Alder Hey and NeedleSmart partnership aims to reduce 100,000 needlestick injuries to NHS healthcare workers

Alder Hey and NeedleSmart partnership aims to reduce 100,000 needlestick injuries to NHS healthcare workers

Alder Hey and NeedleSmart partnership aims to reduce 100,000 needlestick injuries to NHS healthcare workers

19th Jan 2022

British smart medtech company invents world's first end-to-end safe needle destruction technology.

Tech aimes to reduce 3 millions gloabal needlestick injuries

In a recent survey*, it was reported that a staggering 94 per cent of practising surgeons in the UK have either been personally affected by a needlestick injury (NSI) or have seen a colleague experience one. The Royal College Of Nursing also reported last year that the pressures of the pandemic and lack of training accounted for a 50% rise in sharps injuries.

UK based smart med-tech innovator NeedleSmart aim to change this statistic.  NeedleSmart has designed the world’s first end-to-end vaccination and safe needle destruction system aimed at reducing the 100,000 needlestick injuries  (NSI) to NHS workers in the UK each year and 3 million globally.

Of the 100,000 reported cases of NSI**, NHS healthcare workers in the UK are the most affected profession, with 500,000 NSI in Germany and more than 1 million NSI in the USA. They are estimated to cost each NHS trust £500,000 each year*** and an estimated £127 million across England ****. This is not to mention the impact it has on staff absenteeism, the cost of bringing in replacement staff and legal litigation to NHS trusts, which are already under increased pressure with the pandemic.

To achieve this the Knowsley-based MedTech disruptor have entered into an exciting new innovation partnership with the world-renowned Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, one of Europe’s leading paediatric healthcare institutions with a  unique dedicated innovation centre focused on solving real world problems faced day to day. The first phase of that innovation partnership will work on a safety and needlestick injuries (NSI) reduction programme as part of its clinician and patient safety enhancement. The project aims to impact, reduce and eventually prevent the 100,000 NSI that occur every year to NHS healthcare staff.  

In its wider remit, NeedleSmart is also working with 15 NHS trusts across the UK as part of the nationwide pilot, where its focus is shared between safety enhancement, carbon reduction and sustainability.  This programme is breaking new ground on the art of the possible with regards to medical waste disposal resulting is direct carbon savings as part of the NHS sustainability initiative.

Alder Hey is widely recognised for its cocreation and adoption of new innovative technologies  and boasts the largest hospital-based Innovation Centre in the UK with 25+ full time innovation experts working out of a 1000sqm Innovation Hub in the heart of the hospital. Through this alliance, Alder Hey will work directly with NeedleSmart as it brings its multi-faceted hardware and software solutions to the healthcare markets.

Alder Hey will work shoulder-to-shoulder with the team at NeedleSmart in a co-development plan that consists of three phases:

  • Clinician and patient safety enhancement
  • Sustainability to recycling pilot
  • Clinical workflow and data transactions

NeedleSmart, working in conjunction with British engineering solutions company CAL International, has designed and innovated a patented needle destruction system. Not only does this destroy the hypodermic needle, but also provides a full audit trail of each needle, charting the journey from its initial deployment, through to its assignment to healthcare staff, injection to patient and ultimately its safe destruction. 

The NeedleSmart Pro device destroys the contaminated needle in a sealed chamber in just six seconds, effectively minimising post-procedural NSI. The NeedleSmart device heats the needles inserted into the chamber to 1,300 degrees Celsius, which will kill potential harmful pathogens, viruses and bacteria adhering to the needle.  Within seconds the needle is compressed into a tiny ball and released from the NeedleSmart device as a safe sphere of metal at the tip of the syringe.

NeedleSmart have recently achieved  FDA approval as a Class II medical device, making NeedleSmart the first UK company to achieve FDA 510(k) approval (Class II for Sharps Needle Destruction Device (NDD)), allowing the MedTech disruptor to expand into the US market and other global territories.

Commenting on the new safety partnership with Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, NeedleSmart CEO and smart MedTech disruptor, Cliff Kirby, said:

“We are absolutely delighted to be working with Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust on this unique innovation partnership, with its first phase aimed at clinician and staff safety around needlestick injuries (NSI). There is a massive issue for the NHS around the safety of healthcare staff. The wider implications of NSI include the costs of medical treatment for the injured healthcare worker, the costs of substitute staff and costly litigation, all while the NHS is under immense pressure dealing with the pandemic.”

Claire Liddy, Managing Director of Innovation at Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“At Alder Hey, we want to ensure that we are always standing at the leading edge of clinical innovation and safety. NeedleSmart’s product solution offers a number of innovation drivers to build from starting with clinician and patient safety around the major issue of needlestick injuries, carbon reduction and data transactions. Working alongside the team at NeedleSmart, we are constantly challenging conventional thinking around sharps disposal and what benefits could be achieved at that moment.

We want to work with businesses that have the potential to make a real difference. At the heart of Alder Hey is a commitment to innovate – we dare to think differently , We build areas of technical strength and excellence and scan the horizon for cutting-edge technology that can positively impact healthcare, we work with a select number of partners that share our drive and vision – and NeedleSmart is one such business. At a time when co-worker safety, sustainability and innovation are so important, disruptive technologies have a critical role to play. We have been assessing the viability of NeedleSmart in the background during our first Covid-19 vaccination programme – and we are delighted to be working together with NeedleSmart to reduce the occurrence and impact of needlestick injuries across the NHS as we work through the daily challenges presented by the pandemic.”

NeedleSmart’s Cliff Kirby added:

“Coming from a product development background, I know all too well that any product only succeeds with the blessing and input of the end user. This ethos sits at the centre of the Alder Hey Innovation Centre and we are really excited to work with the team on a co-development strategy that could have such a huge and positive impact in the medical environment. Having watched the team at Alder Hey deliver the first rounds of Covid-19 vaccinations, it is an absolute privilege to be associated with an organisation that quite clearly takes a challenge head on and delivers a solution in a way that is second to none. The development work with Alder Hey provides critical use case information to support the national level programme targeting sustainable carbon reduction in this space to the wider NHS sustainability target of carbon net zero by 2040 within the NHS.”

Reference Points

*Survey conducted by SERMO. 510 actively practicing UK, US, German, Swedish, Japanese and Australian surgeons responded to a survey on the importance of surgical gloves. April 2019.

** A review of sharps injuries and preventative strategies, Journal of Hospital Infection, 2003

*** Needlestick Injury in 2008, Royal College of Nursing, 2008

**** NHS statistics, facts and figures. July 2017. http://www.nhsconfed.org/resources/key-statistics-on-the-nhs. There are 254 NHS Trusts in the UK, so the estimated cost is calculated to be £127m (£500,000 x 254)

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