Published on: 5 October 2022

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust’s Research and Development teams were celebrating last week after they were announced as winners at the NIHR Greater Manchester Health and Care Research Awards during an evening of celebration at the Etihad Stadium.

Two teams from ELHT came out top in both the ‘Transforming Research Delivery’ category and the ‘Collaborating Working Accomplishment’ category, which the team won alongside North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) NHS Trust and Lancaster University.

The awards, which were first held in 2013, are designed to recognise and celebrate research delivery achievements made during 2021-2022 in Greater Manchester, East Cheshire and East Lancashire, and were opened with a keynote speech from Sir Richard Leese, Chairman of Greater Manchester’s new NHS Integrated Care Board.

The first win was announced for the ELHT Reproductive Health Research Team, claiming the top prize for their work in setting up the GBS3 trial at the Trust, which looks at whether testing pregnant women for Group B Streptococcus reduces the risk of infection in newborn babies compared to the current strategy in place in the UK. The team were commended on how they had fully integrated research into the clinical pathway for the benefit of patients.

Following their win, Caroline Cowman, Deputy Head of Midwifery at ELHT, said: “This award demonstrates the fantastic collaboration between the research team and clinical midwifery services, shaping a new patient pathway with an opportunity to improve care for pregnant women and birthing people and their babies.”

The team were also successful in being shortlisted for the ‘Putting Participants First’ category, acknowledging their work on the CERM trial which investigates treatment which may improve pregnancy outcomes for women with recurrent miscarriage and chronic endometritis.

The success didn’t stop there as the Research and Development team also won the ‘Collaborating Working Accomplishment’ category, in partnership with NWAS and Lancaster University. The award recognised excellent collaborative working on the End of Life Care planning training programme, breaking down barriers to achieve multidisciplinary working between NHS organisations and academic institutions to find innovative ways to achieve success.

Professor Nancy Preston, Co-Director in the International Observatory on End-of-Life Care at Lancaster University, said: “Collaboration is at the heart of research. It was a real honour to work with our local clinicians to further this research and importantly we have maintained the collaboration through new research projects.”

Sandra Ibgodo, Research Manager at NWAS, said: “We’re proud that NWAS has been part of this excellent research collaboration with ELHT and Lancaster University and that our collective efforts have been recognised by winning this award.  We’d like to thank all those involved in the project. It’s been a privilege to work alongside esteemed colleagues and help develop a training resource to support health care staff with advanced care planning for end-of-life care.”

Following both award wins, Michelle Stephens, Head of Research and Innovation at ELHT, said: “We are thrilled to have won two awards in the Greater Manchester Health and Care Research Awards. All of our Research teams have worked exceptionally hard and we are so pleased that their efforts and hard work have been recognised. The event was a fantastic night of celebration and I’m also pleased we could share our win with our partners, NWAS and the University of Lancaster.”

The Chronic Research Team at ELHT was also nominated for the ‘Outstanding Achievement by a Team’ award, following the restoration of research following Covid-19 which opened new studies for the benefit of patients. Heather Collier and Philippa Springle, a Research Nurse and Data Manager at ELHT, were also nominated in the ‘Prioritising Wellbeing’ award, for their work as wellbeing champions to offer support and advice to the Research and Development team members.

Sarah Fallon, Chief Operating Officer for NIHR Clinical Research Network Greater Manchester, said: “It was a pleasure for CRN Greater Manchester to host this event to recognise the outstanding achievements made across our network over the past year.

“The standard of all our finalists was exceptionally high and the stories we heard about all of their successes, across such a range of delivery models and settings, highlighted the amazing research community we’re so lucky to have in Greater Manchester, East Cheshire and East Lancashire.”

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