Research Matters

Page 1

Research Matters

News from across NHS Research Scotland (NRS) Issue 1 | October 2015

Delivering Research Excellence New Research Strategy for Scotland Launching in 4

Strengthening our Infrastructure To support 6

A new look for NRS Launch of new website‌.page 8

Much more inside...

NHS Research Scotland

Welcome... Scotland has a long and rich history of medical research. There are many examples: Scots made two of the world’s most important drug discoveries of the second half of the 20th century– salbutamol to relieve asthma attacks and beta blockers used to treat heart conditions. John R MacLeod, who played a key role in the discovery of insulin was Scottish, as was Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of Penicilin. The world’s first artificial vaccine against hepatitis B infection was also developed in Edinburgh, saving countless lives worldwide. Ultrasound scanning was developed in Glasgow in the 1950’s and scientists in Aberdeen pioneered MRI scanning in 1980. These revolutionary diagnostic tools are now in everyday use across the NHS. This is important… It demonstrates a proud history of medical research and a reminder of why we do clinical research. However, we understand that healthcare is constantly evolving, global competition in health and life sciences research is intense, and driving efficiency in both performance and use of resources is fundamental. Developing better treatments and a better understanding of diseases underpins the development of better healthcare and we must ensure NHS Scotland provides the best environment to support clinical research. To support this a strong research infrastructure has been developed in Scotland, supporting and increasing the level of high quality research conducted and boosting collaborative partnerships. Investment by the Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government has supported the development of the NHS R&D offices in NHS Boards across the country, established specialised Research Networks, and supported

NHS Research Scotland

dedicated Clinical Research Facilities, Biorepositories and Data Safe Havens. Work has been ongoing to draw all of this activity more closely together within NHS Research Scotland (NRS) and this first edition of Research Matters demonstrates progress across the whole system and improvements in our infrastructures, systems and processes. Whilst structures are important, the quality of our researchers remains one of our key strengths and we hope as many of you as possible have signed up for our annual NRS conference (Page 3) - a testament to the thriving research community in Scotland. In this collaborative environment, we are also cheered by the words of Professor Chris Packard, former R&D Director of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (Page 9), as he reflects on his NHS research journey and discusses the real improvements he has seen over his career. We hope you find value in this first issue of Research Matters and encourage you to send articles for future editions to help us celebrate achievements, share news and information across the research community in Scotland and demonstrate one of our key strengths - collaboration. NHS Research Scotland Strategy Board Mr Mike Stevens (Chair)

Head of Chief Scientist Office Professor Jill Belch

R&D Director, NHS Tayside Professor Julie Brittenden

R&D Director, NHS Grampian Professor Dave Newby

R&D Director, NHS Lothian Dr Roma Armstrong

Acting R&D Director , NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde


In this edition: 

The 2015 NHS Research Scotland conference will be held on Wednesday 28 October at a brand new venue. Read more about plans for the event on Page 3

Scotland’s new Health and Social Care Research Strategy will launch on Wednesday 28 October – read more on Page 4

Scotland’s research facilities have been boosted with the opening of the flagship Queen Elizabeth Teaching and Learning Centre in Glasgow, and dedicated Clinical Research Facility in NHS Fife – read more on Page 4

Professor Andrew Morris outlines the six guiding principles to help maintain Scotland’s position at the forefront of health research internationally - read more on Page 5

Appointments of new NRS Research Champions in Cardiovascular, Musculoskeletal and Reproductive Health have been made, together with new clinical leads for research in several other specialties – read more on Page 6

Appointment of regional Performance Managers who will help monitor the delivery of research have been recruited - read more on Page 6

Allocation of funding for research is being reviewed to promote transparency, equity and to open up opportunities for staff who wish to get involved in research – read more on Page 7

A new NHS Research Scotland website will launch in October. Read more about the development of the NRS brand and future plans on Page 8

Professor Chris Packard reflects on his time as R&D Director for NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde on Page 9

More than 80,000 Scots have joined the SHARE research register– read more on Page 10

A new NRS Central Management Team has been set up to help support and co-ordinate NRS activities across the country- read more on Page 11

Research Matters We hope you find the first issue valuable. The publication will continue to evolve and we encourage the research community in Scotland to get involved and use it as a channel to highlight positive clinical research work. Research Matters will be published quarterly and provide the opportunity for more in-depth features and articles. A monthly e-bulletin will supplement this providing regular communication direct to your inbox. Your feedback and contributions are essential in shaping future editions - see page 12 for ideas of how you can get involved. Our new NRS website will also have a stronger news and events function and integrated social media presence - please use these channels to help co-ordinate and promote research activity in Scotland.


