Big chair for hospital staff

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BACK ache can be a horror for the people who suffer it.

You sit in various positions just trying, often in vain, to find one which provides some relief.

Now pioneering work at the Southern General Hospital could bring the relief that so many have cried out for.

The bioengineering team at the hospital’s Westmarc has developed an bespoke, contoured seat for people with severe postural deformity.

And because of the team’s dedication more than 100 people have some relief.

The work was also recognised in the wider sphere as the team won last year’s prize in the national Healthcare Science Award – for Innovation in Quality Improvement.

The chair works by matching the shape of the patient and promoting good posture.

Along with the health benefits, the hospital now says that there has been a reduction in waiting times to supply these specialised seats and the cost of supplying them has gone down.

Dy Peter Greene, the principal bioengineer at Westmarc, said: “The bioengineering team looked at whether it was possible to develop a contour seat in-house that would cater for patients with postural deformity.

“After some work, the team were able to produce a design that we could supply to patients and we are delighted that patients are now reaping the benfits of the work of the team.

“By producing these specialised seats in-house, we have managed to improve the speed of providing appropriate seating to patients with complex postural problems and reduce the costs to the NHS.

“Waiting times have been reduced by 50% and patients are now being seen and supplied with and appropriate seat within the 18-week guarantee.

“The cost has also been reduced by 60% - a significant saving for the NHS.”

John Colvin, head of service at Westmarc, added: “This is a fantastic development for the team which benefits the patients who require one of these specially-designed seats.

“The majority of the patients who require a bespoke seat have severe deformities which make sitting in a normal seat virtually impossible.

“By providing patients, whether it be a child or an adult, with something which gives them support and promotes better posture really does make a difference to their lives.”