We are delighted to announce our 2018 Bright Ideas in Health Awards finalists.

Click the links below to see the finalists in each category.

BIHA 2018 Winners

Development of an Innovative Device or Technology

Point of Care Test for Sepsis

Sepsis is a life-threatening illness caused by a systemic reaction to an infection. Cytokines released into the blood, in response to infection, can induce widespread inflammation leading to an abnormal cardiovascular response and in the worst cases, septic shock with multi-organ failure. Sepsis can arise unpredictably and progress rapidly and it is a leading cause of avoidable death, claiming around 44,000 lives in the UK each year. 

Early diagnosis is therefore vitally important to reduce mortality and reduce the costs associated with treating patients. The team have developed a low-cost point-of-care diagnostic test for the early detection of sepsis, which can be used in a variety of Primary, Secondary and Tertiary care sites, and which is simple to perform and highly sensitive. 

The Innovators

Zulfiqur Ali, Director, Healthcare Innovation Partnership, Teesside University and Director, Anasyst Ltd 

Roger Duggan, Director, Anasyst 

Barry Warden, Design and Development Manager, Wideblue Ltd 

Russell Overend, Managing Director, Wideblue Ltd 

Simon Scott, Research Fellow, Teesside University 

Harish Datta, Consultant Chemical Pathologist, South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 

Andrew Eggert, Senior Clinical Scientist, South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 

Sara Graziadio, Senior Clinical Methodologist, NIHR Newcastle MIC, The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 

Lead Organisation: 

Teesside University 

Prognostic Test for Early Stage Cutaneous Melanoma

Melanoma is a skin cancer which has an increasing worldwide incidence, being the fifth most common cancer in the UK, and remaining as the leading cause of cancer-related death in 20-35 year olds. At present, once surgically removed from the skin, the chance of the disease spreading to other parts of the body can only be approximately predicted. 

In patients with seemingly low risk disease, there is still up to an approximately 10% chance of dying from the disease, resulting in a rigorous follow up for all patients, which puts enormous strain upon healthcare resources. The team have developed a prognostic test which identifies those individuals at specific risk, thereby offering increased clinical and radiological surveillance, as well as earlier access to potentially life-saving drugs.

The Innovators

Dr. Marie Labus, CEO AMLo Biosciences Ltd and Business Development Manager, Newcastle University 

Professor Penny Lovat, CSO AMLo Biosciences Ltd and Professor of Cellular Dermatology and Oncology 

Dr. Rob Ellis, CMO, AMLo Biosciences Ltd and Consultant Dermatologist, County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust 

Dr. Ashleigh McConnell, Senior Scientist, AMLo Biosciences Ltd 

Lead Organisation: 

Newcastle University 

Improved Tourniquet

Tourniquets are used routinely in medical environments to temporarily stop the flow of blood through a vein or artery of a patient. Typically, tourniquets incorporate a tight strap, and it can sometimes be the case, particularly in a busy hospital setting, that the strap can be accidentally left in place on the patient for longer than is ideal, since their removal is reliant upon the memory of the clinician. 

This can lead to discomfort for the patient, and sometimes harm. The team have developed a solution which is simple and easy to use, meets infection control requirements, and which has a positive impact upon patient safety outcomes and the overall patient experience, being designed to prevent the strap from being mistakenly left on the limb of the patient for too long. 

The Innovators

Tony Wilson, Commercial and Innovation Lead, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust 

Mark B Jessup, Managing Director, Surgical Dynamics Ltd 

Dr. David W Borowski, Consultant General and Colorectal Surgeon, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust and Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer, Newcastle University (Tees Base Unit) 

Lead Organisation: 

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust

Videofluoroscopy Access

A videofluoroscopy examination uses X-rays or fluoroscopy to evaluate the ability of a patient to swallow safely and effectively. The examination requires the patient to sit still in an appropriate feeding position and be imaged from a lateral projection viewpoint. 

