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Creation of Theatre and Anaesthesia Research Team Enhances Perioperative Research in Leeds

The Theatre and Anaesthesia team have increased the number of much needed perioperatives studies at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (LTHT), growing the number of study sites and enhancing recruitment to these studies too. The new team has been able to become independent especially quickly as a result of the training and assistance from the LTHT Research Academy and the Surgical Research team.

The creation of the Theatre and Anaesthesia (TA) research team was essential at LTHT. The Theatres and Anaesthesia CSU did not have previously a team to deliver much needed perioperative research. Not only are these research studies required to consistently improve healthcare that patients receive and enhance our understanding of surgery, but research provides excellent professional development opportunities.

Improving the capacity of Perioperative studies

As a result of this need for more capacity in perioperative research the TA team was created at the start of 2021.The team has been able to increase recruitment to existing studies, such as the Perioperative Quality Improvement Programme (PQIP). Indeed, PQIP was able to be opened at another site, the Leeds General Infirmary.

The new team also leads on the Flo-Ela study and have started recruitment for the OPTIMISE-2 study. The TA teams have been able recruit for these studies by building strong links with the critical care teams. Links with the paediatric team have led to greater recruitment to the Little Journey and CASAP studies.

The creation of the TA team has had a wide-reaching positive impact. Dr Caroline Thomas, the TA Research Lead, is very well placed in her role as she is also the Yorkshire and Humber anaesthesia, perioperative medicine and pain specialty lead, allowing her to promote the adoption of new studies. In the coming months, many more studies will be run by the TA team.

Career Development

Not only was the TA team novel, but the team’s research practitioners were new to their roles. Beverley Jackson, Rosie Wragg, Michelle Naylor and Judith Sharp were all newly appointed to research practitioner roles. They have now been joined by Aneesha Qadeer as trials coordinator and Sam Craven, research nurse.

The TA research practitioners have been able to work independently, which is an incredible achievement. The team’s independence was made possible from the support of the Abdominal Medicine and Surgery research team, led by Cath Moriarty, and the LTHT Research Academy, run by Karl Ward, which has supported the team’s development and learning needs.

The Research Academy offers an extensive programme of education and training tailored to meet the requirements of individuals, teams involved in the delivery of health and social care research.

Dr Caroline Thomas has underlined that research positions have become highly sort after due to the development and support, stating:

“The number of theatre staff who have approached me to ask me about future adverts for further research roles as our new team have been such great ambassadors!"

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