Clatterbridge innovation ready to roll out nationwide

A new device for spinal cancer patients pioneered at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre has been so successful that other NHS Trusts across the country are being invited to use it.

Patients who must lie flat and immobile for hours on end due to cancer developing on their spine are using a specially adapted screen holder to help them interact through a tablet device, which allows them to take more control of their care, communicate digitally and keep entertained.

The screen holder is also used by patients to complete their own care assessments, which is saving staff time and is more personal than if a clinician does it.

The scheme has been piloted at Clatterbridge for a year and feedback from hospital patients – who must lie on their backs for up to 10 hours while procedures take place – has been so good that the manufacturer, Serious Brands, is now open to orders of the equipment from other NHS Trusts.

Serious Brands, responsible for the Levo screen holder stand across Europe, adapted it for clinical use after Clatterbridge’s innovation team asked the University of Liverpool engineering department to create a prototype to safely hold a screen directly overhead a hospital bed.

Dr Gillian Heap, Clatterbridge’s Director of Research and Innovation Operations, said, “It is fantastic that the new screen holder has been so well received by our patients. Many of them are with us for an urgent diagnosis and it can be incredibly concerning for them. Patients who are immobile on their back normally cannot watch TV or use a tablet device, but with this new screen holder they can.

“Staff are delighted to be able to offer this to patients and I’m sure other hospital Trusts across the country will be looking at our pilot scheme to see if they can also use this equipment.”

Michael O’Boyle, Customer Champion at Serious Brands, said, “We are really pleased that this adaptation to our standard screen holder has been so successful at Clatterbridge.

“It is a simple idea which has made a substantial difference to the experience of patients going through a challenging time in their cancer treatment and care. Our mission at Serious Brands is to transform lives through our products and this is an example of that.”

The idea first came from a member of Clatterbridge’s Metastatic Spinal Cord Compression team, who submitted it to a Trust’s innovation scheme – funded by Clatterbridge Cancer Charity and designed to progress staff and patient initiatives.

Dr Séamus Coyle, Clatterbridge’s Clinical Lead for Innovation, said, “It is great that one of our innovations has been so successful that other Trusts may now be able to benefit from it. We would like to thank the University of Liverpool and Serious Brands for their help in the design of this new equipment.”

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