A HOSPITAL trust has won an award for its trialling of a device which has speeded up surgery for patients with ankle breaks.

The ‘geko’ device is applied just below the knee and sends a small electrical pulse down the leg to increase blood flow, mimicking the processes normally achieved by walking, but without the need to move or exert energy.

It reduces swelling and enables patients to be admitted to surgery earlier, accelerating recovery times and enabling rehabilitation to begin sooner.

South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust partnered with medical devices company Sky Medical Technology for the research project which found that there was an average cost saving of £569 per patient, compared to the costs of current care

The tie-up has now won the Bionow Healthcare Project of the Year Award.

Ankle fracture swelling can often lead to a delay in surgery which has the knock-on effect of blocking hospital beds as surgeons must wait for swelling to reduce before they operate, in turn increasing waiting lists.

Paul Baker, an orthopaedic consultant surgeon at Middlesbrough’s James Cook University Hospital, said: “The trust champions its clinicians to embrace innovation and partner with industry to pioneer new models of care, so that our patients will be amongst the first to benefit from hugely exciting medical advances.”