Healthcare innovators from NHS North of England Commissioning Support (NECS) in partnership with NHS England (North) were honoured at the annual Bright Ideas in Health Awards which took place last week.
Now in its 16th year, the awards attracted more than 400 people working within healthcare from the region’s leading NHS organisations, universities and businesses.
The annual event celebrates the achievements of individuals and teams that have developed innovative ideas, projects or technologies which are helping to improve the care and service provided to patients across the North East and North Cumbria.
The winners were announced at the ceremony on Thursday 14th November at the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead hosted by TV presenter Kim Inglis.
NECS won the Digital Innovation in Health and Social Care award for its Capacity Tracker tool. Developed in partnership with NHS England (North), Local Authority representatives and care home providers, the Capacity Tracker allows users to conveniently identify suitable care homes with vacancies and ensure that they do not stay in hospital for any longer than is necessary.
The other bright ideas that took home awards included a project which teaches children how to swallow tablet medication, a collaborative approach to reducing falls in older adults in the community, and an improved treatment of vascular birthmarks.
Jonathan Maloney, Programme Director for NECS said: “We are delighted to have won a Bright Ideas in Health Award for Capacity Tracker. It leverages the power of the internet enabling thousands of care homes to quickly highlight their vacancies across England and make the process of finding a care home vacancy easier for discharge teams working across health and social care. Critically though, each day it now helps ensure people get discharged as quickly as possible from hospital, minimizing avoidable length of stay.”
Dr Nicola Wesley, Interim Chief Executive Officer at the Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria (AHSN NENC), which organises the awards, said: “This year’s Bright Ideas in Health Awards has further strengthened the view that the North of England is a powerhouse of health innovation. The expertise, capability and passion for doing things differently to ultimately benefit patients was showcased by every one of our finalists.”
You can find out more about Capacity Tracker here: Capacity Tracker