NHS product design innovation progresses to stage two

At the AHSN NENC we provide a range of business support services to drive innovation, improve health and support economic growth across the North East and North Cumbria.

This includes supporting innovation challenges, inviting SMEs to develop solutions for unmet needs within the NHS.

Earlier this year, we launched an innovation challenge in collaboration with North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust and Edge Innovation, which invited SMEs to design a mortuary trolley that would allow the discreet transfer of deceased patients and reduce the anxiety that is typically associated with death.

Three local companies in the Tees Valley region successfully made it through to Stage One of the application process and were invited to tour the facilities at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust.

During the tour, teams had the opportunity to review the current mortuary trolley in use, better understand the challenges with the trolley, and ask questions to assist them shape their design concept.

The three companies submitted their trolley designs and Cohda Design has been awarded further funding by the Tees Valley Combined Authority to progress their innovation. Support will be provided by the AHSN NENC to develop and commercialise the product, provide access to IP support, market entry and competitor analysis, networking opportunities and assistance with prototyping and evaluation in order to facilitate future adoption and spread.

Dr Sean Gill, Programme Manager at AHSN NENC is leading this programme of work. He said: “This has been an exciting programme which has enabled the Trust to work with local SMEs to develop a solution to a problem within the NHS. It has been great for the AHSN NENC, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, Edge Innovation and Tees Valley Combined Authority to collaborate, providing access to support and funding for the three SMEs. While Cohda Design has been successful to stage two of this programme, I very much see this as an ongoing relationship with all three SMEs. There is always something new and exciting going on in the region with healthcare innovation where an industry partner is needed to partner with.”

If you’re an SME in the North East and North Cumbria region and would like to find out more about how AHSN NENC business support services can support you, please contact Sean Gill.

Andy Stevenson, Samson Forth Associates

Richard Liddle and Miles Ingram, Cohda Design

Jonathan Rowley, Innovation Project Lead (North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust/NTH Solutions) and Becky Hanna, Programme Manager at AHSN NENC

Matt Hulbert, E3 Design with Becky Hanna and Jonathan Rowley

Tees Valley Business Challenge is receiving funding from the UK Government under the UK Community Renewal Fund. It aims to strengthen innovation maturity in the Tees Valley economy, build resilience for post-Covid economic recovery and unlock growth potential.

 The Tees Valley Business Challenge is being delivered through a partnership between AHSN NENC, RTC North and Edge Innovation, on behalf of Tees Valley Combined Authority and Tees Valley Business.