North West Coast
Research and Innovation

Awards 2019

Congratulations to all winners and finalists in
the North West Coast Research and Innovation Awards 2018.


The awards were presented at a celebratory event at Preston North End, recognising research and innovation that has made a significant improvement to NHS and social care.

This was the third North West Coast awards event and judges dealt with a record number of entries. It was organised jointly by the Innovation Agency; NIHR Clinical Research Network: North West Coast; and NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care North West Coast.




Keith Wilson, Research Patient Ambassador
Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Keith has been part of, contributed to and driven the patient and public involvement in research agenda of Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital for over a decade. His contribution internally and externally is unsurpassed. Known for his direct and forthright manner, he says it how it is, providing a grounded and realistic opinion direct from the heart of patients. Held in high regard throughout the region, it is time for him to be recognised for the value he brings to this important area of research.



PAR Excellence
University of Central Lancashire

COVER: Testing the feasibility and acceptability of Medical Skin Camouflage for Recovery of Women with Self-Harm Scarring in Prison
University of Manchester/Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust




Developing and evaluating neighbourhood resilience interventions to reduce health inequalities
CLAHRC NWC / Lancaster University

The CLAHRC NWC Neighbourhood Resilience Programme (NRP) is an applied research initiative aiming to contribute to reduced health inequalities in nine relatively disadvantaged neighbourhoods across the North West Coast. The programme adopts an innovative approach to resilience. The focus is on the neighbourhoods as a ‘whole system’- comprising residents, private, public and third sector institutions, their staff and locally available resources - and on resilience as a property of the interaction between these. The objective is to enhance the collective capacities of these neighbourhood systems to influence change and thus improve the social determinants of health and reduce inequalities.



Accelerating Delivery of Psychological Therapies after Stroke
University of Central Lancashire

What are the underlying reasons behind socioeconomic differences in doctor-patient communication?
University of Liverpool / Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust 




Dr Ahmed Al-Naher
University of Liverpool

Ahmed is a PhD student working on designing machine-learning-assisted clinical guidelines for the monitoring of renal dysfunction in heart failure, a common and severe comorbidity in these patients. He has built a clinical database of over 200,000 heart failure cases, from a pool of over 14 million patients, and is using machine learning approaches to develop a predictive algorithm that will enable personalised renal function monitoring of these patients. He has won awards for presentations and research videos, published his work and has developed a patient group which ensures that his research is relevant for patients.



Stephanie Heys
University of Central Lancashire

Suzanne Simpson
The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust




Implementing a programme of prescribing error feedback in an acute hospital setting
St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Prescribing errors are a prominent cause of patient safety incidents in hospitals with further interventions to optimise prescribing needed. Feedback has the potential to improve prescribing but evidence of its application in hospitals is limited. A pharmacist-led prescribing feedback intervention was designed, implemented and evaluated collaboratively in the organisation. Evaluation of the intervention revealed significant improvements in prescribing error rates, reducing risks to patients, whilst the intervention was unanimously valued by stakeholders. Results have been disseminated widely and the intervention is now part of routine practice in the Trust, with similar interventions being explored for other areas of practice.



Reducing susceptibility to measles against the vulnerable
Public Health England North West / Cheshire and Merseyside Health Protection Team

The Health Inequalities Assessment Toolkit




Well Halton
NHS Halton Clinical Commissioning Group

Halton is part of a regional programme called Well North that aims to reduce poverty and increase entrepreneurship as a means to combat ill health. This is a ‘place-based’ project and has been adapted differently to suit individual neighbourhoods. Well Halton have partnered with the Widnes Vikings and a team of local professional residents in Runcorn to lead the work. Each neighbourhood has begun to produce its own innovations.



Ideas and Innovations, Promoting a culture of innovation from the most junior to the most senior in the Therapies Service
The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust

Journey to develop a culture for innovation
The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust




Novel Nurse Led pathway for commencing Haemodialysis
Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen Hospitals NHS Trust

A novel, nurse-led pathway has been implemented for patients commencing haemodialysis, a time of significant physical and psychological distress. The pathway comprises a combination of mandatory and personalised interventions, delivered over the first six haemodialysis sessions. The primary aims were to reduce early mortality and minimise patient distress. Successful implementation of this pathway has reduced 90-day mortality from 5.1% to 2.0% and reduced patient distress from an average score of 4.3 to 2.4. 



