A FORMER miner from Fife is on the cusp of going into full production with a string of healthcare products that he believes could save countless lives and ease the pain of millions around the world, based on an invention he developed in his kitchen.

Brian McCormack said he has created wound dressings that behave as crepe bandages but which can be dissolved off when required, a flushable bowel cancer screening pack, and soluble wet wipes that meet new "Fine to Flush" standards.

The 62-year-old said he developed the soluble products after seeking a potentially more convenient way of collecting samples for bowel cancer screening after being tested himself.

He set about many months of research before locating a firm in the US that was able to provide a material which he could develop to an effective level of solubility that is safe to use in a health setting and environmentally friendly.

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After twice blasting off the microwave door at his Kirkcaldy home in early tests, he formed McCormack Innovation to forward his idea.

He has already released a series of his trademarked FlushAway products, and while talks have opened with healthcare providers in this country, swifter progress is being made in the US, Africa and Europe, said Mr McCormack.

The wound dressing could cut hours of agonising removal for people with injuries such as burns.

He believes his screening pack could help boost uptake levels which are typically low around the world and in Scotland for 2015-17 was at 55.6 per cent.

The soluble wet wipes, licensed for European production with Guardpack in Chelmsford, which produces 100 million wipes a year, could help ease environmental contamination.

He has already received a raft of plaudits, been honoured by the Queen with a garden party invite, and is in the last ten of one of the most prestigious awards contests, the FedEx Small Business Grants.

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He is currently working with a number of large-scale US companies, has sold 50,000 sample screening kits to South Africa and is in talks with a global cosmetics firm.

The grandfather, who is also a former sewerage engineer, sold a taxi business about three years ago to fund the project, and is still driving a taxi.

He said: "Obviously, there’s values been put on each of these products and that’s great, but one of the most interesting things for me is probably the wound dressing.

"My daughter said 'dad you’ll never be able to calculate how much pain and suffering you have saved people'.

"Could you imagine a nurse getting the dressing off?

"The foot would be placed in a tank and the dressing would remove itself."

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With the bowel screening kit, he said: "I was just looking at the method of collecting the sample.

"So your package comes out to you, you’ve to go to the toilet, and collect it in a plastic container."

Toilet paper can also be used under existing screening guidelines.

He said: "I thought all you needed is something that comes with the bowel screening pack that you can use to collect it on like some kind of soluble cardboard.

"Straight away you can see that this can be used in hospitals as well.

"With my device the sample can be taken in the confines of the toilet, sealed and the residue flushed away."

The development of the wet wipes comes as new standards for flushable wipes were announced after the emergence of sewer-blocking fatbergs, formed by throw-away items like wet wipes and grease and which can grow to hundreds of feet long.

Wipes will need to pass strict tests to gain the approved Fine to Flush logo with Water UK creating a new official standard identifying which wet wipes can be flushed down toilets safely.

Mr McCormack said: "My wipes have just passed the (Fine to Flush) test at the Water Research Centre in Swindon, where they test all the companies' wet wipes.

"It is just at the right time when my wipes are getting tested.

"They found a fatberg in Cornwall the length of Nelson’s column.

"They said that wouldn’t happen with my wet wipes."

McCormack Innovation has worked with a development team from the University of Dundee, led by Professor Robert Keatch and Dr Jan Vorstius, who said in a product report: "All materials under test performed well, keeping their integrity and structure until exposed to water.

"The proposal to use this material as a secondary wound dressing would therefore be viable providing the outer dressing can be kept dry until removal is required.

"This method would certainly reduce trauma inflicted during bandage removal and retain all the features of the conventional cotton and crepe bandages used.

"Further studies on solubility when exposed to body fluids need to be done if the material is to be used as a primary dressing."