In a collaborative partnership with NHS Blood and Transplant Services (NHSBT), Renfrew Group has designed a completely new type of user-centred phlebotomy chair that enhances the blood donation experience for donors and phlebotomists alike. The Donation Chair is now undergoing national trials in NHS phlebotomy clinics and mobile centres.
The need for a new chair arose from several requirements which were not being addressed by existing donation beds, for example the provision of a supported recovery position (to assist the few donors who feel unwell during the process), which is different from the blood donating position. In addition, products now need to conform to a gold standard clinical pathway for blood donation within the NHS.
After spending three years unsuccessfully attempting to address the issue through conventional procurement, the NHSBT realised that only design innovation could address this identified unmet need, and approached the NHS National Innovation Centre (NIC) in a pre-commercial procurement process.
Three design consultancies tendered their concepts to the NIC, two of which were progressed to proof-of-principle prototypes and tested by NHSBT. Renfrew Group International's winning Donation Chair design is currently undergoing national trials.
NIC's pre-commercial procurement process represents an innovation in the procurement process and a breakthrough in competitive tendering. For the first time a comparative quotation scenario exists that is supported and controlled by the procurement team. Potential manufacturers also benefit by receiving clear product specifications and the removal of the necessity to design and develop products themselves in isolation, resulting in optimal cost savings. The procurement process won an HSJ award last November.