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Clinical Research

Rebecca Oliver 06 14 03


Research is an essential part of making healthcare better. It can lead to new treatment or provide evidence of the best available treatments for a clinical condition.

Without research there would be no new ways to treat you, it is just as important to your healthcare as your doctor and your hospital.

About Clinical Research

What is Clinical Research?

Clinical research is a branch of medicine that looks at the safety and effectiveness of drugs, medical devices, treatments and diagnostic tools planned for use in humans.

Clinical trials look at new ways to prevent, detect, or treat disease. Treatments might be new drugs or new combinations of drugs, new surgical procedures or devices, or new ways to use existing treatments. The goal of clinical trials is to see if a new test or treatment works and is safe. It may involve patients or healthy volunteers, or both.

Research is not just about testing new drugs; it is everything that can improve quality care and experience for our patients.

For more detailed information about Clinical trials, read one of these guides created by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) –

Clinical trials: what they are and what they’re not 

Understanding clinical trials

Research publications list

Research at Milton Keynes

For more information on studies currently taking place at the hospital, contact us.

Research and Development Office (Education Centre) – 01908 995118

Clinical Haematology and Oncology Research Team (CHORT office, next to Pheonix unit) - 01908 996654

Research performance

We continue to grow our portfolio of clinical research. For details of our performance for approving studies and recruiting to clinical trials, please see the documents below:

Our Q3 2016/2017 report was not submitted. 

Getting involved

High-quality clinical research that benefits patients all around the world is not possible without your help.

Taking part in a study might mean completing a questionnaire, an extra blood sample, taking a new medicine or trying a new treatment.

If you decide to take part in research, you are free to withdraw at any time, without giving a reason. You will continue to receive the best available care.

Patients are usually approached by a doctor or a nurse to take part in a study, but if you are interested in learning more please contact Rowena Fletcher, Head of Research and Development - rowena.fletcher@mkhospital.nhs.uk

Useful links

NIHR CRN -  is the clinical research delivery arm of the NHS. The CRN ensure that studies can be set-up quickly in the NHS, and that hospitals, surgeries and clinics have the people and support they need to carry out clinical studies for the benefit of their patients.

Our Research

We have increased our Research activity significantly in the Trust over the past few years. One of our Trust objectives specifically focuses on Research: To build Robust and Innovative Teaching and Research.
Areas where research is currently being undertaking include:

• Anaesthetics
• Cancer
• Critical Care
• Dermatology
• Diabetes
• HIV and Sexual Health
• Rheumatology
• Head and Neck • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
• Paediatrics
• Parkinson’s
• Cardiology
• Gastroenterology
• Stroke
• Emergency Medicine
• Women’s Health

Current studies

If you wish to get involved or find out more, please contact the R&D office on 01908 995118.

The following are a sample of the more than 60 studies conducted at Milton Keynes Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. For more information on specific studies and conditions please contact us.

Helping older women make choices about breast cancer treatment

Breast cancer is a very common problem in older women and over one third of all cases are seen in women over the age of 70 years. In most the disease is very effectively treated with a range of treatments.

A great deal of scientific research has been done to ensure that every woman with breast cancer gets the best treatment for her cancer. However, much of this research has been carried out on women under the age of 70. This means breast cancer specialists have much less scientific evidence to guide the treatment of women over 70.

This study is trying to address this problem and gather detailed information about how older women with breast cancer are treated and how well they do.


We are conducting a study in order to understand the cause of diabetes and its complications such as heart disease, diabetic eye disease and diabetes kidney disease.

To improve treatment and prevention of these important illnesses, we need to find both the genes (the inherited code which may be passed down through generations) and also non-inherited factors that make some people more likely to get diabetes and the medical problems related to diabetes.

If you have Diabetes and would like to find out more about this study please contact our Diabetes Research Nurse, Helen Jeffers on 01908 996655.

Adults with Crohn’s disease

Anti-TNFa drugs have greatly advanced the treatment of Crohn's disease. However some patients do not respond to treatment and others loose response to the drugs with time.

