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Collaborative Orthopaedic Research NETwork (CORNET) supports the OPEN study


The Collaborative Orthopaedic Research NETwork (CORNET) is organised and administered by Northern Deanery orthopaedic trainees. The Collaborative was founded in January 2013 and has grown year-on -year in the range and quality of research conducted.

CORNET aims to bring together trainees and consultants who are interested in undertaking high quality collaborative research by promoting an inclusive approach to research within the region.

The Open fracture Patient Evaluation Nationwide (OPEN) study came about due to a lack of knowledge and research surrounding the epidemiology of open fractures. Most trainees are aware of the British Orthopaedic Association Standard for Trauma (BOAST) guidelines for the management of open fractures, but data on the implementation of this guidance is less known. 

The OPEN study aimed to address this lack of knowledge by conducting a descriptive and non-interventional, multicentre, UK-wide prospective cohort study measuring against the metrics contained within the BOAST guideline for open fractures. Collecting information in this way aimed to improve the efficiency of data use, with each unit conducting a local audit in addition to contributing to a national study.

Taking a study from idea to data collection requires the assistance of a large network. In addition, having access to a supportive research, development and innovation department and consultant supervisor is key to getting a study off the ground, especially a national one. 

In order to distribute and attract collaborative assistance, information regarding the study needs to be disseminated over a large area and this is where CORNET came in. By utilising CORNET contacts, collaborators from across the UK were recruited to the study. This was crucial and is a major reason for its success.

In order to access the support from the research, development and innovation department at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, a funding application was submitted to  AOUK Education and  funding was secured. The AO is a medically-guided, not-for-profit organisation specialising in the surgical treatment of trauma and musculoskeletal disorders. The team at South Tees helped with ethics and information governance, as well as creating the data input platform. The team provided guidance through the preparatory stages and continued to support data collection. 

The OPEN study launched at the start of June 2021  and closed at the end of September 2021. During this four-month period 1230 patients were identified and enrolled into the study from 51 hospitals across the UK. 

James Hadfield, ST4 and project lead for the OPEN study said: “This study would not have been possible without the support of all the individual hospitals who recruited patients. Networks such as CORNET have assisted in dissemination of study information around the UK. I’d like to thank everyone for their support.”

Further CORNET projects are in the pipeline.