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Former A&E nurse invents life-saving device that’s due to be launched in Scots hospitals this year

Former nurse Gillian Taylor with her device (Andrew Cawley / DC Thomson)
Former nurse Gillian Taylor with her device (Andrew Cawley / DC Thomson)

A FORMER A&E nurse has invented a life-saving device that is set to go into to hospitals within weeks.

Clinician Gillian Taylor has developed a set of scales that, for the first time, weighs patients accurately and quickly in emergency situations.

The Patient Transfer Scale (PTS) is to be launched later this month at NHS Lanarkshire and is set to be on Scottish A&E wards by the end of the year. Currently, medical staff can use expensive beds that weigh patients or hoists to get the essential data where patients can’t stand.

But nursing staff complain the existing systems are too time-consuming and can costs lives.

Getting an accurate patient weight is essential in calculating how much anaesthetic they require for surgery.

(Andrew Cawley / DC Thomson)

Gillian, who has left frontline nursing to concentrate on her invention, said: “I remember working in A&E when a child came in with horrific injuries to their legs.

“It was impossible to move him to be weighed in a hoist and it was difficult to control his pain.

“Children are all different shapes and sizes and you can’t rely on how old they are to administer certain drugs they need.

“One night I was at home telling my husband, John, how frustrating it was.

“I looked at my flat kitchen scales and had a light-bulb moment.

“I thought we could develop something flat like a board that weighed and moved patients at the same time.”

Gillian has spent over three years developing that idea. It is now being made by a Rotherham firm, which will make 700 a year. The PTS is a six-foot-two-inch oblong board, which weighs 11kg and utilises 16 individual sensors to weigh patients while they are slid from one surface to another such as an ambulance trolley onto a theatre table.