• Partnership to Tackle Needlestick Injuries to Healthcare Workers
    Cliff Kirby
  • Claire Liddy

News & Views

Partnership to Tackle Needlestick Injuries to Healthcare Workers

Jan 19 2022

UK MedTech disruptor NeedleSmart (Knowsley), which has designed an end-to-end vaccination and safe needle destruction system, has partnered with the world-renowned Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, to work on a safety and needlestick injuries (NSI) reduction programme that will impact on the reported 100,000 NSI that occur every year to healthcare staff, at an estimated annual cost to the NHS of £127m (1-4).

One of Europe’s leading paediatric healthcare institutions Alder Hey boasts a 1000sqm central innovation hub with 25+ full time experts working to solve everyday problems. The partners will work on a co-development plan covering: Clinician and patient safety enhancement; Sustainability to recycling pilot; Clinical workflow and data transactions.

NeedleSmart’s device, developed in conjunction with British engineering solutions company CAL International, heats used needles inserted into the chamber to 1,300 degrees Celsius killing potential harmful pathogens, viruses and bacteria before compressing it into a tiny ball which is released from the device as a safe sphere of metal at the tip of the syringe. A full audit trail of each needle from deployment, its use and its final disposal is provided.

The company has recently achieved FDA approval (Class II for Sharps Needle Destruction Device (NDD)), allowing its expansion into the US market and other global territories.

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.

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.

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. Working alongside the team at NeedleSmart, we are constantly challenging conventional thinking around sharps disposal and what benefits could be achieved at that moment. 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.”

References (1-4) 

1 Survey conducted by SERMO, April 2019.

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

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

4 NHS statistics, facts and figures. July 2017.

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