Facility could put area at centre of clinical research

Dr Jonathan Sheffield cuts the ribbon at the new facility.
Dr Jonathan Sheffield cuts the ribbon at the new facility.
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Patients from South Lincolnshire could be part of pioneering clinical research after the opening of a new facility.

On Monday, The Lincolnshire Clinical Research Facility opened at Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital, where the majority of patients from this area are treated.

Dr Jonathan Sheffield, OBE, chief executive of the National Institute for Health Research, Clinical Research Network, officially opened the new centre.

He said: “Research activity in local district general hospitals has gone from strength to strength in recent years and I’m delighted to be able to celebrate this development.

“We believe getting patients involved in participating and advising on research is the way we get true effective research.”

United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust, which runs Pilgrim Hospital, currently has 200 trials ongoing and is known to regularly have the most number of patients taking part, both nationally and internationally.

At Pilgrim, the research team are working on trials including oncology, haematology, stroke, cardiology, paediatric, dermatology, diabetes, midwifery, ophthalmology, respiratory, anaesthesia, gastroenterology, renal and orthopaedics.

Gary White (62) has already taken part in one of the Pilgrim Hospital’s trials following a stroke in 2012.

His two-year trial involved close monitoring of his blood pressure and regular trips to the hopsital but Mr White, who is recovering well from his stroke and says he can ‘do most things’ again now,
says it was a minor inconvenience.

He said: “It’s only minor when you consider what they (the researchers) are able to do with the data and how they can interpret the results. When you weigh the good that the doctors can do with that information it doesn’t in any way cost anything.”

Mr White said the staff, particularly trial lead Ann Hardwick, had been very supportive during his trial.

Director of the Lincolnshire Clinical Research Facility Dr Tanweer Ahmed said the new facility has been designed to maximise the potential of research at Pilgrim.

“The facility is excellent for our staff and particularly for our patients. The new facility includes a patient consulting room, research laboratory, filing storage room, research offices, meeting room and kitchen,” he said.