A recording is made of the dynamic swallowing, helping clinicians to assess any problems with swallowing and recommend more efficient and safer ways of eating and drinking. Whilst the standard accessories are satisfactory for the examination of adults, there are shortcomings in the process for examining younger patients. The team have developed an accessory that enables infants and babies to be safely and securely located, and maintained in a comfortable and still position, to enable the examination to be properly carried out. 

The Innovators

Wendy Wright, Superintendent Radiographer 

Charlotte Buswell, Paediatric Speech and Language Therapist 

Simon Richardson, Head of Mechanical Engineering 

Stuart Duffy, Senior Clinical Technologist 

Tony McCormack, Business Development Manager 

Lead Organisation:

The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 


It is estimated that adverse events, which are unintended injuries caused by medical management rather than disease, lead to an additional three million NHS bed days each year. The detrimental impact of this upon those affected is clear, and the associated cost to the NHS is high. In response to this, the Scan4Safety initiative led by the Department of Health and Social Care was set up to enable the delivery of better patient care, improved clinical productivity, and improved supply chain efficiency. 

The team have developed CareScan+, which is a system to assist in the delivery of the milestones for Scan4Safety, helping to deliver safer and more efficient patient care, as well as facilitating the capture of information and its sharing between healthcare providers. 

The Innovators

Jane Hawkes MCIPS, Assistant Director Procurement and Supplies and Scan4Safety Programme Lead, North Tees and Hartlepool Solutions LLP 

Tony Naylor, Associate Director of ICT and Scan4Safety Informatics Lead, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust 

Lead Organisation: 

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust

Blood Borne Virus (BBV) Test

Late diagnoses of BBVs such as HIV and Hepatitis remain high in the UK despite national guidelines and other efforts to increase testing amongst those at risk of infection. Around 40% of new HIV diagnoses nationally, and over 50% in some parts of the North East region in particular, are diagnosed late, leading to increased morbidity and mortality. 

There is sometimes reluctance amongst GPs to offer BBV tests, due to misconceptions around the process of consent and a lack of appreciation of the risk factors of the patient. The team have developed a system that enables busy clinicians to make decisions regarding BBV testing in real time. 

The Innovators

Dr. David Chadwick, Consultant in Infectious Diseases, South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 

Dr. Gareth Forbes, General Practitioner, Leadgate Surgery, Consett 

Prof Paul Van Schaik, Professor of Psychology, Teesside University 

Lead Organisation: 

South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Service Improvement

Programme to Optimise Chemotherapy Administration to Neonates and Children

It can be particularly difficult to treat certain groups of children who are suffering from cancer, including very young infants and children with poor kidney function, due to differences in the way that drugs are broken down and cleared from the body. 

As a result, clinicians often have to make difficult decisions about the dose of the drug to be administered, with limited scientific information to help them decide. This can mean that patients are at risk of not getting enough of the drug or getting too much. The team have developed a system for allowing the precise exposure of the individual patient to the drug to be calculated, thereby providing an additional tool for the clinical team to help them make informed decisions regarding the continued treatment of the patient. 

The Innovators

Professor Gareth Veal, Professor of Cancer Pharmacology, Newcastle University 

Professor Deborah Tweddle, Professor of Paediatric Oncology, Newcastle University and The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 

Lisa Price, Paediatric Oncology Research Sister, The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 

Melanie Griffin, Senior Research Technician, Newcastle University 

Lead Organisations: 

Newcastle University and The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Together in a Crisis Service

In 2016, the Newcastle Gateshead ‘Deciding Together’ consultation highlighted the requirement to improve local urgent care to those experiencing a mental health need. In particular, those in genuine crisis, for example on account of family relationships, social isolation, housing, finances, or substance misuse, were not always getting the support they needed. 

In response to this, the Together in a Crisis service was developed, providing non-clinical, practical, and emotional support to people who are in need. The service, commissioned by NHS Newcastle Gateshead CCG, is provided through a close partnership between four local organisations with considerable expertise in helping people with these diverse needs. 

