A NEW GENERATION of child prosthetic devices, including state-of-the-art technologies, are to be developed by a Sheffield-based NIHR Devices for Dignity Healthcare Technology Co-operative (D4D) as part of a £750,000 government-backed initiative.
- Devices for Dignity, hosted by Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, to lead £750,000 national initiative to help clinicians, academics and industry partners develop state-of-the-art child prosthetic devices
- Prosthetic devices can be pivotal in transforming the quality of a child’s life, restoring confidence and mobility, and reducing anxiety and social stigma
- Views and involvement of patients, families and children will also be sought so that new technologies and research can be developed based on clinical need
Announced by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, the national Child Prosthetics Research Collaboration will bring together clinicians, academics and industry partners so that innovations and research into child prosthetics can be brought to the NHS more quickly and to greater scale. It is to be led by Sheffield-based organisation NIHR Devices for Dignity Healthcare Technology Co-operative (HTC).
Prosthetics or artificial limbs are needed when a child has a lost, injured or weakened a body part or limb, which may be as a result of an amputation, an inherited condition or other problem. They can play a key role in improving a child’s mobility, helping them to stay more active and independent.
As well as providing strategic leadership to create a national focus on child prosthetics, the Collaboration will encourage the development of new research activity by attracting the brightest and most talented clinicians, academics and entrepreneurs to the field. The views and involvement of patients, families and children will also be sought so that new technologies and research can be developed based on clinical and user need and a forum established to showcase cutting-edge technologies and latest research and innovation.
D4D is hosted by Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and is one of eight specialist NIHR Healthcare Technology Co-operatives (HTCs) set up by the Department of Health. D4D’s goal is to develop new technologies that enable people with long-term conditions to live more independent lives. It is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the research arm of the NHS.
Dr Nicola Heron, Programme Director for D4D, said: “We are delighted to be at the forefront of this exciting national initiative. Prosthetic devices can be pivotal in transforming the quality of child’s life, restoring confidence, mobility, reducing anxiety and social stigma. D4D and its partner HTCs have a wealth of expertise in working with clinicians, academics, industry partners and patients to develop technology that meets the specific needs of children. Working alongside two existing national programmes, the Technology Innovation Transforming Child Health (TITCH) network and the NHS Test Bed programme, the network will provide world-leading, expert research collaboration and attract leading talent and ideas to realise real patient benefits for children needing prosthetic devices.”
ENDSPhoto: The NIHR Devices for Dignity Healthcare Technology Co-operative team