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NHS targets £700k investment to relieve acute care pressures

The NHS England initiative SBRI Healthcare (the Small Business Research Initiative for Healthcare) has given eight companies £700,000 to develop innovations to increase efficiency and relieve pressure in NHS acute care settings.

The successful companies will be focusing on solutions that enable patients to move more quickly through hospitals and acute care settings, covering areas such as diagnostics, therapy and discharge.

The companies will be awarded up to £100,000 each to develop their innovations in co-operation with their supporting Academic Health Science Network (AHSN).

Shirlene Oh, director of commerce at Imperial College Health Partners, said: “Media reports have stated that hospitals across the country are under significant pressure during the winter period.

“AHSNs are working together to find innovative solutions which address patient flow through hospital systems and acute care.

“The eight successful companies are developing exciting approaches to support the NHS in responding to these challenges.”

The projects have been selected based on their potential value to the NHS and on the improved outcomes delivered to patients. The companies will be supported and funded for a six-month period to develop the feasibility of their concept before the most valuable and feasible innovations will be chosen to take all the way through to commercialisation.

 The successful companies and their supporting AHSN are:

  • Hospital discharge efficiency: Care Sourcer Ltd (Scotland) and IEG4 Ltd (Greater Manchester AHSN)
  • Hospital in-patient journey: 6.P.M. Management Consultancy (UK) Ltd (Eastern AHSN) and PMD Device Solutions Ltd (Ireland)
  • Hospital resource usage: BeamLine Diagnostics Ltd (Oxford AHSN), Highland Biosciences Ltd (Scotland), Nervecentre Software Ltd (Oxford AHSN) and Sepsis Ltd (Greater Manchester AHSN)

Paul Volkaerts, CEO of Nervecentre Software, said: “There are three pillars to maximising hospital capacity – efficient allocation of beds, understanding and managing the condition of patients, and the focus of staff upon a prioritised set of activities.

“We are already working with 30 trusts and with the support of SBRI Healthcare, we can continue developing our right clinician, right place, right time concept, and translate this into effective capacity management.”

Acute trusts are currently facing significant challenges in managing patient volume, leading to crisis points in many hospitals. Just last week NHS England revealed that a record number of hospitals were forced to declare major alerts this month due to operational pressures affecting patient care.

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