The Innovators

Brendan Hill, Chief Executive 

Scott Vigurs, Director of Services 

Julia Perry, Head of Community and Wellbeing Services 

Beverley Cappi, ‘Together in a Crisis’ Team Lead 

Mental Health Concern 

In collaboration with Changing Lives, Citizens Advice Newcastle, and Home Group 

Lead Organisation: 

An organisation Commissioned by NHS Newcastle Gateshead CCG 

Changing Health, Transform Programme

3.6 million people in the UK have now been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, and current trends indicate that this figure is only set to rise, with Diabetes UK estimating the number of Type 2 Diabetes diagnoses to reach five million by 2035-2036. 

Aside from the significant individual burden, Type 2 Diabetes represents the single largest cost to the NHS, consuming 10% of the total NHS budget. However, research indicates that Type 2 Diabetes is preventable and even reversible in most patients, if they make changes to their lifestyle. The Changing Health, Transform Programme empowers patients with Type 2 Diabetes to better manage their condition, providing them with an improved understanding of how their condition affects their health and, crucially, helps them to make a healthier diet and increased physical activity a permanent part of their everyday life. 

The Innovator

Professor Mike Trenell, Chief Scientific Officer, Changing Health 

Lead Organisation: 

An organisation Commissioned by NHS Newcastle Gateshead CCG

Community Admiral Nurse Service - Improving the Care of Dementia Patients

Dementia sufferers, their families and carers often do not receive adequate care and support in the community following their diagnosis, leading to a breakdown in the care of those affected by dementia. There is often a lack of understanding of what opportunities exist in the community in the form of practical, social, emotional or financial support, and carers can often feel stressed and uninformed, which can have an adverse impact on both the lives of the person they are caring for and on their own health and wellbeing. The role of the Community Admiral Nurse Service is to support, both practically and emotionally, people in both the pre-diagnostic stage and in the post-diagnostic stage, helping them to understand dementia and access the appropriate help and support, as well as helping to develop a care plan tailored to their specific needs. 

The Innovator

Fraser Quin, CEO, Dementia Matters 

Joe Costello, Lead Admiral Nurse, Dementia Matters 

Judy Mattison, Admiral Nurse, Dementia Matters 

Bill McGregor, Alistair Wilson and Heather Parker, Dementia Guides 

Julie Allen, Strategic Business Development Manager, Dementia UK 

Bob Cochrane, North East Business Development Manager, Dementia UK 

In collaboration with: Health, social and third sector organisations; Primary Care Services Newcastle; Memory Assessment and Management Service Newcastle; Newcastle City Council; The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Alzheimer’s Society Newcastle and Northumberland; Carers UK (Newcastle Carer Centre, Northumberland Carers); Newcastle University; Northumbria University and Marie Curie 

Lead Organisation: 

An organisation Commissioned by Newcastle Gateshead CCG

A Clinical Education and Training Programme for Care Homes

Many care home residents are living with complex co-morbidities and as they get older, their health needs inevitably increase, reflected in an increasing number of emergency hospital admissions from care homes. This often results in extended stays in hospital, which could be averted with earlier identification and intervention. 

A solution to this has been the commissioning of a Clinical Education and Training Programme for Care Homes, directed towards staff, and known as the North Tees and Hartlepool Education Alliance. The Programme is aimed at improving their knowledge and confidence, enabling them to make informed decisions concerning the health of residents. 

The Innovator

Paula Swindale, Head of Commissioning and Strategy, NHS Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees CCG 

In Collaboration with: The Education and Organisational Development Department within North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, but also involves: - Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust; Alice House Hospice, Hartlepool; the Falls Service, Stockton-on-Tees; and Hartlepool Local Authorities. 

Lead Organisation: 

NHS Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees CCG in partnership with North Tees and Hartlepool Education Alliance 

Improving the Efficiency of Moving and Handling Training

A normal working day for many members of staff in the NHS, involves the moving and handling of patients. Previously, all patient handlers had to attend a full day training session covering all the main moving and handling task elements, at the commencement of their employment. They were then required to periodically attend shorter training sessions, usually involving several patient moving and handling topics delivered to mixed groups of staff. 

