Western Sussex Hospitals Trust hosts annual research conference and awards

Monday March 2, 2020

The research and development department held its annual conference and awards on Thursday 13 February to celebrate the depth and breadth of research work throughout the trust.

Opening the conference, medical director Dr Tim Taylor said: “Our research work makes a significant contribution to improving outcomes for our patients. This approach is embedded in everyday practice across our clinical service. “We use evidence-based practice to inform care, support access to multi-centre research trials and share best practice through publication and dissemination – this really demonstrates the essence of what it is to be part of research at an organisational level.”

Around 60 colleagues attended the event which this year was themed Making Research Accessible. The day included presentations on how to bring research to patients and grow careers within the field of medical research.

A special highlight of the conference was the trust’s Annual Research Awards which recognise and celebrate the achievements of staff participating in research. Winners receive cash prizes to support their research work.

Our research work makes a significant contribution to improving outcomes for our patients

Outstanding Contribution Team Award £1,000

Nominations in this category were so strong, the judges couldn’t choose an outright winner and instead split the prize between the Sunflower Trial Clinical Team and the IMPACT Research Team. Both winners demonstrate how research has been embedded within the everyday practice of teams new to research.

The West Sussex Sexual Health team recruited 100 participants into IMPACT, a study aiming to optimise health for people living with HIV. The team has enthusiastically embraced research, completing all the required training and incorporating research into daily clinical practice.

Meanwhile, the Sunflower Trial is exploring if testing for bile duct stones can prevent gallbladder surgery. The Sunflower team in Worthing, led by Mr Mako Mlotshwa, are now in the study’s top 25 best-performing hospital teams. Mr Mlotshwa was also nominated individually and credited with inspiring a love for research in many juniors.

Outstanding Contribution Individual Award £500

Critical care sister in Worthing Jenny Lord won for being an enthusiastic champion and ambassador for research. She is the first nurse in the trust to take on the role of principle investigator in an National Institute for Healthcare Research (NIHR) trial. Poetics2 aims to improve care for patients over the age 80 who may need treatment in the intensive care unit.

Using Research to Change Clinical Practice Award £500

This prize was awarded to Adam Jones, Emily Kelly and Farzad Borumandi from the Maxillo-Facial team who were nominated for using research evidence as the basis for a quality improvement project to reduce the number of children treated for facial lacerations under general anaesthetic.

The team recognised the literature-proven success of a local anaesthetic gel and introduced its use as part of quality improvement project. Since its introduction 32% of suitable injuries were treated using the gel, 29% using local anaesthetic alone and the  remaining 38% were treated under general anaesthetic. Prior to its introduction the 32% of children treated with the gel would have required a general anaesthetic. Overall the total number of general anaesthetics performed for children with facial lacerations has reduced by 51% in the observation period , improving patient care and avoiding the risks of a general anaesthetic. The data has been submitted for publication at the annual British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons Conference 2020.

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