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The NIHR Clinical Research Network Thames Valley and South Midlands supports studies across 30 medical specialities. See the tabs below to find out more. 

The NIHR supports research being delivered through 30 speciality therapy areas. Each speciality is made up of expert clinical leaders and practitioners who work at both national and local levels to ensure that studies are delivered successfully and to promote awareness of research opportunities for participants to take part in. The speciality groups also support the dialogue between the life sciences industry and charities to ensure the pipeline of research studies and to facilitate the involvement of participants to make research more effective. Visit the main NIHR website to find out what is happening nationally in the different specialities.

Cardiovascular Disease

Heart and circulatory diseases are a major cause of deaths in the UK, leading to over a quarter of deaths of known causes. Although there has been a major improvement in the treatment and understanding of cardiovascular disease in recent decades, today statistics show that:

  • 460 people die as a result of cardiovascular disease in the UK each day
  • 540 hospital visits each day as a result of a heart attack
  • Over seven million are living with cardiovascular disease in the UK
  • The cost to the NHS equates to £16,000 per minute or £9 billion per year

These figures show the scale of the challenges cardiovascular disease poses yet research has resulted in:

  • Improved clot-busting drugs to treat heart attack patients, increasing survival by 70 per cent
  • Transforming treatments for cholesterol levels, significantly decreasing people's risk of heart disease
  • The discovery of genes linked to heart disease.
  • Better understanding of the mechanisms that can cause ‘sudden death’
  • Supporting the trial of new medical devices to improve outcomes for patients

We know there is still work to do, which is why the NIHR has invested in support for cardiovascular research across our region.

We are pleased to offer the opportunity to take part in a range research trials of covering:

  • Heart failure
  • Arrhythmias including atrial fibrillation
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Lipid management and the effect on cardiovascular outcomes
  • Hypertension management
  • Acute coronary syndrome
  • Cardiac surgery
  • Prevention of cardiovascular disease

Studies include:

  • Trialling new medications / treatments and comparing them to current practice
  • Long term studies comparing different current practices
  • Introducing new platforms to improve disease management and care
  • Testing advances in technology such as new cardiac stents

There are cardiovascular research studies available at many hospitals and general practices in the region. Speak to your nurse or doctor to ask about at taking part in research studies or use our interactive map to find research near you.

Your Local Cardiovascular Research Nurses and Research Teams

Oxford University Hospital Foundation Trust - Ellie Corps, Senior Cardiovascular Research Nurse

"We in the NHS Cardiac Research Team at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford have supported research for over 10 years. Our team has grown rapidly and now includes nine research nurses and four non-clinical team members. The team supports studies across all aspects of adult cardiac research including stent studies, heart valve, electrophysiology and heart failure device trials. We have a wealth of clinical and research experience and are led by clinical academics of national and international standing."

Contact:

Rachel Bates: Rachel.Bates@ouh.nhs.uk, 01865 740422

David Webster: David.Webster@ouh.nhs.uk, 01865 572837

Ellie Corps: Ellie.Corps@ouh.nhs.uk, 01865 223173

Wycombe Hospital – Mari Kononen

"Here in Wycombe we have a dedicated cardiac and stroke receiving unit and coronary care ward. We have a large research team and try to offer every patient a chance to participate in research. This means we have a wide range of studies covering the majority of themes within the cardiovascular theme from simple questionnaires to trials of new medications and devices."

Contact: 01494 425901 or Mari.kononen@nhs.net.

Milton Keynes Hospital – Lynn Wren, Senior Research Nurse lead for Cardiovascular and Diabetes studies

"We are a relatively small though dynamic cardiovascular research delivery team. We deliver a variety of studies across the acute wards, Coronary Care Unit and outpatients, covering a variety of cardiovascular conditions. In partnership with Professor Attila Kardos we work closely with cardiology consultants who are very supportive and positive about supporting research at the trust.

"The research delivery team consists of myself, Diane Scaletta, Gabriela Bega and Felicity Williams. Between us we have over 45 years of nursing experience covering acute medicine, cardiology, critical care, cardiac rehabilitation and emergency medicine. We are supported by Felicity who is responsible for ensuring the correct governance of our studies.

"We would be really happy to discuss any potential studies that you may be interested in."

Contact: 01908 997558 / 997557 / 997324 or Lynn.Wren@mkuh.nhs.uk.

Royal Berkshire Hospital – Mark Brunton, Cardiac Research Nurse

"I have worked in cardiology at the Royal Berkshire Foundation trust since 1998.

