Winter Newsletter 2019

Wed, 16 Jan 2019

Welcome 

Welcome to our new newsletter! Here we will be sharing updates on some of the exciting projects MidTECH have been working on, news on MidTECH and insights on what we have to offer. We will be sharing events that we will be attending and we think might be of interest to you. We will also be giving tips on intellectual property that can help you make the right decisions!

Firstly, just a quick reminder on what we can offer your NHS Trust. As you all know, MidTECH is the NHS innovation hub for the West Midlands which is established by the Department of Health to identify, protect and commercialise ideas from within the NHS that can improve and enhance patient care. Our service includes helping to gain patents, protecting ideas, commercialising ideas and networking you to the right industries.

Project Highlights

University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust - Seton Scaffolding

MidTECH has recently provided considerable support to University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) on an innovative £1m research grant from National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Invention for Innovation (i4i) programme. The project titled “Transforming treatment of fistula-in-ano: a novel bioresorbable Seton-Scaffold device” is a three year project involving UHB, University of Birmingham, Neotherix Ltd and Keighleycolo Ltd, the latter two of which are SMEs.

Fistula-in-ano (FIA) is a condition causing suffers to experience daily discomfort and pungent discharge from an abnormal tunnel connecting their lower bowel to the skin next to the anus. Notoriously difficult to treat, the condition typically requires multiple operations under general anaesthetic which carries a risk of permanent anal incontinence. Failure rates are high meaning some patients must live with FIA symptoms for the rest of their lives. 

The project team aims to transform FIA treatment by combining current management techniques with the latest therapeutic materials technology and will address a significant unmet clinical need for this intrusive and embarrassing condition that affects around 12,000 new patients every year in the UK by creating a simple, cheap, safe and effective treatment which preserves continence, and avoids multiple sequential surgical procedures.

James Turner, Senior Innovation Manager at MidTECH Innovations, has been instrumental in the drafting of the collaboration agreement for the project. MidTECH has advised on intellectual property strategy and protection and potential commercialisation models. As a result, the collaboration agreement is fully executed and the project is underway. James continues to provide IP and commercialisation support to the project, sitting as UHB’s representative on the Intellectual Property Management Group (IPMG).

University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust - Care Excellence Framework 

The care quality commission (CQC) is an independent regulator of health and adult social care. It rates the providers of these services (health and adult social care) against five domain standards for caring, safety, effectiveness, responsive and well led. An overall rating is then awarded to the organisation of outstanding, good, requires improvement or inadequate. In 2015 UHNM was rated as “requires improvement”.

As the Trust wanted to reach a higher rating in their next assessment, they developed and implemented a unique, integrated Care Excellence Framework (CEF) of measurement, clinical observations, patient and staff interviews, benchmarking and improvement. It provides an internal accreditation system providing assurance from ward to board around the CQC five domains. It also provides the Trust with a vehicle to progress from requires improvement to good/outstanding. The framework includes an award system for each domain and an overall award for the ward/department based on evidence. The awards range through platinum, gold, silver and bronze. Those who reach the platinum standard are then invited to a public board meeting to receive their certificate.

The CEF is supported by a bespoke IT system, acting as a data warehouse to store a suite of measures, with the ability to triangulate and present high level and granular information at ward/departmental level therefore ensuring that ward visits are intelligence driven and tailored. Managers will be able to interrogate the system and benchmark themselves against others. The measures provide robust information to identify areas for improvement and areas of good practice. The clinical area is supported to develop and deliver a bespoke improvement plan and spread good practice. 

All visits are unannounced. Every ward has at least one visit per year to review all the domains; however the frequency of follow-up visits will be determined by the award they receive, i.e. 12 months for platinum, 9 months for gold, 6 months for silver and 3 months for bronze. There may be additional ad hoc visit throughout the year. The CEF is delivered in a supportive style, nurturing a culture of learning, sharing and improving. The reward system it also gives recognition to clinical areas for their achievements.

The framwork’s system includes a suite of toolkits. The product is unique and has already attracted much interest from other NHS Trusts.

The key successes that have come from implementing CEF are:

§   Improvement in care, treatment and overall experience for patients at an achievement of outstanding for caring following the Trusts CQC inspection in 2017.

§   A reduction of patients harmed from falls.

§   Extending the scope of quality and safety by facilitating creative thinking and empowering staff to deliver improvement themselves.

§   Encouraging the successful spread of innovation and learning.

§    Improving methodologies measurement and analysis.