NHS Research Scotland Annual Conference 28 October 2015 The NHS Research Scotland conference is back for 2015 showcasing the best examples of clinical research across Scotland. The annual event will bring together almost 500 delegates and provide an opportunity to listen and participate in discussion about the opportunities, and challenges, for clinical research now and in the future. What’s new for 2015? 

Hear from Mr. Jamie Hepburn, Minister for Sport, Health Improvement & Mental Health

Launch of our new Health and Social Care Research Strategy for Scotland

A range of great plenary speakers including Professor Andrew Morris, Chief Scientist (Health), Professor Anna Dominiczak, Regius Professor of Medicine, University of Glasgow, and Vice Principal and Head of College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences; and Professor Iain McInnes, Professor of Experimental Medicine (Immunology), University of Glasgow

Brand new venue - Queen Elizabeth Teaching and Learning Centre

Greater choice of parallel sessions including new additions such as Research Funding , Research Development and Support, and Strengthening Links with Industry

A chance to see the brand new Glasgow Clinical Research Facility with a lunchtime tour

Great range of posters across 3 categories – Infrastructure, Experimental and Clinical, Health and Social

Over 20 exhibitors

Go social and join the conversation #NRSConf2015

NHS Research Scotland

Stay up to date: Website: Email: Twitter:

@NHSResearchScot #NRSConf15


Research in Scotland - new Strategy launch Scotland’s new Health and Social Care Research Strategy will launch at the upcoming NRS Annual Conference on Wednesday 28 October. The Strategy will provide the underpinning framework to support health research in Scotland over the next five years, setting out ambitions, areas critical to success and proposals to support Scotland’s vision as a global destination of choice for life sciences. Consultation on a draft Strategy in 2014 generated over 70 responses from the research community in Scotland and across the UK. Mike Stevens, Head of Chief Scientist Office said:

“Much has been achieved since publication of the last health research strategy in 2009. We have a lot to be proud of but the research landscape moves quickly and Stratified Medicine and Informatics are widely seen as the new areas where we must compete to be globally competitive. “The new Strategy provides the future vision and we have welcomed the comments of the research community in shaping this future. It ensures we are well structured to manage challenges, deploy resources effectively and push Scotland’s position at the forefront of health research internationally.” The new strategy will be available online from Wednesday 28 October 2015.

Investing in Infrastructure Dedicated clinical research facilities (CRF’s) are crucial in supporting delivery of research in Scotland so we are delighted at the opening of two brand new facilities in Glasgow and Fife. The new £5m Clinical Research Facility at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Campus helps ensure clinical trials of new medicines is a cornerstone of the new hospital development. The new hospital and research complex gives Glasgow, Scotland and the wider United Kingdom one of the most modern and best-equipped centres for treatment, medical research and teaching. A brand new Clinical Research Facility (CRF) at NHS Fife makes it the sixth health board to open an on-site CRF. The facility takes research out of clinical areas and moves it into dedicated space, reducing the potential for research and clinical work to compete for the same resources as activity increases. It provides the space,

equipment and staff to deliver high-quality research and brings opportunities to collaborate with scientists and biotech companies to develop therapies and treatments to benefit patients across Fife.

“This new facility is yet another step forward for clinical research in Fife and will play a key role in improving treatments, delivering significant benefits for patients across the region in years to come.” Dr Amanda Wood, R&D Manager, NHS Fife


Our Six Guiding Principles... “to help maintain Scotland’s position at the forefront of health research internationally “

Professor Andrew Morris Chief Scientist The vision of CSO is to support and increase the level of high quality health research conducted in Scotland for the health and financial benefit of our population, so that Scotland is recognised globally as a “come to place” for health science. Recent UKCRC data suggest we attract 11.8% of the UK’s research funding for only 8.4% of the population, 40% above the UK’s per capita average. The Quality Strategy and more recently the 2020 Vision Route Map set out our vision and proposed actions to deliver sustainable high quality health and social care services in Scotland. Research has a key role to play in supporting the delivery of that vision, and there is an outstanding opportunity to add value to other cutting edge initiatives including the Innovation Centres in Digital Health, Censors and Stratified Medicine, the Farr Institute and the Scotlandwide Administrative Data Research Centre. Looking forward in this context, we have identified six guiding principles that we believe will help maintain Scotland’s position at the forefront of health research internationally: 1. Build on the strong science infrastructure that exists across our Universities in Scotland.