"I recently took responsibility for supporting cardiology research at the trust and I now work with eight active cardiology consultants who are responsible for numerous research studies and clinical trials.

"The Cardiology Department has recently gained the Award of Excellence from the Joint Academic Board (JAB) of the University of Reading and the trust and we are now named The University Department of Cardiology.

"We are a small team consisting of myself, Abigail Whyte with our medical lead Dr. Charlie Mckenna."

Contact: 0118 3227260 or mark.brunton@royalberkshire.nhs.uk.

University of Oxford

"We are incredibly fortunate to have an enthusiastic and hardworking team of highly experienced staff supporting a varied portfolio of cardiovascular research, from multi-million pound clinical trials to smaller cutting edge cardiovascular research studies.

Our team includes research nurses, midwives, research assistants and research coordinators. Between them our nurses have over 100 years of nursing experience!"

Some of the aspects of the role best loved by the team include:

  • The large variety of studies that take place
  • Being at the forefront of new clinical developments
  • Being able to build a rapport with participants over the duration of a study
  • The collaboration with patients and researchers
  • Being part of research that will make a positive impact on people’s lives
  • Being somewhere that values learning and excellence

Contact: Hanan Lamlum, Head of Clinical Research Co-ordination on 01865 234588 / hanan.lamlum@cardiov.ox.ac.uk or Catherine Krasopoulos, Lead Research Nurse on 01865 225232 / catherine.krasopoulos@cardiov.ox.ac.uk.

 

Diabetes

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:

  • 3.7 million people are currently diagnosed with diabetes in the UK.
  • 900,000 people are undiagnosed and living with diabetes.
  • 12.3 million people have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The cost to the NHS equates to £25,000 per minute or £14 billion per year or 10% of the total NHS budget.

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.

Although these figures and statistics are startling, research has helped to improve nearly every aspect of the lives of people living with diabetes, from prevention to treatment and ultimately cure.

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.

The region is pleased to be able to offer the opportunity to take part in a range of studies.

Diabetes prevention

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 a 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 is active at multiples sites in the region.

Improved diabetes treatment and 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.

Other studies

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 be the best approach for 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 our online map.

Your Local Diabetes Research Nurses

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."

Contact: 01865 857146 or nicky.mcrobert@ouh.nhs.uk.

Paediatric Diabetes Research Team, Oxford Children’s Hospital:

"We are passionate about giving patients diagnosed with type 1 diabetes the opportunity to take part in research.

"We are: Principal 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 currently involved in several clinical trials for children with type 1 diabetes.

"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.

"We are currently involved in several clinical trials for children with type 1 diabetes."

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.

Contact: 01865 234905 or jane.bowen-morris@ouh.nhs.uk.

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 Berkhire 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: 0118 3228929 or juliesutton@nhs.net.

Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust - Lisa Jones: Diabetes Research Nurse

"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 such as comparing medication in type 2 diabetes insulin used in pregnancy in type 1 diabetes. 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.”

Telephone: 01494 425750. Email: l.jones22@nhs.net

Milton Keynes University Hospital - Louise Moran: 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 five 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.”

Telephone: 01908 996652, extension 86652. Email: louise.moran@mkuh.nhs.uk.

 

Mental Health

Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire:

"Eleven clinical research assistants (CRAs) work in our community mental health teams, early intervention services, inpatient wards, Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services and older adult community mental health teams to communicate directly with staff members and service users regarding opportunities, training and study delivery and patient and public involvement in research.

"The CRAs supported recruitment of more than 1,500 participants to more than 30 studies in 2017/18 from interventional and genetic studies to observational projects looking at a wide variety of clinical and service related issues.

The team consists of Tahnee Marquardt (Research Implementation Manager), Anna Heinen (Senior Research Assistant) and eight Clinical Research Assistants: Alex Bothwell, Anne-Marie Nilo, Sherin Varghese, Duncan Dudley-Hicks, Jade Harvey, Heather Guerin, Kazminder Fox and Verity Abbots."

Contact the team on mentalhealthresearch@oxfordhealth.nhs.uk or 01865 902013.

Current studies include:

Depression

LQD aims to compare the clinical and cost effectiveness of lithium versus quetiapine when used as add-on therapies to antidepressant medication for patients with Treatment Resistant Depression (TRD). Participation involves pre-screening questions usually delivered over the phone. Following this a full screening and baseline assessment will be completed, which involves completing study questionnaires and having blood samples and physical observations taken. Participants are then randomised to either lithium or quetiapine. A research assistant will then meet with the participant at eight, 26 and 52 weeks to complete further questionnaires and blood tests.