In addition patients occasionally experience unpredictable side effects which may be severe. We are undertaking a study aiming to identify why some patients develop these problems, whilst other patients do not.

It is hoped that we might then be able to develop a test to predict which patients are likely to benefit, and least likely to suffer side effects.


A study is being carried out with patients who have suffered a stroke caused by a blood clot blocking a blood vessel that carries blood to one part of the brain.

Currently we treat patients They are antiplatelet (blood thinning) medications and work by acting on cells in your blood called platelets and reduce your risk of another stroke by making the platelets less ‘sticky’.

You will be allocated to receive either current guideline treatment (clopidogrel alone or combined aspirin and dipyridamole) or to have all three medications (aspirin, dipyridamole and clopidogrel) for 1 month.

The guideline treatment may be clopidogrel alone or a combination of aspirin and dipyridamole

Lung cancer

It is believed that chemicals and tiny cell abnormalities may be important in detecting lung cancer. These chemicals or biomarkers may be detectable even before patients develop symptoms or abnormal chest x-rays. We are taking part in a study that tests if these chemicals can be detected in the breath and spit specimens of lung cancer and also if they are detectable in patients who do not yet have visible lung cancer but are at higher risk of developing it.

Specialist cancer services

About 2,000 teenagers/young adults (TYA) aged 13–24 years in England are diagnosed with cancer each year. NICE guidelines state that all young people should have access to specialist TYA cancer services but currently only half do. Researchers wish to find out if TYA specialist care and services provide better outcomes and are cost effective.

Otitis Media

Inflammation of the ear is very common in children, and may manifest as an ear infection or as fluid in the ear, called “glue ear”.

Almost every child will have had either an ear infection or an episode of glue ear by the age of five. Most of these episodes resolve, but in some children the problems persist and may lead to a glue ear that is present over many months, or may lead to repeated ear infections.

We do not understand why some children develop a more persistent or repeated problem with their ears. We do know that genes play a significant part, but we do not know the genes responsible.

Recently two genetic mutant mice that develop inflammation of their ears have been discovered. This project will analyse the DNA of children who have persistent or repeated problems with their ears, and the DNA of their family, to see if the genes that have been found in the mutant mice may be responsible for this same problem in humans (these genes are called "Evi1" and "Fbxo11").

If a gene is discovered that contributes to ear inflammation, it could play a very important role in understanding, preventing and treating these common diseases.

Meet the team

Rowena Fletcher - Head of R&D

Privileged to be the Head of Department tasked with leading the team to give our patients the choice to participate in Research. By offering patients the chance to participate in Research we can give them the option of another treatment or the ability to contribute to the knowledge we have of the disease from which they suffer. I work with clinical staff and our support departments to ensure that studies are feasible for us to participate in and recruit to time and target. I am also keen to develop our own account Research and work to encourage ideas for ‘Home Grown’ Research within the Trust. Contact me on 01908 995119 or by email: rowena.fletcher@mkuh.nhs.uk

Hayley Moss - Research Coordinator

I work on setting up new research studies and clinical trials within different hospital departments, which involves carrying out local governance checks to ensure we have the staff, facilities and resources to run each trial safely and effectively. I support clinicians in initiating commercial trials and provide specialist R&D advice. If you are interested in setting up a research study or would like more information, please contact me on 01908 995113 or by email: hayley.moss@mkuh.nhs.uk.

Seema Chavda – Research Coordinator

I work on setting up new research studies and clinical trials within different hospital departments, which involves carrying out local governance checks to ensure we have the staff, facilities and resources to run each trial safely and effectively. I support clinicians in initiating commercial trials and provide specialist R&D advice. I am a Good Clinical Practice (GCP) Facilitator, providing training for Thames Valley and South Midlands CRN. If you are interested in setting up a research study or would like more information on GCP training, please contact me on 01908 995113 or by email: seema.chavda@mkuh.nhs.uk

