More patients than ever before have been given access to cutting-edge clinical research at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, according to new figures.
The Trust saw a huge increase in the number of patients taking part in research in the last year, with 14,484 people taking part in clinical research studies run by the Trust in 2017 and 2018 compared to 11,490 between 2016 and 2017.
The 26 per cent increase in numbers of patients accessing cutting-edge research saw the Trust ranked as tenth for the strongest increase in recruitment to research studies, with an extra 2,994 patients taking part in research at the Trust’s five adult hospitals in 2017 and 2018 compared to the previous period.
The figures, published by the National Institute for Health Research, place the Trust as the ninth highest performing research-active NHS Trust in the country.
Professor Simon Heller, Director of Research and Development at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said he thought the large increase in numbers was thanks to a number of large research studies spanning across a wide range of medical specialities.
This included an online study asking people to give their views on how managing and living with diabetes affects the quality of their lives.
There was also a study looking at the impact of the introduction of the minimum pricing of alcohol on alcohol-related attendances to emergency departments and sexual health clinics and a study measuring blood markers and genetic changes that may influence stroke and to help understand different types of stroke.
He said: “We are delighted to have given more patients than ever before access to ground-breaking clinical research.
“Using social media, we were able to recruit over 3,000 patients to a large online diabetes study.
“This study has been vital in helping us to develop a new £2.7m diabetes study looking at how we can give people living with diabetes the lifelong skills they need to manage the complexities of their condition and build on the successes of our existing structured education and training programme.
“I would also like to thank our dedicated Clinical Research and Innovation Office, for providing expert advice and support to our researchers throughout the research process, our strengthening partnership with both the city’s universities, and the input of our leading Public Patient Involvement panels, who have been instrumental in helping researchers with the design and dissemination of clinical research.
“The Clinical Research and Innovation Office together with the Public Patient Involvement Panels are one of only ten sites across the country leading on the testing of national standards for public involvement in research.”
Clinical research plays a vital role in improving care for patients, providing doctors and scientists with the evidence they need to better understand how diseases work, and paving the way for new drugs and technologies to be introduced into the clinic on routine basis.
The full league table can be viewed online at www.nihr.ac.uk/nihrleaguetable.
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals is one of the UK’s largest NHS Foundation Trusts and one of the largest and busiest teaching hospitals.
They have over 16,000 staff caring for over two million patients each year across five hospitals and in the local community.
For more information about the Trust visit www.sth.nhs.uk.