Marsden secures Queen’s Award for innovation

Healthcare | North West

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A Rotherham-based medical device company which helped an A&E nurse to realise the potential in her idea to administer potentially life-saving treatment has been awarded a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation.

The award was secured by Marsden in recognition of the work the company has undertaken in developing a unique Patient Transfer Scale, which is used to provide accurate weight measurements when a patient is admitted to hospital.

Launched in 2018, today, the Marsden Patient Transfer Scale is used in 65% of all NHS Trusts across the UK and also sold worldwide.

The innovative product was developed when a nurse called Gillian Taylor witnessed first-hand the discomfort and delays to treatment caused when medical staff attempted to weigh immobile patients using traditional hoists.

When a patient suffers a stroke or is diagnosed with sepsis it is vital for medication to be administered as quickly as possible. However, before treatment can begin a patient must be weighed to identify the correct dosage required. It was recognised that cumbersome hoists could lead to delays in the time taken for a patient to receive treatment. Drawing on her nursing expertise, Gillian was determined to do something to try and solve the problem.

NICE Guidelines require every patient to be weighed when they are admitted to hospital and reviewed regularly during treatment. Gillian hit on hit on the idea of combining a weighing device with a patient transfer board, used when moving a patient from a trolley to a hospital bed after looking at the thin weighing scales she used in her kitchen.

After developing a prototype of the invention, Marsden was approached for help in realising the potential offered by the unique product which enables accurate weight readings to be taken within a matter a seconds, helping to reduce delays in life-saving medication being administered.

Marsden refined the design and secured the vital Class III certification, enabling the product to be sold in NHS and EU hospitals. Today, the Patient Transfer Scale can weigh patients up to 250kg (39 stone) and provides accurate readings up to 500g and following its launch, the invention is today being sold around the world.

Mark Holdaway, Chief Executive Officer, Marsden, said: “Marsden has a long history of innovation in the healthcare sector and when we were approached with the original idea, we knew it could potentially be a product which would change the way in which patients were treated across the world.

“We felt the Patient Transfer Scale could act as a catalyst towards driving positive change within a healthcare environment. The need for healthcare professionals to obtain accurate weights is not only vital when it comes to delivering appropriate care, but helps to eliminate the guessing of patient weights in cases where traditional hoists cannot be used.

“The invention is a genuine first for the healthcare industry and a product which will clearly help to save lives, abide with NICE guidelines and ensure better patient outcomes are achieved. The success the product has enjoyed is a testament to the hard work, determination and passion which has driven the development of the product, one which was borne from the idea of an experienced nurse, who understood the challenges and limitations of existing solutions and was determined to do something about it. I’m thrilled that our collective work has resulted in a Queen’s Award, but of course, we’re keen not to rest on our laurels and we hope to ensure that even more hospitals and healthcare providers will be able to benefit from this truly unique product.”

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