significant
London hubs into one. It assembled market, save thousands of lives each
a strong team, devised and launched year and generate valuable income for
its Xpedite IP management system,
™ the Trust.
and built a full portfolio of invention
disclosures, even receiving as many The market for devices used in hole-
as15 on one extraordinary day. in-the-heart surgery has been valued
at many millions, but there are many
Fourteen products are in development issues surrounding the function of
with four products already current products. NHSIL is project
undergoing preliminary clinical trials, managing a design programme for
and, of 19 in business development, a new foramen ovale device from an
licences for nine are being negotiated. interventional cardiologist’s idea. The
Five potential company start-ups are Hub is gradually building a significant
under review, of which two are at the portfolio of cardiac devices.
business planning stage.
Sepsis remains one of medicine’s most
One of the start-ups is PerQtech ™ difficult and devastating conditions,
based on an ascending thoracic aorta accounting for 27 per cent of the UK’s
graft (ATAG ) system, developed by
™ intensive care admissions. Of these,
Professor Martin Rothman of Barts more than 20 per cent die. AGL1 is
and the London NHS Trust. NHS a potential revolutionary therapeutic
Innovations London is now working for inflammatory disease developed
with third parties to develop and trial by Dr Gareth Ackland and Alexander
a prototype, ahead of clinical trials in Gourine of University College London
2008/09. Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and
University College London.
Chief Executive, David Chilvers, said:
“We took Professor Rothman’s idea Working closely with the inventors,
and, with partners, designed and NHS Innovations London has
developed the product from scratch protected AGL1’s IP in the UK and
in nine months. We have proved internationally and it is currently
that NHSIL can accelerate the pace undergoing pre-clinical evaluation.
of development of such innovations, First-stage venture financing and
which means that they reach patients contract manufacture for Phase 1
sooner”. There are no alternative clinical trials will follow. AGL1 has
an estimated annual market value taking place for the first six products,
of £700 million. If successful in including a Patient Public Involvement
clinical trials, AGL1 offers the Trust a (PPI) Toolkit for Practice Based
significant potential income. Commissioning and an Electronic
Team Tool for speeding up audits using
In 2006 the Hub assisted in setting up Health Commission standards. Both
a test centre for the remote monitoring are from Wandsworth PCT. There is
of childhood epilepsy. The condition also a Client Data Collection System
is difficult to diagnose and the side (CDCS) for Psychological Services from
effects of the wrong treatment are Newham PCT, and LetterMaker, which
significant. The wireless web-browser is an add-on to i-Soft ICM from Kings
was developed by the Great Ormond College Hospital NHS Foundation
Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust.
Trust, and enables consultants to
remotely monitor epileptic children Three London PCTs are currently
in their home. Its benefits include using new web-based Procurement
an improvement in patient life Management Analysis Software
quality, greater accuracy of results, (PUMA) for seamless reporting of data
faster clinical decision-making and a for Practice Based Commissioning
reduction in Trust costs, with sales and of healthcare services, developed by
consulting fees capable of generating Enfield PCT.
valuable potential revenues.
Other significant reductions in
After receiving £19k Proof of Concept administrative workload come
funding, the Trust’s Dr Stewart Boyd from CABI (Computer Assisted The Hub believes
said: “NHS Innovations London is also Brief Intervention), a web-based
giving invaluable support helping us system for Quit-Smoking Services that a device, such
to find and negotiate with possible healthcare professionals, and E-HR,
as ATAG™, could
commercial partners”. a web-based HR Administration
tool from the Barts and the help address a
With the support of its Steering London NHS Trust.
Group of London Trust Chief
Executives, NHSIL is acting as a save thousands of
conduit to disseminate new software
lives each year and
developments. The resulting
prevention of replication will lead to generate valuable
considerable savings and efficiencies
for the NHS. Currently installations are
income for the Trust.
NHS Innovations South West
Since April 2006, NHS Innovations their agreement is crucial to an
South West (NISW) has worked initiative worth progressing.”
on over 120 projects, some of
which are being progressed to Catherine Boyce, a TIL in
licence opportunity and some to Gloucestershire, agrees: “One of the
commercialisation with partners key benefits of the South Western
via alternative routes to market. model is that, as well as developing
The projects range widely, from our own skills and knowledge in the
sophisticated medical devices and field of innovation, we have well-
NHS-focused software products to established contacts within the Trusts,
novel training materials. and many of the innovators we come
across are also our colleagues”.
