Opening in 2018 the Guy’s Cancer Centre is recognised as a Cancer Research UK centre, and by the European Cancer Institute as an Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre and Comprehensive Cancer Care Centre. The Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity was awarded £123,000 to purchase a hyperthermia machine to enable the hospital to deliver more effective treatment to tackle difficult to treat cancers. It also has the potential to lessen the harsh side-effects of current aggressive therapies improving a patient’s quality of life, while also giving clinicians a wider range of options. The team at Guy’s will use the machine to conduct trials to test its effectiveness and to understand which tumours benefit most from its use and how it can be best combined with other treatments.
The Children’s Trust specialises in care of children with acquired brain injury and is a leader in the field “delivering outstanding child- and family-centred therapy, education and care”. The Trust awarded £160,000 to The Children’s Trust to support the redevelopment of some of its buildings as part of a wider programme to enable the UK’s “first truly integrated, transdisciplinary care model for children with acquired brain injury and neurodisability”.
The University has developed the world’s first human-scale Fast Field Cycling (FFC) MRI scanner, which will deliver a wealth of diagnostic data which is not visible using conventional MRIs. Because the FFC MRI uses a lower strength magnetic field, it can also be used for patients with implants such as stents and pacemakers who could not be imaged using conventional machines. Following initial trials of a prototype machine the University was awarded a grant of £210,000 to support the development and installation of a larger scanner within a clinical setting at the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. Locating the FFC MRI scanner within a clinical setting will provide access to a greater number of patients and lead to increased research and development as a result of the new images produced.
The University’s Biomedical Rehabilitation Engineering Research Group is a leader in its field. Stroke is the primary cause of disability globally, and the Trust’s award of £449,000 will support the Group to establish a named Centre to expand and accelerate its existing work in stroke rehabilitation technology. The Centre will enable the University to work with stroke survivors and clinicians to develop “advanced rehabilitation technologies to enable a model of rehabilitation at scale in which technology is used to enable people to drive and manage their own rehabilitation”.
Lung health is the single biggest predictor of early mortality for people in the UK and – prior to any impact from the Covid-19 pandemic – asthma deaths in the UK had increased by more than 20% in 5 years. Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust was awarded a grant of £100,000 to support the establishment of a Children’s Lung Hub. This will enable the hospital to transform the assessment of lung disease and provide: a platform for rapid access to lung function testing directly from primary care; a screening programme, and; facilities for advanced testing which are not currently available in the region.
The NHS Trust is using the funding to purchase portable and laboratory-based equipment for lung function testing. This will both enhance services and provide the infrastructure for a series of research projects to identify the most effective methods of screening children, establish new pathways of care and test diagnostic tools. The projects have the potential to inform the development of future services offered by the hospital, but also more broadly.
The MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine (WIMM) is based at the John Radcliffe Hospital and undertakes research in molecular and cell biology. The University of Oxford was awarded a grant of £500,000 to support the establishment of a Therapy Acceleration Laboratory (TAL) at the Institute, which will support the translation of the most advanced biomedical technology and pioneering research in precision medicine into new and innovative treatments.
The TAL will bring together WIMM’s expertise in molecular and cell biology with data from the diagnosis and treatment of patients in the NHS to improve healthcare firstly for participants in UK clinical trials, and then for the general public as new treatments gain approval for clinical use.
National guidelines stipulate that cystic fibrosis (CF) patients should be seen in clinic ever 10 weeks to manage and monitor their condition. The need to attend regular clinics imposes a real burden on patients and exposes them to the risk of cross-infection. As the number of adults living with CF increases, the current model of care also presents challenges for the NHS.
The Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Charity was awarded a grant of £150,000 towards the Hospital’s Future Care project, which aims to integrate a number of existing technologies to develop virtual clinics for people with CF. CF Future Care will provide self-assessment equipment and an app for patients to monitor their lung function, oxygen saturation and blood glucose remotely. This will enable patients and clinicians to share data and thereby support: patients to better understand the underlying factors affecting their CF, giving them more autonomy to manage their condition; and care teams to co-ordinate care more effectively, as they will have a more detailed and continuous overview of a patient’s health.
The project is innovative in that it offers a method of monitoring patients’ health outside of hospital and has the potential to, provide a model for similar virtual clinics for patients with other chronic conditions.
WellChild supports children and young people with complex healthcare needs and provides a range of services to support families to care for severely disabled children at home. The charity was awarded a grant of £350,000 towards its [email protected] project, which aims to establish a number of training units around the UK to enable parents and carers to provide the often-complex nursing and medical care that their child may need.
The charity piloted the concept of training units in 2015, and 4 units are now in operation. WellChild plans to create a network of units around the UK; either based in hospitals or mobile units to deliver training at home.
The project is innovative in that it will provide facilities and services which do not currently exist in the NHS. [email protected] has the potential to: enhance parents’ ability to deal with emergencies at home; provide opportunities for parents to update or review their skills; provide training to other family members or carers so they can provide respite care, and; provide tailored training for families managing end-of-life care at home.
