News and Events from 2019

Atrial fibrillation procedure could slash waiting lists

Results from the AVATAR-AF trial which we ran here in NIHR Sheffield CRF were presented at EHRA 2019, a European Society of Cardiology (ESC) congress on 17th March 2019.

Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm disorder. It causes 20–30% of all strokes and increases the risk of dying prematurely. Catheter ablation, aimed at burning or freezing heart tissue causing atrial fibrillation, is recommended to restore normal rhythm after failure of, or intolerance to, drug treatment.

The AVATAR-AF study stripped back the procedure of catheter ablation to the bare essentials to see if similar outcomes were achieved as the more complex procedures currently used.

As Principal investigator Professor Prapa Kanagaratnam, of Imperial College London said, the results showed that “some of the more technical parts of the procedure can be omitted, making it easier, cheaper and quicker, without sacrificing results. In the UK, patients with atrial fibrillation have to wait months for catheter ablation. The simpler protocol could shorten waiting lists within the same budget.”

Please read more on the European Society of Cardiology Website

(Mar 2019)

Pharmacy Placements in the CRF

This year we were delighted to welcome our first ever trainee pharmacists from the University of Sheffield to the NIHR Sheffield Clinical Research Facility (CRF) as part of their placements.

The research week rotation involved the students spending the week learning about protocols involved with clinical trials and the process of dispensing with our colleagues in the research pharmacy team in Sheffield.

They then had the opportunity to come up to the CRF, enabling the students to follow the research process and learn about the patient’s perceptions of being involved in research and what it means to them.

The feedback from the placement has been very strong and we are hoping to welcome even more new pharmacy trainees in the future, inspiring an interest in working on clinical trials throughout their careers

(Mar 2019)

World Kidney Day 2019

The NIHR Sheffield Clinical Research Facility (CRF) Renal Research Team celebrated World Kidney Day at a city centre event at Central United Reformed Church raising awareness of all of the research studies we are undertaking here in Sheffield.

Around 50-60 patients, relatives and members of the public attended the event and learned all about the theme for this year '“𝗞𝗶𝗱𝗻𝗲𝘆 𝗛𝗲𝗮𝗹𝘁𝗵 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆𝗼𝗻𝗲 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆𝘄𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲” from a multidisciplinary clinical and research teams including dietitians, the transplant and dialysis teams, research nurses and fellow patients and relatives.

The ins and outs of children transitioning into adult renal care and a couples experience of transplant, where a wife had received a kidney from her husband, were among the fascinating talks given on the day.

(Mar 2019)

Members of the Research Nursing Team

Liver drug trialled in Parkinson's patients for the first time

A pilot study looking to assess the potential of a drug to slow down disease progression of Parkinson's is being run in NIHR Sheffield CRF in collaboration with NIHR Sheffield BRC for Neurological Disorders.

Ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) has been used to treat liver disease for over 30 years and has been identified as the most promising drug to rescue mitochondrial function in Parkinson’s in a drug screen where 2,000 drugs were assessed for their rescue effect on mitochondrial function directly in the tissue of patients with Parkinson’s.

Professor Oliver Bandmann, who's leading the research has said:

"This is a pilot trial, which if successful, will lead to a bigger study to firmly establish the effectiveness of the treatment to slow down progression of Parkinson’s. Currently, Parkinson’s is relentlessly progressive but patients tend to respond very well to symptomatic medication in the early stages of the disease.

A drug which will slow down the progression of the disease – even after the first few years of diagnosis – would help people to have an improved quality of life for longer.”

For more information about the study please click the University of Sheffield News Archives

(Feb 2019)

Research Sister involved in Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Trust Mentoring Scheme

Research Sister involved in Mentorship

In 2018-19, the Trust Board of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals adopted a reverse mentoring initiative whereby traditional mentoring has been ‘reversed’.

Faith, one of our wonderful Research Sisters, has been involved in the scheme and she has found it to be an extremely valuable experience.

Faith said "As one of the black, asian and minority ethnic (BAME) members of staff as ‘Mentor’ for the last six months, I’ve had an opportunity to be matched with a trust executive director who took the role of ‘Mentee’. This allowed me to share my experiences with my mentee both inside and outside of STH and also allowed the mentee to see what it is like to work in the organisation from a BAME perspective. This also gave me access to shadow and see life in the organisation from a senior member of staff’s point of view."

Faith, and her mentee, are going to continue their partnership to further progress the valuable skill and knowledge transfer which the scheme has already brought to them, their immediate departments and the Trust as a whole.

(Jan 2019)

CRF Research Therapists to present at Annual Conference

In the NIHR Sheffield CRF, we are very lucky to have two research therapists working with us. Kate, our Physiotherapist and Louise, our Occupational Therapist are an extremely valued part of our team and they are great advocates for other Allied Health Professionals to get involved in research.

We're therefore delighted to be able to announce that they will be presenting at the The Royal College of Occupational Therapists Annual Conference in 2019. Their presentation 'Building allied health professions (AHP) research capacity: the impact of introducing an occupational therapist into a nurse led clinical research facility' will demonstrate the importance of having a multi-disciplinary workforce involved in research.

(Jan 2019)

2019 Royal College of Occupational Therapists Logo

Medical Student Placements in the CRF

Research Nurse and Medical Student

This year we were very excited to be a placement for medical students from the University of Sheffield for the first time.

We are a very unique clinical environment, working across sites, across specialties and as both an inpatient and outpatient facility. We were therefore able to offer a very varied placement from seeing patients in Gastroenterology and Renal outpatient departments, attending a pulmonary hypertension MDT and observing patient study visits from first in human Phase 1 trials to observational studies in such varied specialties as Oncology, Dermatology, Cardiology, Diabetes and Neurosciences. One student even attended an A&E trauma call on the helipad.

Embedding research as a key part of clinical care is a key aim for us here at the NIHR Sheffield CRF and we hope that these placements will inspire medical students to make research a big part of their career and that we'll see some of them back here as the PIs of the future.

(Jan 2019)

New study in Irritable Bowel Syndrome featured in the Sheffield Star and Sheffield telegraph

We're delighted to be supporting a new innovative study funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) looking at whether an anti-sickness drug, ondansetron, commonly given to patients having cancer treatments such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy could improve the lives of patients suffering with diarrhoea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (#IBS).

To read more about the trial visit the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals News Page

(Jan 2019)

Members of the Clinical Team involved in the study