Research and Development

Research

We are committed to supporting research that is relevant and accessible to our patients. Through clinical research we can assess the efficacy of new medication, diagnostics, and treatment regimes. This helps to build the evidence for new approaches to improve patient care.

Research and Development within Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust operates as part of the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Research Consortium, providing clinical, managerial, and administrative support to those undertaking clinical research across Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

About Us

The Research and Development department comprises a multi-disciplinary team of Research Nurses, Data Officers, Clinical Trial Officers, Research Administrators and Research Support Facilitators who are based across Worcestershire Royal Hospital, Kidderminster Treatment Centre, and the Alexandra Hospital, Redditch.

Associate Medical Director for Research and Development
Dr David Wilson

Dr Wilson has been a consultant cardiologist at Worcestershire Royal Hospital since 2016. He was appointed to his current research role in 2018 to help promote and support research within the Trust, and he has recently secured a Clinical Trials Scholarship at Birmingham Clinical Trials Unit to boost the development of locally-led research. Dr Wilson believes that “the potential for clinical research within Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust is enormous and [he is] optimistic about how this will evolve in the future”.

Research Operations Lead
Emma Rowan

Emma joined the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Research Consortium after working as a Research and Development Manager in acute and mental health Trusts, as well as management roles in the West Midlands Clinical Research Network. Her background is in Psychology, and she holds a Masters degree focussing on drug development. She supports the Trust to deliver its research ambitions, ensuring the right strategy, funding, and resources as well as overseeing the operational management of Research and Development. Emma says “I love working with colleagues who have enthusiasm for research and helping them to progress so that patients can benefit from research now and in the future”.

Lead Research Nurse
Jayne Tyler

Jayne Tyler

Jayne qualified as a nurse in 1995, and has spent most of her working life in oncology, with 12 years spent in a research role. She is passionate about research, and firmly believes that it empowers patients, drives up standards of care, and allows patients to be offered the latest in care and innovation. Jayne says “I love working in Worcestershire Acute NHS Trust as it is forward thinking and open to research. It is a small Trust with big ambitions when it comes to research”.

Research Strategy

Active involvement in research should be a marker of quality for Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust. Our vision is to:

  • Increase opportunities for participation in research through a broad portfolio of studies that maximise recruitment and meaningfully involve patient representatives in our work
  • Establish sustainable funding for research, investing income to build capacity
  • Provide a quality culture and meet all targets in research through good governance
  • Have a stable, skilled workforce, attracting quality staff to the Trust
  • Raise the profile of research and cultivate a culture of research, as a marker of quality for the Trust
  • Enable clinicians to become leaders and Chief Investigators.

Herefordshire and Worcestershire Research Consortium

The Herefordshire and Worcestershire Research Consortium comprises Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, and Wye Valley NHS Trust. Research teams within the three Trusts work in partnership, providing a balanced portfolio of healthcare research across the region. The Consortium aims are to maximise opportunity for participation in clinical trials, support a skilled and stable workforce, and promote the highest standards of research conduct.

Research Delivery Performance

National targets for clinical trials stipulate that NHS providers should endeavour to set up trials within 40 days of receipt of a valid application. Providers should aim to recruit an agreed number of participants over the lifespan of a trial.

Performance information on clinical trials at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust which have been opened within the last year can be viewed below.

Information for Patients

Taking part in research is important because clinical trials can only happen if people are willing to be involved. People choose to participate for lots of different reasons, including a desire to support research into a particular condition or disease that they care about, to improve treatments for future generations, or to access new treatments. There are different types of research available from filling in a questionnaire to being involved in a drug trial.

How to get involved

If you are interested in taking part in a clinical trial, ask your doctor, nurse or midwife if there is a clinical trial that you could join. The UK Clinical Trials Gateway provides information about what clinical trials are, what you might need to know if you are considering joining a trial, and what happens when you are on a trial. You can search for UK clinical trials to find ones that might be suitable.

How we use your information

For information about how your data may be used in relation to research please visit the Health Research Authority website.

Patient Research Ambassador Initiative

We involve our patients and the public to help promote health research and ensure that patients have opportunities and choices about taking part in research. Our Patient Research Ambassadors are patients, carers or members of the public who volunteer to support our research teams. Find out more about the role of a Patient Research Ambassador, or contact us if you would be interested in becoming a research ambassador. 

Information for Researchers

Getting Involved

Delivering an existing study

There are many high-quality studies already open nationally that are looking for new sites to become involved. The National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network (NIHR CRN) have a portfolio database of studies of significant national importance. The Research and Development team are committed to supporting the NIHR CRN to increase local research activity. Please contact us if you would like more information.

Developing your own research

The Research and Development team is keen to support Trust staff in developing their own research ideas. It is well established that locally-generated research is more successfully delivered, and has an increased impact on local services and quality. If you have a research idea for a study involving patients from Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust please contact us for support.

