Research staff recognised in regional awards

Research staff working in both the adult intensive care unit and the cystic fibrosis (CF) team at Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust have been recognised at this year’s North West London Clinical Research Awards.

The awards are an opportunity to showcase and recognise the hard work of individuals and teams across the North West London region. The awards are of special significance this year due to the difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic and the affect it’s had on research activity across the NHS.

Of the nine awards up for grabs this year, two were awarded to Trust staff, following on from the successes of last year.

Nominations were judged by a panel of staff and patient representatives from across North West London.

Dr Sandra Scott
Outstanding achievement (Individual Award)

Dr Sandra Scott (pictured), clinical research nurse, was recently awarded the Outstanding Achievement award as someone who has gone the extra mile to deliver research. 

Sandra has worked at the Trust since 1981 during which she has managed to help set up and run several successful research projects and clinical trials.

According to her colleagues, Sandra has always demonstrated a commitment to making a significant difference to her patients, carers and her colleagues. 

When asked about any highlights in her research career Sandra mentioned the recently licensed CFTR modulator treatment for CF which was trialled at the Trust and run by Sandra.
“Working in research has always been rewarding but seeing a treatment for CF get licensed thanks to a trial I helped on, is incredible, especially because I knew how it would help transform the lives of patients with CF. Winning this award was just the icing on the cake!” she said.

The award came as a surprise to her after Dr Nicholas Simmonds, consultant physician, and Professor Jane Davies, respiratory consultant, entered her into the competition. 

Dr Simmonds said: “Sandra is a truly exceptional professional. She has been such a vital member of the CF research and clinical trials team over many years. During this time, she has helped to deliver countless successful research studies. 

She has been instrumental in improving the outcomes for people with CF through her dedication and expertise. All of which she’s done with great efficiency and compassion. She’s a true champion of research and this award is fantastic recognition of this.” 

Adult Intensive Care Unit (ICU) research team
Special recognition (COVID-19) 

This award was thanks to a group effort by the Adult ICU team, who were recognised for their outstanding contribution and delivery of several Urgent Public Health (UPH) COVID-19 studies.

UPH COVID-19 studies are studies prioritised by the Department of Health and Social Care to gather the necessary clinical evidence that will inform national policy, and enable effective new diagnostic tests, treatments, vaccines and public health interventions to be developed and tested for COVID-19.

DeVENT is one such UPH designated study that is being carried out at the Trust and aims to determine whether Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be used help advise clinicians on ventilator settings and help reduce driving pressure in mechanically ventilated patients. 

Another UPH study the team are working on is PHOSP COVID, which aims to develop a resource of data and samples that other researchers can use to answer their questions quickly, and to help improve outcomes in future. 

The Adult ICU research team, led by Dr Brijesh Patel, includes Mahitha Gummadi, Anelise Catelan Zborowski, Daniele Cristiano, Sharon Mumby, Vicky Thwaites, Natalie Dormand, Geraldine Sloane, Kamal Liyanage, Dr Sunil Patel, Dr Rhodri Handslip, Jessica Wallen and Mathew Varghese.

Dr Patel is proud of his team and highlights how several departments and teams within the Trust were instrumental in helping his team. He said;

“It was a privilege to be asked to lead the COVID-19 research response within the Trust and to work with some outstanding individuals and teams across multiple specialties and across both hospital sites. 

“The Urgent Public Health portfolio could not have been delivered without the support of several departments including the laboratory and microbiology services, the sample processing facility, pharmacy, and the research delivery teams – cardiovascular, respiratory clinical research facility and Harefield teams. 

“It is wonderful that the ICU research delivery team has been acknowledged with this award. The whole Trust research response for a period focussed solely on COVID research delivery. It is a testament to the research and innovation culture that is embedded deeply throughout the organisation.”

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