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University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust

Our Research - An Overview

Clinical research is crucial to the discovery and development of new drugs, technologies and practices in healthcare in the NHS and, indeed, the world.

We are established in clinical research, and started research activities soon after the Royal Bournemouth Hospital opened on its current site in 1989.

Clinical research is a key focus within the Trust and we strive to turn research findings into new or improved clinical practice for our patients.

Research active therapeutic areas:

  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Critical Care, Anaesthetics and Emergency Medicine
  • Dermatology
  • Diabetes and Endocrinology
  • Gastroenterology and Hepatology
  • Haematology (Blood disorders)
  • Neurodegenerative disease (Parkinson’s)
  • Orthopaedics
  • Rheumatology
  • Sexual Health
  • Stroke
  • Vascular surgery

Locally Sponsored Research Studies

Impact of weight loss on arthritic knee pain

Anti-gravity simulated weight reduction: a study to assess the impact upon pain for knee arthritis

Disease Area: Orthopaedics

Location: The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

IRAS No: 256479

Impact of simulated weight reduction on pain in foot and ankle arthritis

Anti-gravity simulated weight reduction: a pilot study to assess the impact upon pain for foot and ankle arthritis

Disease Area: Orthopaedics

Location: The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

MREC No: 16/WA/0030

Evaluation of BertieOnline for people with type 1 diabetes

Evaluation of effectiveness of BertieOnline as an education tool for people with type 1 diabetes.

Disease Area: Diabetes

Location: The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

MREC No: 17/YH/0200

Can you get Sutures Wet?

Can hand surgery patients get their wounds and sutures wet? - A pilot randomised control trial

Disease Area: Orthopaedics

Location: The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

MREC No: 13/SC/0197

The ID-RFA Trial

A pilot multicentre prospective randomised controlled trial comparing the safety and efficacy of intraductal radio-frequency ablation (ID-RFA) using Starmed’s temperature controlled ELRA™ probe plus biliary stenting versus biliary stenting alone for the treatment of malignant biliary obstruction.

Disease Area: Cancer

Location: University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust – Royal Bournemouth Hospital site and The Christie Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

IRAS No: 274029

REC No: 21/EE/0168


We are progressing in the fight against cancer. Cancer survival in the UK has doubled in the last 40 years, and nearly half of the most common cancers have a ten year survival rate of 50% or more (1). This is largely due to faster diagnosis and advances in treatment. Research at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital has had a small, but significant, role in these advances.

Cancer research was established in the Trust in the early 1990s. Research in the Oncology Department is supported by the work of consultants, research nurses and project co-ordinator/data management expertise. This team manage a number of open trials every year, and are able to draw on a significant patient cohort: last year over 1,600 people used the services of medical oncology at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital. The department has close links with the Institute of Cancer Research at Royal Marsden Hospital, and clinical trials research units at Liverpool, Leeds and Southampton, as well as industry partnerships with Roche and Quintiles. Our cancer research has the structure, experience and partnerships to continue the expansion of its broad clinical trials portfolio.

  • breast
  • colorectal
  • prostate
  • lung
  • renal / bladder
  • pancreatic / bilary tract

Our research nurses are hospital staff and, together with our research-active clinicians, aim to select the most beneficial clinical trials for their patients. In common with other therapeutic areas, the cancer staff meets regularly to identify patients who may be eligible for the trials, so that wherever possible patients are informed about relevant clinical trials and are given choices about their treatments.

85.3% of our patients achieve their first definitive treatment within 62 days of an urgent GP referral. With our excellent services we have seen 98% of all our patients needing radiotherapy, receive it within 31 days. Both statistics exceed the national target.

STAMPEDE - (Systemic Therapy in Advancing or Metastatic Prostate Cancer: Evaluation of Drug Efficacy) is a large phase III randomised clinical trial conducted in our oncology department.

