A DEVICE which prevents a patient being given air instead of oxygen has won first prize at this year's Bright Ideas in Health Awards.

The awards, held at the Newcastle Gateshead Hilton Hotel, are held every year to celebrate bright ideas developed by health staff working in the North-East NHS.

In the 10 years since the event has been held a total of 60 ideas have been turned into commercially viable products used in the Health Service.

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This years winning device was developed by David Bramley, a consultant in emergency medicine, at City Hospitals Sunderland Trust in response to a national safety alert.

First place in the service improvement category was won by a computerised decision aid developed by stroke consultant Professor Gary Ford of The Newcastle Hospitals Trust. The bedside system quickly identifies which stroke victim would benefit from clotbusting drugs.

First place in the educational category went to UKETS, a multi-disciplinary group set up to to help trainees to learn basic endovascular procedures. UKETS was co-founded by Dr Sebastian Mafeld, surgical registrar Craig Nesbitt and vascular trainee James McCaslin.

The three winning entries share a prize fund of £9,000 and will now receive further specialist support from NHS Innovations North to make a real difference to healthcare in the UK.

The awards are organised by the NHS Innovations North team at technology transfer company RTC North to highlight the most exciting, new ideas developed by frontline staff working within the NHS in the North-East.