‘Step Right Buddy’ project shortlisted for healthcare innovation award


A partnership between Birmingham City University and Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has been shortlisted for a prestigious award celebrating the best of innovation in healthcare around the region.

The partnership is up for the MidTECH Award for ‘Best NHS-Developed Medical Technology Innovation’ in the West Midlands Academic Health Science Network’s third annual Meridian Celebration of Innovation awards. Dr Sarahjane Jones of Birmingham City University and Carole Owen of Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust are shortlisted for their development of the ‘Step Right Buddy’ - a device which aims to reduce the risk of falls in walking frame users with poor posture.

The original idea for the Step Right Buddy came from Carole Owen, a Rehabilitation Assistant with Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, who recognised the need to address the issue of poor posture and technique when using a walking frame.

Carole was supported by Dr Sarahjane Jones, a researcher in the Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences at Birmingham City University, to run a pilot trial to assess the acceptability and safety of the Step Right Buddy. Alongside the research project, the University provided training and development opportunities for two staff from the Trust, including Carole, in the design, development and delivery of research.

Commenting on the award nomination, Carole commented: “I was really shocked to be shortlisted. The opportunity to work with Sarahjane has been marvellous.

Dr Jones added: “Being shortlisted is great. We’ve got our fingers crossed for success so that we can allocate the prize money to support getting the product to market.”

The winners will be announced at Birmingham Conference and Events Centre on 13 July.

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