Local patients help NNUH top national research league table

A new league table published by the National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network shows the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (NNUH) is the top large acute Trust in England and in the top twenty hospitals in the country for the number of clinical research studies it conducted last year. 182 research studies were carried out by NNUH in 2012 to 2013, compared to 158 in 2011 to 2012.

The Norfolk Diabetes Prevention Study is jointly run by NNUH and the University East of Anglia. The £2m study funded by the National Institute for Health Research aims to test 10,000 people in Norfolk at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. One of the patients taking part in the study has experienced significant health benefits and has lost two stone.

Forty eight year old James Bullion from Norwich is now encouraging more people to find out if they are suitable and take part. He heard about the study after a routine appointment with his GP last autumn. His blood glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure levels were all increasing and his GP recommended that he give the study a try. He applied and then joined one of the research groups in the study. Since then he has been given education about diet and exercise, access to a Physical Activity Facilitator and a mentor who telephones him to provide support and give advice.

James said: “My GP said it looked like I could be heading for Type 2 Diabetes and that this study might help. It’s been great. I feel healthier, I understand a lot more about diet, portion control and am more conscious about how much exercise I need to do. My blood glucose levels have dropped back into the normal range and I’ve lost over two stone in weight. I’d definitely recommend anyone who fits the criteria to give this study a go. It’s a lot less intimidating than I thought it’d be and it has definitely helped me make some lifestyle changes, all for the better.”

You can take part if you are 40 years of age or older and can answer ‘yes’ to one of the following questions:

• Are you overweight with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more?
• Do you have a family history of Type 2 Diabetes?
• Do you have a have a history of coronary heart disease?
• Have you ever had diabetes during pregnancy?
• Have you ever had impaired fasting glucose (when a person’s fasting blood glucose level is consistently higher than what is considered normal levels)?

Patients who are eligible and who are identified as having ‘pre-diabetes’ will be randomly selected to join one of three groups being monitored by researchers investigating whether exercise, healthy living, and motivation programmes may reduce the risk of developing diabetes.

Programme Manager, Dr Melanie Pascale said: “James has achieved so much, as have so many other participants in the study. It is fantastic that by taking part in the study he has reduced his risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.”

She added: “I’d encourage anyone who thinks they might be suitable for the study to get in touch. Like James, you will be supported every step of the way by a trained and dedicated multidisciplinary NHS research team who can provide you with the information you need to take the first important step in making lifestyle changes. They will help you to stay motivated and continue to support you throughout, so that – most importantly – you can maintain your new healthy lifestyle.”

Dr Jonathan Sheffield, chief executive of the National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network said: “I would like to congratulate the Trusts in Norfolk’s for increasing the number of studies they do locally, and helping to bring research opportunities to patients. I would also like to say a big thank you to all the patients who took part in clinical research studies in Trusts across the East of England region. Without their help we could not keep improving care, which is what we all want to do.”

Screening and intervention sites for the Norfolk Diabetes Prevention Study is taking place at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, Cromer and District Hospital, James Paget University Hospital, Great Yarmouth, Rosedale Surgery, Lowestoft, Thetford Healthy Living Centre, Thetford and Gayton Road Surgery, King’s Lynn.

For more information about the study and what taking part will involve you can contact the team on 01603 597300 or visit the website to register www.norfolkdiabetespreventionstudy.nhs.uk

The press release from the National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network is available at http://www.nnuh.nhs.uk/News.asp?ID=1289

Monday 1st of July 2013 04:00:38 PM