Gateshead stroke research team wins top award

Posted on Mon, 22/10/2012

THE stroke research team at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead is celebrating after winning a prestigious award.

The team was nominated for the stroke research network (SRN) Team of the Year 2012 award and was awarded a highly commended place for its work on involving patients in stroke research programmes.

Dr Tim Cassidy, who leads the team, said: “The last two years has seen the Queen Elizabeth Hospital being increasingly active in stroke research. Our ethos has been to increase stroke research awareness and patient involvement to improve clinical care. The Queen Elizabeth Hospital has been named as the UK’s top recruiting site for the Insulin Resistance Intervention after Stroke (IRIS) Trial and the fifth highest recruiting centre in the world.

The IRIS trial is an international study. Sister Beverley McClelland, research nurse with the team, explained: “It tests the effectiveness of a new approach to preventing stroke and heart attack among patients with a recent stroke or mini stroke, called TIA. The new approach targets insulin resistance, a newly-recognized cause of atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is the underlying disease that clogs vessels in strokes and heart attacks. Insulin resistance affects nearly half of all patients with stroke and TIA.”

The Gateshead approach sees patients having frequent contact with the local research team with regular follow-ups and clinic appointments to ensure they are provided with the best possible care.

Dr Maria Bokhari, Clinical Trials Officer with the team, said: “Fostering a research driven environment in the stroke unit based in Gateshead has put us on the map regionally and nationally. The enthusiasm of staff and patients has increased patient recruitment by over 50% this past year. Our research activity has been acknowledged by the Stroke Research Network and internationally by Yale University.

“We were pleased that the stroke research team at the Queen Elizabeth hospital is being recognised nationally as a research driven unit. This has been achieved by ensuring research is disseminated within the stroke unit and ensures that research and clinical care goes hand in hand.  We are lucky to have staff committed to making our research trials succeed. For a small bedded stroke unit we have performed exceptionally well in terms of increasing patient involvement in research trials.”

ENDS

For further information please contact:

Kerri James

Communications Officer | Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust
T: 0191 445 3561 | M: 079 444 91856 | E: kerri.james@ghnt.nhs.uk

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