This Multi-arm trial has assessed how effective multiple alternative treatments and regiments are at treating prostate cancer. Preliminary evidence suggests that treatment with Docetaxel shows potential to alter the way prostate cancer is treated. Due to new evidence many doctors are now integrating radiotherapy with the standard therapy (long-term hormone treatment) to improve the prognosis. We are proud to be one of the many NHS Trusts taking part in this multinational trial that is at the forefront of not only treating prostate cancer, but improving the Quality of life of prostate cancer patients. With the ever-changing nature of the trial we have previously been able to provide patients with access to drugs such as Abiraterone and Enzalutamide, and we are currently taking part in the Metformin arm of the trial.

PlasmaMATCH

Many of our trials are now looking at developing targeted treatments, where the treatment will be matched to a particular sub-type of the cancer. One such trial is PlasmaMATCH, a Phase II trial using a blood test to find certain gene changes and decide treatment for advanced breast cancer. This goal directed therapy seeks to determine whether cancer mutation markers (ctDNA) screening is a reliable test that may spare future patients from having biopsies of their advanced breast cancer, and find answers to questions that could help to improve the treatment and/or quality of life for future breast cancer patients. The trial aims on recruiting 1,000 patients with advanced breast cancer. The Royal Bournemouth is playing a part in a potentially significant advancement in our fight against cancer.

NiceFIT

NiceFIT is a novel test called faecal immunochemical test (FIT) and is currently being conducted at The Royal Bournemouth Hospital and other trusts nationwide to check for bowel cancer. FIT is a test that looks for tiny traces of blood in patient’s stool (using a dipstick test). Only 3% of people sent for a colonoscopy (Gold standard), test positive for colon cancer. The primary aim of NiceFIT is to find out if FIT can tell who needs to have a colonoscopy when they have symptoms. With our participation we hope to be part of a potential change of standard clinical practice, which aims to provide the best services to the public. With a saving of around £300 per person the potential implementation of FIT could have a significant impact on NHS funds.

(1) Cancer Research UK (2014) Cancer Incidence in UK in 2011, report available at: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/

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Professor Paul Little (Professor of Primary care research, University of Southampton) stated in a recent article that "there's been amazing changes in the health service... the most striking things are the changes to help manage cardiovascular disease like the statin trials, the aspirin trials, the use of warfarin, the use of the newer anticoagulants, better management of blood pressure" Wessex NIHR Vision magazine issue 05 Summer 2018.

This is what cardiovascular research is all about here at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital.

We have been running cardiac research trials for nearly 20 years and the team has seen a huge increase in the number of clinical trials conducted her over recent years. Currently (Oct 2018) we have 30 active trials which are either enrolling patients or are in the follow-up stage, with a further 15 potential new studies in the pipeline. We have a team of 6 Research Nurses, a dedicated Project Co-ordinator and our own Data Manager. Our Research Clinical Trials Assistants also help support us. Our aim is to integrate cardiac research within routine care where possible and we work closely with the 11 Consultant Cardiologists who all support research within the unit. The Cardiac Research team is led by Dr Terry Levy, who is also the Clinical Director for the Research & Innovation Directorate. The Team recently won the Wessex NIHR Delivery of Commercial Research Award at the annual awards ceremony in March 2018.

We run trials involving medication - those yet to be licensed (CTIMPs) and also licensed products in new indications, and also studies evaluating new devices such as stents, pacemakers, in a whole range of cardiac conditions such as Acute Coronary Syndrome, Percutaneous Coronary Intervention, Heart Failure, Cardiac Arrhythmias such as Atrial Fibrillation, and Blood Pressure control.

Newsletter

We publish a regular newsletter from our researchers - click here for the February 2020 newsletter.

We are involved in two studies exploring new exciting developments in treatments as follows:

CardioMems Study

The CardioMems Study for patients with Heart Failure is looking at whether a new device implanted in one of the arteries in the heart can help to identify early subtle changes in pressure within the heart, which might help to prevent the patient's condition deteriorating and thereby reducing the chance of a hospital admission. See RBCH Research Twitter for more details.

