Research Network Information

What is this information pack about

Thank you for reading this information pack, which will give you a quick introduction to how patients of Nottingham University Hospitals can become involved in shaping the research programme in Trauma & Orthopaedics.

Our Research Network is a group of individuals who’ve been affected by injuries or orthopaedic conditions. Our members include:

  • People who have experienced fractures or sprains.
  • Those with orthopaedic condition such as osteoporosis, arthritis, or osteomyelitis.
  • Close family members of someone who has sustained an injury and witnessed the impact it had on their lives.

Research network members are passionate about making sure people with injuries have access to the best care. Research Network members help to make sure the research we undertake meets the needs of people affected by injuries. They review grant applications, take part in focus groups with researchers, participate in consultations and questionnaires, and share their experiences of injuries with the public and researchers.

We are looking for people who may wish to join our research network to shape future research at Nottingham.

You’re an expert by experience

Many researchers don’t have direct experience of being affected by an injury, and so we need you to tell them what things are important to people receiving treatment for an injury. Injuries and broken bones vary in severity and everybody experiences recovery differently. Because of this, we need to hear from lots of people with a range of experiences. We want you to tell us how we can improve our research studies so that they’re designed, delivered, and implemented with the needs of people affected by injuries. Giving us this insight into injuries is invaluable in making sure that we best serve the community.

What research does the orthopaedic department do?

When most people think about clinical research they think about cancer treatments and vaccines. Our studies are not that different and we use similar methods to better understand how to treat broken bones, rehabilitate after injuries or understand the biology of injury. The orthopaedic community has identified the following broad research topics for researchers working in this area

  1. What is the best way to reduce the risk of infection after complex fractures?
  2. What is the optimal outpatient rehabilitation strategy for patients with complex fractures?
  3. What psychological support would be useful for patients with complex fractures and when?
  4. Is it possible to determine which patients will develop complications, arthritis and poor functional outcomes after complex fractures?
  5. What are the options for preventing and treating chronic (long-term) pain after complex fractures?
  6. What is important to patients recovering from complex fractures?
  7. What additional care and support is helpful for patients being discharged from hospital after a complex fracture?
  8. When is it better to replace, fix or fuse fractures around the ankle, knee or acetabulum (hip socket)?
  9. Can peer support (from other patients) be used to help patients with complex fractures?
  10. Can patients be provided with expected recovery times for functional recovery and return to life roles after complex fractures?

What methods do we use?

Our research uses a range of methods, but the research we do falls into two broad categories:

1. Clinical Research:

These studies include randomised controlled trials where two treatments are compared in a group of patients to understand which treatment is best.

2. Biomedical research:

Research that improves our understanding of the biology underlying injury. This research is laboratory based and involves analysing samples collected from patients

The research process

The length of time that it takes to get from an idea to an outcome will change depending on the research. Sometimes, research projects can take many years. However, there are some basic principles and stages that all research goes through:

Principles of Patient and Public Involvement

To make sure the people who have fractures are an active partner in research, we involve patients, carers and members of the public in the research process. Involvement can improve the quality and relevance of research. Researchers face many challenges when designing their studies, such as getting funding, gaining ethical approval, recruiting participants, or proving how their work will have an impact. By speaking to researchers, you can help them to solve some of these challenges.

Whilst it is often the case that we ask patients to participate in research as part of receiving care, this is not what we are asking on this occasion. We are instead asking for people who want to be actively involved in planning research projects. Activities include giving feedback on the wording of information leaflets for the public, reviewing study procedures and commenting on how much is being asked of participants, study management, or helping us to decide which research to fund. You could influence any part of the research process.

You could get involved in lots of different projects throughout the research process. Here are some examples:

Before you commit, what else do you need to know?

  • What’s the time commitment: As much or as little as you like. We contact Research Network members by email when there’s a new opportunity to get involved. You can express interest in as many or as few activities as you like. Some opportunities are short and can be done from home, others could last several years and could involve attending or dialling into meetings. See the table below for some ways you might get involved.
  • How will I be supported:
    • We will reimburse any costs you incur (parking, petrol, travel)
    • We will provide transport (taxi) to any on-site meetings.
    • We try to offer dial-in opportunities if you can’t physically attend the meeting
    • You can always contact us by phone or email with questions and for guidance and support.

How do I get involved?

To join the Research Network, you’ll need to fill in this form. Once this is complete you’ll be registered as a member of the Research Network and you’ll be ready to take part in Research Network activities that interest you. You’ll be sent details about these activities by email, and you can register your interest in as many or as few opportunities as you like.

We often follow up the application form with a phone call or e-mail. We’re here to support you so be sure to ask us any questions you may have. You’ll also receive regular Research Network updates by email, telling you about what is happening in the Research Team.

Should you wish to contact us, please do not hesitate to reach out on the contact details below:

  • Tilly.Gurney@nottingham.ac.uk
  • 07812 568 883
  • Jessica Nightingale, Trauma & Orthopaedic Research Office, WC1285, Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham.ac.uk
Research Network Information