Published on: 19 May 2020
A research network made up of South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle University and The Northern Region Endoscopy Group has won a prestigious patient care award for its world-leading endoscopy research.
The team won the ‘Research’ category in the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) Excellence in Patient Care Awards 2020 for original research that has contributed to, or has the potential to contribute to, significant improvements in health outcomes or the quality of patient care.
The collaboration has transformed the way endoscopy research is delivered in the UK and internationally by moving away from single-centre to multi-centre studies. As a result, it is now delivering the world’s largest endoscopy studies - changing practice and improving patient outcomes in the process.
Over 12,000 patients, including many in the North East, have been recruited for studies addressing multiple priorities, such as patient experience of endoscopy (a procedure where organs inside the body are looked at using an instrument called an endoscope to diagnose conditions, including bowel cancer.)
Last summer, the collaboration launched COLO-SPEED (Colorectal Cancer Screening, Prevention, Endoscopy and Early Diagnosis) with £985,000 funding from the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation. The project established a permanent infrastructure to deliver large scale endoscopy research nationwide and is currently conducting four studies which will involve 20,000 patients over five years.
Professor Colin Rees, Professor of Gastroenterology at Newcastle University and South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, is one of Europe’s leading experts in endoscopy and is the network’s leader. He said: “I have the honour of working with a fantastic team. There was a lot of extremely strong competition among the shortlisted finalists so to have won this is brilliant for them. We owe it to our patients to do our very best for them and our mantra is that all patients attending for endoscopy should have the opportunity to participate in research.”
Ken Bremner, Chief Executive of South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This award is a real cause for celebration. It is great news for Colin and his outstanding team, who are at the forefront of endoscopy research that puts patients at its heart and that is informing and changing practice to improve patient outcomes.”