RADIANCE-HTN Study

The RADIANCE-HTN Study is trying to find out whether a technique called renal denervation can reduce blood pressure. Ultrasound technology is used during a minimally invasive procedure reducing the activity of nerves running to the kidneys which are involved with regulating blood pressure. If successful, this could potentially reduce the amount of medication that patients take. Recent interim results have been published which show encouraging early data.

For further information about any of the Clinical Trials we are running, please contact the Cardiac Research Team on 01202 704514.

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Clinical Research in this area has the support of all 8 Intensive Care Consultants and a team of Anaesthetics and Emergency Department Consultants.

We are involved in a number of research studies both nationally and internationally, collaborating with established and pioneering research groups. This research benefits the sickest patients in the hospital and advances the knowledge and understanding of critical care medicine.

ITU have been involved in several studies of global importance, investigating interventions and systems of care, this ensures that the care we deliver to our patients is evidence based and of the highest possible standard.

The research projects are led by our consultants, who are the principal investigators for the studies and take responsibility for their overall conduct. We also have a team of research nurses, experienced in critical care, who have undertaken further specialist training. The fundamental aim of the critical care research team is to improve survival rates and outcomes for critically ill patients.

List of critical care, anaesthetics and emergency medicine publications

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Dermatology Research at Christchurch Hospital is led by Dr Ian Pearson, Consultant Dermatologist. We currently have one study running in our Dermatology Department. BADBIR is the British Association of Dermatologists Biologic Interventions Register. Our site has recruited 22 patients onto this trial, and we are still open to recruitment until 2025.

BADBIR

Psoriasis is generally a lifelong illness, most commonly starting before 40 years of age and often presenting initially in childhood or early adulthood. BADBIR is a study which follows a large number of patients who are being treated with biologic agents for their psoriasis. This study aims to establish a registry of patients to look at the long-term data for safety and efficacy of biologic agents. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has recommended that all patients in the UK receiving these new therapies for psoriasis should be registered. BADBIR stands for the British Association of Dermatologists Biologic and Immunomodulators Register.

If you are interested in taking part in the BADBIR trial, please contact Dermatology Research on 01202 705139.

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Doctors have estimated that there are 3.6 million people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK and approximately 630,000 people who have the condition, but don’t know it (4). The Bournemouth Diabetes and Endocrine Centre, or ‘BDEC’ as it is also known, is a nationally renowned centre for diabetes treatment and has a track record in diabetes clinical research.

Research at our Bournemouth Diabetes and Endocrine Centre started in the 1990s. Six consultants, research nurse, dietician and clinical psychologist make up the research team. Some of these Consultants, being new to BDEC, bring with them ambitions for fresh research studies. The staff at BDEC include a research active Endocrinologist who is presently studying some of the rarer endocrine diseases.

Our key research studies are in the areas of:

  • Use of an online platform for structure education in type 1 diabetes
  • Using an education program in the management of recurrent hypoglycaemia
  • Genetics of diabetes
  • Treatment in diabetic neuropathy
  • Using a social networking tool to support people to incorporate an insulin pump into their everyday lives
  • Diagnosis and identification of rare endocrine diseases

In addition the team in BDEC are especially interested in studies involving emerging technologies for Type 1 diabetes and, as highlighted above, are seeking to grow their range of endocrine studies. When it is considered that in 2016/2017 BDEC saw over 2,600 people with diabetes (11,300 visits), the conclusions must be that prospects for further research at BDEC are very good.

A focus on diabetes research at RBCH

Bertieonline:

Bournemouth Diabetes and Endocrine Centre, the originators of the Bertie education course for people with type 1 diabetes which is now some 14 years old have created an updated online training program known as Bertieonline. This course offers the same quality curriculum around management of type 1 diabetes but in an online intervention format. We are running a one year study to look at the outcomes of completing this course at home.

