Thanks to our amazing teams on International Clinical Trials Day

research team kgh

We are celebrating the work of our amazing research teams at both Kettering and Northampton general hospitals on, May 20, International Clinical Trials Day.

Clinical Trials Day is celebrated globally on May 20 to recognise the day that James Lind, a ship’s surgeon in the British Royal Navy, started what is often considered the first randomised clinical trial (in this case, to study the effects of different treatments on scurvy in sailors), on May 20, 1774.

The research teams at the University Hospitals of Northamptonshire NHS Group – which runs KGH and NGH – work with patients, and our own teams, to do research and support clinical trials at the two hospitals.

Since 2019 (at KGH and NGH combined) we have:

  • Involved more than 12,500 patients in research trials – with between 1,000 and 2,500 patients taking part each year on each site
  • Over the last year we have recruited to more than 100 national studies into a wide range of medical issues
  • Across our two organisations we have more than 50 staff dedicated to research including research nurses, doctors, clinical trials practitioners, administrators, clinical trials pharmacists, and technicians

Associate Director of Research, Innovation, and Education for UHN, Kay Faulkner, said“Today we just want to say a very big public thank you to our amazing research teams, to all the patients who have taken part in clinical trials, and to all of our clinical teams who have help support and run these trials at our hospitals.

“Clinical trials are the backbone of national medical research and help us to develop new drugs, techniques, vaccines, and approaches, which have benefitted literally millions of patients across the NHS and many thousands locally.

“We are just emerging from a major pandemic that has claimed the lives of more than three million people across the world.

“Many more would have been lost if not for the rapid work of the research teams from across the world who have been working on developing and testing vaccines and treatments for Covid-19.”

Studies we supported

During the Covid-19 pandemic we took part in important studies including:

  • Antibodies to help protect the most vulnerable - NGH recruited the first patient in the UK to a research trial which aims to help immuno-compromised patients to fight Covid-19. The RAPID-PROTECTION study investigated the use of Covid-19 vaccinations in combination with Evusheld, a new antibody treatment used for the prevention of Covid-19 infection.
  • Covid Dogs Study – KGH was a lead contributor to a study that successfully demonstrated that dogs can be trained to indicate if people are Covid-19 positive by simply smelling them. Volunteers from KGH wore special socks, masks and t-shirts, and had Covid tests, as part of a national research trial to see if dogs could be trained to detect people with coronavirus.
  • Recovery - the world’s largest ever research study looking for the best potential treatments for patients with Covid-19 - leading to the discovery that dexamethasone (a steroid) could reduce the risk of death by a third for hospitalised patients requiring oxygen. 
  • ISARIC4C a global health study collecting data on all Covid-19 patients to enable a better understanding of the virus. It looked at the disease process, risk factors for severe illness, transmission dynamics and susceptibility factors; and hundreds of local patients were involved in supporting the work
  • REMAP CAP (Randomised, Embedded, Multifactorial Adaptive Platform trial for CAP (Covid-19)) which looked at the use of convalescent plasma - blood plasma taken from patients who have recovered from Covid-19 and have antibodies in their blood to fight the virus – in the treatment of Covid-19.

Over the last year work we have been involved with includes:

  • Artificial Intelligence in detecting cancer - KGH becoming one of nine NHS endoscopy units taking part in the first UK clinical trial of an innovative artificial intelligence (AI) device which could help better detect bowel cancer. We were one of the lead contributors to this national research.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease - KGH has taken part in Prepare-IBD and Protect-ASUC making a significant contribution to a national study to determine the impact of Covid-19 on patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).
  • Pre-eclampsia - NGH took part in Parrot-2 trial – to help improve the diagnosis and management of Pre-Eclampsia
  • Bowel cancer and polyp detection - KGH has taken part in research around a bowel cancer detection study using ATOM-seq' a super sensitive technology allowing the processing and sequencing of tiny amounts of the tumour DNA from patient blood and urine samples. It has also taken part in Conscop2 – which involves the use of a blue dye to locate polyps in the bowel which are hard to see with standard colonoscopy but once located can be removed to reduce the risk of bowel cancer.

Our work will continue to be strengthened as we are now a formal partner in the National Institute for Health and Social Care Research (NIHR) Leicester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC).

The NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Centre will receive £26m to spend on research over the next five-year funding cycle (2022-2027).

NIHR Biomedical Research Centres are partnerships between healthcare professionals and academics in the country’s leading NHS trusts and universities. The NIHR Leicester BRC is a partnership between the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, University of Leicester, Loughborough University and University Hospitals of Northamptonshire NHS Group.

The combined research teams in Leicester, Loughborough and Northampton will work together to develop ground-breaking treatments, diagnostics, prevention and care for people who have a wide range of diseases.

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