Major funding boost to help patients remain independent

Devices for Dignity (D4D), the organisation which works to improve the quality of life for patients with long term conditions has been awarded further funding.

After a successful first five years, D4D, hosted by Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, has been awarded £800,000 funding from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to continue to help produce devices or aids which solve real areas of need for patients.

D4D brings together clinicians, patients, industry, charities and inventors to develop medical devices or technologies which assist people with their daily living. This can range from sophisticated communication aids to the development of new treatments for incontinence.

D4D focuses on three main clinical areas: Urinary Continence Management, Renal Technologies and Assistive and Rehabilitative Technologies.

The programme is hosted by Sheffield Teaching Hospitals and delivered through a co-operative of seven NHS Trust and Foundation Trust nodes around the country, and three academic partners (University of Sheffield, University of Cambridge and Coventry University). The new funding will allow D4D to extend its national network of nodes.

Wendy Tindale, Clinical Director for Devices for Dignity, said: “We are delighted to receive the funding for the next four years from the NIHR. We are proud of our real partnership approach which translates research and innovation to the person’s bedside – at home or in a hospital.

“We aim to build on our successes and become recognised as the national expert group in dignity-related unmet needs, by providing new medical technologies and inventions to help patients maintain dignity and improve their quality of life.”

New rehabilitation devices for patients recovering from stroke and an on-dialysis exercise programme which could help maintain muscle function and prevent patients becoming dependent on wheelchairs are just some of the innovations D4D is involved with.