Chrissie Chevis – Senior R&D Administrator

As admin Team Leader, I am involved in most aspects of Research and general administration, supporting colleagues as necessary. I handle research enquiries and provide general R&D advice. I am responsible for processing study amendments, updating databases, ordering stationery and supplies and I raise invoices for Research payments. I assist with the non-clinical research aspects of certain studies. I am involved in the induction of new staff to the R&D department; I am also a Good Clinical Practice (GCP) Facilitator, providing training for Thames Valley and South Midlands CRN. Contact me on 01908 995118 or by email: chrissie.chevis@mkuh.nhs.uk

Veronica Edgell – Data Research Officer

I work closely with the Generic Research Nurses and assist in the identification, screening and recruitment of appropriate research/clinical trial subjects. I process, manage and record accurate data onto spreadsheets and databases internally and externally. I take minutes of certain meetings and I assist with the non-clinical research aspects of certain studies. Contact me on 01908 995117 or by email: veronica.edgell@mkuh.nhs.uk

Jessica Digby – Academic Research Coordinator

I am involved in initiating new Research within the Trust whilst providing support and advice from the initial idea right through to patient recruitment. I facilitate the collaboration between local Universities, businesses and the Trust to bring together expertise in the field of Research. I can be contacted on 01908 995119 or by email: jessica.digby@mkuh.nhs.uk

Jeannette Smith – R&D Administrator

I work two days a week in the Research & Development Department; my time is split equally between working on the Monument Discovery study (Parkinson’s) and providing general administrative support to the Team. I am involved in maintaining accurate records and logs, creating electronic study files, collating data from and inputting to various online databases. I am also responsible for the secure storage of all Research CVs and GCP certificates, as well as the training records for each member of the Team.

Sara Greig - Cancer Research Team Leader

I work in the Cancer Research Team and look after the haematology and urology studies. In haematology we currently have studies open for patients diagnosed with leukaemia- AML17; patients with lymphoma-REMoDL-B; patients with myeloma-TEAMM. We have studies open in other areas of haematology such as ITP and thromboembolism. In urology we have a genetic study for patients diagnosed with prostate cancer. If you would like more information about how to participate in research at Milton Keynes please contact the Clinical Haematology and Oncology Research Team (CHORT) as follows: Sara Greig Tel: 01908 996551 email: sara.greig@mkuh.nhs.uk

Cherrie Masvaure – Oncology Research Nurse

I work in the Cancer Team based in the CHORT Office. I am responsible for the Gastro-Intestinal, Lung and Gynaecology Cancer Studies. We are currently recruiting newly diagnosed Lung cancer patients into LungCAST, MEDLUNG and TAPPS studies. I also recruit to CHOPIN and MERCURY 2 which are GI studies. As a Facilitator for the Thames Valley Cancer Research Network, I run an introductory course for Cancer Researchers. This is a course recommended for those new to Cancer Research who would like to understand the disease development, clinical trials and treatments available to patients. If you would like to participate and to know more about the above course or studies please do contact me on 01908 996652 or by email: charity.masvaure@mkuh.nhs.uk

Helen Jeffers - Diabetes Research Nurse

I’m involved in numerous studies for patients with Type I and Type 2 diabetes. Many of these involve a one-off visit here at Milton Keynes lasting approximately 30 - 40 minutes. Others can be more complex involving trials of new diabetes medication. If you are a person with diabetes, and would like to find out more, contact me on 01908 996655/07825 862077 or by email: helenjeffers@nhs.net

Cheryl Padilla-Harris – Senior Research Nurse (Generic)

I am the Team Leader for Generic Research Nurses. I’m involved in Research across various specialities: Stroke; Gynaecology; Critical Care; Cardiology and Dermatology. The portfolio of Studies includes both Observational and Interventional studies (some of which are Commercial). If you would like to know more about the studies that are open in the above specialities please contact me on 01908 995114 or by email: cheryl.padilla-harris@mkuh.nhs.uk

Sonya Walia – Generic Research Nurse

I am the generic research nurse with a focus on Cardiology research. We are involved in both commercial and academic research which encompasses a variety of interventional, non-interventional and database studies. One of our commercial studies, an international study on a new drug therapy for people with heart failure is likely to change practice and is currently being reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration. I have also been involved in renal studies and diabetes. As a member of the generic research team of nurses I support other nurses in their research areas. Contact me on 01908 995116 or by email: sonya.walia@mkuh.nhs.uk

