Lancaster doctors’ surgery in line for national research recognition

Queen Square Surgery in Lancaster. Photo by Google Street View.
Queen Square Surgery in Lancaster. Photo by Google Street View.

Queen Square Medical Practice in Lancaster has been shortlisted as a finalist in the 2016 Clinical Research Impact category award by the prestigious Health Service Journal for the increasing research carried out with the population of north Lancashire.

This follows the practices recent success winning the 2016 Practice Award for the Royal College of General Practitioners.

The Health Service Journal Awards recognise, celebrate and promote the finest achievements in NHS, and showcase them to the service’s most influential leaders.

Through the work of the local GP Federation, GPs in Lancashire North CCG are now working alongside research nurses in every practice to investigate what can be done to improve patient care and enhance value and efficiency.

Dr Simon Wetherell and research nurse Nicky Harding from Queen Square Medical Practice in Lancaster support and oversee the work locally, but individual general practices decide which research studies they will pursue.

Dr Wetherell said: “We are really pleased to have been shortlisted for this award. It recognises that the Lancashire North practices are working towards increasing the amount of primary care research that is performed locally.

“Primary care research is essential to deliver better care to our patients, and we have now been acknowledged as helping to lead the way on this.”

The research projects taking place locally vary greatly from searching for the symptoms and signs that predict cancer to investigating the best time of day to measure a patient’s blood pressure.

The local projects run in line with the national research theme that it is “OK to ask” patients whether they are prepared to be involved in health research, providing that it has been through the full NHS approvals process.

Nicola Harding said: “Without research, medical knowledge cannot advance and patients are very aware of this.

“Nonetheless, it does require significant time and commitment from the patients who are involved in the studies, and this is appreciated by the research team.”

As a result of active practices talking to their patients about NHS studies, Lancashire North CCG has been recruiting very high numbers of patients to these.

This has, in turn, attracted more funding for research nurses in this area, as well bringing research projects into the area from distant universities and commercial researchers.

The awards will be presented out at a ceremony on November 23 at Intercontinental O2, London.