Published on: 28 October 2019

South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust has officially been recognised as having some of the brightest minds in healthcare.

The Trust is shortlisted in three categories in the Bright Ideas in Health Awards - Digital Innovation in Health and Social Care, Development of an Innovative Device or Technology and Innovation Champion.

Now in its 16th year, the prestigious awards celebrate the achievements of health innovators across academia, the NHS and industry within the North East and North Cumbria. More than 220 entries across eight categories were received this year. South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust is supporting organisers, the Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria (AHSN NENC), as one of the sponsors of this year’s event.

The Trust’s paediatric staff are shortlisted in two categories for projects which have the potential to save young lives and they also worked in collaboration with two other organisations which are in line for awards.

The ‘Electronic Paediatric Emergency Department Asthma Assessment Tool’ (PEDAAT) and care pathway is a Digital Innovation in Health and Social Care finalist. Developed in accordance with National Review of Asthma Deaths standards to provide high quality care and improve asthma mortality rates, PEDAAT identifies high risk children with poor asthma control and ensures appropriate follow-up. Eligible children are directed to a dedicated, paediatric, respiratory nurse-led asthma clinic.

The ‘PED E-Resuscitation Tool’ (PET) is among the entries shortlisted in the ‘Development of an Innovative Device or Technology’ category. The clinical team in the Children’s Emergency Department at Sunderland Royal Hospital is very highly trained to give critically unwell and severely injured children the lifesaving care and treatment they need. The PET project aims to help them to optimise their performance and improve patient care in the highly pressured environment through an interactive system which staff can use to enter relevant information and retrieve reliable and accurate guidance.

Members of the Trust’s paediatric staff also worked in collaboration with: The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which is  a finalist in the Innovation in Education category for ‘Paediatric Sepsis Podcasts’, and Newcastle University, which is a finalist for Outstanding Research Collaboration with the NHS for the ‘Evaluation of a Point of Care Test for the Respiratory Syncytial Virus in Infants and Young Children project involving two sites - the Great North Children’s Hospital and Sunderland Royal Hospital.

The Acute Stroke Unit, based at Sunderland Royal Hospital, is in the running for Innovation Champion award. As well as delivering care to South Tyneside and Sunderland patients who have suffered a stroke, the multi-disciplinary team, led by ward manager Deborah Hindmarsh, nurture a culture of innovation and quality improvement and always go the extra mile to find ways to improve patient care. 

Melanie Johnson, South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust’s Executive Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals, said: “We are very proud of our reputation for innovation and are very fortunate to have some brilliant innovators working for us. Our staff - teams and individuals - working in various areas were involved in no fewer than 11 entries for this year’s Bright Ideas in Health Awards, which demonstrates our commitment to improving patient care and experience through technical innovation and different ways of working. I want to congratulate all the entrants and wish our finalists the very best of luck.”   

The winners of the eight categories will be announced at the annual Bright Ideas in Health Awards ceremony on 14th November at the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead.

Dr Nicola Wesley, Interim Chief Executive Officer at the AHSN NENC, said: “Innovation within healthcare is a vital component to creating a sustainable NHS that is fit for the future. There is ground-breaking work taking place across the region and the Bright Ideas in Health Awards has been helping to showcase this for almost two decades.

“We received the highest ever number of entries this year which highlights the scale of innovative projects being carried out in the region, and also the passion and pride from the people behind the work who are doing truly fantastic things to improve the care and service provided to patients. Thank you to everyone who entered this year and well done and good luck to all our 32 finalists.”