Lesley Catterall – Research Nurse

I am involved in The Monument Discovery study which aims to improve the understanding of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and move closer towards a cure. This study is helping to build a more detailed picture of PD and how it develops from the earliest stages. We are recruiting people with PD who have been diagnosed for less than 3 years, at risk relatives of people with PD and healthy controls. The study involves 3 clinic visits 18 months apart, where a detailed medical, family and medication history is taken, physical examination, memory and dexterity tests and height, weight and blood pressure. If you are a person with PD and would like to find out more please contact me on 01908 995115 or by email: lesley.r.catterall@mkuh.nhs.uk

Rebecca Hinch - Generic Research Nurse

I am currently working on research studies in the specialties of Intensive care, Cardiology and Breast cancer. Breast cancer has a variety of research studies open from observation studies (Bridging the age gap) to treatment studies relating to radiotherapy and chemotherapy. A new study (PERSEPHONE) currently recruits patients comparing the duration of the chemotherapy, Herceptin, in women with early breast cancer: six months versus twelve months. Intensive care is also recruiting patients to a trial comparing invasive and non-invasive weaning off ventilation. If you are interested in taking part in any of the above study areas, please contact me on 01908 995114 or by email: rebecca.hinch@mkuh.nhs.uk

Naomi Burton – Dermatology Research Nurse

In addition to my main role as Dermatology Sister, I am currently working on the British Association of Dermatologists Biological Interventions Register (BADBIR) study which involves Psoriasis patients over 16 years of age on various forms of medication. Contact me on 01908 242854 or by email: naomi.burton@mkhospital.nhs.uk

Leanne Lewis – Inflammatory Bowel Disorder Research Nurse

As an inflammatory bowel disease specialist nurse within the hospital, I am involved in studies specific to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and incorporate research into my clinical role. Inflammatory bowel disease is an area about which I feel passionate and being able to combine research into my daily practice is a marvellous opportunity that contributes to the development of evidence based practice and which has a positive effect on current and future patient treatments both locally and nationally. At the moment, I am focussed on a biological therapy study, and one involving patients who have had adverse reactions following specific medications. If you have been diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease and would like further information, please do not hesitate to contact me on 01908 243305 or by email: lianne.lewis@mkuh.nhs.uk

Sally Conway - Paediatric Research Nurse

I am one of the Paediatric Research Nurses working within the Research & Development team. I am currently involved in is the UK ChiMES study which looks at children who have been admitted to hospital with suspected meningitis. The study aims to identify which bacteria or viruses currently cause meningitis, what the early signs are and how they may lead Doctors to diagnose meningitis earlier so that the appropriate treatment can be given as soon as possible. In addition to UK ChiMES we are hoping to be involved in further Paediatric studies. If you would like more information about the Paediatric Studies that we are involved in please contact me on 01908 826746 or by email: sally.conway@mkuh.nhs.uk

Shan Walker – BBV Research Nurse

I work in the BBV clinic, which is situated in the Stratford Suite, Luing Cowley OPD. Within my role, I have 7.5 hours designated to HIV research. Currently we are collaborating on a large national study following outcomes for patients with HIV, from diagnosis onwards and across all UK treatment sites. For further information, I can be contacted on this number :07770643214 or via email: shan.walker@mkuh.nhs.uk 

International Clinical Trials Day 2017

International Clinical Trials Day 2017

To celebrate ‘International Clinical Trials Day 2017’, the Research and Development Department had a stand outside the Eaglestone Restaurant on 18 May to raise awareness of the research being done in this Trust. 

In order to add a little levity to the day, the Department hosted a mock research project: ‘The Chocolate Trial’ to demonstrate the process of randomisation in clinical trials. To find out how the study went, please click here.

To help support the team, they were joined by the Medical Detection Dogs to showcase our ongoing study into identifying prostate cancer earlier.

RD stand

·         Q2 2016/2017 Performance in delivering

·         Q2 2016/2017 Performance in initiating

       Our Q3 2016/2017 report was not submitted.