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On trial – for all the right reasons

Medicine in Glasgow has a proud history of world-leading medical research and development, the use of antiseptic in surgery and the first ultrasound images of unborn babies.

And today, NHSGGC and the University of Glasgow, our key collaborative partner, continue to play an important role in the delivery of ground-breaking research and innovation that will shape health improvement and patient treatments for years to come.

We are home to one of the most ambitious clinical trial programmes in Europe, delivering huge benefits to thousands of patients every year and helping to attract some of the brightest clinical staff to our city’s hospitals and universities.

Professor Julie Brittenden, director of research and development, said: “We are very fortunate here to be developing a very strong research portfolio. There is a real vibrancy – we have lots of world-class researchers and fantastic facilities. There’s no doubt that Glasgow is a world player in clinical trials and research and our reputation is growing. It is our aim to fully embed a research and innovation culture within NHSGGC to maximise the opportunities and support for all our esearchers, in order to improve thehealthcare of our population and beyond.”

In the past year alone, we have underway more than 850 high-quality trials that aim to improve patient care and outcomes. This represents a greater than 25 per cent increase on the year before. Driving this agenda forward are more than 474 principle principle investigators supported in their ground-breaking work by our outstanding clinical infrastructure research facilities, which we share with Glasgow University.

One example is the co-location of adult and paediatric clinical research facilities at the QEUH, which provides an increase in the number of studies with joint paediatric, young adult and adult recruitment at QEUH Clinical Research Facility, and the first paediatric study with a nurse acting as principal investigator.

Julie said: “Success breeds success and our reputation continues to grow. There is so much going on here – we are leading the way and that boosts morale. This makes it easier for us to attract the best of the best.”

One of the key areas of research and development is in the area of precision (formerly referred to as stratified) medicine. Another exciting area is the groundbreaking work involving an app to give patients with psychosis the independent ability to measure mood swings and take more charge of managing their own condition and medication.

The term “world-leading” is not applied lightly by Professor Brittenden, as she says with confidence that Glasgow is “absolutely world leading” in the areas such as heart failure, cardiac imaging, arthritis and cancer. She also adds that some of the most exciting developments are being forged in the treatment of cystic fibrosis and multiple sclerosis.

The communications directorates of NHSGGC and the University of Glasgow have recently met to devise a strategic communications and marketing plan to promote awareness of the research and development and clinical trials work in the city. We believe increased awareness of this vital work will attract some of the best clinicians and researchers to the NHS here and to the University and help deliver great benefits to our patients.