News round-up


The latest news from the medical devices marketplace including new product launches, clinical trials, procurements and equipment warnings/recalls

Hand-held ultrasound boost for renal biopsies

THE Evelina Children's Hospital is to take delivery of a new hand-held ultrasound system for kidney biopsies and the diagnosis of renal and urological conditions. Part of Guys and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust, the hospital has procured the M-Turbo device from SonoSite for use in its renal unit, which carries out 150 biopsies on children of all ages every year. Dr Christopher Reid, paediatric nephrologist at the hospital, said: “The M-Turbo is an extremely useful tool; we use it for guiding kidney biopsies and also for urgent or quick assessments of patients who may be suffering from an obstructed bladder or congenital kidney problems. Being able to do the scan ourselves while performing the biopsies, without having to wait for the assistance of our radiology colleagues, is very helpful and we have very good success rates. You need something which is simple to use and gives a clear image of the kidney for guiding biopsies, and the M-Turbo is excellent for this purpose.”

Lifeline for Medtech companies

MEDICAL device manufacturers are being given a boost with the launch of a new organisation that will focus on securing commercial opportunities. The South East Health Technologies Alliance (SEHTA) was set up in 2005 to help businesses in the healthcare sector establish themselves and grow. It has now broadened its remit with the launch of a new commercial arm known as SEHTA Enterprises. Chief executive, Dr David Parry, said: “The NHS faces severe financial constraints, yet at the same time demand for the improved care of patients has never been higher. It is extremely important for innovative UK businesses in the healthcare sector to continue to receive support so they can develop, build and deliver products and services to make healthcare delivery more efficient and cost-effective. These companies need help that is both independent and impartial, which is what SEHTA provides.” He added that next year the organisation would be launching a series of events aimed at helping companies to access NHS contracts. “Our understanding and contacts within the health service are growing all the time,” he said. “There is recognition that the NHS really does need industry to provide innovative cost-effective solutions to its challenges and we have been responsible for working with our strategic health authorities, now the Southern Cluster, to bring projects for SMEs to our local companies. These contracts are designed to help industry solve NHS problems.”

3mm laparoscopic range unveiled

SURGICAL Innovations (SI) has this week launched its new 3mm Resposable product range which aims to help minimise pain and scarring. Compared to the standard 5mm instruments, the range will enable much smaller incisions to be made, causing less trauma for patients and boosting the healing process. Graham Bowland, SI’s chief executive, said: “Our innovative Resposable range is a ground-breaking alternative to standard laparoscopic devices as it offers improved cosmetic results using traditional laparoscopic surgical techniques.” The range was developed with the help of surgeons from around the world and was officially launched at this week’s MEDICA trade show.

Recycle unwanted equipment for free

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OLD and unwanted medical devices and furniture from NHS trusts up and down the country will be recycled for free as part of a new scheme. Normally it costs £3,000 a year for organisations to sign up to NHS Reuse, which helps organisations to make money, save money and reuse resources including old and unwanted equipment. Instead of being thrown aware, or put into expensive storage, the objects are instead sent to other countries or bought by other health groups. A spokesman for the NHS Sustainable Development Unit (SDU), said: “The scheme was set up by Trevor Payne from University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH) and service company, Serco. It is supported by the NHS SDU as a way of challenging the ‘buy new’ culture of the NHS. Operating like an eBay system, NHS Reuse means thousands of items such as desks, chairs and storage equipment could be available for members of NHS trusts who sign up.” Since its launch, UCLH has already saved £84,000, avoided 14 tonnes of landfill and saved 214 tonnes of carbon.


Riversmead Housing Association has invested in a grouped housing communications system from Tunstall to help support its new flexicare housing scheme at Bircherley Court in Hertford.