Pictured above: Joanne Pattison, research nurse, Steph Grieveson, data manager, Julia Scott, research nurse, Richard Brady, colorectal surgeon, Ruth Christy, senior nurse, and Hazel Forsyth, senior sister at the Patient Recruitment Centre.
An innovative partnership set up to test a new device for patients with a stoma won the cross-organisational research category at the recent Bright Ideas in Health Awards.
The awards celebrate the achievements of teams working in the NHS, industry and academia who have improved services to patients, through technology or delivery.
Testing new devices for stoma patients
The Newcastle Centre for Bowel Disease (NCBD) stoma programme was set up after colorectal surgeon, Mr Richard Brady, was approached by Coloplast Limited, a global company who supplies medical equipment and stoma devices, to design and co-ordinate a programme of work to test a new telemedicine device.
Stoma bags are used to collect stools and/or urine in people who have had a section of their colon removed, often as part of surgery for conditions such as Crohn’s disease, bowel cancer, or diverticulitis.
The programme is led by Richard and the surgical research team, including research nurses Julia Scott and Joanne Pattison, clinical trials co-ordinator Vithusa Varnakulasingam, and Steph Grieveson, data manager.
To assess Coloplast’s device, a series of trials were set up, including the SUN study, which ran from ten NHS hospitals and tested Coloplast’s Heylo™ product to see if it successfully prevented problems with leakage from an intestinal stoma.
The National Institute of Health and Care Research Patient Recruitment Centre: Newcastle (NIHR PRC) ran the next phase of the programme – a study called CLOUDs. Led by senior sister, Hazel Forsyth, the PRC team spoke with around 200 patients to hear about their experiences of living with a stoma and was led by Richard as chief investigator.
Senior nurse Ruth Christer was seconded to the NCBD programme as senior Coloplast nurse, funded by the company. Ruth’s knowledge and experience was invaluable and helped patients feel at ease about taking part in the studies.
Commenting on the win, Richard said:
“We are absolutely delighted that the NCBD won the Bright Ideas Award for the cross-organisational research category.
“The success of this programme of work is testament to an exceptional cross-organisational partnership between the NHS, NIHR and Coloplast.
“I am so proud of how colleagues have worked together with the aim of making a difference to stoma patients. Living with a stoma can have a significant impact on patients, so testing new devices and technologies is vital to improving quality of life.”
The NCBD programme has gained recognition globally, including the initial pilot study, STORM, winning a 2022 Global Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing award. The team’s research has also been presented at European and national meetings.