10m people in the UK are living with neurological conditions, caused by injury or disease. Many can be helped by neural prostheses, which involve the use of electronic devices to replace or restore function lost by damage to the nervous system. Examples are cochlear and retinal implants, and brain and nerve stimulators, but their use is restricted by technological limitations arising from a poor interface between tissues and electronics.
The University of Cambridge was awarded a grant of £400,000 to help create a prototyping laboratory for soft neuroprosthetic devices. Its aim is to enable the translation of prostheses with dramatically improved performance and stability, and thus, to have a transformational impact on the lives of many people.
Within the first two years, the intention is to prototype two novel devices, one to help patients suffering from locked-in syndrome, and the other for controlling epileptic seizures in drug-resistant patients.
In order to manage more effectively the interaction with some patients (typically patients with long term conditions who visit the GP regularly), the NHS is now using Group Consultation models rather than the normal 10-15 minutes appointments with a GP. The objective is to achieve better outcomes for patients by facilitating peer support, empowerment, and education, whilst at the same time making life easier for clinicians, who are able to see more patients for longer. It also tends to reduce the number of regular appointments sought by the patient, making more efficient use of time available to the NHS.
Newcastle University under the leadership of Dr Fraser Birrell, who is Academic Lead for Shared Appointments UK, has played a leading role in developing the concept of Group Consultations in the UK. It now wishes to disseminate the model more widely across the NHS using a Virtual Learning and Development Hub which will support training and research in a UK-wide partnership of clinicians and researchers, enabling them to lead group care in their primary care or hospital settings. The Trusts grant of £250,000 will provide the funding required to establish the Virtual Learning and Development Hub.
The project has the potential to make a significant difference to the NHS and its ability to care for those with long term illnesses or disabilities.
RBLI is a 100-year-old charity supporting approximately 300 disabled and elderly people, including, but not exclusively, military veterans, by enabling them to live independently at a unique village in Kent.
RBLI were awarded a grant of £175,000 to support phase two of ‘The Centenary Village’ project to expand the current service, enabling it to support more of the most complex cases. The initiative also includes promoting the charity’s care model nationally and encouraging its replication by other agencies.
In Phase 1 of the project RBLI created 24 adapted apartments, 12 new care suites, and a Day Centre. Phase 2 is to create 20 family homes with disability adaptions, 24 one and two-bedroom (fully accessible) apartments, 24 Assisted Living units, and a two-story Community Centre (including a Gym, training, and welfare services).
Based near Keswick, this charity has provided a purpose-built accessible residential activity centre for disabled people for over 40 years.
The Lake District Calvert Trust were awarded a grant of £175,000 to support the development of a custom-built rehabilitation centre dedicated to supporting survivors of acquired brain injury (ABI). This centre will be the first in the UK for interactive post rehabilitation following acute brain injury and will allow them to develop transformative care for survivors. The centre will provide long-term residential rehab, 5 day or weekend residential courses and day centre provision to the local community.
The project aims to provide intensive rehabilitation for 100 people each year with follow up support. Key outcomes for individuals include regaining social and economic independent, growth in self-esteem and averting mental health decline.
A grant of £250,000 was awarded towards the building of a new Centre of Excellence campus to improve the understanding and treatment of mental health in children.
The charity is concerned about the under-provision of mental health services for children and young people in the UK – with less than 1 in 5 of patients able to access the help and support they require, and with treatment often being outdated. It is against this background that the charity embarked on a project to pioneer a radical approach by creating a new Centre of Excellence in Kings Cross.
The centre will provide a space for professionals in research, social care, practice and education, to collaborate their ideas and findings, in contrast to the current strategy of working in silos. The centre will also aim to involve children and their families in all areas of the charity’s work in order to create a general strategy for mental health treatment in the UK and to facilitate translational research.
Based in Putney, The Royal Hospital for Neuro Disability provides short term rehabilitation and long-term specialist nursing for adults with high dependency as a result of neurological conditions or acquired brain injury.
The grant of £75,000 from the Trust has enabled them to refurbish Glyn Ward enabling it to be used for short term rehabilitation patients as part of a strategic plan to centralise the hospital’s brain injury service in three adjacent wards, including Glyn.
A grant of £225,000 enabled The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery to open a six-bed EEG Telemetry Ward.
EEG Telemetry, with a video link, simultaneously monitors the behaviour and brain waves of patients with epilepsy, sleep disorders or other causes of “funny turns”. The direct correlation of clinical and neuro-physiological events has proved of fundamental importance in the diagnosis and treatment of unexplained episodes of altered behaviour or consciousness, drug resistant epilepsy requiring surgical removal of the epileptic focus and sleep related problems. The facility is the largest dedicated Telemetry Unit in the UK for adults and has the greatest throughput of patients in the world.