Working closely with Pera, an
international innovation consultancy, One innovation, now with MDTi for
NISW is driving innovation in the commercialisation, is the IV ‘Sty’,
region through a network of nine Trust invented by Sam McDonald, a nurse
Innovation Leaders (TILs), based in with Cornwall and Isles of Scilly PCT.
leading hospitals. NISW’s eight-month Her device overcomes the problems
training programme, delivered by Pera caused when, in some traditional intra-
and tailored for the NHS, educates venous sets, the second, or ‘piggy-
TILs in how to promote, develop back’, drip line becomes detached
and manage innovation and cultural from the other. Sam’s ‘sty’ keeps the
change within their own Trust. ‘piggy-back’ in place.
The TILs are supported by a full-time Gloucestershire Royal Hospital is
innovation ‘coach’. NISW staff have pioneering Raman spectroscopy, a
extensive experience in intellectual novel technique for real-time early
property evaluation and commercial diagnosis of cancer.
exploitation. Its two business
development managers both come Dr Nicholas Stone, the hospital’s
from the private sector and understand Consultant Clinical Scientist/Head of
markets and how to reach them. Biophotonics Research, comments:
“The Hub’s support, through the
Hub Chief Executive Maria Hassard TILs, has been invaluable in enabling
says: “An appropriately skilled NHS us to develop stronger commercial
workforce is better able to spot the partnerships and negotiate agreements
right projects for development. We and patents Their positive approach
work closely with the Trusts because made us feel our work is useful to the
NHS, giving us greater vigour to move
forward with taking these ideas closer
to reality in the clinic”.
The Be-Smart cart, conceived by
Kathryn Smith, Lead Occupational
Therapist with Cornwall Partnerships
Trust, is a mobile, fully self-contained
sensory room offering a personalised
environment of lights, colours, sounds,
smells and items to touch.
With the assistance of NHS Innovations
South West and the backing of
Cornwall Partnerships Trust, Kathryn
has now established a ‘spin-out’
business to exploit commercially this,
and other IP, to the benefit of the NHS.
Her work has been recognised by the
Medical Futures Innovation Awards
and by Stannah Stairlifts, who made
her Occupational Therapist of the Year.
The Hub’s support, through
the TILs, has been invaluable
in enabling us to develop
partnerships and negotiate
agreements and patents.
Their positive approach made
us feel our work is useful to
the NHS, giving us greater
vigour to move forward with
taking these ideas closer to
reality in the clinic.
Dr Nicholas Stone, Consultant
Case Study: Odstock Medical Ltd
The company the Trust on a part-time basis.
Odstock Medical Ltd (OML) is one of
the first NHS commercial companies The Foundation Trust owns the patents
in England. Owned by Salisbury NHS for the FES products, although they are
Foundation Trust, it is based at Salisbury licensed to OML. The Trust has invested
District Hospital near Odstock, Wiltshire. in personnel, new product development
The company was launched in June 2007. and refurbishment of a headquarters
building on the hospital site, but leaves
OML produces functional electronic the company to run itself on a day-to-day
stimulation (FES) devices, including basis.
the successful Odstock Dropped Foot
Stimulator (ODFS), invented in the 1980s All OML staff who have worked in the
by Prof Ian Swain and Dr Paul Taylor of the Trust’s Medical Physics Department for
Trust’s Medical Physics Department. two years or more are stakeholders in the
company. The majority shareholding lies
The device can help people who have with the Trust. The hospital’s charitable
suffered stroke, cerebral palsy and MS, trustees own 18 percent and the staff 12
walk more easily. It has helped to change percent.
the lives of approximately 6,000 people
to date and OML believes there are about Chairman Barry Bull commented: “There is
200,000 people in the UK and hundreds of no expectation for anyone to get rich, just
thousands globally who could benefit from to plough revenue back into patient care.
the device. Indeed, we do not expect there will be a
dividend for some time; all surpluses will
Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust Finance go into research and marketing.”
