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Sheffield Children’s Hospital Professor recognised for leading research and innovation

Paul Dimitri at the hospital with colourful background and stethoscope
11 February 2022

Professor Paul Dimitri has been leading research and innovation at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust for around a decade. Under his guidance, the Trust has emerged as one of the leading research centres for children and young people.

Last month Professor Dimitri was a finalist in the Health Tech Newspaper Now Awards as Health Tech Leader of the Year. The awards help to share and celebrate digital teams, programmes, innovations and health tech suppliers that have made a difference through the year.

Professor Dimitri is a Professor of Child Health and Consultant in Paediatric Endocrinology at Sheffield Children’s. Being chosen as a finalist not only recognises his work at Sheffield Children’s, but how he has been instrumental in bringing together people across healthcare organisations, academia and industry to revolutionise how we use health technology to improve lives.

Professor Dimitri was nominated for his passion for making lives better for children. By driving innovation and bringing along people from NHS organisations, universities, charities and many more, he has succeeded in revolutionising healthcare for patients now and generations to come.

Sheffield Children’s is immensely proud of the innovative work happening across the Trust to improve the care of children and young people, and Professor Dimitri has a vital part to play in the progress of it. Here are some examples of Professor Dimitri’s work both at Sheffield Children’s and further afield:

  • Playing a leading role in the development of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Children and Young People MedTech Co-operative. This national cooperative, which Professor Dimitri developed and is a director of, includes clinical teams, academics, businesses and service users to support the development of new medical devices, healthcare technologies and technology-dependent interventions for the NHS. It is the only MedTech Co-operative dedicated to paediatrics.
  • Supporting the development of the TITCH (Technology Innovation Transforming Child Health) Network, for which he is the Clinical Lead. This national network helps address the lack of health technology designed specifically for children and young people.
  • Establishing the UK’s first ever Child Health Technology Conference, held in 2021. Delegates from 16 countries across the globe attended CHT2021, with 238 participants collaborating to support the development of the very best and most advanced health technology for children and young people. Planning is already underway for CHT2022 Child Health Technology – NIHR CYP MedTech
  • Professor Dimitri is the NIHR Clinical Research Network National Specialty Lead for Children and Young People, providing national leadership for the NIHR commercial and non-commercial research trial portfolio for children and young people.
  • Driving the development of the ground-breaking National Centre for Child Health Technology (NCCHT).The NCCHT will be the first of its kind in the world, positioning the UK as a global leader in paediatrics and child health. It will develop technologies to address key national strategic priorities in child health including childhood obesity, child and adolescent mental health, cancer, disabilities, long term conditions and prevention.

Gillian Gatenby, Associate Director of Research and Innovation at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Paul is an inspirational leader in research and innovation in the fields of paediatrics and medical technologies for children and young people and has been pivotal in driving forward research and innovation in Sheffield Children’s, building collaborations with our local universities and representing paediatric research interests at a regional and national level.

“We are now looking ahead to seeing a National Centre for Child Health Technology created here in Sheffield thanks to Paul’s vision to see Sheffield become home to the first centre of its kind and a world leading centre for research in this field.”

Ruth Brown, Chief Executive at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We’re so proud of the contribution Paul makes to improving children’s health through research and technology. We’re already seeing the impacts for children and young people. We’ve no doubt his work will continue help families not just in the UK but around the world for generations to come.”

Professor Dimitri’s energy and passion is infectious, and has made an impact on the experience of patients, families and staff across a number of organisations as well as Sheffield Children’s.

Professor Dimitri has worked on a number of innovative projects with Sheffield Hallam University, integrating technology into healthcare. Ivan Phelan, Principal Research Fellow and Director of the Impact VR Lab at Sheffield Hallam University said: “Paul’s leadership and determination to develop Sheffield Children’s as a leader in child health technology is truly inspirational. I have seen first-hand how he strives to adopt innovations while always ensuring to put the patients’ needs first.”

At Sheffield Children’s, our aim is to provide a healthier future for children and young people. Professor Dimitri’s vision helps lead this together with partners and drive innovation forward for patients now and in the future.

Wendy Tindale OBE, Clinical Director of NIHR Devices for Dignity MedTech Co-operative, Scientific and Innovation Director at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals said: “Paul is passionate about technology for child health and promotes the voice of children and the need for child-specific healthcare technology at every opportunity. He is tenacious and compelling and has big plans for future generations!”

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