The diabetes speciality is one of over 30 specialities which bring together communities of clinical practice to provide national networks of research expertise. Our membership is made up of research-interested clinicians and practitioners at both national and local levels. Our job is to ensure that the diabetes studies that are included in our national portfolio of research receive the right support to ensure they are delivered successfully in the NHS.
Supporting and caring for people with diabetes is one of the biggest challenges to the NHS. The current statistics related to diabetes care outline this dramatically:
Over and above the financial costs, there is a significant cost to the lives of people living with diabetes. The diagnosis of diabetes puts the person at an increased risk of lower limb amputations, kidney and cardiovascular diseases, eye and nerve damage. This results in both a reduction in their life expectancy and a significant impact on their quality of life. Data from the National Diabetes Audit carried out each year, suggests that around 20,000 people per year die prematurely as a result of diabetes.
The Thames Valley and South Midlands region is continuing to help support clinical research studies that will help improve the lives of patients with diabetes and those yet to be diagnosed. Find out more from the teams in the region below.
Diabetes research is available across our region. The map below shows the recruitment into one research study (Diabetes Alliance for Research in England), colour coded by number of participants. This resulted in participation from diabetes patients in almost every postcode in the region.
The region is pleased to be able to offer the opportunity to take part in a range of studies.
The diabetes centre in Oxford is one of 15 sites in the UK that are part of the type 1 immunotherapy consortium.
Immunotherapy approaches for type 1 patients are considered as strong candidates for “disease modification approaches” – having the potential to change the course of progression of the loss of insulin producing beta cells that causes diabetes.
One such study is currently active and recruiting through Oxford – although type 1 diabetes patients in Milton Keynes, Reading, Stoke Mandeville or Wycombe can also access the study, contact your local diabetes team or research nurse for more information.
The Thames Valley region is also supporting an exciting new study that aims to prevent the onset of diabetes by adapting the immune response to insulin thought to underlie the disease. This study will test whether orally administered insulin can prevent the onset of diabetes in very young children thought to be at high risk of developing type 1 diabetes. The GPPAD POinT study will be active at multiples sites in the region.
Improved Diabetes Treatment & Care
Many studies are aimed at improving the outcomes for diabetes patients by improving the treatments or care that they receive. These studies can range from identifying the most appropriate medication for individual patients “personalised medicine” to improving the education that patients receive and thereby their own care and behaviours.
The TriMaster study tests a range of medications that type 2 diabetes patients might receive in addition to the initial treatments they receive. It is well known that patients respond differently to the classes of medicines available. This study aims to identify the profiles of patients that respond well or poorly to the range of medicines available, thereby improving diabetes management. TriMaster is available across multiple sites in the region
StartRIGHT aims to improve the diagnosis of the type of diabetes patients may have . It is known that around 10 percent of patients are diagnosed with the incorrect type of diabetes, this can lead to poor treatment outcomes and if uncorrected poorer health and quality of life. StartRIGHT is available at multiple sites in the region.
Some research studies form the building blocks for the medicines of the future by understanding the biological and genetic profile of diabetes patients in quite a detailed way. This research approach is thought to the best approach to developing the precision medicines of the future and can simply involve the provision of biological samples, physiological measurements or consent to access clinical data.
There are diabetes research studies available at many hospitals in the region and are increasingly available at general practices as well. Contact the research nurses below to ask about at taking part in diabetes research studies at your local hospital or find studies in your area using the map below.
Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust - Nicky McRobert: Senior Diabetes Research Nurse
"My name is Nicky McRobert and I am a senior research nurse covering diabetes, metabolic and endocrine disorders based at the Oxford Centre for Diabetes Endocrine and Metabolism, Churchill Hospital, Oxford. I have worked in the NHS for 30 years and during that time have worked on a variety of medical and surgical wards and spent 13 years working in the community as a district nurse. I have always been interested in research and took up the role of diabetes research nurse in 2010. I lead a team of nurses working on a variety of studies in type 1 and type 2 diabetes as well as metabolic and endocrine studies. Our team can be contacted on 01865 857146 or email@example.com."
