NIHR “Your Path in Research” campaign highlights GOSH’s research staff

21 Oct 2021, 5 p.m.

In October 2021, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) launched their annual “Your Path in Research” campaign, aiming to inspire healthcare professionals to get into research or take the next steps in their research career.

Throughout the month, we’ve been sharing some of the amazing research stories from right here at GOSH – highlighting just a handful of examples of the research projects that our staff are involved in across the hospital.

Laura Chiverton – Senior research nurse

Laura Chiverton is a Research Nurse at GOSH who is part of the clinical trial team behind the PHYOX2 trial at GOSH. PHYOX2 (DCR-PHXC-201) is a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial in around 36 patients with primary hyperoxaluria (PH). PH is a group of rare genetic metabolic disorders where a substance known as oxalate builds up in the kidneys and other organs of the body.

Laura stands in her nursing uniform in front of a white wall wearing her Great Ormond Street Hospital lanyard

My role in research and clinical trials is really varied. I run the study visits, discuss and arrange visits from sponsors, bring patients we have recruited into hospital, checking what’s needed in their trial protocol and what samples they may need to give us. Clinical trials mean giving families and patients that extra hope when other options are limited. They can change lives and I’ve seen clear examples where it’s made a specific difference and life altering changes. I really like being at the forefront of medicine – that’s what a clinical trial is.

Laura Chiverton – Senior research nurse

Richard Issitt – Clinical perfusionist

Dr Richard Issitt initially stepped away from a career in research to become a Perfusionist. But after a few years, he knew he wanted to find a way to bring research back into his work. Dr Issitt is now a British Heart Foundation Research Fellow alongside his work as a Perfusionist at GOSH.

Dr Issitt stands smiling in front of a garden

As a Perfusionist, I play a vital role in keeping children alive during cardiac surgery. By pursuing my passion for research and innovation, I’ve been able to take ideas from laboratory to operating theatre; designing novel treatments and seeing the impact they have directly on patient care. It has also allowed me to observe what areas need to be improved or investigated and create research projects to answer specific problems and improve patient outcomes

Dr Richard Issitt – Clinical perfusionist

Deepti Chugh – Physiotherapist

Deepti Chugh is a physiotherapist in our Neurodisability Service. She works with children with cerebral palsy who come to GOSH for a specialist neurosurgical procedure called selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR). Deepti has been actively involved in research projects since 2014.

Deepti Chugh stands in a hallway in front of a set of double wooden doors

My involvement in research was led by my drive to find the best clinical evidence for improving practice. It added to my confidence in providing evidence-based answers to questions from parents, children and young people. I feel my whole team has been helped by my research journey as we strive towards improving clinical pathways, patient experience and care.

Deepti Chugh – Physiotherapist

Rhiannon Halfpenny – Speech and language therapist

Rhiannon Halfpenny is one of our Speech and Language Therapists, currently undertaking an NIHR funded Pre-doctoral Clinical Academic Fellowship investigating swallowing rehabilitation practices.

Rhiannon Halfpenny stands smiling in front of a wooden fence

Dedicated research time has helped me to develop skills such as critical thinking, innovation and problem solving, all of which have positively impacted the way in which I approach my clinical role.

Rhiannon Halfpenny – Speech and language therapist

Lauran O'Neill – Critical care research nurse

Lauran O’Neill was part of the research team undertaking an NIHR-funded trial aiming to improve outcomes for infants and children on mechanical ventilation. The largest study of its kind put bedside nursing at the heart of decision making.

Lauran O'Neill stands smiling in front of a pattern curtain wearing her nurses uniform. To her left there are sketches of a microscope, a book and test tubes.

It was really inspiring to work with a nurse-led research team from Belfast. As a research team here at GOSH, we worked incredibly hard to recruit patients to this valuable study; which has demonstrated the importance of bedside nursing input for reducing ventilator hours. Managing a study like this across three busy ICUs is very complex and requires a lot of resource from everyone - however to see the positive outcome for the patient at the end of the study made it very worthwhile!

Lauran O'Neill – Critical care research nurse

The NIHR supports a range of research projects and individual researchers across GOSH as well as funding our Biomedical Research Centre. You can find out more about the NIHR campaign on their website.

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