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Miss Ranee Thakar, Dr Aswini Balachandran and Mr Abdul Sultan at the R&D Day on 23 May 2017 in front of their poster on perineal tears. This research won two awards - ‘Clinical Service / Service Improvement’ and ‘Audit Poster’.
Awards for record breaking Croydon research bringing better outcomes to patients
25 May 2017

Croydon Health Services NHS Trust has celebrated its scientific and clinical research teams at its 16th Annual Research and Development Day, held at Croydon University Hospital on 23rd May 2017.

The focus of many teams was aligned with key health burdens affecting Croydon, such as children with asthma being more likely to attend A&E in Croydon than any other part of London (2014/15 figures).

The teams have also facilitated access to unique and rare treatments through clinical trials. Over 500 Croydon residents took part in National Cancer Research Network badged clinical trials last year – 29 per cent more than the year before.

Twelve awards were presented in front of an audience of fellow researchers, while more than 70 other projects within the Trust were showcased.

The urogynaecology team was once again prolific attracting two awards for a study on perineal tears - a complication from childbirth which is not often spoken about. Nationally perineal tears have increased threefold in England from 2000 to 2011 (1.8% to 5.9%), including a previous notable rise among our Croydon patients early in 2016. Our team responded by developing a highly effective ‘care bundle’ of intensive training and new care techniques. This has reliably reduced Croydon's rate of these childbirth traumas from 4.6 per cent to 0.4 per cent from June 2016 to March 2017 – the lowest recorded in the UK and far lower than the national average of 2.9 per cent. The care bundle is now being adopted nationally by healthcare’s Royal Colleges and it has made Croydon the host site for a half million pound Health Foundation grant.

Other showcased projects included:

  • A demonstrated reduction of 59 per cent in children needing to visit the Emergency Department with asthma or wheezing. Researchers achieved the reduction by increasing home visits and follow-up consultations for 132 patients of age 1 to 18.
  • Research to help babies and children survive severe sepsis and septic shock. The team recognised that hospitals vary significantly in what sized cannula (a type of needle) they use to deliver antibiotics and fluid. This research shows how the size of cannula can be accurately scaled-up depending on the size of child, ensuring enough treatment enters their body quickly when it is urgently needed.
  • A three-month pilot study showing that a tightly structured approach to communication and personalised care for stroke patients led to high patient satisfaction. In particular Croydon patients praised the quality of information about their progress and their involvement in care decisions. Psychologists played a significant role in this research and this is just one example of where a wide range of professions contribute to improving physical healthcare.

Dr Nnenna Osuji, Medical Director at Croydon Health Services NHS Trust and one of the award judges, said:

“Our Trust’s scientific healthcare community is growing and its successes are being recognised nationally and internationally. All of our research teams, including these fantastic award winners, are very grounded and invest a lot of time listening to patients.

“We greatly appreciate our status as a University Hospital, which gives many Croydon residents access to important experimental care. If our new award winners inspire others to pursue a future in healthcare science, we would encourage them because this work will be crucial for many decades to come.”

The awards were given to the following Croydon-based research projects:

  • Winner for ‘Clinical Service / Service Improvement’: Reducing Obstetric Anal Sphincter Injury Rates in Croydon – Our Success Story.
  • Highly commended for ‘Clinical Service / Service Improvement’: Improving the quality of Communication with patients’ families through scheduled family meetings.
  • Winner for ‘Research’: The Impact of Copper Impregnated Wound Dressings on Surgical Site Infection after Caesarean Section.
  • Highly commended for ‘Research’: Randomised Controlled Trial of Red LED Lights for difficult intravenous access.
  • Winner for ‘Audit’: Abstract of an Audit to assess the Adherence to Trust Guidelines when Prescribing for the Management of Acute Painful Crisis in Sickle Cell Disease.
  • Highly commended for ‘Audit’: Postnatal Bladder Care.
  • Winner for ‘Research Poster’: Relation of BMI to Future Risk of Crohn’s Disease in the Danish National Birth Cohort.
  • Highly commended for ‘Research Poster’: Validation of a Water Filtration System for Developing Countries using Copper Impregnated Fabrics.
  • Winner for ‘Audit Poster’: Prescribing Management following third and fourth degree perineal tears.
  • Highly commended for ‘Audit Poster’: Documentation of DNACPR decisions and recognition of dying.
  • Winner for ‘Clinical Service / Service Improvement Poster’: Introduction of Paediatric Early Warning Score and Action Planner.
  • Highly commended for ‘Clinical Service/Service Improvement Poster’: The Acute Care of the Elderly Unit – Providing Rapid Specialised Care for Frail and Elderly People.

Photograph Caption: Miss Ranee Thakar, Dr Aswini Balachandran and Mr Abdul Sultan at the R&D Day on 23 May 2017 in front of their poster on perineal tears. This research won two awards - ‘Clinical Service / Service Improvement’ and ‘Audit Poster’.

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