HARPdoc:

HARPdoc is an educational intervention aiming to support those with problematic hypoglycaemia in type 1 diabetes. It is a randomised trial between two arms optimising with self-management with a view to reducing disabling Hypoglycaemia.

StartRight:

It is often difficult for doctors to tell which kind of diabetes a person has, particularly in younger adults where both type 1and type 2 are common. Because of this, sometimes (in about 15-20% of young adults) people are given the wrong diagnosis. This can have a huge impact as it means they could receive the wrong treatment. A person incorrectly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes will be prescribed unnecessary insulin injections and miss out on other helpful therapies. A person incorrectly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes may develop severely high glucose and become unwell with a condition called Diabetic Ketoacidosis if they do not receive insulin treatment. This study aims to improve this situation by helping doctors more accurately tell the type of diabetes a person has when they are first diagnosed.

ADDRESS 2:

This research project is learning about the characteristics of people newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. We are looking for children and adults aged 5 or older and newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes who are willing to let us collect information about their diabetes, and who also agree to be contacted about other opportunities to take part in type 1 diabetes research. We aim to give people who join ADDRESS 2 information about other type 1 diabetes research for which they might be eligible and put them in touch with the teams running the research.

Option DM:

In this study, we aim to find out the most effective initial treatment, and then the best additional treatment for patients with painful diabetic neuropathy. This will improve patient care and quality of life, as well as benefitting doctors who treat patients with painful diabetic neuropathy and the NHS, as improved pain management reduces patient visits to both GPs and hospitals.

The Genie study

A study which introduces people with Type 1 diabetes who are new to using an insulin pump to an online social support tool named 'Genie'.

Genie has been designed to visually map the health support that someone gets. Genie then helps link support and resources to people in their community. Basically, you say what you might like to know more about in your local area for example, creative activities (creative writing, reading groups, music groups etc.), exercise/walking/running/swimming groups/classes or maybe even peer/diabetes support groups in your area, and it will show you where these are, how often they meet and how to access them.

This study will introduce new pump users to Genie. This will offer the opportunity to easily access key support and information, with the hope of allowing a more smooth transition to the pump.

Inclusion criteria for the Genie study

  • Diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes
  • 18 years or older
  • About to start on an insulin pump

This study will involve taking part in 3 interviews at your pump clinic; one when you start pump therapy, and then 3 and 6 months on from your pump start.

For further information about any of the Clinical Trials we are running, please contact the Cardiac Research Team on 01202 704514.

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Gastroenterology examines issues related to the digestive system (5). This includes the organs of the digestive tract from the point of entry to the point of exit. Within the Gastroenterology team there are several specialty teams focusing on conditions which affect different parts of the digestive tract, including the oesophagus, stomach, small and large bowel and rectum. The IBD team focus upon the management and treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, including Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis. The Hepatology team focus more specifically upon the liver, pancreas and related organs such as the gallbladder and bile duct. The Upper GI (Gastrointestinal Team) specialise in disorders affecting the oesophagus and stomach, and the first part of the small bowel, predominantly. The Gastroenterology team as a whole work closely with clinical researchers at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital engaging in a range of research studies aimed at exploring the causes and effects of these disorders, as well as examining existing treatments and trialling new therapies.

Research into the closely allied fields of Gastroenterology and Hepatology began in the Royal Bournemouth Hospital in 2009, and is now led by Dr Simon McLaughlin. Our staff currently oversee the research of almost 20 trials and have a large patient cohort to draw on: last year more than 8,000 patients benefitted from the services of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Gastroenterology research receives support from a range of trained personnel, including consultants, associative specialists, research nurses, inflammatory bowel disease nurses and bowel cancer screening nurses. Hepatology research can draw on similarly specialist personnel, including consultants, senior nurse specialist, research nurses and specialist liver nurses. Both areas of research receive support from project coordinator and data management staff.

