|A ‘revolutionary’ new weighing scale, invented by an NHS nurse and the first of its type in the world, will have ‘huge benefits’ for patients, according to a member of the senior team at NHS Lanarkshire.
The Patient Transfer Scale, which will be launched later this year, is designed to weigh immobile patients faster and more easily than current solutions. An accurate weight reading is important when drug dosages need to be calculated or treatment administered, particularly if the patient’s condition is serious. NICE guidelines (2006) state patients admitted to hospital should have ‘a weight on admission and then a weekly weight.’
The Patient Transfer Scale was invented by Gillian Taylor, a former NHS Lanarkshire Emergency Department nurse. Gillian was frustrated at not being able to weigh immobile patients admitted to the Emergency Department where she worked. “The only way to weigh an immobile patient was to use a hoist scale or a bed scale, but both were time consuming, and could be cumbersome too.” said Gillian adding “I decided there must be an easier way to weigh these patients, then later, working in practice development for Stroke services, it became clear getting an accurate weight quickly can help save a life.”
Gillian had the idea of weighing a patient as they are transferred from a trolley to a bed, an existing process that requires the use of a device known as a transfer board. “I realised that if a patient is weighed as they are transferred to a bed, using a transfer board, they can be weighed quickly without time being taken to weigh them. This means as soon as the patient is admitted to hospital there is a weight reading that can be used to accurately administer medication as soon as possible.”
With help from NHS Lanarkshire, Scottish Health Innovations Limited (SHIL) and weighing scale manufacturer Marsden, Gillian was able to develop the product and bring it to market. It has been tested in 30 hospitals by Marsden with feedback provided by each hospital. This provided guidance for the final design.
Richard Black, Managing Director of Marsden, said: “We were delighted to be approached by Gillian in 2016 and asked to develop her invention. The Patient Transfer Scale is a revolutionary idea and it will help hospitals deliver better patient care by weighing them with dignity and prescribing drug dosages with confidence.”
“This scale is the first of its type in the world – and we believe it can change the way hospitals operate around the world.”
PTS inventor Gillian Taylor is available for interview. Please contact us for more information.
The Patient Transfer Scale’s official launch will take place this November.