Clinical research fellow Mr Matthew Prime features in this weeks Economist magazine on an article entitled “Doctorpreneurs”, which focuses on how many bright inventions come out of the NHS but too few are exploited.
Although in theory the NHS is keen to exploit innovation, in practice the path is often blocked. One problem is that there is no clear process for pitching an idea: doctors who do must tout their wares to each hospital, and sometimes each hospital department. One inventor, an orthopaedic surgeon called Matthew Prime, came up with a digital database for accident and emergency patient notes which, he says, caused a 50% drop in complaints and lowered surgical waiting times. Despite this success, only four other hospitals took it up. Others continue to write each patient’s notes out five times, on various whiteboards and notepads, as they come in.