Western Sussex Hospitals celebrate research success

HOSPITAL’S in Worthing, Shoreham and Chichester have been celebrating their successes in the field of research and innovation.

Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust has been displaying more than 50 posters at Worthing and St Richard’s hospitals, highlighting the subjects staff have investigated.

They include a potentially life-saving treatment for victims of drugs overdose, a keyhole surgery technique for hernias and a specially designed ward trolley.

The trust, which covers Worthing and Southlands hospitals and St Richard’s, carried out 172 studies between 2009 and 2010, with 1,337 Sussex patients taking part. Staff got the chance to judge their favourites by placing a sticker next to the ones they liked best. These included a project to promote natural births and cut caesarean rates, where midwives learned new skills to encourage natural birth and saw a decrease in caesareans from 28 per cent to 24 per cent in a year.

Surgeons also developed a keyhole surgery technique that enabled patients to be treated without the need for major chest surgery, meaning they recover more quickly and are at less risk of complications. In another trial, clinicians found that administering a “fatty foods” supplement could help victims emerge from coma, tackle toxins in their blood and reduce the time they spent in intensive care. A special ward trolley has improved assessments of patients and gives doctors more time to spend with them.

Clinical tutor Dr Gordon Caldwell, who organised the event and invented the specially designed ward trolley, said: “I already knew we carry out a lot of innovative research for a trust of our size, but seeing the posters keep on coming in really gives you the full picture of how much there is.”

His ward trolley, designed from an electrician’s trolley, proved so popular that electricians themselves started using it.