Unfortunately, all of the topics were not always relevant to some of the patient handlers; for example, repositioning in bed with slide sheets and lateral transfer is not relevant to all NHS staff. The team have developed a new training Programme, making the moving and handling of patients more flexible, effective and efficient, as well as a ‘Good Practice Guide’ for staff. 

The Innovators

Diane Hindson, Lynn Pattison, Dave Metcalfe, Back Care Advisors 

Daniel David, Senior Back Care Advisor 

County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust Learning and Organisational Development, County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust 

Lead Organisation: 

County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust in collaboration with Learning and Organisational Development 

ReCoCo, The Recovery College Collective

Individuals with mental health difficulties can often feel like they are disconnected, and current mental health services can perpetuate this by being unable to bring people together, thereby preventing the individuals from empowering themselves and learning from others. 

The Recovery College Collective have recognised that equipping people who have already suffered from distress, with the skills and the support to cathartically help others, is an effective, efficient and sustainable approach to increasing and maintaining wellbeing. The Collective delivers an entirely peer led alternative to traditional mental health services that puts opportunity and connection at its foundation, also offering free, peer led training to third sector and statutory organisations on the basis of equipping the wider mental health workforce with the skills, assurance and validation that enhances their practice. 

The Innovators

Angela Glascott, Recovery College Coordinator and Co-Creator ReCoCo and Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust 

Alisdair Cameron, Launchpad Coordinator and Recovery College Co-Creator, ReCoCo and Launchpad 

Lead Organisation:

Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust

Innovation Champion of the Year

The Innovation Team at City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust

The Innovation Department at City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust was established in 2015. The Director, Deputy Directors and Innovation Scouts undertake their innovation roles alongside their busy Trust roles, striving to promote an innovation culture across the Trust. 

Their goal was to identify and address unmet needs in the healthcare sector, improving the patient experience and patient care, as well as contributing to the financial wellbeing of the Trust by identifying both cost efficiencies and generating revenues. Moreover, since July 2018, every idea that is submitted to the Trust for assessment is put forward for acknowledgement by the Chief Executive Officer Ken Bremner through the Excellence Reporting System, with innovators receiving a personal letter of thanks. Each idea submitted is valued and acknowledged, and feedback is provided irrespective of its complexity or potential for an innovative outcome. 

The Innovators

Kim Hinshaw, (Consultant Obs and Gynae) Director of Innovation (Team Lead) 

Imran Ahmed, (Consultant Neonates ) Deputy Director of Innovation (Device and Digital) 

Deepali Varma, (Consultant Opthalmology) Deputy Director of Innovation (Service Improvement and Clinical Pathways) 

Charlotte Fox, Innovation Manager 

Katherine Ashby, Innovation Administration Assistant 

The members of staff below are Innovation Scouts above and beyond their ‘day jobs’ 

Ruth Raynor, Head of Service, Speech and Language Therapy; Helen Nesbitt, Senior Nurse Workforce and Role Development; Andrew Knight, Head of Medical Physics; Dave Bramley, Consultant in Emergency Medicine; Ala Mohammed, Consultant in Emergency Medicine; Claire Dodds, Facilities 

City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust

The Pop-Up Hospital – Team from the Great North Children’s Hospital

The Pop-Up Hospital was a recreated hospital ward forming part of the Great Exhibition of the North, which provided children and the general public with the opportunity to experience what it is like to be a patient at the Great North Children’s Hospital (GNCH). It was designed by children and staff and allowed visitors to have a fun, educational experience, so that if they had to visit the GNCH in the future, it might be less frightening and more positive. 

Children could take part in activities such as trying out crutches, dressing up as doctors, investigating a 3D virtual body, and even building their own airways from toilet rolls. The entire Pop-Up Hospital was set up and delivered without any extra funding, being based simply upon goodwill and belief, as well as the support and enthusiasm of staff at the GNCH and a team of forty volunteers, all of whom gave up their spare time to run it. 

