South Shields medics are leading the way in research

The South Tyneside District Hospital clinical research team.
The South Tyneside District Hospital clinical research team.

Research undertaken at South Tyneside District Hospital will be highlighted at International Clinical Trials Day.

On Friday, South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust’s research team will have stands in the hospital near the Ingham Wing main entrance and in Outpatients.

From 11am to 3pm, people will be able to find out about the exciting developments and opportunities allowing local patients to receive the very latest treatments.

Director of research and development Professor Colin Rees said: “Research is essential to ensure that patients receive the best treatment possible, and it is important that those in South Tyneside are given the opportunity to participate.

“Fortunately for the local population, we are at the forefront of a lot of research, locally and nationally, which allows us to offer the very latest treatment options.

“We are always grateful when patients agree to take part in studies as, by doing so, they are helping to improve patient care.”

The Trust’s reputation as a research leader has grown considerably in recent years. It now involves a wide range of specialities, including gastroenterology, respiratory, cancer, stroke, reproductive health, cardiology, diabetes, critical care/anaesthesia, hepatology and injuries and emergencies.

It is the most active in the UK in bowel cancer screening research.

The Trust research team works with the NIHR Clinical Research Network: North East and North Cumbria and Durham University.

International Clinical Trials Day is held each year to commemorate Scottish naval surgeon James Lind beginning his trials in 1747 into the causes of scurvy.

In 2015, consultant gastroenterologist Prof Rees, who is Endoscopy Vice President of the British Society of Gastroenterology, was given the Royal College of Physicians and National Institute for Health Research’s (NIHR) Clinical Research Network Award for outstanding contribution to the UK clinical research network in the NHS.

Earlier this year, Consultant Respiratory Physician Dr Liz Fuller, who has led various studies about the effectiveness of new drugs for asthma and the lung disorder Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, was acknowledged for her significant contribution to commercial research in the NHS at a prestigious event, hosted at the British Medical Association in London, to celebrate the expertise of the country’s leading NIHR commercial principal investigators.

She was nominated for the recognition by the NIHR Clinical Research Network: North East and North Cumbria for delivering a range of industry research studies to time and achieving the target set for patient recruitment, and for innovation in research.

Dr Fuller said: “Allowing the local population to have the opportunity to take part in research is what motivates us, so it is great to be recognised for the respiratory research that we are doing in South Tyneside, often carrying out studies in which very few other hospitals are involved.

“It is very much a team effort and nothing would be achieved without clinical trials officer Judith Moore and research nurse Nadia Elkaram.”