Latest from Trust Chief Executive on research and innovation
As Chief Executive of the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Dame Jackie Daniel sits on the Strategic Leadership Team for the NIHR Newcastle BRC; playing a fundamental role in shaping the strategic direction of the Centre, and ensuring the research we carry out has a direct benefit to the patients of Newcastle Hospitals. In her latest blog, Dame Jackie outlines the value of scientific discoveries related to COVID, as well as summarising the future place of research and innovation in the Trust strategy.
In Newcastle, we understand the importance of scientific discovery to underpin improvements in healthcare. That has been illustrated clearly this week with the exciting initial announcements from the RECOVERY (Randomised Evaluation of COVid-19 thERapY) trial which Newcastle Hospitals participated in. The results show that dexamethasone reduces 28-day mortality substantially among patients with COVID-19 who received oxygen or ventilation at the time of randomisation. Among participants receiving oxygen alone, the risk of death was reduced by 20%, and among participants receiving ventilation the risk of death was reduced by 35%.
These results are incredibly important and have immediate applications globally for the many thousands of patients currently in hospital receiving oxygen and will potentially save many lives. Thanks to the hard work from many clinical and research staff who stopped and reprioritised their current studies, we were very quick to set up a COVID-19 research team when the pandemic began.
Research and innovation capacity
Last year we refreshed our Trust strategy and very deliberately set out the focus we want to see in developing our research and innovation capacity and capability over coming years.
Due to the strength of our partnerships in the city and nationally we are able to leverage our combined capacity to further develop Newcastle as a major centre for research. Our recent designation as an Academic Health Science Centre illustrates the scale of our confidence and ambition, and is an important part of the architecture that we are creating to support research and innovation.
I’ve highlighted many times the intrinsic link between health, wealth and well-being, and the importance of working with partners across the city including the business sector. We have the prospect of helping to create new innovations, technology and products which will directly benefit our patients. This work will also support the economy and help get people into employment and all of these wider actions support our drive to be the provider of excellent healthcare.
All of that broader work is brought into sharp focus when we think about the impact that research has on our patients. It’s only by carrying out the rigorous research that we pride ourselves in, that we have the tools and the knowledge to cure, especially with a new and frightening disease like COVID-19.
The high levels of health inequalities that our population faces in the North East make it imperative that we bring the very best of health research and innovation quickly to our communities. Along with our partners in the city, we want Newcastle to become a thriving hub for discovery and health improvement. Using the data that we have, the clinical excellence that we provide every day and the academic talent that we have across our organisation we can create the very best care and positive outcomes.
That’s something that we can all play a part in. Finding out more about the research activity in the different areas of the Trust, being curious about the role we can all play, and giving patients the opportunity to take part in research is really important and will continue to ensure that we all contribute to discovering the future.