The Innovators

Julie Anderson, GNCH Research and Innovations Manager 

Emma Lim, Paediatric Consultant 

Sarah Dickson, Administrative Support 

Nicola Metcalfe, Volunteer 

Alison Haigh, Volunteer Services / Personal Touch Coordinator 

Matt Briggs, Sunderland University Virtual Reality, Medical Illustrator 

The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Development of an Online Resource to Support Paediatric Asthma Care in the North

Asthma is the most common lung disease in the UK, and asthma deaths are amongst the highest in Europe. The ‘National Review of Asthma Deaths’ published in 2014 highlighted that simple interventions known to improve asthma outcomes, were not being carried out. Children continue to die from asthma, and these potentially avoidable factors can impact significantly upon their deaths. 

In order to address this, the team developed the BeatAsthma online resource, to help health professionals to standardise care across the region and to help families and patients to understand and self-manage their disease. The resources have been adopted by most of the hospitals in the region, and have resulted from absolute dedication from the team, on top of a busy clinical workload, being driven by a desire to improve practice in paediatric asthma care. 

The Innovators

Dr. Jennifer Townshend, Editor in Chief, Consultant Paediatrician, The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 

Sister Sally Hails, Nurse Specialist Children’s Respiratory, The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 

In collaboration with: The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust; County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust; The Grove Surgery, Newcastle upon Tyne and Patient and Public involvement 

Demonstrating an Impact on Patient Safety

Improving Patient Safety with the AMBER Care Bundle, Deciding Right and Advance Care Planning

Patients who have an uncertain recovery due to underlying frailty or disease burden are often inappropriately readmitted into Secondary Care due to a lack of appropriate care planning or poor communication. Whilst there is guidance available, it is rarely used as part of a collaborative approach that allows for greater planning and improved patient experience. 

The AMBER Care Bundle is a tool that is used to improve outcomes and care delivery for patients, and by linking its use with greater Advance Care Planning, such as the Deciding Right approach, a better transition from Secondary to Primary Care is supported, whilst ensuring that clinical decisions about resuscitation and the future wishes of the patient and their family, including preferred place of death, are addressed earlier in the illness of the patient. 

The Innovators

John Sheridan, Macmillan Lead Nurse, End of Life Care 

Caroline Mitchell, Macmillan Associate Clinical Nurse Specialist 

Julie Parkes, Associate Director 

Julie Gillon, Chief Executive 

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust 

National AMBER Care Bundle Team, Guys and St. Thomas NHS Foundation Trust 

Lead Organisation:

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust

Pressure Area Care - Spreading the Knowledge

The tissue viability nursing team at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust were set the challenge of reducing the number of incidences of hospital acquired pressure sores by 50%, and in response to this, the team visited wards and provided education to staff. However, despite their efforts and an overall downward trend, the numbers were still variable. The tissue viability nursing team then joined forces with the Cumbria Learning and Improvement Collaborative (CLIC) to take part in a ‘Rapid Process Improvement Workshop’ at West Cumberland Hospital, which involved the training of staff, as well as the development of a pressure care information sheet for visitors and a credit card-sized tool for relatives and staff. 

The tissue viability nurses, staff and patients have all worked together to spread ideas surrounding improved pressure care, both within the Trust and into the wider health and social care system in the North Cumbria region. 

The Innovators

Fiona Kelly, Laura Nunn, Lynsey Harper and Jane Leech, Tissue Viability Nurses, North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust 

North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust 

Lead Organisation: 

North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust 

Safety Checklists to Reduce Post-Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) Pancreatitis Rates

pancreatic disease, and it continues to be one of the most complex gastrointestinal procedures carrying the highest risk of complications including Pancreatitis. 

In 2013, the team modified the WHO Safer Surgical Checklist to incorporate a number of key ERCP safety features including use of rectal NSAIDs and antibiotic prophylaxis, discussion of antiplatelet/ anticoagulants, and discussion of the planned ERCP procedure and equipment required. After initial piloting, it was agreed that use of the Checklist should become mandatory prior to all ERCPs in the Trust. The Checklist standardises care between consultants and frees up capacity to enable them to focus upon the ERCP procedure itself. 


