More than 60,000 staff across Northern Ireland’s five Health and Social Care Trusts have been challenged to come up with new, innovative ideas to improve patient care as part of a major competition designed to reward smart thinking in the health and social care sector, it was revealed today.
Employees at every level – from domestic assistants to surgeons – are being called upon to share their unique ideas which could transform patient care or lead to vital medical breakthroughs. The best ideas or those that show most promise will be officially honoured at The Elevation Awards before being taken onboard.
The competition is organised by HSC Innovations, the innovation management and Intellectual Property (IP) support service for the Health Service, and is the first of its kind to engage exclusively in Northern Ireland’s health sector.
Judged by a panel of experts from industry, healthcare and business support organisations, the prestigious competition will reward innovative concepts in the areas of Diagnostics; Equipment; Pharmaceutical and Information and Communication Technology. The best overall entry from each of the five Health and Social Care Trusts will also be honoured.
Dr David Brownlee, Innovation Advisor at HSC Innovations, said the awards celebrated the entrepreneurial spirit and heritage of innovation which defined advances in patient care.
“Health care in Northern Ireland has a legacy of cutting edge innovation. But breakthroughs and developments are not just confined to those working hard in our laboratories – important though they are. New ideas and clever thinking are consistent at all levels in each of the five trusts and this important competition aims to fully awaken the potential of talented staff.
“The Elevation Awards are about empowering people with the confidence to share their thoughts on how to make patient care better with new technology, approaches and initiatives. Crucially, it will provide a platform to protect and drive ideas with real potential towards commercialisation and implementation.”
The competition will culminate with a gala awards night taking place at the La Mon Hotel Belfast on 25th May.
Paul Carlin, Research Manager at the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, said the awards were an important platform that would celebrate new ideas and give them an opportunity to advance into real-world application.
“This competition is a vital addition in the efforts to support and foster a culture of innovation and R&D throughout Northern Ireland. As the population ages and health care needs increase, we need to work smarter and harder to develop products and concepts that will improve patient care and put our advances on the international map.
“We are calling on health and social care staff across the five HSC trust areas to come forward with ideas that will improve and positively change patient care in Northern Ireland.”
To register your interest or to download an entry form log on to www.hscinnovations.com. The closing date for submissions is midday Monday 26th April.
HSC Innovations is funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills through its Public Sector Research Exploitation (PSRE) fund, Health and Social Care Research and Development Division of the Public Health Agency (HSC R&D Division) and Invest Northern Ireland.