Local doctor invents new car valet washing system
Staff at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust will be the first in the UK to trial a new, eco-friendly car washing system invented by a local GP.
Dr Oji Obiora, a GP with Hartlepool and Stockton Health who works shifts at the urgent care departments of University Hospital of North Tees and University Hospital of Hartlepool, is the brains behind TimeWash, a steam-cleaning valet service.
Initially only available to Trust staff, TimeWash uses an app to book and pay for a car valet at a time that suits the customer while they are at work. The TimeWash team will locate the car in the staff car park and use a special steam-clean system which uses less water and fewer chemicals than a traditional car wash power washer. Keys are kept safe in a secure drop-box system.
It is hoped TimeWash will be expanded throughout the country.
Dr Oji Obiora said: “TimeWash is designed to be simple to use for the customer. Just open the app, book a time and you’re done. Your car will be gleaming when you pick it up.
“We’re fully insured of course and we’ll treat our customers’ cars like our own.”
TimeWash has been supported by the Trust and its subsidiary company NTH Solutions through its Innovation pathway which sees ideas by staff members with commercial potential assessed and brought to the market. The Trust and NTH Solutions carry out the product analysis, due diligence and market testing of the innovative idea before launch, with profits shared with the inventor.
Other inventions which have come through from the Innovation process include a kit bag for community staff, phlebotomy trolley and a birthing stool.
Jonathan Rowley, Innovation projects officer, commented: “As soon as Oji came to us, we knew this was a winner. We could see great potential in a sustainable car valet solution offering services to staff while on shift at the hospital. It’s one of those ideas you wish you had yourself – an app to book a car wash while you’re at work!
“But really the true innovation is the steam cleaning device which is safe and uses hardly any chemicals. I think this is going to be a real success and we’ll soon see TimeWash all over the country.
“I’ve had my car cleaned by TimeWash and I can tell you it’s fantastic!”
TimeWash also offers a traditional interior valeting service which requires the customer to leave their car in a designated parking area using a safe key-drop box.
Dr Obiora’s TimeWash will be available to Trust staff from March, initially at the University Hospital of North Tees. The University Hospital of Hartlepool will follow based on successful trial period.