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Annual League Table shows increase in people taking part in NHS research across Kent, Surrey and Sussex

Annual League Table shows increase in people taking part in NHS research across Kent, Surrey and Sussex

38,599 patients and healthy volunteers from across Kent, Surrey and Sussex took part in a range of health research studies in 2018/19. This is the highest number ever in the region according to the latest figures published by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) today.

The Research Activity League Table is published annually to detail research activity across all NHS trusts and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in England. The table provides a picture of how much clinical research is happening in which NHS organisations, and involving how many patients. 

The region’s achievements include that of Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in East Grinstead who increased the number of studies they supported by 90%. They supported 19 studies in 2018/19.   

NHS CCGs in the Kent, Surrey and Sussex region have seen an increase in research activity in the last year.  Overall, there was a 65% increase in the region in comparison to a national increase of 61%.

East Surrey CCG reached the country’s top 10 for CCGs who have increased their research activity by percent increase. The CCG increased the number of studies supported by 150% from the previous year, going from four to ten studies. NHS Crawley CCG also saw a 183% increase in the number of commercial contract studies supported with 17 studies being run, compared to six in the previous year. 

Local volunteer Fiona McGhee from Lewes in East Sussex, and her mother who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2012 at the age of 80, have both been actively involved in dementia research studies.

Fiona McGhee said: “Dementia research is so important to me because of what I have been through with my mother. I jumped at the opportunity to help. If we can get enough research into dementia the disease may be stopped in its tracks.

“My mother really enjoys it when people come to visit her and the researchers are wonderful with her. I would happily volunteer my mother and I for any dementia research that we are suitable for, as people have a lot to learn from her as a person with dementia and from me as someone who cares for someone with dementia.”

“Research is not necessarily a clinical trial testing new drugs; the research is about you as a person. The impact of research on a person with dementia is big as it gives them a better quality of life. Also when a researcher is talking to someone with dementia it gives their carers a bit of a break. Researchers respect your privacy, your time and the privacy of your loved one with dementia. You can also stop your involvement with a research project at any point.”

Dr Kate Jones, Chief Operating Officer for NIHR Clinical Research Network Kent, Surrey and Sussex said: “This year we recruited over 38,000 people into studies across Kent, Surrey and Sussex.  Thank you to our patients and healthy volunteers who gave their time and their commitment to participate in research which will lead to new cutting edge treatments and the future development of care. 

“I am also proud of our partner’s hard work and dedication to giving our patients a choice to be involved in research. Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is the second highest recruiting mental health trust nationally. We are very proud of them and the opportunities they give to people with mental health problems, dementia and learning difficulties to be part of research. 

“Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust is ranked number eight nationally for care trusts. The breadth and depth of community services delivered means more people than ever are being offered the chance to take part in research. Services as such as end of life care, district nursing and a variety of community based therapeutic interventions have benefited from research. 

“Medway NHS Foundation Trust recruited the highest number of participants in the region, closely followed by Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust. The spread of topics offering research opportunities within Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trusts makes it the highest ranked trust in the region for the number of studies being run in 2018/19.

“Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust have almost doubled their recruitment this year which is a fabulous achievement and a huge benefit to the local community across Kent.” 

Jonathan Sheffield, Chief Executive Officer of the NIHR Clinical Research Network says:

“It’s been a fantastic year for health and care research across England, with 100% of trusts supporting research studies, providing patients with more opportunities than ever before to take part in vital research which improves future treatment and care.

 

"There’s a growing body of evidence which suggests that research-active hospitals have lower mortality rates, and better patient outcomes, so the NIHR Clinical Research Network will continue to work closely with the NHS organisations to ensure that research continues to be offered to people as part of quality patient care.

 

"The number of patients taking part in research this year is a significant step towards meeting the NHS Long Term Plan, of one million people being registered as interested in taking part in research by 2024. I would like to thank all those hard working NHS staff who are supporting the delivery of research in addition to their clinical duties, as we could not achieve these results without you.”

If you would like to take part in a research study, either as a patient or a healthy volunteer, ask your doctor, nurse, midwife or other healthcare professional about whether there is a trial or study that you can take part in. Or, you can search for studies at www.bepartofresearch.uk to find out what research is happening near you and how you can be involved.

 

Overview of our achievements

CRN Kent,Surrey and Sussex has eight partner organisations in the top 100 of all NHS organisations for the number of studies supported.  

  • Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust
  • Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust
  • Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust
  • Ashford and St Peter's Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Medway NHS Foundation Trust

 

  • 13 CCGs and seven trusts have increased their research activity.
  • Locally Medway NHS Foundation Trust has the highest number of participants taking part in research studies, with 5,426 participants recruited into studies supported by the trust. 

 

Several of our partner organisations are in the top 10 for best performing or most improved trusts or CCGs by number of studies, or recruitment, and by percentage improvement.

Acute Trusts

Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust  is in the top 10 of all trusts who have most improved in terms of percentage increase in the number of all studies supported  with a 90% increase. The trust is also in the top 10 of all trusts who have increased the percentage of commercial contract studies being supported with a 300% increase.

Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust increased the number of participants taking part in research studies at the trust by 96.5%

 

Ambulance trust

South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust is in the top 10 of ambulance  trusts supporting the most studies and in second place in ambulance trusts recruiting the most participants. 

 

Community Trusts

Studies and Recruits - best performance

Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust is in the top 10 of care trusts across England for supporting the most number studies and also in the top 10 of trusts recruiting the most participants.

 

Mental Health Trusts

Studies and Recruits

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is in the top 10 of best performing Mental Health trusts recruiting the most participants.  The number of participants increased by 62% from 2017/18.  

 

CCGs

Studies - most improved (%) top ten

  • East Surrey CCG  increased the number of studies supported by 150% going from four studies to ten in 2018/19.
  • NHS Canterbury and Coastal CCG increased the number of commercial contract studies they supported by 100% - 2 to 4 studies being supported. 
  • NHS Crawley CCG increased their research activity in commercial contract studies from 6 to 17 participants.