Royal Berkshire Hospital – Julie Sutton: Senior Diabetes Research Nurse
"I am a registered nurse and qualified in 1985. I then did my Midwifery training for 18 months and left to work in general practice. For the last 10 years I have worked in diabetes research for the Thames Valley and South Midlands CRN based at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading. I also help to co-ordinate research in the region and work closely with the diabetes service at King Edwards VII Hospital, Windsor. Contact me on 0118 3228929 or firstname.lastname@example.org."
Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust - Lisa Jones: Diabetes Research Nurse
"I am Lisa, diabetes research nurse at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, and we are keen to speak to anyone with either type or type 2 diabetes who would be interested in taking part in research studies and playing a part in improving diabetes care for the future. We have a range of studies that may be of interest to you including comparing medication in type 2 diabetes, insulin used in pregnancy in type 1 diabetes, some studies may involve completing questionnaires, please feel free to contact me if you would like any further information about the exciting opportunities that we have to make a difference in the treatment of diabetes. We are also keen to support any GP surgeries that may wish to increase the research activity in their practice. Lisa Jones Diabetes Research Nurse. 01494 425750 02 07342 085272 email email@example.com."
Milton Keynes University Hospital - Louise Moran: Diabetes Research Nurse
"Hello, my name is Louise Moran. I work at Milton Keynes University Hospital as a diabetes research nurse. Throughout my career as a nurse I have had an interest in diabetes care and education. I have worked as a Desmond diabetes programme educator in Milton Keynes for the past 10 years. I have been working at Milton Keynes Hospital since 2017, initially in cancer research, then moving into diabetes. Previously I also worked in obesity research for over 5 years and in general practice in the Milton Keynes area for eight years. I am happy to hear from you if you are interested in taking part in diabetes Research. Contact me on 01908 996652 I Ext: 86652 or firstname.lastname@example.org."
Your Local Paediatric Diabetes Research Team
The team consists of Principle Investigator Dr Rachel Besser, Lead Paediatric Diabetes Research Nurses Jane Bowen-Morris and Clare Megson and Paediatric Diabetes Research Nurses Alison West, Rebecca Law and Imogen Stamford.
We are the Paediatric Diabetes Research Team at Oxford Children’s Hospital. We feel passionate about giving patients diagnosed with type 1 diabetes the opportunity to take part in research.
Research is how we progress and make improvements in treatments and care. It increases our understanding of diabetes and ensures we have the evidence we need to provide better and more effective treatments and to deliver better care.
ITAD - a study to evaluate whether a new potential treatment for type 1 diabetes, ultra low dose interleukin-2 (aldesleukin), can preserve insulin production in children and adolescents recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. This exciting study will be one of the first immunotherapy trials for children with type 1 diabetes in the UK.
CLOUD - this study involves patients using a pump to deliver insulin connected to a continuous glucose monitor and a mobile phone app. This is known as an artificial pancreas because the app adjusts the amount of insulin delivered by the pump according to the glucose levels present, as the pancreas does in those without diabetes. The study is looking at whether an artificial pancreas is more effective at preserving the body’s insulin producing cells in the pancreas than multiple daily injections with an insulin pen.
BOX 3 – a study which aims to understand the causes of type 1 diabetes. It involves studying samples from people with and without the condition in the same families with the aim of finding out why some people develop this condition and others do not.
ADDRESS2 - to identify people newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes who might be interested in taking part in future diabetes research studies.
TAP - a study to assess whether C-peptide, which is produced alongside insulin, can be measured using a transdermal blood collection device in children and adults with type 1 diabetes.
To find out more contact us on 01865 234905 or email email@example.com.
Click here for diabetes research news from across England.
Visit the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust website for information on diabetes studies taking place in Berkshire.
Visit the Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust website for information on diabetes studies taking place in Buckinghamshire.
Visit the Milton Keynes University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust website for information on diabetes studies taking place in Milton Keynes.
Visit the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust website for information on diabetes studies taking place in Oxfordshire.
For more information on diabetes research in Thames Valley, visit the Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism (OCDEM) and the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre websites.
Find studies you could participate in at bepartofresearch.nihr.ac.uk.