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South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust wins prestigious Bionow Healthcare Project of the Year Award
(March 10, 2018)
South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust wins prestigious Bionow Healthcare Project of the Year Award

A partnership between industry and South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been awarded the prestigious Bionow Healthcare Project of the Year Award for the development and delivery of a clinical research study examining the management of pre-operative oedema in ankle fracture patients.

To celebrate the win, the Trust has today been formally presented with the Bionow award, which recognises the Trust's collaborative work with UK based medical devices company, Sky Medical Technology.

Bionow CEO, Geoff Davison, was on hand to formally present the award to South Tees, and the research teams behind the collaborative project, Mr Paul Baker, Orthopaedic Consultant Surgeon at The James Cook University Hospital and Matthew Womack, Head of Clinical Affairs at Sky Medical Technology.

The Trust and Sky Medical Technology have worked in partnership to investigate the benefits of the geko™ device, which utilises OnPulse TM neuromuscular electrostimulation technology, in a prospective and retrospective study in ankle fracture patients requiring Open Reduction Internal Fixation (ORIF).

Worn at the knee, the device gently stimulates the common peroneal nerve, activating the calf and foot muscle pumps to return blood towards the heart, mimicking the processes normally achieved by walking but without the patient needing to move or exert energy. The device is fitted above a backslab plaster cast.

The study demonstrated a statistically significant (p=0.001) 2 day improvement in ‘readiness' for theatre (average) between the prospective cohort and a retrospectively matched control group. This would equate to an average cost saving of £569 per patient, compared to the current standards of care. Associated benefits include improved theatre time scheduling and accelerated recovery and patient wellbeing as rehabilitation can begin sooner.

The study demonstrates that the geko™ device offers an important value proposition for the NHS, and wider healthcare providers, as ankle facture swelling can often lead to a delay in surgery. This has a knock-on effect of blocking hospital beds as surgeons must wait for the swelling to reduce before they operate, which can then lead to increased waiting lists.

Commenting on behalf of South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Paul Baker said: “We are delighted to win this award, and extend our thanks to Bionow and the category sponsor TRUSTECH for recognising that partnership is at the heart of making this project possible. The Trust champions its clinicians to embrace innovation and partner with industry to pioneer new models of care, so that our patients will be amongst the first to benefit from hugely exciting medical advances."

Sky CEO, Bernard Ross comments, “Bionow celebrate outstanding leaders and innovators in the life sciences sector in the North of England - a sector that is worth £11bn to the North's economy. It is an honour to be recognised by Bionow and TRUSTECH. This oedema control breakthrough is a prime example of the huge potential of partnership in a healthcare setting, and has led to wider UK and International market penetration for the geko™ device. I would like to thank South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Paul Baker and his clinical team for their ground-breaking work in partnering with us."

Bionow CEO, Geoff Davison, presenting the award said: “Our congratulations go to South Tees and Sky Medical Technology for the joint delivery of thorough and considered research. Their partnership has advanced the control of pre-operative oedema in ankle fracture, which will prove hugely beneficial to patient wellbeing and NHS cost savings."

TRUSTECH, sponsor of the award, recognised the project's excellence in demonstrating partnership between industry and the NHS. As long-term sponsors of the Bionow Healthcare Project of the Year Award, TRUSTECH have been involved in the selection process in this category for several years. TRUSTECH's Technology Director, Dr Richard Deed, oversees a range of initiatives that offer improvements for the NHS and recognises the value in generating compelling clinical and health economic data to develop new standards of care."

About South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is the largest hospital trust in the Tees Valley serving the people of Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, Hambleton and Richmondshire and beyond.

The Trust runs The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough and the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton as well as community services in Hambleton and Richmondshire, Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland.

It has a workforce of around 9,000 providing a range of specialist regional services to 1.5million people in the Tees Valley and parts of Durham, North Yorkshire and Cumbria, with a particular expertise in heart disease, trauma, neurosciences, renal services, cancer services and spinal injuries.

About Firstkind and Sky Medical Technology Ltd

Sky Medical Technology, the parent of Firstkind Ltd, is a highly innovative UK based medical devices company that has developed a ground-breaking neuromuscular electrostimulation technology platform, OnPulse™. The company develops a range of products tailored to the needs of different medical application areas, selling both direct and through strategic partnerships or distributors in each major clinical area. Clinical areas of interest include oedema control, DVT prevention, wound healing and elite sport recovery. The goal in each clinical area is to improve clinical outcomes and patient care whilst saving health system resources.

About Bionow

Bionow supports business growth, competitiveness and innovation within the biomedical and life science sectors across Northern England. Their membership services add value and cost-efficiency to scientific, clinical and business operations within early stage and growth-oriented firms.

Their membership base includes start-ups and early stage firms as well as established growth-oriented companies. Bionow's membership offering focuses upon the specific needs of firms at their different stages of development, including dedicated business support programmes, shared procurement schemes with significant cost savings, exclusive insurance benefits, recruitment and training services, local and national events and access to a vibrant network of businesses.


TRUSTECH is an NHS organisation. They are the NHS Innovation Experts. TRUSTECH bridge the gap between NHS Providers / Commissioners and the commercial, academic and international healthcare sectors. Their aim is to improve the way in which the NHS operates by encouraging the development or adoption of innovative techniques, solutions, technologies and services for the benefit of all patients.

TRUSTECH provide innovation services for NHS organisations based in the North and help Trusts and Clinical Commissioning Groups to develop, protect and commercialise novel products and services from within their own communities, and identify and adopt technologies and ideas from elsewhere.

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