Trust successfully delivers research strategy

The Trust has successfully delivered its three-year research strategy, helping to improve patient care and experience.

Beginning in 2016, the strategy promoted a research-active culture at our hospitals. In 2018/19, over 3,000 people took part in national health research at the Trust – a 91% increase from before the introduction of the strategy. It has also made a difference in a number of specialties – for example:

  • One cancer study found three months of chemotherapy is as good as six months when treating patients with colorectal cancer. Shorter treatment is also less toxic for patients and more cost effective for the NHS.
  • The ear acupuncture service for breast patients has been expanded to help those with prostate cancer. Ear acupuncture treats some of the side effects from cancer treatment, such as hot flushes and night sweats.
  • A study looking at ways of improving treatment for people with kidney disease paved the way for a shared care initiative at the Trust’s renal units. The initiative encourages and trains patients to put themselves on and take themselves off dialysis.
  • A study involving patients with an abnormal heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation found that by using novel oral anticoagulants rather than warfarin, their heart rhythm could be returned to a normal rate in a shorter period of time – from an average of 34 to 25 days.

Above: The Trust’s research and development team

The strategy was implemented by the Trust’s research and development team and led by the associate director of research and development, Professor Phillip Smith. Reflecting on the last three years, Phillip said:

“The key principle of our strategy was to improve patient care and experience. We did this knowing that patients receive better treatment in research active organisations.

“Our patients tell us that they welcome being offered entry into research. Thanks to the efforts of many people, we could offer entry into 141 studies in 2018/19, with 3,071 people volunteering to participate – which is fantastic.”

“The Trust is part of the National Institute for Health Research and research is firmly embedded into everything we do. I am proud of everybody who has helped implement the strategy, allowing us to continue providing high-quality, compassionate care to our community.”

Visit the research and development pages on our website to find out more