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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/F002920/1
Principal Investigator: Hignett, Professor S
Other Investigators:
Petersen, Professor AR Benger, Professor JR
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
BriSDoc East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trus Great Western Ambulance NHS Trust
Leciestershire & Rutland County NHS PCT NHS Nissan
Uni Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust United Bristol Healthcare Trust
Department: Ergonomics (Human Sciences)
Organisation: Loughborough University
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 April 2007 Ends: 30 September 2010 Value (£): 414,253
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Design Engineering Design Processes
Med.Instrument.Device& Equip.
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Since 2001 government policy has created a new set of professionals, Emergency Care Practitioners (ECPs), and a new style of urgent healthcare provision to support the vision of a healthcare service designed around the patient. ECPs are paramedics and nurses with additional training to treat patients at home, in minor injuries units or to stabilise patients for transport to specialist clinical units. Although professional training has been developed for ECPs there has been no research to look at the technologies needed to support this new role. This project is looking at emergency and urgent care work in detail. We propose that supporting technologies can be delivered as Smart Pods with three components: a vehicle/docking system, a treatment (vehicle) unit and a treatment package system (equipment and consumables). The first stage of the project is to model the operational systems to determine the distribution of the vehicle/docking systems for the Smart Pods to deliver the right care at the right time in the right place. At the same time we will be working with clinical partners in the East Midlands and South West to look at 4-6 treatment types (including chest pain, minor head injuries, minor illnesses and falls). These treatment types will be analysed in detail in A&E departments, minor injuries units and ambulance services to look for similarities and differences in clinical practice to provide the framework for the treatment packages and initial data for the layout in the treatment (vehicle) unit. We will propose a standardised pathway for the treatment types and will use a simulation mannequin to test the clinical treatment unit layout in a laboratory with doctors, nurses and ECPs.We will start working on the design of the vehicle by reviewing the current systems and looking at distribution and delivery systems in other industries, e.g. military, car breakdown services, food delivery. We will look at how new emergency care vehicles are ordered, purchased and manufactured and compare this with other low-volume vehicle manufacturing (e.g. Lotus, Maclaren) to help us develop viable solutions. This information will be used to look at both manufacturing and purchasing issues to explore if the Smart Pods concept is viable.Vehicle engineering and associated systems options will be surveyed, in particular chassis/drive chain and intelligent vehicle technologies and we will consider sustainability issues in terms of full life-cycle energy usage. Computer models and animation scenarios covering the full range of proposed SmartPod applications will be developed. The final part of this first phase of the project will start to consider issues of implementation in more depth with patient groups representing people affected by a range of urgent and emergency care conditions. We will also consult members of the lay public, clinicians, and those involved in the planning for, managing, and evaluating urgent and emergency care to investigate views on change in the provision of urgent and emergency care and to identify any unanticipated challenges (e.g. political, organisational, cultural) in implementing change.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Description This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Project URL: http://smartpods.jimdo.com/
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.lboro.ac.uk