The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Research and Innovation

A year of incredible achievement

12 December 2022

For this Research and Innovation blog, Dr Ai Lyn Tan reflects on 2022 and the many fantastic achievements that have taken place. It is incredible to see just how much has been accomplished together

In May, I was pleased to chair the first Research and Innovation conference held at the Trust, which was attended by almost 200 colleagues. The event was opened by Professor Phil Wood, Chief Medical Officer at the Trust and included insightful presentations covering the breadth of Research and Innovation infrastructure at the Trust. The event was supported by the Leeds Hospitals Charity and plans are being developed for the 2023 conference. Look out for updates and information about the conference.

This year, the Trust was awarded significant funding by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). This included £8.7 million to the NIHR Leeds Clinical Research Facility (CRF) and in October the Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) was awarded £19.8 million. This represents an incredible investment by the NIHR to the Trust and is testament to the impact of research that is being taken forward at the Trust with academic and industry partners.

It has been fantastic to see that during this year, colleagues from across the Trust have received external recognition for their work, either winning or being nominated in national and international awards. Professor David Brettle, Chief Scientific Officer at the Trust was recognised by the Professor Dame Sue Hill, Chief Scientific Officer at NHS England, winning a lifetime achievement award. Along with personal recognition, teams from across the Trust have also been recognised for their accomplishments Trust, Harjit Ubhi, Borsha Sarker and Kate Smith were recognised for excellence in British Society for Rheumatology awards for their work on giant cell atertitis. I'd like to extend my congratulations to all colleagues who have been awarded accolades throughout the year.

The Trust continues to be at the forefront of advances in healthcare, including a world first double hand transplant in a patient affected by scleroderma, and a Europe first pulmonary heart valve implant in a patient with congenital heart disease. Achievements across the Trust in research were reinforced with performance metrics data released in April 2022 by the NIHR. The data showed the Trust was the number 1 Acute Trust across England to recruit into NIHR portfolio studies recruiting over 20,000 patients; and the second highest ranking Trust to recruit patients to commercial NIHR portfolio studies in England, recruiting over 1,000 patients. This year, in several national and international research trials that are underway, the Trust was recognised as a leading recruiter - this has included the SMART Trial, the FLO-ELA trial, the Tight K study amongst many others.

Partnership is central to the Trust's Research and Innovation activities. This year the Trust became part of the newly launched Leeds-Israel Innovation Healthtech Gateway - to foster collaboration and support high-growth Israeli health tech firms. The National Pathology Imaging Co-operative (NPIC), hosted at the Trust, announced a new partnership with Genomics England launching the Genomics Pathology Imaging Collection (GPIC) to create a unique resource for cancer researchers. Our partnership with the University of Leeds continued to go from strength to strength, with the launch of the Leeds Cancer Research Centre in February. The recently launched centre has an ambitious vision to place Leeds at the global forefront of cancer research. 

The Trust joined the Born and Bred in (BaBi) network, as one of 3 cities across Yorkshire to join the BaBi family. This important research initiative aims to find out what influences the health and wellbeing of families and is an taking place in Bradford, Leeds, Doncaster, Wakefield, East London and Nottingham.

Colleagues from the Research & Innovation and Building the Leeds Way teams participated in a collaboration and knowledge exchange in Oslo. Discussions on the plans to build world-leading new hospitals in Leeds and Oslo took place and a Letter of Intent with Oslo University Hospital was signed. This signifies our ambition to collaborate and share knowledge during the design phase of our planned new hospitals in Leeds.

It truly has been a year filled with many impressive achievements in Research and Innovation and I look forward to building on these successes during 2023. I'd like to say well done and thank everyone across the Trust and across the wider partnerships who have contributed to the achievements throughout the year.

Dr Ai Lyn Tan, Director of Research and Innovation