There are currently three key areas of research:

  • inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis)
  • gastro-Intestinal cancer prevention studies (bowel/oesophageal)
  • liver disease (hepatitis C and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease)

Research nurse Emma Gunter writes about the TOPAZ-1 Study and her experiences of working at the hospital:

“The TOPAZ-1 Study is a very exciting clinical trial which gave patients with chronic hepatitis C the opportunity to access treatment that was more likely to clear the virus than previous treatments, with a lower burden of side-effects. This patient group had been waiting for several years for new medications to be licenced, and although the study drugs were just reaching that point, they had yet to be approved for purchase by NHS England. When this did happen, priority was - as anticipated - given to those with more advanced disease, leaving the majority dependent upon opportunities such as this study.”

“This was my first experience working on a commercial drug study, and it has been complex, interesting and demanding. I was mindful of the responsibility to conduct this in a proficient and timely manner, both for our patients' sake, and to ensure quality data for the study. Fortunately I have had the support of a communicative, enthusiastic clinical team who have great engagement with their patients.”

“The study is now in the Post-Treatment phase, and we continue to see the patients who participated to review and monitor them regularly. Studies such as this one were key in demonstrating the safety and efficacy of such medicines, ultimately increasing patient choice and improving access to effective treatment. In addition, we have been selected for additional studies of a similar nature, which is very satisfying.”

UK-AIH - a focus on Hepatology research

One of the trials the Gastroenterology Department is involved in is the United Kingdom Autoimmune Hepatitis Cohort (UK-AIH). Autoimmune hepatitis is a rare condition in which the body’s immune (defence) system attacks the liver. People who develop autoimmune hepatitis need medication to reduce the activity of the immune system and may need lifelong treatment. However, not everybody responds well to the current treatments and some people suffer from side effects. This trial is designed to collect more information about the condition to help improve treatments and enhance patient care.

(5) CORE (2015) What is Gastroenterology? Available at: http://www.corecharity.org.uk/

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Treatments for blood cancers are progressing. These improvements have meant, for example, that survival rates in myeloma are increasing at the fastest rate for all cancer types in the UK (6). Clinical research at The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has contributed to these advances.

Clinical research in Haematology was pursued by the late Dr Terry Hamblin in the Royal Bournemouth Hospital just after its inception in 1989. Today our Haematology Department has one of the most extensive research portfolios in the Trust. Haematology research is led by Dr Rachel Hall (Clinical Director) and Dr Helen McCarthy (Clinical Lead) and a further three consultants. They are supported by three research nurses, a clinical trials assistant and data management expertise. Their work is fully integrated with a research laboratory at the hospital. Last year the team managed approximately 60 trials.

Our key areas of research are:

  • chronic lymphocytic leukaemia
  • myeloma
  • acute leukaemia
  • lymphoma
  • genetic studies

In 2016 over 2,900 patients used haematology services. The department is a treatment centre for the Channel Islands, and haematology research has extensive links with external agencies including Cancer Research UK and King’s College, University of London. The department has the history, expertise and partnerships to broaden its clinical trial portfolio.

Haematology research also pursues collaborations with patient groups: last year the team hosted more than 70 patients and staff at a ‘patient day’, sponsored by Myeloma UK, which aimed to raise awareness of myeloma.

Newsletter

We publish a regular newsletter from our haematology researchers - click here for the February 2020 newsletter.

PCYC 17 - a focus on haematology research

The PCYC 17 trial is investigating the effectiveness of a type of drug, called a ‘kinase inhibitor’, on patients with leukaemia. Kinases are proteins inside cells that help cells live and grow. The study drug is believed to block a kinase that helps leukaemia cells live and grow and so kills leukaemia cells or stop them from growing. This type of treatment is called a ‘targeted therapy’. The PCYC trial is making available to patients an experimental drug under strictly controlled conditions.

(6) Myeloma UK (2015) Facts and Figures, available at: http://www.myeloma.org.uk/

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In recent years, progress has been made in understanding the complex causes of Parkinson's disease (PD), a condition in which parts of the brain become progressively damaged over many years. There has been a focus on novel treatments including gene therapies and stem cell therapies. There has also been research into approaches to improving the lives of those affected by the disease.