Innovating to improve Emergency Response
Red Ninja, North West Ambulance Service, Dynniq, Future Cities Catapult, and Transport Systems Catapult

Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust




Bringing Genomics to Healthcare across the North West Coast, educating staff and patients and changing pathways
NWC Genomic Healthcare Alliance Education, Liverpool Health Partners

NWC Genomic Healthcare Alliance Education Group have worked to take genomics and the 100,000 Genome Project to all public and patients in the region and to inform and upskill healthcare professionals. This has ensured that genomics has been mainstreamed and pathways have been transformed, to help patients with genetic-based diseases access help within the constraints of a small, busy genetics service. As a result, across our region, from areas of inner city deprivation to rural isolated areas, there is now access to help with a range of genetically linked diseases.



Improving care and outcomes for individuals with tracheostomies in the community
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Midlands and Lancashire CSU, Lancashire CCGs

Identifying atrial fibrillation in Halton
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, NHS Halton CCG and Halton Borough Council




Collaborative Partnerships
The Life Rooms

Due to the current economic challenges faced by the NHS, particularly mental health services, the acknowledgement that previously accepted models of community care are becoming unsustainable and the year on year increase in demand for services challenged Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust to think differently around how it might provide care. As a secondary mental health service, it was acutely aware that in order to support its service users and carers to live a full and meaningful life after diagnosis it would have to work with external partners to address the social determinants of mental distress and create and support mentally healthy communities. It has sought to respond to the challenge by taking a community assets based approach based around cohesion between statutory, voluntary and private sectors, communities and individuals.



CATCH (Common Approach To Children’s Health)

Innovation in medicines manufacture, meeting the needs of children and young people through 3D-printed doses
University of Central Lancashire, Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, Quotient Sciences, Alchemie, Liverpool Young People’s Advisory Group




Dr Alison Birtle
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Alison works tirelessly, empowering patients to access research, with her mantra, a trial for every patient. She works with national charities giving patients confidence and knowledge to actively seek trial entry. She promotes research regionally working with local media, and patient support groups. Her role as Chief Investigator in the recently completed NIHR POUT Trial (Perioperative chemotherapy versus surveillance for upper tract urothelial cancer)has been integral to its success, bringing together urologists and oncologists across the UK. Its results will change practice internationally in a previously neglected tumour area. She seeks to show everyone that research should be part of daily working life, not an ‘added extra’.



Nicky Harding
Queen Square Medical Centre

Professor John Field
University of Liverpool




Selina Johnson
The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust

Selina currently works as a pain physiotherapist at The Walton Centre. As a clinician working within the field of chronic pain she is passionate about providing best patient care. In order to do this Selina believes clinicians must take an active role evaluating current clinical practice and providing evidence regarding the treatments used. She was awarded NIHR funding via the research for patient benefit funding stream to conduct a trial examining the use of a device for sufferers of persistent and chronic neuropathic pain. In association with this project she is undertaking a PhD and is particularly interested in establishing whether the research can help some patients to modify medications or avoid further surgical treatments.



Dr Helen Downs
Civic Medical Centre

Dr Deborah Williamson
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust




The Clinical Eye Research Centre at St Paul’s Eye Unit
Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals Trust

The Clinical Eye Research Centre (CERC) has grown into a major research centre. More than 2,700 people every year are seen, with many benefitting from sight saving treatment. Many mainstream treatments, including Ranibizumab and Aflibercept, used CERC as an investigational site, and its reputation is such that it is now involved in most major ophthalmic trials being undertaken.



TONIC Research Team
The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust

Lancashire Clinical Research Facility
Lancashire Clinical Research




The MEDIS Trial Team
Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Magnetically Enhanced Diffusion for Acute Ischaemic Stroke (MEDIS Trial) is a clinical study looking at a new procedure which involves the injection of microbeads which then spin under magnetic force to make clot dissolving drugs work more effectively in the fight against stroke. Dr Kausik Chatterjee and his research team achieved a ‘Global Research First’ for this Trial by recruiting the first patient in the world to this study. This important research demonstrates close collaboration with the life sciences industry and a shared vision to improve morbidity and mortality rates associated with Stroke. Stroke accounted for over six million deaths globally in 2015 (World Health Organisation).



Better Safer Medicines
Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Preeti Pandya and Research Team
The Village Practice

Combining genomic medicine and cancer therapeutics to redefine the care pathway to improve patient treatment and outcomes
The University of Liverpool and Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust




The North West Coast Research and Innovation Awards 2018 is a collaborative celebration event organised jointly by the Innovation Agency; NIHR Clinical Research Network: North West Coast; and NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care North West Coast.