Research at SWFT

At South Warwickshire University NHS Foundation Trust, we are committed to supporting and operating a dynamic programme of research to pave the way for new treatment approaches and contribute to providing the best care for patients.

Research is a vital means of developing these new approaches to patient treatment and care for a wide range of illnesses and conditions. It allows us to assess the efficacy of new medicines, treatments and diagnostic regimes, providing evidence we can use to benefit patients. We operate an evolving programme of research studies that have great potential to create long-term improvements for patients everywhere. Through our research studies, the team can also deliver immediate improvements for the patients who have volunteered to participate in them.

We currently undertake a wide range of studies ranging from simple questionnaires to drug trials at Warwick Hospital, Central England Rehabilitation Unit - Royal Leamington Spa, Stratford Hospital and across our Community Services. Patients may be invited to participate in a study while being treated at the hospital.

Our Research team also works closely with national and local organisations concerned with developing these new approaches to patient treatment and care.

Contact details:

  • Location: Research and Development Office, 1st Floor, Building 3, Saltisford Office Park, Ansell Way, Warwick CV34 4UL
  • Email: Research@swft.nhs.uk
  • Telephone: 01926 495321 ext. 8107

What are we working on at the moment?

We currently have around 40 research studies open. Click the tabs below to find out more information. A number of these are focused on developing new approaches to treating certain types of cancer.

Information for patients

Research could not happen without the support of patients, carers and members of the public. Your help to assist us improve services is vital, both for the present and future generations. Each year about 750 new patients take part in our studies and we currently have approximately 40 studies open.

Taking part in a trial may include any of the following:

  • Talking to researchers
  • Completing questionnaires
  • Letting us take blood samples or other measurements e.g. blood pressure, urine tests
  • Taking a new medicine or trying a new treatment

Why take part?

  • You may benefit from a new treatment or test or others may benefit in the future
  • You may want to contribute to improving care for others
  • You may feel that you like the extra attention and time that sometimes participation in a trial can provide.
  • You may want to increase your knowledge about your condition.

Research Studies

Research Studies that we are currently involved in include the following specialities:

  • Diabetes
  • Critical Care
  • Cancer and haematology
  • Heart disease
  • Surgery
  • Midwifery
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Gastroenterology
  • Trauma and Orthopaedics
  • Paediatrics
  • Rheumatology

We support clinicians to open studies and actively seek to open studies in new specialities. Participation as a patient is voluntary and patients who do not wish to participate will still receive the best care that we can offer.

All research conducted within the Trust has been reviewed by the Research Governance department within the Research and Development team, to ensure robust standards are maintained.

Click here to find out what you need to know about Research and Personal Data.

Performance

You can see our performance here.

Should you wish to know more about the studies open to recruitment within any particular specialty please email research@swft.nhs.uk.

SWFT is one of the Partnership Trusts for the Comprehensive Research Network – West Midlands - https://local.nihr.ac.uk/lcrn/west-midlands

SWFT Research Strategy

South Warwickshire University Foundation Trust (SWFT) and the University of Warwick (UoW) are developing closer working relationships particularly in the field of academic and clinical research.

SWFT has a five-year research strategy. This research strategy is aligned to SWFT and Foundation Group’s values, including inclusivity, long-term ambitions and strategy.

The research strategy will focus on the needs of SWFT’s local community, role as a lead provider within the Coventry and Warwickshire Integrated Care Partnership and ambition to be able to apply for membership of the University Hospital Association.

To deliver this strategy SWFT will partner with the UoW. This will build upon established collaborations between a combined acute and community trust rated as outstanding by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and internationally recognised centres of excellence at the University of Warwick.

SWFT will continue to collaborate with other local and national research partners, including Coventry University, the Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) West Midlands and the National Institute for Healthcare Research (NIHR).

SWFT’s research agenda will focus primarily on 6 identified work streams:

• Recruitment into local and national NIHR studies

• Establishing a Clinical Trials Unit to support data analysis for clinical studies including the development of clinical models regarding service delivery to support improvements in efficiency and cost effectiveness

• A basic science research collaborative that will enable researchers to collect clinical material for laboratory studies from our hospital group population

• A primary care collaborative that will investigate the management of chronic health conditions and the use of digital technology in primary care.

• A digital collaborative that will focus on the use of technology to support the management of chronic conditions, including the use of telemedicine

• A local partnership collaborative to focus on the care of patients with chronic health conditions across boundaries in primary care, secondary care, social services and the voluntary sector.

This will require recurrent funding, the establishment of a research faculty, a research delivery group, managerial support and joint appointments with local universities.

This summary is based on papers approved at SWFT trust Board and Management Board.

