Recognition for excellence in research at regional research and innovation awards

Recognition for excellence in research at regional research and innovation awards featured image

Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been recognised for excellence in research at a regional awards ceremony, having been shortlisted for three prestigious awards.

The annual North West Coast Research and Innovation Awards ceremony, which took place on Friday 28th February 2020 at the Park Royal Hotel in Warrington, celebrates the excellent work being undertaken in health and care across the region, demonstrating the impact of clinical research and innovation on patient and social care.

The Clinical Research team at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals were crowned winners of one award and were highly commended in two further awards.

The team won the Award for Research Capacity Building, thanks to their partnership with UCLan, called the Clinical Academic Faculty (CAF). The CAF is a hub for clinical academic research advice and signposting, supporting the development of local clinical academic research and innovation. The Trust provides the CAF with core funding, which is matched by UCLan. The CAF has successfully supported nurses, midwives and allied health professionals with training and access to other opportunities across the region and nationally.

The team were shortlisted for the Transformation Award for their collaborative approach to bringing experimental medicine research to Lancashire and South Cumbria. This comes following the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)’s funding for the Lancashire Clinical Research Facility (LCRF) in 2017.

The hard work of the teams involved over the last year has facilitated a trial of the world’s first novel treatment in chronic pain in Lancashire and South Cumbria. By taking a collaborative approach and utilising knowledge in the Trust and through NIHR infrastructure, our teams have created pathways and adapted systems to ensure the trial can be delivered successfully and safely.

The team were also shortlisted for the Partnership in Innovation Award for SRAVI (Speech Recognition App for the Voice Impaired). SRAVI is a communication app created in partnership with Liopa Ltd, a Belfast-based SME and Queen’s University Belfast Medical Research Group. Led by Dr Shondipon Laha and Mrs Jacqueline Twamley, the project involved the development of an app aimed at patients who have difficulties communicating vocally.

Featuring visual speech recognition (VSR), the prototype android app captures and interprets phrases that a patient has mouthed into a mobile device.

Nichola Verstraelen, Clinical Team Lead for Research and Innovation and NIHR Clinical Research Facility Manager at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted and so proud to have been recognised in the North West Coast Research and Innovation Awards! We strongly feel that clinical research absolutely should be a part of our clinical practice, as it contributes significantly to the quality of patient care and experience we provide. This would not have been possible without the support and dedication of our highly motivated and talented research team.”

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