The Innovators

Darren Craig, Dr. John Greenaway, Dr. Debasis Majumdar, Dr. Vikramjit Mitra, Consultant Gastroenterologists 

Martin Fletcher, Endoscopy Manager 

South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 

Lead Organisation: 

South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Research Impact: Improving Patient Care

Leading Collaborations to Deliver Practice-Changing Research

Adenoma Detection Rate (ADR) is an important marker of high-quality colonoscopy, and low ADR correlates with higher post-colonoscopy colorectal cancer. South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust led a ground-breaking research collaboration aimed at developing world leading, practice-changing endoscopy research. 

Two trials were managed and delivered by the Trust and their academic partners North Wales Organisation for Randomised Trials in Health, and Newcastle University, and as a direct result, it was announced by NHS England that the Endocuff Vision, a single use disposable device designed to enhance colonoscopy developed by ARC Medical Design Limited, would be fast tracked for use in the NHS. The highly successful collaboration facilitated research delivery at unprecedented pace and scale, delivering two of the largest endoscopy randomised controlled trials seen in the literature internationally. 

The Innovators

Professor Colin Rees, Professor of Gastroenterology, Newcastle University and R&D Director, South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust 

Claire Livingstone, Research and Development Manager, South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust 

Clive Stokes, Trial Manager, South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust 

Martin Walls, Research Fellow, South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust 

Linda Sharp, Professor of Cancer Epidemiology, Newcastle University 

Mark Hull, Professor of Molecular Gastroenterology, University of Leeds 

In collaboration with: ARC Medical and NWORTH, North Wales Organisation for Randomised Trials in Health 

Lead Organisation: 

South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust

Rob Pickard Impact Legacy

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is the most frequently encountered complication from self-catheterisation. The Antibiotic Treatment for Intermittent Bladder Catheterisation (AnTIC) trial was designed to ascertain whether patients who self-catheterise and who suffer from repeated urinary tract infections (UTIs) benefit from taking continuous daily low dose antibiotics. The main outcome of the trial was that for patients who self-catheterise, daily low dose antibiotics are effective in reducing the incidence of UTIs. 

A stricture is a narrowing of the passage through which men pass urine and it is a common cause of difficulty in passing urine. The OPEN trial compared the two possible ways of treating this condition, namely a keyhole procedure or a more complicated surgical procedure. The main outcome was the relative effectiveness of the two procedures in the control of UTIs. 

These studies were both designed with support from the NIHR Research Design Service North East and the NIHR Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria, and they were managed through the Newcastle Clinical Trials Unit. Professor Pickard was an advocate for Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement throughout the research process, ensuring that the views of patients were embedded in the design of the study. The studies are a fitting legacy to Professor Pickard and both were designed to answer the important questions being asked by patients and the clinicians who treat them. 

The Innovators

Professor Rob Pickard, Consultant Urologist 

The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 

Lead Organisation: 

The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 

Improving the Utility of Quantitative MRI in Children and Young People with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis

Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) is the most common chronic rheumatic disease of childhood, with poorly controlled disease resulting in a high frequency of joint damage and joint replacement surgery in later life. There is a growing evidence base supporting the importance of early aggressive interventions during episodes of disease flare. MRI has great potential as a quantitative assessment tool, but the use of MRI in JIA has been modest, due to the difficulties of scanning children. 

The team carried out a pilot study, in which it was demonstrated that MRI has potential as a sensitive disease assessment tool in JIA. The team are now developing a large-scale research project to demonstrate that it is possible to minimise the duration of the MRI scanning that is required, to make MRI even more feasible. 

The Innovators

Dr. Flora McErlane, Consultant Paediatric Rheumatologist, Great North Children’s Hospital, The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Associate Clinical Lecturer, Institute of Cellular Medicine, Newcastle University 

Dr. Kieren Hollingsworth, Senior Lecturer in Magnetic Resonance Physics, Institute of Cellular Medicine, Newcastle University 

Dr. Joshua Bennett, Specialty Trainee in Paediatrics, Northern Deanery 

The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 

Lead Organisation: 

The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

© 2019 Bright Ideas In Health Awards