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Innovative ideas from across the Oxford University Hospital Trust have received expert support in a bid to help them realise their patient potential.

Four projects have been supported by the inaugural OUH Innovation Challenge ranging from a novel walking aid design to a new biomaterial to repair soft tissue.

Trust non-executive director Chris Goard, who chaired the assessment panel, said: “Innovation is at the heart of improving healthcare and is a key strength of Oxford University Hospitals. All our staff play a vital role in delivering care and it is their expertise and experience that gives rise to brilliant ideas. This competition, open to everyone, is about tapping into that and giving great ideas the support they need to get to next level.  Ultimately, it is ideas like these that will benefit patients and clinical teams. The innovation we saw from across the Trust was outstanding.

The competition was open to all OUH staff and is part of OUH’s drive to increase awareness of innovation and to build links with industrial partners.  The aim was to develop solutions for unmet medical needs and to improve the OUH services for patients. 

All ideas are eligible for support and can include medical devices, diagnostic tools, computer software, guidelines or training packages, or questionnaires quantifying patient outcomes. The ideas must be able to be developed with an industry partner.

Supported projects in the 2014 Challenge were:

  • An acute referrals system to document and manage acute, specialist referrals between different healthcare organisations (Nick de Pennington, Specialist Registrar, Neurosurgery; Lauren Morgan, Human Factors Research Scientist)
  • Nanofibrous yarns - low cost fabrication of a new generation of implantable medical fibres to stimulate repair of soft tissue (Pierre-Alexis Mouthuy, Post Doc Researcher ; Andrew Carr, Orthopaedic Surgeon, NOC)
  •  An innovative walking aid device (Simon Wood, Senior Physiotherapist, NOC)
  • A knee stress x-ray device (Thomas Hamilton, Clinical Research Fellow, NOC)

The teams will now be given support to progress their ideas to the next stage. The competition provides financial support and mentoring.

Shortlisted entries were assessed by a panel including Mr Goard, Nick Edwards (Oxford Academic Health Science Network), Dr Ian Reckless (OUH Clinical Director, Neurosciences), Glenn Wells (OUH Associate Director of Research and Development) and Victoria Bates (Customer Operations Director, Pfizer) The competition is set to run again in 2015 for more information contact Cynthia Ugochukwu via email

Oxford University Hospital Trust