Director Malcolm Cassells said: “Over the
years we recognised the massive potential Marketing
of the FES as a therapeutic treatment, but Perceived restrictions on ‘advertising’ by
knew that it needed to be able to stand NHS trusts initially made marketing the
alone, independent from the Trust, so products difficult, but the formation of a
that it did not have to compete with other company specifically to market and further
departments for Trust resources.” develop FES technology overcame many of
The 25 strong OML team is being built
around Prof Swain, a director of the The company marketing strategy has
company, and Dr Taylor, both of whom been to target patients and primary care
continue to treat patients. CEO, Jon Lewis, trusts. A magazine advertising campaign
was formerly MD of a medical products targeted MS and stroke sufferers. People
company. The Trust has appointed two responding to the ads received an
directors, Malcolm Cassells and non- information pack and two booklets, one
executive director, Barry Bull, a former for patients and one for doctors. Patients
senior executive of Unilever. Most of the cannot access FES without a referral from
team are seconded to the company from their GP or consultant for a suitability
assessment to ensure that FES is an
appropriate treatment for their condition.
OML notes the areas in which interest
among patients is high and contacts the
relevant PCTs to inform them of their
patients’ enquiries and advise them about
FES if it is new to them.
After five weeks OML had received 1,000
enquiries from patients, trusts and PCTs.
Barry Bull, said: “Many trusts at NHS
Confederation were very interested to
see what can be done within the NHS.
We were able to explain that we are
working to the same disciplines that we
always have in the NHS; that nothing
has changed except the opening up of
opportunities to share the benefits of FES
with many more people.”
Chief Executive, Jon Lewis, said: “It is an
opportunity to take a fresh look at the
Trust’s income streams. While DH funding
will continue to be the main income for
any FT, it is important for them to consider
ways of opening up new income streams
such as commercialising innovations from The Dropped Foot Stimulator enables patients with a dropped
staff. OML has a close relationship with the foot to walk further, faster, safer and more easily. By applying
innovation hub, NHS Innovations South
small electrical pulses to nerves which supply a paralysed muscle,
West, in pursuing this goal”.
FES can cause the muscle to contract. It has helped patients with
He added: “There’s a big difference
conditions such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy,
between privatising and commercialising.
We are commercialising a product that will Parkinson’s Disease and some spinal cord injuries.
help thousands of patients. Profits are not
going to some London bank but back into
patient care and the development of more The stimulation is applied using skin surface electrodes or an
new products.” implanted device and is controlled by a footswitch placed under
the heel, which detects when the patient begins to lift the foot
off the ground and when the heel returns to the ground.
Case Study: Sheffield Knight Table
The SKT is an operating table the SKT has an upper and lower
accessory from Sheffield Teaching frame with adjustable knee rest that
Hospital NHS Foundation Trust that allows powered manoeuvrability in
addresses spinal access. a controlled fashion by means of a
hand controller and battery powered
The Problem actuator.
A leading orthopaedic surgeon had
identified a need for a specialist The Hub provided a project
piece of equipment to attach to the management service to ensure all
operating table to assist with minimal parties were kept informed of design
invasive spinal surgery techniques. issues and progress. it also made
During this form of spinal surgery the sure that the creative input of the
patient is semi-aware and lies face Clinical Engineering Department
down in a prone position to provide (Intellectual Property) was reflected in
the surgeon with access to the surgical the subsequent agreement reached
site. It is usually necessary to raise, with the surgeon over royalties on
lower or tilt the patient to provide easy future sales of SKT. Because this is
access to the spine. The surgeon had a specialised market the quantity
an existing design for this specialised of units sold is unlikely to be large,
accessory, not found on a standard although each unit is of relatively
table. This proved the equipment’s high value. In consultation with
potential but was still not satisfactory, the Innovation Hub, the Clinical
so he approached Sheffield Teaching Engineering Department acted as
Hospitals Clinical Engineering the manufacturer and CE marked
Department and NHS Innovations the product with appropriate
Yorkshire & Humber to see if an product liability insurance in place.
improved table could be developed. The Hub also produced a brochure
and undertook marketing support.
The result is the Sheffield Knight Table The result is an innovative product,
(SKT). The SKT is fully portable, can designed and developed within a
be easily stored when not required clinical environment incorporating
and is designed as an accessory input from theatre staff, infection
for any operating table equipped control nurses and many other
with Medirails. When assembled skilled staff.
and connected to the theatre table
NHS Innovations Yorkshire & Humber provided
a project management service to ensure all
parties were kept informed of design issues
and progress. The Innovation Hub also made
sure that the creative input of the Trust’s
Clinical Engineering Department (Intellectual
Property) was reflected in the agreement. In
addition, the Hub produced a brochure for the
product and provided marketing support.
images: wellcome collection
Designed by Andy Robson