The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Research and Innovation

Research is for everyone - the Leeds Teaching Hospitals 2023 Research and Innovation conference

26 May 2023

I was delighted to be at the second annual Research and Innovation conference which took place on the 24 May 2023 at the CarriageWorks in Leeds.

This is a key event in the calendar of the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust Research and Innovation team and one I really have been looking forward to. The theme of this year’s conference was ‘Research for Everyone’, and in that spirit, the event featured a fantastic line up of speakers, insightful panel discussions and breakout sessions which were created for the event.

20230524 114044











 The conference was enriched by contributions and speeches from external partners including:

  • University of Leeds
  • Clinical Research Network Yorkshire and Humber
  • UK Vaccines Taskforce
  • The NHS West Yorkshire Integrated Care Board
  • The National Institute for Health and Care Research
  • Patient advocates/ representatives
  • Leeds Hospital Charity
  • Genomics England

The staff at the Trust and the contributions of people in many partner organisations collectively make Research and Innovation at Leeds Teaching Hospitals a real success.

Dr Hamish McLure, the Trust’s Interim Chief Medical Officer opened the event, sharing the highlights of Research and Innovation at the Trust, which celebrated successes including:

The Trust has once again exceeded its targets for recruiting participants into research studies with 22,290 participants recruited into research studies across all CSU’s. This places the Trust highly in national performance metrics in many categories. 

  • The numbers of patients recruited into NIHR portfolio studies places LTHT:
  • As the third highest recruiting NHS Trust in the country;
  • The 5th successive year that we have been in the top 5 nationally for recruitment into NIHR portfolio trials
  • During the last 5 years, more than 95,000 people have taken part in a range of clinical trials

Setting the scene for interesting and informative presentations was Consultant Podiatrist and Associate Professor Dr Heidi Siddle who shared the journey of her research career to the audience at the event.  I was inspired to hear about how the Cystic Fibrosis team have embedded patient orientated research into routine clinical practice – this in incredibly important and it was wonderful to hear how the team made this happen.

The conference was joined by Dr James Thomas, Medical Director from the Integrated Care Board, Professor Alastair Hall Clinical Director at the Clinical Research Network Yorkshire and Humber and Dr Jonathan Sheffield CBE, Advisor, UK Vaccines Taskforce. This group of speakers at the event shared a range of thought provoking insights during their presentations and speeches.

The afternoon sessions got off to a great start with a series of breakout sessions which enabled attendees to get insights and knowledge to support colleagues at different stages of their academic research careers. Joined by knowledgeable experts and leaders in their respective areas of professional practice, these sessions were incredibly valuable to delegates.

The next part of the afternoon focused on celebrating Research and Innovation at the Trust – with an integral feature of the event is the poster competition. It was brilliant to see so many excellent entries to this years’ competition which showcased some incredible research projects. It was really difficult to judge the winners in the competition as the standards were very high. The panel of judges selected the entries from:

Lara Chapman HEE/NIHR Clinical Doctoral Research Fellow, Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine, University of Leeds: Living with foot and ankle disorders in rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases: a thematic synthesis of qualitative studies

Julie Bailey: Senior Research Nurse, Diabetes, Leeds Teaching Hospitals: Assessing the quality of non-CTIMP studies with Leeds Teaching Hospitals (LTHT) user-friendly Health Check Tool (HCT)

poster winnersr









Congratulations to the winners and also to all other entrants into this year’s event.

I was delighted to welcome Esther Wakeman, Chief Executive of the Leeds Hospitals Charity to the stage to celebrate the Trust’s partnership with the Leeds Hospitals Charity. Esther discussed the progress against strategy and how this supports the Trust’s work.

Dildar Rathore, Specialist Biomedical Scientist/Deputy IT Lead, Pathology shared his Histopathology Innovation Journey, which was, again, an incredible presentation on his winning project entry to the 2021 Healthcare Entrepreneur Exchange Programme (HEEP). His project has since gone from strength-to-strength and it’s wonderful to hear about the home-grown innovation projects taking place at the Trust, which can lead to real advances in technology.

This celebration of Research and Innovation led neatly into the future vision – next steps for innovation at the Trust. Opening this session were: Charlotte Jennings, Clinical Research Fellow in Digital Pathology, Leeds Teaching Hospitals, Multimodal Scientific Lead (honorary), Genomics England and Nour Merzouki, Programme Manager at Genomics England. Their discussion on ‘Creating the Genomics Pathology Imaging Collection: A collaboration between Genomics England and the National Pathology Imaging Co-operative’, was truly fascinating to hear and understand more about this research programme which has been published in the journal Nature Medicine.

Rounding the event off, I introduced Professor Phil Wood, Chief Executive of Leeds Teaching Hospitals who spoke about the event, offering congratulations to the poster competition winners. Phil shared the Trust’s recently launched commitments, which includes supporting a culture of Research and Innovation at the Trust.

The second Research and Innovation conference was a tremendous event and I’m already looking forward to the 2024 event, which is more ambitious and set to be a bigger event.