Shoulder reduction bench

Innovative idea aids patients with dislocated shoulders

A piece of gym equipment has inspired an innovation, which significantly improves treatment and recovery for patients, who present with a shoulder injury in Emergency Departments. Shoulder dislocations are one of the most common large joint injuries seen by emergency departments and can be extremely painful and debilitating for people.

Dr Ala Mohammed, a consultant at Sunderland Royal Hospital, first came up with the idea of modifying the design to create a Shoulder Reduction Bench using the equipment back in 2016, taking inspiration from a design by Dr Philip Hombrey called an Oxford Chair, which is used in a similar way.

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Project Dates

Project Start 26/07/2016
Project End Ongoing


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It is exciting to know that the work we have done with the Research and Innovation Team and Marshall DPP may have a wider benefit beyond our Trust. “Fundamentally, all we want for our patients is to be treated as safely and as efficiently as possible, and the shoulder reduction bench certainly helps tremendously with that.
Dr Philip Dowson
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The previous practice at South Tyneside and Sunderland Royal Hospitals is similar to most other Trusts. This was to sedate patients prior to reduction in the resuscitation room, complete the shoulder reduction, and then observe the patient for any complications or effects of analgesia and discharge. Because the area is often busy with more seriously ill patients shoulder patients usually have a long wait for treatment which can be painful.
The use of the Shoulder Reduction Bench has been felt to be a low force, non-leverage technique that was more about positioning, gravity and relaxation.

The Shoulder Reduction Bench is a piece of medical equipment that uses an adapted bench to manipulate the patient’s shoulder instead of a resuscitation bed.

Having requested the plans for the Oxford Chair from Dr Hormbrey, the design was modified, made adjustable and then manufactured as the ‘Shoulder Reduction Bench’

Use of the bench has resulted in shorter waiting times and improved patient experience with less cost and risk associated with sedation.

This will take away the need to put patients in the resus room, which will provide more space for urgent patients.

The Shoulder Reduction Bench has gone through prototyping and is now being used within the emergency department at The Sunderland Royal Hospital with great success.

This Innovation is now being used in the Sunderland Royal Hospital emergency department to much success.
Using the chair has led to a 68% reduction (EQUATING FIGURE) in the number of patients who need to be sedated, and an average reduction time from presentation at the department to discharge of 52 minutes, 31 minutes sooner than before (83 minutes ).

Taking away the need to put patients in the resus room, this provides more space for urgent patients and because of this there is less need for patients go under sedation. This also reduces the risks connected to full sedation
Before the bench was introduced 57% of patients (n=30) required sedation and the average time to discharge was 3 hours 22 minutes. After the bench was introduced into practice 19% of patients (n=31).

The Shoulder Reduction Bench won the award for Development of an innovative device or technology at the 2021 Bright Ideas in Health Awards.

And was shortlisted for Project of the Year at the BIONOW awards in 2022.

While the chair was in use well before the COVID-19 pandemic, its value in the care offered by South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust has become clear during COVID-19 as it has reduced the need for those injured to need a monitored bed due to sedation, reducing the risk posed by that procedure, and a quicker discharge time for them.

The Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria (AHSN NENC) has supported South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust through its market research and securing Intellectual Property for the bench.

The chair is currently used around three times a week and as the original was beginning to show wear and tear, the Trust’s Research and Innovation Team worked alongside the consultants to come up with a plan to develop a bench to put into production and create a new version for use in the department, with a second model to be used at South Tyneside District Hospital.

The Innovation department are currently helping this project along with securing CE marking and future commercialisation so that more patients across more areas can benefit from this fantastic innovation.

The Innovators and STSFT Innovation are currently working with Samson Forth Associates Ltd to around the commercialisation of the Shoulder Reduction Bench Device. These will be initially made on order to save on time and company resources.

Through the Innovators discussions with their north east colleagues there has been interest from several other Trusts around the purchase and adoption of the bench

It has been a real privilege to be part of the Research and Innovation Team to see our hard work come into fruition. “Now we have a product aimed to help patients with dislocated shoulders in our Trust by reducing reduction times and the need for sedation. We look forward to serving our community and beyond.
Dr Ala Mohammed