A leading Teesside health care provider has spoken about the importance of research in tackling improvement in patient care for the region.
At a membership event held on 23 September 2019, leading research professionals from North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust and the Durham Tees Valley Research Alliance spoke to delegates about how evidence shows that hospitals with a strong record of clinical research have much better patient outcomes.
Jane Greenaway, Associate Director for the Durham Tees Valley Research Alliance opened the presentation, asserting that patients in our region should expect the same opportunities to participate in research as they do elsewhere in the country.
Research, she explained is focused on patient care. Research provides the evidence for what works best for patients and informs good clinical practice. Her role is to ensure that the patients of North Tees and Hartlepool, South Tees and County Durham and Darlington have the opportunity to gain access to research studies that will help to inform health outcomes, quality of care and economic growth for the North East.
‘We have 88 studies running across 21 specialities – this is really ambitious for a Trust our size’
Jane Greenaway – Associate Director, Durham Tees Valley Research Alliance
A traditional research recruitment year runs from 1 April to 31 March each year. During the 18/19 period, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust achieved its highest ever figures, recruiting 2,052 patients onto trials.
873 of those recruits were into the gastroenterology speciality – the branch of medicine focused on the digestive system and its disorders. Jane adds ‘we have 88 studies running across 21 specialities – this is really ambitious for a trust our size’.
89% of Trust research is financed by externally generated income, whilst the remaining 11% is the staff infrastructure which helps facilitate the smooth running of the research functionality for the organisation.
Mrs Greenaway explains her ambitions to widen participation in research and development, to ensure that it is embedded within the health care system across the region with particular emphasis on involving staff from the nursing, midwifery and allied health professions in research.
‘We want to reach more patients so that we can develop further research opportunities that will benefit our region. This is where the Durham Tees Valley Research Alliance plays a vital role. It is a coming together of the R&D departments from three main acute trusts in our region to ensure we have maximum exposure to global research opportunities.
We can no longer work in splendid isolation and by collaborating we can increase our opportunities to not only take part in critical research, but to gain access to vital funds in order to grow research and development participation’.