Clinical research in Christchurch hospital has helped to improve the quality of life of Parkinson's patients. Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch hospitals started to take part in research into PD over 20 years ago. This research is led by Dr Khaled Amar, a consultant physician with an interest in PD. Dr Amar is supported by an established team comprising a consultant nurse, research nurse and specialist nurses. Our staff have the assistance of a specialist therapist for studies that focus on rehabilitation. The local area has a significant patient cohort: approximately 1,000 Parkinson's patients used the therapeutic services at Christchurch hospital last year.

The focus of Parkinson's research at Christchurch Hospital is primarily:

  • genetic basis of the disease
  • repurposed drug trials
  • new ways to understand and diagnose Parkinson's disease

The Parkinson’s Research Team is currently overseeing eight studies, and maintains close ties with local facilities. The team regularly communicates with research staff from Poole and the wider Community, ensuring a comprehensive service is offered to patients. It is also closely involved with the Day Hospital at Christchurch. Our patients are quite unequivocal about their reasons for supporting research in Christchurch Hospital:

"I take part in research to see if it will help with looking for the causes of Parkinson’s disease for the benefit of myself and future generations."

Julie, a patient on a Parkinson's trial.

"I enjoy the assessments, get seen more regularly and it helps me know how my disease is progressing."

Roger, a patient on a Parkinson's trial.

Skin Metabolites

This research project was based on a novel finding about people with Parkinson's disease (PD). A woman who claims to be able to detect a unique body odour from people with PD captured the interest of researchers at The University of Manchester. This woman has an extremely sensitive sense of smell and notably, she detected a change in body odour in a family member many years before diagnosis. Researchers tested her on two occasions with samples of swabs rubbed on the skin of people with and without the disease, and she was able to correctly identify all 12 of the 12 individuals who had the disease.

An early sign of PD is excessive production of sebum, which is an oily substance on the skin. Based on this, the Skin Metabolites study aims to investigate whether compounds present on the skin of those with PD can be detected and identified, to provide a route for early diagnosis of the disease.

In collaboration with The University of Manchester, investigating skin metabolites as a new way to diagnose PD is a study that so far, has achieved a successful recruitment of 125 patients, and recruitment has been extended until August 2020.

Prospect

This study is aimed at improving the early diagnosis of specific progressive neurodegenerative conditions in Parkinson's Disease, and to establish a European registry to help in the design and development of new treatments. This study will be open until the end of 2019.

Neuro LTC

This study aims to assess patients with long-term neurological conditions to identify the prevalence and impact of fatigue, and to identify factors that influence everyday care requirements. The researchers aim to use this information in future research projects, to inform how to best to deliver community-based care in neurological long-term conditions across Wessex.

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The National Joint Registry states that, “Hip, knee, ankle, elbow and shoulder joint replacements have become common and highly successful operations that bring many patients improved mobility and relief from pain.” (8) These are the goals of orthopaedic researchers at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital.

The Royal Bournemouth Hospital has a 10 year history of completing research in Orthopaedics. Over this period Surgeons have completed a range of research studies looking into new types of prostheses, different surgical techniques and better ways to treat and rehabilitate our patients.

Orthopaedics research is based in our Derwent Suite, which is a self-contained facility with 28 ensuite rooms and two dedicated orthopaedic theatres. Fully integrated with the Orthopaedics Outpatients Department, this represents one of the largest hip and knee replacement centres in Europe. Last year the services saw over 17,100 patients. The opportunities for orthopaedic research at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital are very promising.

One example of research within the Orthopaedic Department is the ‘Big Head/Little Head’ study which has been conducted by Mr Robert Middleton and his team over the last 10 years. This study was completed in collaboration with other centres in the UK as well as hospitals in Australia. The results of the study have helped to determine essential developments in hip prosthesis design which has led to a reduction in dislocation rate.

