FOUR inventive ideas from employees of Cambridgeshire NHS Trusts for new products and services have been shortlisted for an award for their potential to improve patient care.

FOUR inventive ideas from employees of Cambridgeshire NHS Trusts for new products and services have been shortlisted for an award for their potential to improve patient care.

The innovations include a personal opththalmic diagnostic system (PODS), devised to replace more expensive devices currently used for visual function assessment, and a device to reduce the risk of syringe mis-labelling.

Other shortlisted ideas include videos to optimise babble and speech outcomes in cleft palate care and a 'risk to health indicator' which presents the risks associated with certain lifestyle factors in a diagrammatic format.

The 2010 Innovation Competition has been organised by Papworth-based Health Enterprise East (HEE), the NHS innovation hub for the East of England.

Winners will receive prizes totalling £20,000 in an awards ceremony next month.

This year marks the sixth anniversary of the competition, which requires entrants to put forward innovations across five categories: medical technology, software & ICT, patient safety, moving care closer to home and tackling inequalities.

Dr Anne Blackwood, HEE chief executive, said: "We have been impressed by the number and range of entries we have received across the five categories. The three new ones - patient safety, moving care closer to home and tackling inequalities - reflect current healthcare priorities and have attracted a wide range of innovations to meet these challenges."