TACK II invites patients and mental health professionals to assess the effectiveness of DIALOG+, an app developed for clinicians working with patients with depression. The study is a randomised controlled trial, where clinicians will either work with patients using the DIALOG+ app, or follow usual care. This new approach has already been found to improve the quality of life of people with psychosis and we are hoping that patients with depression may experience similar benefits.

GLAD aims to explore the genetic predictors and environmental risk factors for depression and anxiety. Participants will be given the opportunity to donate a saliva sample to the NIHR Mental Health Biobank, which we hope will be a leading resource for future health and social care research. Anyone who has been diagnosed with or treated for anxiety or depression at one stage in their lifetime can participate in this study.

Eating disorders

TRIANGLE aims to establish whether an online platform of digital resources is helpful for individuals with anorexia nervosa, and their family member. Participation involves using the internet resources and completing online questionnaires.

Perinatal studies

CAPRI-Voc invites mothers with infants aged between 9-18 months to take part in a study exploring how babies process voices and sounds.

Psychosis and schizophrenia

Alkermes intends to investigate if olanzapine and samidorphan (ALK 3831) can allow patients to have the antipsychotic benefits of olanzapine without the associated weight gain and metabolic risks.

BI is a study assessing the effectiveness of a clinical trial medication. The medication has been developed to improve cognitive function in patients with schizophrenia. Patients are invited to participate in a computerised cognitive training program alongside taking the medication.

NCMH stands for National Centre for Mental Health. The centre are building a large database containing information about participants’ mental health, physical health, lifestyle and also anonymised genetic information. The cohort is hoped to be a world-leading resource for mental health and social care research. Participants take part in a one-off interview and also donate a blood or saliva sample.

Molgen is a study investigating genetic and non-genetic factors which may increase the risk of developing an adverse drug reaction. This study focuses on clozapine, an antipsychotic medication.

PPIP2 is a pilot study that aims to test enough patients with psychosis to be able to define the prevalence of schizophrenia that is caused by an antibody mediated disorder. Participation involves a blood sample and permission to store the sample for future testing.

RADAR is a randomised trial which aims to assess the benefits and risks of a flexible, supported strategy for antipsychotic dose reduction and discontinuation where possible, in people with schizophrenia and non-affective psychosis.

SCENE looks to develop new ways of supporting patients to improve their social networks and wellbeing. Patients with psychosis are invited to take part in a randomised control trial evaluating the effectiveness of working with a social coach for six months. Participants are invited to three follow up appointments over an 18-month period to assess wellbeing.

The Sleep and Psychotic Features Study investigates the relationship between sleep and mood in people who have been referred to NHS mental health services, to understand if sleep problems are present in these people.

GameChange is a research study run by Oxford Cognitive Approaches to Psychosis (OCAP). The study aims to test automated Virtual Reality (VR) cognitive therapy for patients with fears in everyday social situations.

Thrive is also ran by OCAP. The aim of the study is to assess the effectiveness of VR cognitive treatment for persecutory delusions. Participants will either receive four sessions of cognitive treatment or four sessions of relaxation.

Smoking cessation

ESCAPE assesses the benefits of integrating a smoking cessation treatment into routine psychological care for depression and anxiety. People who currently smoke and are receiving support from IAPT Services will be invited to take part.

Studies for carers

COP-e Support investigated the effectiveness of an online resource for carers of people with psychosis. Carers are given access to an interactive online resource specifically designed to be helpful for carers of people with psychosis, or usual internet resources. Carers can sign up to this research study over the internet and answer some online questionnaires.

Berkshire:

"We have a small team working in our community mental health teams, Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services and inpatient wards. We work with clinicians, service users and carers to promote and offer opportunities get involved in research."

Contact the team on research@berkshire.nhs.uk or 0118 378 5264.

Current research includes:

Anxiety:

GLAD aims to explore the genetic predictors and environmental risk factors for depression and anxiety. Participants will be given the opportunity to donate a saliva sample to the NIHR Mental Health Biobank, which we hope will be a leading resource for future health and social care research. Anyone who has been diagnosed with or treated for anxiety or depression at one stage in their lifetime can participate in this study.

Autism:

ASC-UK focuses on the lives of adults on the autistic spectrum and understanding their experiences as they age. Study participation involves completion of various questionnaires.

