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West Midlands research contributions celebrated at Network Awards

From COVID-19 vaccine studies to staff wellbeing on Paediatric Intensive Care Units – the range of clinical research in the West Midlandshas been celebrated at an awards ceremony.

Those involved in delivering research all over the region gathered at the NIHR Clinical Research Network West Midlands’ seventh Annual Awards at Birmingham’s Grand Hotel, where inspirational speaker, Blind Dave Heeley, champion fundraiser, acknowledged their innovation.

Trophies were presented to Partner Organisations  in 10 categories including Clinical Research Impact, Team of the Year and Collaboration in Research, and to Network Staff in 10 further categories, featuring Creativity,  Good Citizen and Leader of the Year.

The Network’s Clinical Director Professor Matthew Brookes, one of the presenters of the Awards, said:  ‘The aim of this event is to celebrate the wide range of high quality clinical research taking place right across our region, and it was great to see so many different organisations, as well as Primary Care, represented amongst the winners.

‘This is the seventh year of the Awards, which we were delighted to be able to present again in person this year and the standard of entries was very high again, giving the judges a real challenge. We congratulate all the winners and those who were highly commended.’

Also presenting was Pauline Boyle, Chief Operating Officer of the Network, who said: ‘All those recognised this evening demonstrate a positive impact on the Network and beyond.  We are so pleased to be able to celebrate again with colleagues after an incredibly challenging period and to let our colleagues know how much we value their contribution.’

Ruth Lambley-Burke, Head of Research & Innovation at Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which won both the Improvement Project of the Year and Collaboration in Research categories and and was Highly Commended in three others, said: ‘We are delighted to get recognition like this from our peers – it’s testament to the hard work of everyone involved.

‘It is also a great boost for all those staff who are working on research, to further benefit their patients’.

The Trust’s winning Improvement Project, known as STARS seeks to improve access to and engagement with high quality research training among staff. STARS combines expert-led workshops, bite-sized seminars, research mentorship and sign-posting to existing resources. All learning resources were designed to be inclusive regardless of educational background, previous engagement in research, job role or locality. 

Professor David Loughton CBE, Chief Executive of The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, which hosts the Network, added: ‘It’s always a pleasure to present these Awards and get an insight into the great research that’s going on all over the region.’

And Johanne Tomlinson OBE, Research Delivery Team Leader at Shropshire Community Health NHS Trus, who were one of the Teams of the Year, said: ‘As a team we are thrilled and honoured to have received the award, it is so important to us that we play our part in improving the quality of patient care and outcomes and this is achieved through providing an active research environment. It is well known that Hospitals and Trusts actively involved in research achieve better patient care outcomes.’

The full list of Award Winners can be found here.


For further information, or photos of the event, contact:  Claire Hall, Communications Lead on 07775 800227.