Research and Development
The Research & Development Office was established in the Trust in 2008 within the Medical Directorate to manage the research governance process and encourage and promote research activity within all staff disciplines. The year 2010/2011 has shown further increase in research and development activity in the Trust in that 84 research applications and 48 enquiries were received, compared with 62 research applications and 24 enquiries in 2009/2010.
Despite the reduction in HSC Research and Development Division funding, the Trust received £50,000 for the Director's Research Discretionary Fund for the third successive year to support small research projects. The availability of this funding was extremely beneficial in encouraging and promoting research in areas where historically there had been a low level of research activity.
A strong history of research
The Trust has the advantage of having a skilled workforce with a strong history and evidence of research. Craigavon Area Hospital and Daisy Hill Hospital have been sites for several important Studies and Clinical Trials participating on a multi-centre and world-wide basis. Collaborative research has been on-going throughout the Trust with both local and national Universities. As well as the direct benefits of providing new treatments or interventions and increasing the quality of care provided for patients and clients, research motivates staff to identify service improvements.
It has been encouraging that there has been evidence of research being carried out by Social Work, Nursing and Allied Health Professional staff during the year and all staff have been supported in undertaking research as part of their academic studies. The priority which the Trust accords to research contributes to the recruitment and retention of high quality staff. In the past year a Cardiology Study at Craigavon Area Hospital achieved the highest patient recruitment in the world and enabled patients to benefit from the latest in stent technology treatment.
In January 2011, two Personal and Public Involvement (PPI) representatives became members of the Trust's Research Governance Committee. These members were recruited by the HSC Research & Development Division through the Patient Client Council, having expressed an interest in being involved in Research and Development in the Southern Trust.
The Trust Research and Development staff work closely with the staff of the HSC Research and Development Division of the Public Health Agency who provide advice and guidance on strategic research issues and specific programme areas, fund the Research and Development staff within the Trust, the HSC Trust Research Fund and the Doctoral Fellowship Awards. The HSC Research and Develop Division also provides information on funding opportunities and on research Conferences, highlights consultation documents open for document, facilitates Regional Research meetings, compiles and publishes HSC R&D Today and provides assistance with the identification of PPI Representatives.
NICRN adopted Studies in the specialties of Children, Stroke, Critical Care and Cardiovascular have been taken forward during the year with Clinical Research Nurses in post for each of those areas. The Trust has representation on those Networks as well as the Diabetes, Dementia and Respiratory Networks with the NI Lead for the Children’s Network being a Consultant Paediatrician in Craigavon Area Hospital.
HSC Innovations provide a regional service and advise Trust staff in relation to issues concerning intellectual property/innovation, patents, copyrights, confidentiality disclosure or collaborative agreements.
Staff submitted excellent innovative ideas to the HSC Innovations, Elevations Awards in May 2010. The Trust had a finalist in each of the three categories and a Northern Ireland winner in the category of Information and Communications Technologies of the year.
Trust staff access the research resource services provided by the regional Clinical Research Support Centre in relation to the conduct of high quality clinical trials and other well designed studies. CRSC staff have a broad range of research related skills: epidemiology, medical statistics, health economics, data management, database design and information technology in support of clinical research.
All research applications submitted for Research Governance approval in the Trust must be accompanied by favourable ethical opinion therefore there are close links between Trust Research and Development staff and ORECNI, who liaise and meet with the ORECNI Head of Office on a regular basis about changes in governance arrangements for Research Ethics Committees.
For information about research issues or the submission of a research application, contact
Dr Peter Sharpe
Consultant Chemical Pathologist
Associate Medical Director Research & Development
Craigavon Area Hospital
68 Lurgan Road
Portadown BT63 5QQ
Telephone: 028 3861 4274