How MidTECH helped and what services did they offer?

Wondering how MidTECH helped with the development of the Care Excellence Framework?

MidTECH supported Trish Rowson Director of Nursing – Quality and Safety at UHNM. MidTECH was approached by UHNM where the team advised Trish Rowson to gain rights and to sustain IP before going any further.  As mentioned above there were/are other Trusts which are interested with the framework and implementing it within their Trust. MidTECH has supported UHNM and Trish Rowson with drafting copyright licences. A copyright licence is one of the main types of intellectual property. It permits the copyright owner to protect their ideas against others copying/reproducing their work. The copyright licenses will also allow other Trusts to implement the framework.

MidTECH didn’t just help with IP and copyright, they further provided support in the area of commercialisation. The team aided with a commercialisation strategy which helped to produce a marketable service.

Here are a few words form Trish Rowson on how MidTECH has supported UHNM and the development of CEF: “MidTECH's support to date has included the provision of advice on copyright and a commercialisation strategy with the intention of producing a marketable commodity.”

Company Updates

Welcome to the Team 

MidTECH welcomes a new member to its team!

We welcome Amardeep to the MidTECH team. Amardeep has been appointed as MidTECH's Business and Marketing Support Administrator. With a Masters in Marketing from University of Birmingham and experience in the marketing field Amardeep has made a good addition to the MidTECH Team. Amardeep's role includes several marketing activities such as, creating marketing, social media and business plans to promote MidTECH's brand to NHS Trust members. Learn more about Amardeep and what she does on our team page: https://www.midtech.org.uk/team-introductions.html  

Updated Website 

Visit our updated website! We have been busy working on making our website easier to navigate, and making sure that it showcases all the important information that you may need. Check it out for yourself: https://www.midtech.org.uk/ and let us know what you think! We really do hope that you find what you’re looking for easier and enjoy the new look of our website!

New LinkedIn Company Page!

We have had a very eventful first half of the year and have also created a new LinkedIn company page with all the information you need on what we have to offer. We have been sharing regular updates with information about MidTECH, what we do and other news that our members may be interested in. Take a look and follow us here: https://www.linkedin.com/company/midtech-innovations/

Events

There are a few dates that you should jot down in your diary!

MidTECH’s going to a ‘roadshow’! At this roadshow we will be showcasing the services that we have to offer, explaining how we work, how we can help bring your innovation to life within the NHS and how we can help protect those innovative ideas of yours from being stolen or copied.

Dates still need to be confirmed so watch this space and keep checking back on our events page…

Awards

The Meridian Celebration of Innovation Awards took place on the 13th July 2018! The winner of our “MidTECH Award for Best NHS-Developed Medical Technology Innovation” and £5,000 prize fund was the SMARTChip which was submitted by University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire NHS Trust.

The SMARTChip is small biosensor which was created to help with the diagnosis of stroke. It does this with a deployable blood test. This was developed through a series of research studies in collaboration with a vascular surgeon (Prof Chris Imray, UHCW); a scientist/SME (Prof Nick Dale, Sarissa Ltd) and a stoke physician (Prof Christine Roffe, UHNM). The test also detects brain ischaemia from the earliest stages. The judges felt that this regional innovation is very promising and is a clear example of co-creation and co-production. 

Q&A

The basics: How to protect you innovative idea…

What is intellectual property (IP)?

Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind and helps us turn those into property that can be bought, sold, traded, lent, etc. in the same way as any normal property can be. It has been said that IP creates the tangible out of the intangible and covers such things as inventions, literary works, branding, trade secrets and designs. Find out more by clicking here.

Disclosing your idea

What should I be aware of before disclosing my idea?

Be careful who you disclose your idea to. Telling other people, even friends or colleagues, may limit the Trust’s options. Disclosing the idea or its potential could mean that any intellectual property associated with it will not be able to be protected.

What about showing about my idea in presentations or poster displays at conferences or meetings?

This constitutes disclosure and you shouldn’t do this unless you know the intellectual property has been protected.

A company is interested in my idea but I know it hasn’t been protected yet, What do I do?

You can still talk to the company, but you will need to get them to sign a Non-disclosure Agreement (NDA). We can help you with this.

What should I do if I am unsure about whether I should disclose my idea?

Contact us first. We will advise whether your idea can be protected and can help you to do this.

If you would like more information, take a look at our FAQ’s page.

Want to know more about IP or would like some advice? Don’t hesitate to contact us and we can help you find the right solution to protect your ideas and innovations.

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