Greater Manchester trailblazer wins Women in Innovation Award

Dr Penny Trayner.

Dr Penny Trayner, has been named as one of 50 women innovators to be awarded the Women in Innovation Award 2023 from Innovate UK, the government’s innovation agency, on International Women’s Day 2023.

Dr Trayner is a Paediatric Clinical Neuropsychologist, Chartered Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Director at Clinical Neuropsychology Services, and is Honorary Lecturer for the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology programme at the University of Manchester. After acting as a Clinical Lecturer in the same department from 2010 to 2015, Dr Trayner was also the Deputy Academic Director, and Chair of one of the five University-wide research ethics committees.

Dr Trayner’s winning project will be the development of Goal Manager®, a cloud-based application that has been developed to automate goal setting processes and administration in brain injury rehabilitation, Dr Trayner’s specialist area. The project was selected from over 900 applicants to be awarded £50,000 towards the further refinement of the platform.

As part of this work, Dr Trayner will be building a Data Dashboard, a project that will support clinicians and researchers in answering some of the most unknown questions in rehabilitation.

With millions of people in the UK requiring rehabilitation for various health conditions every year, as well as many millions more living with the long-term consequences of traumatic injuries and problems like stroke, Dr Trayner aims to be a leading light in the digital revolution in healthcare which will enable faster identification of patients’ difficulties, a more rich and specific understanding of needs, and a joining-up of services and pathways to mean that rehabilitation is more efficient and people can get better faster.

This funding received through the Women in Innovation Award 2023 from Innovate UK is adding to up to £20,000 of funding that Clinical Neuropsychology Services was awarded to aid the development of Goal Manager®, through the Research & Innovation (R&I) Health Accelerator Follow-On Innovation Voucher, to run a trial of the existing platform within the NHS which commenced in January 2023. After receiving this funding, Dr Trayner said:

“Goal Manager is a system designed to simplify and speed up key administrative processes in rehabilitation, with a potential to benefit thousands of people in Greater Manchester who are affected by conditions requiring rehabilitation each year, including those affected by stroke, acquired brain injury, major trauma, cardiac problems, orthopaedics and respiratory difficulties. Nationally such conditions affect millions of people every year. So far, the product demonstrated successful application within the private sector, and it is right that the public sector should benefit in the same way. The voucher is allowing us to try out the software within the NHS to ensure that it works effectively within community and inpatient services, with a view to it being rolled out more widely, locally and nationally, benefiting thousands to millions of people by providing them faster and more coordinated healthcare and enabling them to recover faster from their serious conditions and illnesses.”

The Innovate UK grant will commence in April 2023, and the Goal Manager® project design team will be joined by Professor Andrew Bateman of the University of Essex. Professor Bateman is lead for the rehabilitation theme for the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Brain Injury MedTech Co-operative, Director of NIHR Research Design Service for East of England and Chair of the UK Acquired Brain Injury forum. He will be assisting with the research behind the design and evaluation of the new Data Dashboard.

As well as being a neuropsychologist, Dr Trayner is a professional DJ, and has also established the first of its kind DJing for Rehabilitation school, BPM Rehab, right in the heart of Manchester, in partnership with DJ Mark One, an award winning, internationally renowned, platinum selling DJ. Together they are changing the face of rehabilitation and making music more accessible for so many whose lives have been changed by catastrophic events.

Dr Trayner is proud to be running her business from Manchester, but works all over the UK and the world, spreading the message about leveraging technology to make the world more accessible and also designing interventions that people really want to help improve their lives.

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