Bipolar disorder:

Imagery Based Emotion Regulation (IBER) looks at whether a psychological therapy can help with the symptoms of anxiety within people already diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Eating disorders:

Triangle aims to examine whether the addition of a patient and carer skill sharing intervention improves long term patient wellbeing following hospital treatment for anorexia. Participants and their carers will be involved in the study for 18 months.

Psychosis and schizophrenia:

PPIP2 Study aims to define the prevalence of psychosis that is caused by an antibody mediated disorder. Participants complete a short questionnaire and provide a blood sample which is then tested and results are shared with them and the clinical team.

EYE-2 is a randomised controlled trial that aims to evaluate the effectiveness of a team based intervention in Early Intervention Psychosis (EIP) teams.

Molecular Genetics of Adverse Drug Reactions (MolGen) aims to define the genetic and non-genetic risk factors predisposing to adverse drug reactions to clozapine.

Thrive aims to assess the effectiveness of Virtual Reality cognitive treatment for persecutory delusions. Participants will either receive four sessions of cognitive treatment or four sessions of relaxation.

GameChange aims to test automated Virtual Reality (VR) cognitive therapy for patients with fears in everyday social situations.

Find mental health studies taking place in your area using our online map.

Ophthalmology

About two million people in the UK live with a form of visual impairment, about one in 30 people. As more and more people live longer, conditions such as age related macular degeneration and glaucoma become more common.

The Eye Research Group Oxford (ERGO), based in The Oxford Eye Hospital, was set-up in 2009 to support high quality clinical research into eye diseases. ERGO has close links with the University of Oxford and collaborations UK-wide. We have over 30 studies at present, and some highlights are detailed below.

The ERGO team has more than 16 members including clinical lead, Susan Downes; clinical research nurse manager, Alexina Fantato; research nurses; research project administrators; research coordinators and a research photographer and graphic designer.

Oxford is now a centre for the European Reference Network (ERN) and has been designated as a centre of excellence for Ophthalmology rare diseases within this network. The lead is Susan Downes and the coordinator Alexina Fantato.

Eye disease and sleep:

The Somnus Sleep Wake study investigated the impact of eye disease on body-clock function, identifying a number of individuals with impaired sleep. The follow-on trial, Sandman, is recruiting patients with disrupted sleep and is led by Susan Downes and Russell Foster with coordinators Colm Andrews and Sophie Marlowe.

Surgical innovations:

Robert MacLaren leads the surgical programme for gene therapy and clinical trials into the potential of a robotic arm to provide surgical precision during eye operations. Robert MacLaren also led a trial on implanting retinal prostheses (or the bionic eye) for end-stage retinal disease. This was a fruitful collaboration and the study is now closed and no longer recruiting patients.

Eye disease and genetics:

Susan Downes leads the Oxford team on the UK Inherited Retinal Disease Consortium (UKIRDC), working with Stephanie Halford, clinical genetics, Clare Arnison-Newgass, and Lidia Milla, who liaise with families to help find a genetic diagnosis by identifying new variants in new and known genes. This is vital in establishing a diagnosis, enabling genetic counselling regarding inheritance patterns and disease prognosis.

The pioneering gene therapy trials programme, the largest in the world, is led by Professor Robert MacLaren, who heads a large laboratory research team as well as the clinical support team including Anna Rudenko and Brian McCann. This is seeing promising outcomes in patients with rare inherited eye disease. Patients can be affected at any age and inherited retinal diseases are characterised by increasing visual difficulties over time, thus this treatment aimed at stabilising the condition is an important innovative therapy.

Research into common eye conditions:

There are also many studies for more common conditions such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Treatments have come a long way for ‘wet’ AMD and visual impairment has decreased significantly since the introduction of intravitreal anti-VEGF eye injections to treat the condition. These injections help to prevent the formation of abnormal, leaky blood vessels at the back of the eye. Untreated these lead to scarring and irreversible damage. It is only through testing in clinical trials that new, longer lasting drugs are identified.

Telangiectasia Type 2 (MACTEL) is a condition characterised by abnormal blood vessel development at the macula leading to visual loss over time. Peter Charbel-Issa leads on this, assisted by Daniel Buttress working together with The Lowy Research Medical Centre to create a registry of patients, collect blood samples for genetic studies and detailed clinical information about the condition. A new treatment has been developed as a result of earlier studies. Selected patients with MACTEL in Oxfordshire may be eligible for this treatment.

Preventing blindness in premature babies:

One of ERGO’s research priorities, led by C.K Patel, and supported by clinical research assistant Caroline Justice, is to improve care of premature babies who are at risk of visual impairment from a detached retina. This includes developing innovative ways of taking pictures of the retina.