3. Exploit our ability to link information from health, social care and non-health sources using data to support better treatment, safety and research. 4. De-clutter the pathway for the regulation and governance of health research by taking a proportionate and streamlined approach to research governance. 5. Deliver collaborative arrangements with the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, informatics and medical devices industries. 6. Position Scotland as a single research site when it makes good sense to do so.

“I very much appreciate the commitment and support of the research community in delivering the progress we have made to date, and look forward to working with you to deliver these ambitious but achievable aims.”

2. Deliver collaborative partnerships with a tripartite mission of research, education and delivery of quality health care and public health improvement.

NHS Research Scotland


NRS Delivery Support Improving our infrastructure Network changes Recent years have seen some major changes to the way that the NRS Topic Network and Speciality Groups are structured. The remit of the Scottish Dementia Clinical Research Network was expanded to cover the broader range of Neurodegenerative Disorders including Motor Neurone Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Huntingdon’s Disease, and Multiple Sclerosis. Dr Peter Connelly , based at NHS Tayside was recently appointed as the new Research Champion for the Network.

National Research Champions A rolling programme of appointments for NRS Research Champions and Specialty Clinical Leads started in 2014, and continues until 2016. Champions are usually NHS consultants who have a strategic and developmental national remit, combined with a recruitment and delivery oversight role for their clinical area. In addition to Dr Peter Connelly, other recent appointments are:

New network areas Three new Champions for the new network areas of Cardiovascular Disease, Reproductive Health and Musculoskeletal Disorders have been appointed by CSO : 

Professor Keith Oldroyd, Cardiovascular based at Golden Jubilee Hospital, Clydebank Professor Stuart Ralston Musculoskeletal based at Western Infirmary, Edinburgh

Professor Stephen Lawrie Mental Health Champion based at University of Edinburgh

Professor David Cameron Cancer Clinical Research Champion based at University of Edinburgh

Professor Bruce Guthrie Primary Care Research Champion based at University of Dundee

“Performance Managers provide specialist research support in Scotland across 13 Specialty Groups” 

Sarah Auld, based in NHS Tayside looking after Genetics, Metabolic and Endocrine, Oral and Dental (shared with Glasgow), Ophthalmology, Infectious Diseases and Microbiology

Sharon Southern, based in NHS Grampian looking after Anaesthesia and supporting Surgery and Anaesthesia, Perioperative Medicine and Pain Management; alongside support of Reproductive Health.

Janet Gilchrist, based in Lothian looking after Critical Care, Respiratory, Hepatology, Dermatology, Gastrointestinal and Age/Ageing.

Marcella Gavigan based in NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde looking after Renal and Haematology

Prof Siladitya Bhattacharya Reproductive Health based at the University of Aberdeen


Research Champions develop strategic clinical leadership within these active areas of research”

NHS Research Scotland


Funding Allocations A new approach “Promoting equity and fairness across NHS Scotland” Each year CSO allocates £12.7 million of ‘Researcher Support’ money that is intended to buy-out time for staff in the NHS to get involved in research. These allocations are presently made to Health Boards on the basis of activity – taking into account the number and type of study and patient recruitment. Funding for this activity will remain but NHS Boards are now being asked to specifically set out how this funding is deployed. Having tighter control within R&D offices over specific spend will ensure funding allocations are sufficiently robust to accommodate new research initiatives. Additionally CSO also allocates £14.9 million for ‘NRS Infrastructure’. This meets the costs of core staff groups (e.g. research nurses, pharmacists) who support research studies in Health Boards. Each year the same level of funding is offered to Boards and at present most infrastructure funding is restricted to NHS Grampian, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, NHS Lothian and NHS Tayside. However plans to move infrastructure

NHS Research Scotland

allocation onto an activity basis are being progressed, with first changes planned for implementation in 2016-17. The purpose of this is to promote equity and fairness across NHS Scotland and look for opportunities to make funds available to all boards. Further information will be detailed in future editions of this newsletter or you can speak directly to your R&D Director for more information.

“This will support transparency across Scotland and open up opportunities for staff who wish to get involved in research.”


Supporting the NRS Brand There has been a lot of work going on over the summer to improve the NRS website, drawing in separate sources of information to more clearly present the work of NRS, outline the infrastructure support within NHS Scotland and promote the great work that takes place across the health research community. So lets take a look at what is new. Website - re-launching October 2015:  The new NRS website has almost tripled in size, and will continue to develop into the ‘go to resource’ for health research information in Scotland  It brings together content from more than a dozen affiliated websites – including all NRS Research Network websites which will now feature online in one place for the first time  Navigation, presentation and functionality have all been improved providing a fresher look and feel, with a more modern approach  Dedicated spaces are being created for researchers, industry and the public  Case studies, testimonials and key stats are being included to bring research activity to life and a nationwide training resource is being incorporated  An online industry portal is also being developed to set out Scotland’s research infrastructure and capability, providing a useful tool for researchers and industry.

