• Wed. Apr 24th, 2024

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InnoScot Health’s new innovation call to inspire breakthroughs in treatment for pregnant women and new mothers

Gillian Henderson 1 (1)Head of Project Management at InnoScot Health, Gillian Henderson

InnoScot Health is aiming to help NHS Scotland improve women’s health with a fresh innovation call targeted at pregnancy and perinatal treatment and care.

The new call will be open for submissions on Wednesday 7 June and seeks to inspire fresh ideas and new thinking from all health care staff to promote and support good child and maternal health.

It is an area of intense focus for the Scottish Government. Its Women’s Health Plan (2021-2024) set out a bold strategy to improve health and reduce health inequalities; long-term plans for improving maternity and neonatal care are being remobilised following the pandemic and Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC) is a continued commitment to providing all children, young people, and their families with the right support at the right time .

InnoScot Health is a formal partner of NHS Scotland and believes that identifying ideas drawn from the deep expertise and experience of the workforce can improve how the service provides the right care for every woman and baby, while giving all children the best possible start in life.

Inspiring this diverse workforce to come up with new ways of working is vital, and to help encourage staff to come forward with innovative ideas, InnoScot Health’s package of support for NHS Scotland staff includes support up to the value of £25k for initial seed funding, regulatory support, project management, and the extensive innovation expertise of its highly experienced team.

Ideas that InnoScot Health are looking for could include:

  • Devices for managing and monitoring pregnancy
  • Innovations to improve labour and delivery
  • Technologies for neonates needing specialist care
  • Improving outcomes for mothers with co-morbidities
  • Support for women experiencing mental health problems before and after delivery

Head of Innovation at InnoScot Health, Robert Rea said: “It is vital that we improve the outcomes of maternity and neonatal care for all women, babies, and families in Scotland, and place more focus on mental health and inequalities.

“In 2020, women were three times more likely to die by suicide during or up to six weeks after the end of pregnancy compared to 2017-2019. We also know black and Asian women have a higher chance of dying during pregnancy compared to white women, while further inequalities remain an issue.

“But we have an opportunity to work collaboratively to improve pregnancy and perinatal services and are calling on NHS Scotland workers who have vast experience and insight to come forward with their ideas and solutions.

“Workforce innovators with breakthrough ideas can be the difference that makes for improved patient outcomes.”

Since it was set up in 2002, InnoScot Health has developed a range of medical devices, products, and technologies for use in hospitals, care homes and on-scene emergency settings, both in Scotland and around the world. It helped to pioneer the Ambulance Child Restraint (ACR)®, a flexible, fully harnessing system used for the safe, secure and effective transport of infants and children in an ambulance.

The patented two-part system was an idea of Keith Colver and David Fitzpatrick from Scottish Ambulance Service, developed alongside InnoScot Health and Lightweight Medical.

The Children’s Acute Transport Service, NHS infection control officers, and paediatric ICU specialists at Glasgow’s Yorkhill Hospital for Sick Children further contributed to ACR®development and it is now manufactured by ParAid Medical after being adopted across Scotland.

Head of Project Management, Gillian Henderson (pictured) added: “InnoScot Health can be a vital partner in the journey from evaluation to deployment for innovation in pregnancy and perinatal treatment and care.

“In the case of the highly successful Ambulance Child Restraint®, we worked with all parties to facilitate the design and development, IP protection, and put in place necessary legal agreements.

“We hope to replicate this success with our latest themed call. The aim is to inspire bespoke solutions to everyday issues from the people who work within the service and often best understand the challenges. Our commercial support then helps translate ideas into products and services that can then be deployed back into the NHS, resulting in improved outcomes, better processes, and a more sustainable health service.”

The call welcomes ideas – simple or complex – from any NHS health board and staff across all roles. Ideas can be submitted online via www.innoscot.com. Once submitted, they will be evaluated by an expert team and selected innovations will then have access to a package of support.