Celebrating our history and building our future: latest from Chief Executive’s blog
In Mays’ recent blog post, Chief Executive for Newcastle Hospitals, Dame Jackie Daniel reflects on the Hospitals past and future.
We have been looking back to see how the coronation was celebrated in our hospitals back on 2nd June 1953. Although we don’t have any film from coronation day, I was reminded this week of the video ‘just another day’ from 1957 which gives us a fascinating glimpse into our organisation in that decade.
Of course, treatments and practice has been dramatically modernised over the last 70 years, but I was interested to see some things that felt very familiar – especially the importance of the whole team, and the unrelenting focus on supporting our patients. See what you think as we compare and contrast the ‘old’ and ‘new’ in a short film we have produced.
Our core values are fundamentally the same as they were then, and I suspect they will continue to serve us well over the next 70 years.
Looking to the future
The focus on research and innovation that we see in the film also links the generations. Last Friday was International Clinical Trials Day – a fantastic opportunity to focus on research, to say ‘thank you’ to everyone who carries out clinical research and to acknowledge all who volunteer to take part in clinical trials.
I’m incredibly proud of the hard work and dedication of colleagues involved in research, both in the trust and those we work closely with in our partner universities. I was delighted to see that both Newcastle and Northumbria universities were recognised for their research strength in the recent REF results which is an impressive achievement and an important strength for the city.
For decades, financial investment into research in the UK has been over-concentrated in specific areas, particularly the South East of England. It’s time to challenge that, and through the Governments ‘Levelling up’ ambitions, we are working hard to bring more research funding to the North.
Recently I have been involved in some important bids for multi-million-pound investments to support research which we hope to hear about soon, but I know we are well placed to be successful.
Research is important because of the broader benefits to health of clinical research which goes beyond the scientific breakthroughs and the discovery of new treatments.
Our research programme at Newcastle Hospitals is nationally and internationally recognised in many areas including ageing, cancer, child health, robotic surgery, transplantation and rare diseases to name but a few. In September 2021, we launched our five-year Clinical Research Strategy, setting out how we will collectively embed research across the trust to ultimately create a better future for our patients, staff, and communities.
In 2020, Newcastle Health Innovation Partners became one of eight Academic Health Science Centres in the UK – a prestigious designation which has already made a significant impact in terms of improving local health, wealth and wellbeing with an update on progress to be provided at an event on 13 June, which can be booked here
One recent NHIP achievement has been the appointment of five joint senior NHIP clinical fellowships to aspiring clinical academics with a vision to help translate research into real-world benefit.
The John Walton Muscular Dystrophy Centre and the NIHR Newcastle Research Clinical Research Facility has then dosed the first patient in Europe as part of a clinical trial to find treatments for a rare condition called Pompe disease.
Of course. research would not be possible without the people who volunteer their time to take part in trials. I’d encourage you to take a few minutes to watch this video Mobilise-D – Participating in our Clinical Study – YouTube where research participant, John, shares his experience of taking part in a study with research physiotherapist, Phil Brown. The video is a timely reminder of the importance of research and the difference it can make to peoples’ lives.
Through our charity, Newcastle Hospitals Charity, we have recently invested £3.2million to support nurses, midwives and Allied Health professionals to make space for research through an institute dedicated to the progression of research talent amongst this group of staff. You can find out more information here.
We have many opportunities for everyone to get involved in research – it’s a way that we can all change the future and bring hope to our patients. I’ll give the final word to John, who shares his motivation for taking part in research.
“We’ve all benefitted from people taking part in research, and its incumbent on all of us to take part if we can.”
The above was adapted, with thanks, from Dame Jackie’s blog. Read the whole blog here: https://www.damejackiesblog.co.uk/celebrating-our-history-and-building-our-future/