All NHS trusts and boards in the UK, and all hospitals and other institutions carrying our surgical procedures globally, need to pre-clean surgical instruments within the sterile services process.
The current automated pre-cleaning solutions focus on one specific area such as neurological surgery. They are not designed for a range of instruments. There is a market opportunity for a company to design an automated pre-cleaner that improves the process for a range of instruments. This will reduce clinical, health and safety and environmental concerns, improve efficiency and reduce costs.
A solution to this challenge is vital if clinical outcomes are to be improved. Surgical procedures use ever more complex and small-scale, or robotic, instruments. All of these need to achieve cleanliness to above and beyond the required standard. This to reduce the risk of spreading diseases such as CJD.
Existing procedures within the NHS meet the standard, but generally rely on manual pre-cleaning. These:
- may not achieve the required standard consistently
- have health and safety implications for NHS employees
- use high volumes of water
- generate contaminated water
- risk water pollution
The NHS is working to improve its procedures, but it does not have the capacity or background to develop solutions based on design and engineering. This competition aims to use the expertise of SMEs in the UK commercial sector to develop a solution. This will allow all healthcare providers who carry out surgical procedures, to pre-clean beyond the existing highest standards. This will create processes to work for new instruments in the future.
By providing funding for feasibility studies we can remove the risk from the development of prototypes.
About SBRI competitions
SBRI provides innovative solutions to challenges faced by the public sector. This can lead to better public services and improved efficiency and effectiveness. SBRI supports economic growth and enables the development of innovative products and services. It does this through the public procurement of research and development (R&D). SBRI generates new business opportunities for companies and provides a route to market for their ideas. It also bridges the seed funding gap experienced by many early-stage companies.
Further help and information
You can find information on how to enter this competition in the invitation to tender document, which is available for download on our secure site after registration.
Questions related to the particular requirements of this competition should be addressed directly to Frances Hines (firstname.lastname@example.org).
If you want help to find a project partner, contact the Knowledge Transfer Network or Scottish Enterprise.
If you need more information, contact the competition helpline on 0300 321 4357 or email us at email@example.com