Person Centred Solutions

Like all the best inventions, the idea for Bed Band came when Roma Gibb spotted an unmet need.

Roma was working as a home carer, looking after people in their own homes.

Carers would pack people into their beds with pillows, but if they reached for a drink or remote control in the night then their pillows might slip, and they’d be left in an uncomfortable position until their carers returned.

“As well as being uncomfortable, it meant some people were becoming anxious about going to bed, which led to them not drinking during the night for fear of slipping, which in turn led to other secondary health problems,” Roma explains.

“I searched on the internet, thinking that there must be a device that you could fix to the bed to keep people in position, but there wasn’t – so I invented one.”

Roma began studying at the University of the Highlands & Islands (UHI) to become a nurse and got the chance to turn her idea into reality thanks to a business creation competition.

“I was completely focused on becoming a nurse – it was all I wanted – but I had this idea at the back of my head, so I decided to give it a go,” she remembers.

After being selected as the best student-led business, one of the judges suggested Roma should join Highlands & Islands Enterprise’s Impact 30 accelerator programme, which helped her to launch her company – Person Centred Solutions (PCS) – and apply for a patent.

Roma’s Bed Band helps people with limited mobility to get a good night’s sleep by attaching to their bed and keeping them in position.

Her husband, Douglas, sewed the prototype at their kitchen table before they found a factory to make samples for testing.

Those samples have now been used in test studies funded by the Inverness City-Region Deal and by Innovate UK, demonstrating that the Bed Band can work in the real world.

The next step is for Roma to raise investment – circa £2 million – to put her product into production.

“To even be thinking of raising that amount of money makes me incredibly proud of myself and everybody who’s supported me, including Douglas,” says Roma, who juggles her nurse training and business with raising five children.

Getting PCS to the stage that it’s ready to raise investment was helped by Roma finishing as a runner-up in Converge’s 2022 KickStart Challenge, with her prize including in-depth business training.

“I now have a list as long as my arm of big fat scary things that I need to do, but it’s the best training that I’ve had and I’ve learned so much,” she says.

As well as running PCS, Roma wants to finish her studies and become a community nurse.

“This isn’t going to be my last project or my last product,” she smiles. 

“In order to understand what people are needing and spot any gaps in the market, I need to keep my hand in, and being a community nurse will provide that inspiration.

“I’ve been bitten by the innovation bug – it’s such a thrill.”