Eyesight and diabetes:

The global rise of diabetes is associated with an increase in complications, including diabetic retinopathy, which is a leading cause of vision loss. In two studies co-ordinated by the Northern Ireland Clinical Trials Unit , EMERALD and DIAMONDS, Samia Fatum leads as the principal investigator in Oxford to examine whether it is safe for stable treated patients to be followed up by obtaining adequate imaging of the back of the eye that will be interpreted by trained imaging technicians. This would remove the need to be seen by an ophthalmologist and assess whether patients find this acceptable.

The DIAMONDS study examines whether a newer laser technology, subthreshold micropulse laser, works as well as the conventional laser and whether it is associated with fewer side effects. We are also working with Liz Pearce, a researcher from King's College London, who is taking forward previous research by Christine Kiire and Victor Chong to evaluate markers of inflammation in the blood, trying to correlate these with the patterns of diabetic eye disease, in order to better understand its mechanisms. Investigating the role of genetic predisposition to developing different types of diabetic eye disease is also ongoing as part of the CGDME study.

Inflammation of the eye:

We are carrying out research into personalising therapies so our patients have the best chance to be on a treatment which gives them the best response. Our aim is to broaden the treatments we can offer for patients with uveitis, or inflammation within the eye, through the HUMBOLDT trial led by Sri Sharma.

Measuring eye disease:

Investigating methods of how to quantify the impact of eye disease on vision, the visual pathway, visual performance, the brain, as well as its effect on mood and wellbeing involves a range of techniques. These include measurement of vision led by Jasleen Jolly and imaging of the retina using Adaptive Optics Scanning laser ophthalmoscopy led by Hannah Smithson, Mital Shah, Laura Young and Susan Downes. Using MRI imaging to see how vision is processed in the brain and what occurs in different disorders is being led by Holly Bridge’s team. The information can then be used to assess how well new therapies are working as well as to better understand the effect of the disease. We are also interested in the psychological impact of eye disease.

For more information visit www.eyeresearchoxford.org.uk or contact ergo@ouh.nhs.uk.

Find ophthalmology studies in your area using our online map.

Primary Care

We are working with researchers and primary care practitioners such as GPs, practice nurses, pharmacists and dentists to promote the successful delivery of research studies in the NHS.

With the support of the Clinical Research Network, there has been a step change in research in primary care, with more than a third of GP practices now active in research. More than 6,240 patients were recruited into 50 studies across the region's five clinical commissioning group (CCG) areas in 2018/19, with Oxfordshire ranked first out of 195 CCGs for the highest number of studies, 40, which enrolled 4,988 participants in 2018/19.

These successes have been driven by the network’s six-person facilitators' team, which works closely with practices and CCGs to provide opportunities to conduct research, support to get trials up and running and training and development for practice staff.

The network provides funding for GP and nurse time to run studies and direct support through the Peripatetic Clinical Research Nursing Service, a team of seven nurses who work in surgeries to run studies, often alongside practice nurses, as well as training and development. The team recruited 1,674 patients to 16 studies in 2018/19. Further support is available to practices through three GP champions.

We support a wide range of research including studies which look at:

  • Promoting a healthier lifestyle.
  • Disease diagnosis and prevention.
  • Management of long-term illnesses such as diabetes or hypertension.
  • Prevention of future ill-health.
  • Treating common conditions such as tonsillitis or influenza.
  • Where there are considerable overlaps with other specialty areas, for example diabetes, mental health and cardiovascular disease, we work closely with our colleagues from across the network to deliver high quality research in a primary care setting.

For further information please contact primarycareresearch@oxfordhealth.nhs.uk / 01865 227534 or visit our Primary Care Research Toolkit website.

Find studies taking place at your local GP practice, pharmacy or other primary care settings using our online map.

Find out more about the 30 specialities we cover below:

Ageing

Anaesthesia, Perioperative Medicine and Pain Management

Cancer

Cardiovascular Disease

Children

Critical Care

Dementias and Neurodegeneration

Dermatology

Diabetes

Ear, Nose and Throat

Gastroenterology

Genetics

Haematology

Health Services

Hepatology

Infection

Mental Health

Metabolic and Endocrine Disorders

Musculoskeletal Disorders

Neurological Disorders

Ophthalmology

Oral and Dental Health

Primary Care

Public Health

Renal Disorders

Reproductive Health

Respiratory Disorders

Stroke

Surgery

Trauma and Emergency Care