Infection prevention specialist Vernacare is celebrating double success after winning both the overall Supplier of the Year Award, and Patient Experience Award, at the NHS in the North West Excellence in Supply Awards.
Phil Bradley, UK Commercial Director at Vernacare, said: "We are delighted by this double award win, especially to win the top award of Supplier of the Year. Our congratulations go to the many great companies among the finalists and winners, who demonstrate the fantastic achievements of successful supply partnerships with the NHS.
"As a North West based SME, we have been collaborating with NHS clinicians for more than 50 years to design and develop infection prevention products that are enhancing patient care and improving safety in UK hospitals. We are very thankful for the ongoing support of our NHS partners, and are proud to showcase our best of British healthcare innovation around the globe. This involves sharing best practice and innovation in countries as far afield as India, Singapore, Japan, Canada, and Australia."
The awards judging panel commented: “Vernacare provide a comprehensive and integrated approach to patient welfare – placing them at the centre of the development and working closely with Trusts so that products can be used and disposed of sustainably.”
Vernacare won the Patient Experience Award for its VernaFem female urinal, which was developed with support from the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and other Trusts across the North West and UK. This is the world's first single-use female urinal and it is making an important contribution to improving standards of hygiene, and ensuring greater comfort and dignity for immobile patients. VernaFem is helping the NHS and global healthcare providers to prevent potentially deadly and costly Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTIs) and Healthcare Associated Infections (HCAIs).
Chair of NHS North West Procurement Development and Chief Executive of event sponsors the Innovation Agency, Dr Liz Mear said: “The collaboration of Vernacare with Lancashire Teaching Hospitals in developing VernaFem is a great example of using innovation in procurement to improve care.”
Vernacare's new Compact disposal unit, which is small enough to fit into patient bathrooms and isolation rooms to provide infection prevention at the point of care, was shortlisted for the Innovation Award. Together with VernaFem, this product is part of the comprehensive 'Vernacare System' of hygienic patient toileting and washing.
The Vernacare product range, which is designed and manufactured at the company's Bolton R&D and production site, is used by 96% of NHS Trusts to improve the patient experience, reduce infection, save nurses' time, improve environmental performance, save energy and reduce costs.