On Friday 22nd February 2019, Chief Executives of NHS Trusts, researchers and patients came together to celebrate the excellent health and social care research taking place within the region at the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network (CRN) Kent, Surrey and Sussex Awards.
Ashford and St Peter’s were delighted to win the award for ‘Best Finance Tool’ and to be highly commended twice in the ‘Best Contribution to Commercial Research’ category. One award was given to the Trust as a whole for having consistently high levels of research engagement and one to recognise the contribution of Dr. Monica Nordstrom for her work on two commercial respiratory studies on Asthma.
Winners came from across community and hospital care, showing excellent collaboration between Trusts in the region and showcasing innovation being generated locally, within studies and involving patients in the research pathway. In 2017/18 more people than ever across Kent, Surrey and Sussex became involved with health research. Over 36,000 patients and healthy volunteers were given access to new and better treatments by being recruited into clinical research studies within our local NHS organisations.
Professor Pankaj Sharma, Director of Research and Development (R&D) at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals says; “This is an incredible set of awards for an incredible team. I’m extremely proud of how our R&D team work together to ensure maximum availability and participation in research trials to all our patients. Time and time again we see how research in an NHS environment leads to tangible benefits and improvements to patients. The fact that we are able to play our part in offering these opportunities to patients, despite the pressures we all face on a day-to-day basis, demonstrates the commitment and passion of our R&D team. These awards are justly deserved by them.”
Isaac John, Deputy Director of Research and Development at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals says, “The Trust has very strong links with pharmaceutical and medical devices companies to test new drugs and devices which are approved by the regulator MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) and NHS Research Ethics Committee. These trials provide innovative treatments to our patients which are not available on the NHS. The Trust is committed to making sure that our patients have access to trial treatments and keep our research delivery performance high in the region (Kent, Surrey & Sussex) and at national level.”
Suzanne Rankin, Chief Executive, at Ashford and St Peter's Hospitals and Chair of NIHR CRN Kent, Surrey and Sussex Partnership Board said: "We are thrilled to have been recognised with these awards and I would like to congratulate all the winners and nominees. Clinical research is critical to the development of new treatments and approaches and continuously improving the quality and effectiveness of care we give.
Regions like Kent, Surrey and Sussex have much to offer researchers, industry and innovators and it’s fantastic to see members of the team making such great strides forward and involving patients in contributing to transformational improvements in NHS treatments for everyone. My thanks and admiration go to all those involved.”