Events:  NRS was represented at the NHS Scotland event in June, the Glasgow launch of the SHARE research register, the Future of Biomedicine Industry Day and REWARD EQUATOR events, sharing the positive research work across Scotland.  Building links with Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Development International will also see Scotland’s research capability promoted at upcoming international events including BioEurope. Publications:  New corporate material with strengthened branding is being produced – brochures, slide decks and leaflets, helping to bring the work of NRS to as wide an audience as possible.  NRS Brand guidelines will also support a co-ordinated identity across Scotland


Reflections on Research Professor Chris Packard Former R&D Director, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde With a research career spanning 40 years, including 10 years as NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde’s Director of Research and Development, Professor Packard has been witness to the many changes in the research landscape. Following retirement in June 2015, Professor Packard reflects on key milestones and achievements within clinical research in Scotland.

How has research changed since you became R&D Director? “Back when I took on the lead for Research and Development (R&D) in NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, much was changing. The Caldicott report had published, The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) was newly set up in England and it was clear the landscape for funding and delivering trials needed reform. Taking on the role of R&D Director was a significant undertaking – but growing a team from 2 staff members to over 150 in Greater Glasgow & Clyde alone is testament to how much the research landscape has changed; and for a country of our scale we excel in clinical research.” What role has research played? “In Scotland I believe we have four key pillars to our research activity. We have created dedicated environments within the NRS Nodes such as our extensive Clinical Research Facilities (CRF’s). We have invested in cutting-edge imaging capability, we have delivered a pragmatic and efficient approach to tissue availability through our Biorepositories and we are harnessing the power of our unique health informatics to address important issues in terms of disease prevention and treatment. Investigators are able to plug into each of these elements and we are fortunate in Scotland to have a pool of world leading clinical and academic experts as well as international colleagues keen to tap into our rich resources.

Is collaboration important? “Whilst we can acknowledge the strong research capability built up by NHS Research Scotland, to fully harness its potential we need to partner, primarily with Universities, to build and support innovations and ensure the resources of the NHS are brought into a state that is user friendly for researchers. This collaborative approach is well regarded in Scotland. Our unified health service in Scotland certainly sets us apart from other countries, and facilities such as Little France, Edinburgh and Queen Elizabeth Teaching and Learning Centre, Glasgow helps bring together NHS, academia and industry under one roof. The physical interactions enabled by working in such close proximity cannot be underestimated – and there are few places in the world where you can come and actually work with academics from the university and the NHS. We have worked hard, through NRS, to build an infrastructure that is appealing to industry and provides a great platform to sell Scotland as a single, fully connected research site.

Continued overleaf


What contribution has NRS made?

What does the future look like?

There is much to attract researchers to Scotland but we also must ensure that we are a place where is easy for us to do business. That means good governance, consistent delivery and performance and efficient, coherent structures that make it easy to engage with Scotland. Some of this has been delivered through single pricing model, standard agreements and the effective operation of the NRS Permissions Co-ordinating Centre; and continues to develop through NHS Research Scotland (NRS). Taking a business-like approach to the delivery of research is essential. NRS does not act as a ‘signposting’ organisation, its purpose is to proactively engage with companies and researchers removing problems and obstacles and offering up solutions. Scotland will never be the biggest research destination but recognition of ‘delivering research excellence’ contributes to the country’s international competitiveness and supports our vision of becoming the global destination of choice for health research.

Supporting this vision means we must also stay apace with scientific developments. We can already see that the types of studies being delivered are changing with an increasing number of complex, interventional studies taking place. In my mind within 5 – 10 years’ time our approach to clinical trials will be very different. Patients will be in the hundreds rather than thousands. These patients will be genetically well defined, and the trials will be taking place on a global scale using very expensive, niche products. To support this we need to take a just in time approach to delivering trials – with patients readily available and information at our fingertips including disease incidence and country heat maps. This isn’t new information and it’s all within our grasp in Scotland. What it does need is investment and political will but with this comes a stronger NHS with clinical research driving innovative healthcare solutions bringing health and financial benefits for our population. It’s an exciting time and Scotland’s position is strong. “