As well as studies into hip replacement there are also currently studies looking at knee surgery, hand and wrist surgery and shoulder surgery which are ongoing within the hospital. We continue to find the best way of treating our local patients and also helping those patients further afield by publishing our research.

(8) The National Joint Registry (2015) commentary available at http://www.njrcentre.org.uk/

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Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease resulting in a long-term condition that can cause pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints, usually affecting the hands, feet and wrists. Rheumatoid affects approximately 1% of the population in the UK, and between 2 to 3 times more women than men (1). The most common age for people to develop RA is between 40 and 60 years old, although it can develop at any age. If left untreated, it can cause irreversible damage to joints, resulting in disability for patients. However, advances in research of RA mean that the management of this condition is much better than it used to be.

According to National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society CEO, "Things are so different now. There are now very effective treatments which are a lot better than used to be the case... there is a lot of research happening around the world." (1)

The Rheumatology Service at Christchurch Hospital is one of the busiest services of its kind in the Wessex region. Last year over 7,000 patients used the Rheumatology services at Christchurch Hospital. The team at Christchurch Hospital appreciate the importance of research into these diseases.

Rheumatology research at Christchurch Hospital is led by Dr Jonathan Marks, Consultant Rheumatologist Lead. Research started in Christchurch in 2007 and now has the input of five consultant rheumatologists, who are all are actively involved in the recruitment, supervision and management of ongoing research in the department. Our Consultants are supported by a team of two research nurses and data management expertise. The hospital has research-active physiotherapists who are working within the department and involved with ongoing research.

The key areas of research in Rheumatology are:

    • inflammatory arthritis
    • lupus
    • podiatry
    • back pain / osteoporosis

The department has a strong ethos and history of engagement with patients through focus groups, education sessions and support networks. Historically, the department has been an active player in these networks through collaboration with relevant external agencies such as the 'Dorset Alliance for Rheumatology Excellence' (DARE) and the 'Wessex Connective Tissue Disease' network.

AbbVie 572

AbbVie 572 is a study which compares the efficacy of the drug Upadacitinib to the drug Adalimumab and to a Placebo, in patients with moderately to severely active psoriatic arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that develops in some people with the skin condition psoriasis. According to NHS England, Adalimumab is the single medicine on which hospitals spend the most, at a cost of more than £400 million a year (2). Recruitment will end in July 2019.

(1) The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society. What is RA? Website: https://www.nras.org.uk/index.php/what-is-ra-article accessed 14/01/2019.

(2) https://www.england.nhs.uk/2018/10/nhs-set-to-save-150-million-by-switching-to-new-versions-of-most-costly-drug/, accessed 03/01/2019.

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The Sexual Health department in Royal Bournemouth Hospital provides sexual health services to over 25,000 patients annually and has developed good portfolio of sexual health, HIV and genitourinary medicine (GUM) research studies.

We currently have some non-commercial, interventional and observational studies covering research across a variety of HIV and GUM conditions including:

  • Chlamydia
  • Bacterial Vaginosis
  • HIV and pre-exposure to prevent HIV
  • HPV

These studies are either open to recruitment or in follow ups.

We have a great team of clinicians involved in research, senior research lead, health advisors, research nurses, clinical trials coordinator, clinical trials assistant who work together to make sure the research is set up and delivered to high standards.

The Sexual Health Department is aiming to expand on more research studies in the future to be able to find treatments that work, improve or develop new methods of health care and finding out new knowledge that could lead to changes in health care.

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Stroke affects 100,000 people a year in the UK. This amount to one person every 5 minutes.

The stroke service at Royal Bournemouth Hospital see over 750 new strokes every year. The numbers of strokes have been increasing decade on decade due to a multitude of reasons: increased awareness of the symptoms of stroke, increased lifespan of the population, changes in diet and lifestyle and many others. Despite this the proportion of people dying from their stroke is actually falling, and there is only one reason for this: Research.