Commercial Research

Research which is sponsored by a commercial organisation, such as a pharmaceutical company, rather than by an NHS organisation or Academic Institution, is generally regarded as ‘commercial’. Commercial research forms a vital part of the Trust portfolio of research activity, and we are always keen to work with new commercial partners. Our research teams are experienced in the timely set-up and successful delivery of commercial research across multiple specialties, with a particular focus on Cardiovascular Disease, Respiratory Disease and Cancer. 

Researcher Training

Researchers at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust have the opportunity to access training organised by CRN West Midlands, including Valid Informed Consent, Pharmacovigilance, Site File Management, IRAS & HRA and Protocol Design. Training is freely available, and courses are advertised and booked via a dedicated website.

Good Clinical Practice (GCP)

GCP is an international ethical and quality standard for the design, conduct, performance, monitoring, auditing, recording, analysis and reporting of clinical trials. The framework serves to protect the rights, safety, well-being and confidentiality of trial participants. It is a Trust requirement that local members of a research team have undertaken GCP training.

Initial GCP training can be booked via the CRN training website. Refresher training is also available face to face or online.

News

Big Baby Trial

Worcestershire Royal Hospital Research Midwives and Obstetric Consultants are excited to have joined more than 30 other maternity units in England for this new trial in collaboration with University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, University of Warwick and the Perinatal Institute.

Difficulty in delivering the shoulders of a baby after the head has been delivered can be a complication for babies that are bigger than average. It has been suggested that if we can deliver bigger babies a couple of weeks earlier this may reduce the chance of complications. However, the evidence is not clear and can be interpreted in different ways. This study will help to inform NHS policy, and provide important information for maternal choice.

This is a national study of 4,000 pregnant women, and those who consent to be part of the trial will be allocated at random into either an early induction of labour, with the aim to be delivered at around 38 weeks, or to normal care where labour is awaited to start naturally. The team will then look at whether as a result of earlier birth there were fewer complications such as difficulty with the delivery of the shoulders.

Talk to your midwife, or click here if you would like more information about this trial.

Research Studies

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust is currently recruiting patients into many clinical trials, including:

Specialty

Trial Name

Sponsor

More information

Cancer

Add-Aspirin

University College London

www.addaspirintrial.org

Cancer (Neutropenic sepsis)

EASI-SWITCH

Belfast Health and Social Care Trust

www.nictu.hscni.net/easi-switch

Cancer (Breast)

POSNOC

Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

www.posnoc.co.uk

MAMMO-50

University of Warwick

www.warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/med/research/ctu/trials/cancer/mammo50

PARTNER

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/find-a-clinical-trial/a-trial-looking-at-olaparib-with-chemotherapy-for-early-breast-cancer-partner

ROSCO

University of Birmingham

www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/activity/mds/trials/crctu/trials/rosco/index.aspx

Cancer (Oesophagus)

SCOPE 2

Velindre NHS Trust

www.cardiff.ac.uk/centre-for-trials-research/research/studies-and-trials/view/scope2

Neo-AEGIS

Cancer Trials Ireland

www.cancertrials.ie/cti-trials/neoaegis 

Cancer (Prostate)

STAMPEDE

Medical Research Council

www.stampedetrial.org

Haematology

FLAIR

University of Leeds

https://ukctg.nihr.ac.uk/trials/trial-details/trial-details?trialNumber=ISRCTN01844152

MCL Biobank

Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust

www.mantlecelllymphoma.co.uk/trials/mantle-cell-lymphoma-trials-detail.php?trial_ID=17

AML 18 and AML 19

Cardiff University

www.leukaemiacare.org.uk/support-and-information/latest-from-leukaemia-care/blog/focus-on-acute-myeloid-leukaemia-aml-aml-18-and-aml-19-explained

Myeloma XII

University of Leeds

www.myeloma.org.uk/documents/myeloma-xii-accord/

MUK Nine

University of Leeds

www.myeloma.org.uk/news/muk-nine-launched-by-myeloma-uk/

FLIGHT

University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust

www.cardiff.ac.uk/centre-for-trials-research/research/studies-and-trials/view/flight

Cardiovascular

NOAH-AFNET 6

Kompetenznetz Vorhofflimmern e.V.  (AFNET e.V.)

www.kompetenznetz-vorhofflimmern.de/en/research/clinical-trials/noah-afnet-6

UKGRIS

University of Leeds

https://medhealth.leeds.ac.uk/info/420/cardiovascular/2404/ukgris

MASTER DAPT

European Cardiovascular Research Institute

https://www.ecri-trials.com/studies/master-dapt/

REVIVED

King’s College London

www.revived.lshtm.ac.uk

BASIL-2

University of Birmingham

www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/activity/mds/trials/bctu/trials/portfolio-v/Basil-2/index.aspx

Diabetes (Type 1)

TrialNet

NIDDK, NIAID, NICHD, NCRR, JDRF & ADA

www.trialnet.org

ITU

REST

Belfast Health & Social Care Trust

www.nictu.hscni.net/rest-trial

Respiratory

IPF JES

Imperial College London

 

Reproductive Health

GEM3

University of Edinburgh and NHS Lothian ACCORD

www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/activity/mds/trials/bctu/trials/womens/gem3/index.aspx

GaPP2

Edinburgh University & NHS Lothian

www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/activity/mds/trials/bctu/trials/womens/GaPP2/index.aspx

The ‘Big Baby Trial’

Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/med/research/ctu/trials/bigbaby/

C-STICH

Guy's and St. Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust

www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/activity/mds/trials/bctu/trials/womens/C-Stich/index.aspx

Rheumatoid arthritis

PREVeNT RA

University of Manchester

www.preventra.net

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)

BILAG

University of Manchester

www.bilagbr.org

To find out how to get involved, please go to our Information for Patients page.

