Wednesday, March 26, 2014

News: Payback for NHS Trust who chose Inditherm

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A health trust using innovative patient warming products from Rotherham-based Inditherm has received payback on its investment in less than a year.

The Pennine Acute Trust operates four separate hospitals in the Greater Manchester region, with a total of 43 operating theatres covering a broad range of surgical specialties and is the largest non-teaching hospital trust in the UK. They had been spending over £100,000 per year on forced air warming disposable blankets prior to the introduction of Inditherm, warming approximately 50% of surgical patients.

AIM-listed Inditherm has developed products that use low voltage carbon polymer technology to provide heat and unlike other forms of heating, there are no hot spots. In addition, the systems ensure that every surgical patient can be warmed at the same running cost as a light-bulb.

By switching to products made by the Manvers firm, the Pennine Acute Trust has seen a payback on investment in less than a year, with projected savings of £300,000 over five years.

Inditherm was selected as the product of choice following exhaustive evaluations and it was decided to equip 31 operating theatres and 11 recovery beds across the Trust. The change of technology will allow nearly all patients undergoing surgery to be warmed automatically as soon as they are placed on the operating table, helping to improve clinical outcomes and reduce the risk of hypothermia.

The business case projected yearly budget savings over a five year period, based on buying the Inditherm systems up front. In practice, the budgeted savings for the first two years were exceeded in the first eight months with payback on the initial investment realised in just ten months.

Nick Bettles, chief executive of Inditherm, said: "It is very helpful to have this case study, documenting as it does the practical considerations and the cost savings actually achieved in a real life situation within the NHS. We hope it will prove of value to other hospitals considering change.

"Uptake of Inditherm patient warming is growing all the time, and an increasing number of Trusts are understanding and embracing the real benefits, both clinical and financial, that can be realised. In the current climate of budget pressure Inditherm offers NHS managers the opportunity to make a relatively simple change for the better, delivering a step change in cost reduction with additional benefits for clinical care.

"Although not used in this case, Inditherm also offer payment schemes that do not require up-front investment, allowing the use of existing revenue budgets and immediate savings. This case study certainly proves what can be achieved in practice."

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) published guidance in 2011 advising that the Inditherm patient warming mattress should be considered for use in patients at risk of inadvertent hypothermia.

The NHS in England alone could save over £15m per annum if forced air warming was replaced by Inditherm's mattress for eligible procedures in most of the 3,030 operating theatres.

One problem for Inditherm is the time it takes to go through processes within the NHS. The Pennine Acute Trust project took two and a half years from start to finish.

Inditherm website

Images: Inditherm

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