Media Release

QEH wins Patient Safety Innovation of the Year Award

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn (QEH) last night won the Patient Safety Innovation of the Year Award at the Health Service Journal Awards 2021, for the pioneering anaesthesia device SAFIRA® (SAFer Injection for Regional Anaesthesia) developed by clinicians at the Trust in partnership with Medovate Ltd.

SAFIRA is an intuitive, revolutionary technology which improves patient safety during regional anaesthesia by limiting injection pressure to safe levels thereby helping to protect patients from the risk of nerve injury. SAFIRA also puts full control in the hands of the clinician, allowing it to be a one-person technique.

Medovate worked closely with Consultant Anaesthetists Dr Peter Young, Dr Emad Fawzy, Dr Joseph Carter and Dr John Gibson from QEH during the development of SAFIRA® to secure the required regulatory approvals to launch SAFIRA® on the global market.

The Health Service Journal Patient Safety Awards 2021 ceremony held on 20 September 2021, at Manchester Central, celebrated 159 finalists driving quality improvement and recognises safety, culture and experience in patient care.

The judges were impressed by the quality of entries this year, especially throughout one of the most challenging years for the health and care sector.

The 23 winning and 21 highly commended projects showcased life-changing and much needed work pushing the boundaries of patient safety, and enhancing care quality for service users.

Dr Frankie Swords, Medical Director at QEH, said: “This is a fantastic achievement for the Trust and I am hugely proud of our teams behind this invention. We hope to see this innovation allow many more people have access to safer regional anaesthesia in future, preventing the need for a general anaesthetic in many cases, which can make a real impact on patient care”.

Caroline Shaw CBE, Chief Executive at QEH, added: “We are delighted to celebrate this amazing achievement for QEH and we are very proud of the clinicians behind the development of this ground-breaking device”.


To download the press release and picture, click here.

For further information or for an interview with Dr Frankie Swords, Medical Director, please contact

About Medovate

Medovate is a medical device company dedicated to the development and commercialisation of innovative medical technologies created within the NHS and beyond. Medovate identifies and works with high potential medtech innovations, providing the specialist management and technical resources, along with finance required to lead innovation development through clinical trials and regulatory approval. By providing funding and support at a crucial point in the development of innovative medical technologies, Medovate accelerates innovations to market in order to benefit patient care and healthcare delivery. The company has a strong portfolio relating to specialisms in anaesthesia, airway management, critical care and surgery. Medovate directly benefits the NHS by:

  • Providing access to funding, support and expertise to enable innovations created within the NHS to reach the market
  • Delivering commercial returns to the NHS organisations and inventors that created the technologies

About The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Foundation Trust

With over 4,000 staff, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital is one of the biggest employers in West Norfolk, supporting the health and wellbeing of our local community.

QEH has circa 500 beds and 28 wards serving a population of around 331,000 people who live in the three counties of Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire.

The Hospital’s plays a leading role in research and innovation, being one of the most-research active NHS Trusts in the country compared to similar-sized hospitals.

Pictured are: Consultant Anaesthetist’s Dr Robin Heij and Dr Benjamin Fox.