Wirral University Teaching Hospital launches new Research and Innovation Strategy

Wirral University Teaching Hospital (WUTH) has launched it’s new Research and Innovation Strategy. WUTH is a research active organisation. Its research studies involve patients accessing clinical services at both their Arrowe Park and Clatterbridge Hospital sites. 

Over the past five years, an average of 80 studies each year have been co-ordinated by their Research Department and delivered by teams of Local Principal Investigators (PIs), Research Nurses, Pharmacists, Laboratory and other clinical support staff. This strategy sets out how Research and Innovation will progress at WUTH during 2021 to 2026. 

Launching the Strategy, Dr Nikki Stevenson, Medical Director and Deputy Chief Executive said, “This strategy is our commitment to Research and Innovation transformation at WUTH, and is the result of extensive engagement and input from staff across all five of our clinical divisions, external stakeholders including clinical and academic partners, and most importantly our patients.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their input in the development of this strategy, it gives us clear insight into where we are now, and in identifying our priorities for the next five years. 

“This document clearly sets out our intentions that Research and Innovation will be recognised as integral to everything we do, and is underpinned by our Research and Innovation vision: Tomorrow’s outstanding care is built on today’s best research.” 

The COVID-19 Pandemic has been a catalyst for a surge in interest in research, both within the NHS and in the public. From the outset, WUTH embedded research into their clinical pathways with nationally recognised high levels of recruitment to ten urgent public health studies that led to novel, life-saving treatments for COVID-19. These studies include the RECOVERY Trial for which WUTH has been a top recruiting site in the North West Coast and nationally. 

Pre-pandemic between 600 and 700 participants typically took part in research at WUTH each year. During the pandemic, this increased to over 2,500 in 2020-2021 and more than 1,600 in 2021-2022. The number of participants in non-COVID-19 studies is beginning to recover. In 2021-22, around 350 participants took part in non-COVID studies, an increase of over 200 compared to 2020-2021. 

Engagement workshops and questionnaires with staff, patients and Principal Investigators have informed the development of this first WUTH Research and Innovation Strategy. The Strategy will ensure that the Trust is able to build on existing good practice and grow their research portfolio, so that more patients benefit from improved experiences and outcomes. 

The WUTH Research and Innovation Strategy is published on the WUTH website https://www.wuth.nhs.uk/about-us/key-documents-and-information/wuth-strategy-2021-26/  

Image: WUTH Research Team

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