Information for researchers

Please contact research@swft.nhs.uk for advice and guidance regarding Trust approval for Service Evaluations, Clinical and Educational Research.

SWFT Staff** When undertaking research, staff must adhere to the Trust's procedure in line with the Research Governance Framework.

Library Support for Researchers

GEH SWFT Knowledge and Library Service team are proud to help support colleagues undertaking research at both our NHS Trusts. Whether you are an experienced researcher or just starting the research project for your Apprenticeship, foundation degree or Masters, we are on site and online to help. The Research webpage on the library website is a good starting point but please don’t hesitate to contact any of our team. Here’s just some of the ways we can help:

  • Information Skills training

We provide regular group sessions on how to plan and do an effective literature search. Visit our training webpages to view details of our next sessions. Our Clinical Librarians can also provide 1:1 advice on refining search strategies, database selection and signpost you to further reading to support your research. Contact us here

  • Critical appraisal training

Why not book on one of our regular Critical Appraisal training sessions to develop or practise your skills in evaluating research? Click here for more information and future dates.

  • Access to major research databases

Visit the NHS Knowledge and Library Service Hub where you can find links to clinical and health management databases and other useful resources such as the National Grey Literature Collection and Cochrane Library

  • Current awareness

We can help you keep up to date in your area of research. Sign up here to receive personalised email bulletins from KnowledgeShare.

  • Books for researchers

The Library collection includes books on all aspects of research from doing a literature or systematic review to critical appraisal and research methods. Search our regional library catalogue HeLM here.

  • Article request service

Having trouble finding the full text of an article? Click here for handy search tips or complete our online request form


Writing up Research for Publication

Ellis P. British Journal of Healthcare Assistants 2023;17(10):380-384.

Writing for publication is a daunting task for many people, but it need not be. Writing up a piece of research for publication should be the pinnacle of the research process, the point at which the researcher gets to share their work with a wider audience.

This paper explains wat needs to go into a research paper that is being prepared for publication. It offers a step-by-step guide to the process to help the novice and more experienced researcher structure their research paper. This paper covers writing up both quantitative and qualitative research and examples, where used, may be drawn from either or both paradigms. This paper does not cover what is needed to publish a review or opinion piece.

Article available to view online with an NHS OpenAthens password. No OpenAthens account? Click here to register for your free account.

NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN)

The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network (CRN) supports patients, the public and health and care organisations across England to participate in high-quality research, thereby advancing knowledge and improving care.

The CRN West Midlands (CRN WM) is the largest of 15 local Networks across England providing the infrastructure that allows high-quality research to take place in our area, so that people can benefit from new and better care and treatments.


The CRN WM help to increase opportunities for people to take part in research, ensure that studies are carried out efficiently and provide researchers with the practical support they need to carry out their research.

An up to date list of Portfolio trials recruiting across the country can be found via the link below. If you are interested in becoming a PI please contact the individual trial centres for further information.


Find Out More:

NIHR Website (https://www.nihr.ac.uk/explore-nihr/support/clinical-research-network.htm)
CRN West Midlands: (https://local.nihr.ac.uk/lcrn/west-midlands/)

Clinical Research Network Portfolio (https://www.nihr.ac.uk/researchers/collaborations-services-and-support-for-your-research/run-your-study/crn-portfolio.htm

Staff Information

Research Governance

Associate Medical Director of Research

Head of Research & Development

Email: Research@swft.nhs.uk Twitter: @Research_SWFT

Core Research

Senior Research Nurse

Email: Research.Nurses@swft.nhs.uk

Cancer Research

Rigby Lead Nurse – Cancer Research

Email: cancerresearch@swft.nhs.uk Twitter: @CancerWarwick

Family Health Research

Lead Research Midwife

Email: ResearchMidwife@swft.nhs.uk

Cancer Studies

The clinical benefit of undertaking cancer research includes access to the most novel and innovative cancer therapies. It has led to new drug treatments, a greater understanding of how to prevent cancer, new ways of delivering treatments and new surgical techniques. Cancer clinical trials are critical to advances in the understanding and treatment of cancer and to ensure patients have the opportunity to access world-class cancer treatments.

There is evidence to suggest that clinical research activity is a driver for high-quality cancer care with better outcomes for patients who are treated in research-intensive hospitals (National Institute for Health Research, 2014).

