THE dedication shown by staff at Warrington Hospital during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic has seen them win a national innovation award.

During the height of the crisis, hospital staff came up with their own solution to the worldwide shortage of ventilators by modifying 'black boxes'.

This technology is ordinarily used to help sleep apnoea patients with their breathing, but they were instead used as an alternative to ventilating those being treated for Covid-19.

Now, thanks to these efforts, Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals has won the Innovation in Adversity Award at the London Business School Innovation Awards, much to the delight of everyone who works there.

Speaking about the trust's nomination, Steve McGuirk, chairman of Warrington Hospital, said: "Innovation is often a case of necessity, and that was certainly the case at Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals after experiencing an international acute shortage of ventilators.

"The small team of consultants, nurses, physiotherapists and physiologists knew they needed to try something different.

"Rather than waiting for a new valve development, the Warrington team looked at modifying kit they already had to be used in a critical setting – the now famous ‘Black Box’.

"One of the team first tested them on fellow staff members before using them on patients.

"It worked so well and is a classic example of ‘recombinant innovation’ in a time of need without delay.

"It also demonstrates that small innovations made locally by people just ‘doing their job’ can make a huge difference to people’s lives, and can in fact save them."