Glasgow launch boosts SHARE to over 80,000 More than 80,000 people have now signed up to SHARE following a successful Glasgow launch on 27th August at the Queen Elizabeth Teaching and Learning Centre. The event was hosted by Mr Robert Calderwood, the Chief Executive of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board and Professor Anna Dominiczak, Head of the College of Medical , Veterinary and Life Sciences at the University of Glasgow with Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health endorsing the project. SHARE is a collaboration between Universities and the NHS in Scotland, supported by NHS Research Scotland and funded by the Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government. It invites everyone in Scotland aged 16 or over to sign up to a confidential register to allow SHARE to use the coded data in their NHS computer records to check whether they may be eligible to participate in research. It also seeks permission for the use of any leftover blood from routine clinical tests for research to help medical science. A series of regional launches have taken place around the country to help reach the aim of recruiting 100,000 people by the end of the year. More information is available at


NHS Research Scotland - Central Management Team The Central Management team, set up in December 2014 and operational from April 2015 act as a central point to help co-ordinate NRS activities, develop improved collaboration and provide core guidance and information. Based at the Golden Jubilee Hospital in Clydebank, the team is responsible for supporting the drive to improve efficiency across NRS, proactive performance monitoring, managing strategic collaborations and boosting the profile of clinical research activity within the NHS.

Dr Charles Weller General Manager Phone: +44 (0) 141 951 5508 / +44 (0) 795 135 1171 Email:

Dawn Buchanan Network and Specialty Groups Manager Main: +44 (0) 141 951 5508 Email:

Fiona Fleming Communications Manager Phone: +44 (0) 141 951 5508 / +44 (0) 7739 013064 Email:

Dr Marilyn Robertson Health Science Scotland Manager Phone: +44 (0) 141 951 5508 / +44 (0) 07786 540257 Email:

Dr Steven Burke Industry Liaison Manager Phone: +44 (0) 141 951 5508 Email:

Eilidh Carmichael Finance and Data Manager Phone: +44 (0) 141 951 5508 Email:

Jessica Clinch Administrative Support Main: +44 (0) 141 951 5508 Email:

Hot desk facilities are also available at NRS - CMT offices at Golden Jubilee National Hospital.

NHS Research Scotland

Contact Jessica Clinch to book.


GET INVOLVED NHS Research Scotland is working hard to present a strong, informative and co-ordinated overview of research activity in Scotland. Our work in numbers provides some interesting figures.

£43,386,000 invested in health research infrastructure by the Chief Scientist Office of Scottish Government.(2014/15) 4 regional nodes Responsible for local delivery, development and governance of clinical research.

14 NHS Boards across Scotland including four with clinical medical schools. 80,000+ people have joined the SHARE register to take part in future health research. (June 2015)

1 single contact point 4 Biorepositories for feasibility and linking all Scottish permissions health boards. 10 research networks and 14 specialty groups providing advice, support and efficient recruitment to studies.

5 Safe Havens providing a platform for the safe use of NHS electronic data.

£12,000,000 will fund up to 15 senior Scottish clinicians over the next 10 years to expand the amount of health research carried out in Scotland. £10,000,000 invested in Clinical Research Facilities providing dedicated clinical research space and expertise in conduct of clinical trials. (2014/15)

4 partner agreements with Pfizer, PPD, Quintiles and Roche to sustain strategic collaborations with the world’s largest research organisations and pharmaceutical Companies. 1st global patient and global highest recruiter in multiple studies.

Up to 60% reduction in contracting times realised through efficient and streamlined 189 new staff over the last 3 years approvals process in Scotland. across a range of research disciplines. Information correct as of September 2015

However, it’s the stories that sit behind this that illustrate the value of our workforce, clinical research expertise in Scotland and our drive to continually ensure NHS Scotland provides the best environment to support clinical research. What are the latest studies in your area? Why not raise the profile of your teams work? Introduce a new member of your team? Promote an event or training portfolio? Highlight significant achievements?

NHS Research Scotland

Get in touch: Send articles, photographs or feedback to: e: t: 0141 951 5508 Research Matters publication dates:  January 2016  April 2016  July 2016 E-bulletin will be circulated on the first Wednesday of each month. 12

NHS Research Scotland (NRS) is a partnership of Scottish NHS Boards and the Chief Scientist Office of Scottish Government. Registered Number: GB 236303. Registered address: The Golden Jubilee National Hospital, Fourth Floor East, Agamemnon St, Clydebank, G81 4DY Published by NHS Research Scotland. All rights reserved. Material contained in this publication may not be reproduced in whole or part without prior permission of NHS Research Scotland (or other copyright owners). While every effort is made to ensure that the information given here is accurate, no legal responsibility is accepted for any errors, omissions or misleading statements. NRS/2015/10