We have highlighted three of our current trials below:

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TROPION-Breast02 is recruiting patients with previously untreated triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) that has spread (metastatic) or TNBC that has come back and cannot be removed. This international AstraZeneca Phase III study is assessing whether a new treatment, datopotamab deruxtecan (Dato-DXd), is better than current treatments. TNBC affects 1 in 5 women with breast cancer and is more common in women <40 and black women. It is the most aggressive type of breast cancer and cannot be treated with hormonal or targeted therapies. The outcome for patients with metastatic TNBC is usually worse than other types of breast cancer, with overall survival generally less than two years and five-year survival around 12%. Current treatment options may be poorly tolerated by patients and reduce quality of life. Dato-DXd is an antibody-drug conjugate, a treatment that can target breast cancer cells and deliver a drug that stops the cells growing. Warwick Hospital is offering the promising new treatment to patients across The Midlands.

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Myeloma XV (RADAR) is recruiting patients newly diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma (MM) who are able to have a stem cell transplant. MM, also known as Myeloma, is a cancer that affects the bone marrow, spongy tissue found inside some bones that produces blood cells. Over 5,500 patients are diagnosed with MM each year in the UK. MM is an incurable relapsing-remitting cancer, meaning there are periods where the disease is active (relapsing) and requires treating, followed by periods where treatment may not be required (remitting). Significant progress has been made in developing new lines of treatment over the past 15 years. Newly diagnosed patients now survive on average 5-6 years, with 37% of men and 28% of women surviving 10 years. Currently all MM patients are given the same treatment, this UK-based Phase III study is investigating the personalisation of MM care. Some patients will have genetic markers that suggest their cancer will be more difficult to treat. These higher-risk patients, along with those whose cancer has not responded well to initial treatment, are offered more intensive therapy to extend the remitting period, while lower risk patients can receive reduced treatment with the aim of reducing side effects.



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Poetic-A is recruiting postmenopausal women diagnosed with operable early-stage hormone-sensitive breast cancer. Hormone-sensitive breast cancer, for example ER positive and HER2 negative, is made up of cells stimulated by oestrogen. Although postmenopausal women do not produce oestrogen from their ovaries, they do still make a small amount by turning other hormones into oestrogen. Women can be given endocrine (anti-hormone) therapy (ET) to keep oestrogen levels low and prevent the cancer from growing.

However, some women are at higher risk of becoming resistant to these treatments. Poetic-A is a phase III multicentre trial that assesses whether a new drug, abemaciclib, can be given to make treatment more effective than giving ET alone. This will aim to personalise care by looking at biological markers of risk, such as Ki67, to target treatment for women who are less responsive or resistant to ET and are therefore at higher risk of breast cancer coming back.

We are also recruiting to the following trials: COSMOS (Smouldering Myeloma), Cutaneous Tumour (Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Keratoacanthoma), FOxTROT Platform (Colon Cancer), Mithridate (Polycythemia vera), MyMelanoma (Melanoma), Rudy (Acute Myeloid Leukaemia), Prelude (Breast cancer-related lymphoedama), REMoDL-A (Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma) and UKAITPR (Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura).

For more information please visit, Be Part of Research or contact us directly.

Family Health


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Recurrent Gestational Diabetes Study

Women and birthing people who have previously had Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) in pregnancy are invited to take part in this observational study. During pregnancy the hormones released from the placenta can make cells in the body respond less well to insulin, and the body has to produce more insulin. But some women and birthing people cannot produce enough insulin, or their body is more resistant to insulin, causing blood glucose levels to remain high. In pregnancy this is called Gestational Diabetes Mellitus.

This study will collect data around women and birthing people’s pregnancy, birth and postnatal period, with the aim to help figure out the best time and method for testing gestational diabetes. Women and birthing people who decide to take part are asked to have a call with our research team to answer questions about them and their baby at 6 weeks after their baby is born.BaBi_Warwick_Logo-01.jpg

BaBi Warwick is a large-scale data collection project which aims to recruit ALL women who have their babies at Warwick Hospital. The project aims to answer research questions that serve our local population to help make a difference and improve outcomes for families in our area. The research questions are to be decided by Warwick Hospital and involve the council, local charities, universities and others. BaBi Warwick is the first study of its kind in the Midlands, and we are so excited to be one of the first hospitals taking part.

BaBi Warwick will collect data from each woman who agrees to participate in the study to answer relevant research questions around our local population. This data will be kept secure and used only for research and service planning.


The Giant PANDA Trial is looking at evaluating the effects of different antihypertensive drugs in women with pregnancy hypertension on maternal and foetal/neonatal outcomes.

The study is a randomised control trial, which means women who want to take part are randomised into one of two medication groups, both of which can be used to treat raised blood pressure in pregnancy.

The aim of the trial is to identify which is the most suitable medication to use, therefore the Research Midwife team at SWFT will follow the participant’s pregnancy and birth, providing anonymised data to the trial team. If the medication that the participant is randomised to isn’t working to treat their raised blood pressure, they can be reverted back to the alternative medication.



