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5 May, 2006 - 11:05 By Staff Reporter

Ear scaffold device could cut major operation down to 10 minute procedure

A device to correct prominent ear deformity by inserting an ear scaffold – which could transform a time-consuming and invasive operation into a 10-minute outpatient procedure performed under local anaesthetic – won a competition to honour outstanding innovation from within the NHS in the East of England.

The device has been invented by consultant plastic surgeon Norbert Kang and maxillofacial technician David Gavin, both from the West Hertfordshire NHS Trust.

This and other innovations were recognised at an awards dinner organised by Health Enterprise East (HEE), the region’s NHS innovation hub.

The winner in the service delivery category was an idea for a one-stop hearing aid clinic, put forward by Mark Brindle and Keith Powell both from The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Trust.

This innovation centred around a new method of producing acrylic ear moulds for hearing aids, allowing a one-stop assessment and fitting service for patients.

A prize in the medical technology went to Paul Speller from Essex Rivers Healthcare NHS Trust for his radiotherapy mouth bite, which could improve the accuracy of head and neck radiotherapy.

Norbert Kang and David Gavin won a second award for a device for small joint arthrodesis, which could address problems occurring in patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

The judges also awarded two commendations, one to Celia Cross and Maggie Galvin from Mid Essex Hospitals NHS Trust for the ‘Broomfield Burns Glove’ – a specialised, quick-to-apply burns dressing for the hands, which patients can change at home.

The other went to West Hertfordshire duo Richard Baker and Claire Linge, from the Raft Institute of Plastic Surgery based at Mount Vernon Hospital, for using insulin to reduce skin scarring after surgery, trauma or burns.

Back in the service delivery category, the second prize was given to Becki Davies and Mel Pooley from West Suffolk NHS Trust for their creation of a new package to support orthopaedic patients, enabling them to administer intravenous antibiotics themselves at home.

The third prize was won by a team from Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust for its accredited diploma level training programme for non-medical donor care physiologists, helping to increase the number of trained staff who can carry out donor management programmes. This was put forward by Ann-Marie Ingle, Steven Tsui, Florian Flater, Bronwyn Ramsay and Martin Goddard.

Two commendations were also given in this category – the first for a self-help workbook for children with learning difficulties called ‘How To Deal With How You Feel’ from Dr Joost Drost, Gulsen Huseyin, Judith Skargon and Dr T. Jareonsettasin at North Essex Mental Health Partnership.

The second went to another Papworth team – Natalie Doughty, Jackie Yates and Joanna Pepke-Zaba – for an assessment tool that monitors patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Dr Peter Blenkinsop, chief executive of HEE said: “These outstanding ideas fully deserved the official recognition they received. All of the innovations have a principal objective – to benefit patients.”


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