Blooming marvellous! Research and Development recruit first UK patients to study

The latest department to chat about what it's like to work at CHFT over a cuppa was the Research and Development (R&D) Team. They were really excited to talk about a new clinical trial - the Sunflower Study - explaining how we're the first Trust in the country to recruit participants to it.

For some time now we’ve been holding tea trolley rounds as an informal way of finding out what works well here for colleagues at CHFT and what would improve things. All of the feedback is a key way to find out information, which will feed into the new Organisational Development Strategy, due in the spring.

Chair Philip Lewer and Chief Operating Officer Helen Barker were dishing out the refreshments for this visit.

Once the tea was poured, the team went on to tell Helen and Philip how proud they are of the work they do and feel they go above and beyond in terms of R&D, particularly their recruitment to trials.They were particularly proud that we have recruited the first three patients in the UK to an International trial ‘The Sunflower Study’ in General Surgery.

The Sunflower Study is a long-term study into the testing for bile duct stones before gallbladder surgery. 

Some patients who are waiting for gallbladder surgery may also have gallstones that have moved into the bile duct. Currently, it is uncertain whether testing for bile duct stones in these patients is necessary; some doctors test for bile duct stones and others do not. Both options are considered standard routine care. This study will find out whether it is necessary to test for bile duct stones in patients waiting for gallbladder surgery.

Find out more about what it means for patients on the leaflet below.

Helen said "Philip and I had a great session with the research team who were in great spirits and enjoying their roles. We were both surprised by the size of the team, which is much bigger than I’d realised!

"There was a real sense of team both for them as a group, but also in how they looked out for other colleagues across the hospital as they were out and about.

Philip has committed to spending more time with the team and said afterwards "I learnt a great deal about the team, including their very clear enthusiasm as well as some of their frustrations.

"It was the highlight of my day."

Find out more about what's going on in R&D here.