Research tells us what the effective treatments for stroke are, how to use them and when to use them. Research has led to the formation of dedicated stroke units which have reduced death and disability through multidisciplinary working. Research has allowed the use of clot busting drugs to reduce the damage a stroke causes to the brain.

Stroke research can only continue through the efforts of individuals volunteering to take part in trials, leading to better care for future patients.

Our patients are some of the best advocates for stroke research.

Peter, a patient on a Stroke trial called IRIS:

“I have always felt part of the system. I felt that the research staff were interested and made a very positive contribution to my care. I felt that I was being monitored and in fact beneficial alterations were made to my treatments”.

Frank, also a patient on a Stroke trial called IRIS:

“Everything goes so smoothly, there’s so little apart from taking the tablets to worry about. They are keeping a watch on you, which is reassuring. Coming is better than the doctor, because we have time to discuss things. It’s the good old National Health like it used to be”.

Derek, a patient on a long term secondary prevention clinical trial:

“After a few health problems it was really reassuring to have regular check-ups by a professional friendly team”.

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In recent years there have been treatment advances in vascular surgery, including adopting the development in partnership with interventional radiology which is a minimally invasive alternative to open surgery for some conditions. The Vascular Network team at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital is continuing to make an important contributions to these advances, and works with surgeons and clinician from both Salisbury District General Hospital and Dorset County Hospital.

Vascular surgery research originally started in 1984 when the hospital was based at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Boscombe. It further developed in 1991 when the JVRG (Joint Vascular Research Group) was established nationally between enthusiastic and innovative surgeons from 8 vascular surgeons in hospitals nationwide; The Royal Bournemouth Hospital was one of these sites and was recognised throughout the 1980-2004 period as one of the top 10 sites in the country, participating in the EVAR1 and EVAR 2 trials, and co-authoring many seminal publications which support the evolution of the specialty and the care and management of patients with vascular problems.

Vascular research at the Trust now involves the activities of four surgeons, five interventional radiologists and a consultant nurse, all of whom are widely published in clinical journals. Collaborative work is very important to vascular surgery, and team members often work with interventional radiologists, anaesthetists, dermatologists, rheumatology (for non-surgical vascular diseases) and medical physics. The team continues to develop in key research areas, with the vital support of better radiological diagnostic techniques. These areas include the use of devices (such as 'stent') in arteries and veins in different disease processes; the surveillance and management of small aneurysms; comparisons between graft balloon and stent usage; and transfusion medicine. The team is successful in recruiting patients to research studies, partly because it shows high levels of care and strong patient relationships. Some of the current projects are listed with a precis of the study profile and activity.

Basil 2 - Comparing long established surgical bypass with angioplasty including novel drug eluting and stent

Surgery whilst durable in the longer term has its complications, including bypass failure and infection, possibly amputation together with long inpatient stay. This makes day case or overnight stay angioplasty attractive, it still has its complications but the durability and efficacy is uncertain. It might for example be better to retreat with angioplasty every 5+ years as symptomatically required this trial is looking into the optimum treatment to offer patients in the future.

Basil 3 - Comparing differing types of angioplasty and stent treatments

The practise of plain balloon angioplasty to open up narrowed arteries is established, there are additional procedures with types of balloon some coated with drugs to prevent recurrence of the narrowing and there are stents to hold open the new opening, some of these stents also can deliver a therapeutic chemical to the artery wall.

Class 2

Comparison of early intervention and delayed intervention with compression treatment of underlying venous disease for patients with short term ulcers.

NESIC - Now Recruiting

Use of a vibration plate for patient with claudication, to assess benefits either symptomatically or for improvement on walking distance and quality of life.

OXFUD - Diabetic Foot ulcers

Using hyperbaric oxygen to speed and prevent the recurrence of diabetic foot ulcers and tissue loss.

UKAGS - Tissue sampling for small AAA cases

Genetic study for small AAA in males, in collaboration with NAAASP to classify the differing categories, aid future management and assess possible preventative measures to mitigate growth in the future

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