The Islet Research Laboratory

Who are we?

The Islet Research Laboratory (IRL), based within Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, is conducting a programme of research to develop cell-based treatments for type-1 diabetes with the aim of improving clinical outcome.

The Islet Research Laboratory is the only purpose-built unit in the West Midlands for the isolation of human insulin-producing cells (islets). We have ongoing, active collaborations within the Trust, with researchers at Aston University and University of Birmingham, and work with industry through the provision of human islets for use in diabetes research/drug discovery. This research will, in time, lead to improvements in islet transplantation and increase our understanding of diabetes. In doing so, more effective treatments will be developed, resulting in improved clinical outcomes for our patients and long-term health benefits for all those living with the condition.

Islet Transplantation

Islet transplantation is an alternative method of treating diabetes and involves the replacement of islets, which have been damaged or destroyed by an inappropriate auto-immune response.  Donor islets are infused into the liver of the diabetic individual and after several hours begin to produce and release insulin, effectively restoring normal glucose metabolism. The use of islet cell transplantation for the management of diabetes has yielded encouraging results, with clinical trials reporting a clear improvement both to glucose regulation and quality of life. 

Islet 1

This treatment is available on the NHS, but its use is restricted to those diabetes patients who are most severely affected by poor glucose control. Before islet transplantation can be adopted as a routine, widely used treatment option for diabetes the procedure must be further improved. Transplanted islets currently have a “working life” of 3-5 years with eventual graft failure leading to the re-introduction of more conventional treatments, which may not always be effective. There is a need to determine and address the causes of this decline in islet graft function.

What do we do?

The laboratory is involved in three main areas of islet transplant research:

  • enhancing islet graft survival, adopting pre-transplant techniques to support islet integrity and encourage islet cell proliferation, involving the use of bio-scaffolds and dynamic cell culture systems

Islet 2

improving islet engraftment by examining alternative transplant sites and devising clinically applicable interventions which promote rapid revascularisation (blood vessel formation)

Islet 3

reducing the need for anti-rejection drugs, with strategies that offer “natural” protection to islet grafts by co-transplanting immune-suppressing stem cells

Islet 4

The image above of an islet-amnion construct shows how the islet (stained red for insulin in images A and C) has been surrounded by the amnion cells (stained green for an epithelial cell marker in images B and C). Our ongoing research is testing the ability of the amnion cells to protect islets against immune-rejection after transplantation, with promising early findings.

Publications

  1. Yesmin S, Paget MB, Murray HE, Downing R. Bio-scaffolds in organ-regeneration: Clinical potential and current challenges. Curr Res Transl Med  2017;65(3): 103-113.
  2. Qureshi KM, Lee J, Paget MB, Bailey CJ, Curnow SJ, Murray HE, Downing R. Low gravity rotational culture and the integration of immunomodulatory stem cells reduce human islet allo-reactivity. Clin Transplant  2015;29(1): 90-8. https://doi.org/10.1111/ctr.12488
  3. Paget MB, Murray HE, Bailey CJ, Downing R. Pre-transplant signal induction for vascularisation in human islets. Diab Vasc Dis Res  2013;10(6): 536-45.
  4. Qureshi KM, Oliver RJ, Paget MB, Murray HE, Bailey CJ, Downing R. Human amniotic epithelial cells induce localized cell-mediated immune privilege in vitro: implications for pancreatic islet transplantation. Cell Transplant  2011;20(4): 523-34. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.3727/096368910X528111
  5. Paget MB, Murray HE, Bailey CJ, Flatt PR, Downing R. Rotational co-culture of clonal beta-cells with endothelial cells: effect of PPAR-gamma agonism in vitro on insulin and VEGF secretion. Diabetes Obes Metab  2011;13(7): 662-8.
  6. Murray HE, Paget MB, Bailey CJ, Downing R. Sustained insulin secretory response in human islets co-cultured with pancreatic duct-derived epithelial cells within a rotational cell culture system. Diabetologia  2009;52(3): 477-85.
  7. Paget M, Murray H, Bailey CJ, Downing R. Human islet isolation: semi-automated and manual methods. Diab Vasc Dis Res  2007;4(1): 7-12.

Key Staff

Professor Richard Downing – Laboratory Director
Dr Hilary Murray – Lead Research Scientist (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Dr Michelle Paget – Research Associate 

Contact us

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