By: 20 July 2018
Safe Obstetric Systems wins Best Product or Innovation for its Fetal Pillow

Safe Obstetric Systems has won the award for Best Product or Innovation at the 2018 HSJ Patient Safety Awards for its device Fetal Pillow.

The winners of the 2018 Patient Safety Awards were announced in July at the Manchester Central Convention Centre. The ceremony was a culmination of an awards process which seeks to recognise and reward outstanding practice in patient safety by the NHS staff and organisations.

Fetal Pillow was designed by Dr Rajiv Varma following the tragic death of a baby at his hospital due to skulls fractures because of difficulties in delivering the head at second stage caesarean section. Skull fractures, although rare, occur along with other complications for both mums and babies during a caesarean section in the second stage of labour.

Fetal Pillow is used in emergency caesarean sections to safely elevate the baby’s head out of the pelvis. Babies, families, clinicians and hospitals all benefit from Fetal Pillow use as it enables safer delivery of the baby, is clinically proven to reduce complications for the mum, makes the procedure easier for doctors and delivers cost efficiencies for hospitals.

The judges were very impressed with the high standards of entries, testifying to the clear achievement Safe Obstetric Systems has made in being declared winners of the Best Product or Innovation in the Private Sector Award. Judges said about the entry:

“This winning entry was an excellent example of a clinician identifying a solution to a patient safety problem that has a devastating effect on families and staff. The panel hopes that this encourages more hospitals to adopt this approach and becomes part of standard practice.”

Rajiv Varma, Inventor of Fetal Pillow, says: “We are delighted to win this award and for the Fetal Pillow to be recognised as an important device for patient safety by judges. We hope it will one day become a part of standard practice so that no families or staff have to experience the death of a baby due to the difficulties that Fetal Pillow avoids.”

Garnering over 500 entries, this year saw fierce competition for these coveted Patient Safety awards, with only 180 making the shortlist. From those, 20 deserving winners were decided by an expert panel of judges.

Full details of the award entry and other award winners can be found at