Core Research

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The PETS study is investigating whether elastic stockings help prevent blood clots in adults having surgery where the risk of developing blood clots is low.

PETS is a randomised trial, and several hospital sites will provide elastic stockings to some patients undergoing short-stay surgery, and other hospitals will not provide stockings. Warwick Hospital is not providing stockings to some people who are eligible for the study. Patients will be approached on the day of their surgery.

If patients choose to be involved in the research, their participation will last 3-months from entry. They will be contacted at 7 and 90 days after their surgery to answer short questions about their health and see if they have developed a blood clot.

For more information please click here.


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FREMS-PDPNThe FREMS-PDPN Study is looking at whether a nerve stimulation device can reduce pain from the nerve damage caused by diabetes.

Both FREMS and TENS give electrical pulses delivered through stickers on the skin. The nature of these pulses is different between FREMS and TENS, resulting in different biological effects on pain and different responses (short term pain reductions for TENS, usually days, and 3-4 months for FREMS).

The study aims to evaluate the efficacy of FREMS (Frequency Rhythmic Electrical Modulated System) in patients with painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy (PDPN, painful feet from nerve damages caused by diabetes) who have not responded to the NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) recommended treatments. FREMS delivers electrical pulses via stickers that are placed on the feet and legs; these pulses can reduce the pain in patients with PDPN.

For more information visit: https://frems.digitrial.com


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Perioperative Quality Improvement Programme (PQIP)

PQIP is a national research and quality improvement initiative which is looking at the perioperative care of patients having elective surgery. The aim is to investigate how these patients are treated, how they feel their care and recovery has been and if any complications have occurred. This data can then be used to improve patient care and ensure best practice is maintained throughout the whole country.

Here at Warwick Hospital, we have successfully recruited over 250 colorectal patients to the study.

For more information go to www.pqip.org.uk

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OPTIMISE Study

Research Question: Can we predict which patients with Psoriatic Arthritis will respond to treatment using precision medicine?

This study is supporting patients with Psoriatic Arthritis who do not respond to standard arthritis drugs. There are two different types of biologic drugs available (Adalimumab and Secukinumab).

In patients taking either of these drugs about 50 % will find the drug relieves their symptoms, however importantly 50 % will not respond well. Trying each drug can take time and patients have to wait to see if another drug works.

We do not currently know how to predict in advance which patient will respond best to each drug. The study aim is to test whether we can predict, using blood tests, if people with Psoriatic Arthritis will respond to either biologic drug leading to a reduction in inflamed joints and pain.


Other Research

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Recurrent Gestational Diabetes Study

Women and birthing people who have previously had Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) in pregnancy are invited to take part in this observational study. During pregnancy the hormones released from the placenta can make cells in the body respond less well to insulin, and the body has to produce more insulin. But some women and birthing people cannot produce enough insulin, or their body is more resistant to insulin, causing blood glucose levels to remain high. In pregnancy this is called Gestational Diabetes Mellitus.

This study will collect data around women and birthing people’s pregnancy, birth and postnatal period, with the aim to help figure out the best time and method for testing gestational diabetes. Women and birthing people who decide to take part are asked to have a call with our research team to answer questions about them and their baby at 6 weeks after their baby is born.

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Surviving Crying

The Surviving Crying project was created to support parents and carers who have babies up to five months old who cry for prolonged periods. Excessive crying affects one in five babies, with peak crying often happening around five weeks of age. This is sometimes known as infant ‘colic’, although it often has nothing to do with digestion or any physical illness.

The project team has developed a support package to help parents understand and cope with prolonged crying, which can be extremely traumatic for parents and carers. This includes written and online materials and a support programme provided by specially trained health visitors.

This trial aims to find out if our support package used in conjunction with standard health visits is more effective in helping parents and carers cope with an excessively crying baby than standard health visits alone.



Participants in Research Experience Survey (PRES)


PRES is a survey used to collect views and experiences of individuals participating in National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) supported research. Responses to PRES are kept anonymous. PRES was developed by the NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) to help improve research experiences.

Why do we deliver PRES?

We deliver PRES surveys at SWFT to better understand the experiences of our research participants. SWFT is supported by the Clinical Research Network West Midlands (CRN WM) who annually produce a local and regional report of the PRES findings. PRES findings from our research participants are shared back to us, giving us the opportunity to understand what we are doing well and where we can make improvements in the delivery of our research studies. Nationally the NIHR bring together all PRES responses to produce a national level report.

To find out more about PRES, click here.

Useful links