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The Maidstone Birth Centre Team, Antenatal Ward and Maternity Triage Team, alongside the Endoscopy team, and Clinical Specialist in Radiotherapy, Abraham Joseph, all from Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, have been recognised for their outstanding contributions to research.

More than 70 individuals and teams were nominated for the NIHR Clinical Research Network Kent, Surrey and Sussex Research Support Awards, which recognise people and teams who don’t work directly in research delivery, but provide essential support to research activities.

The nominees from Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust are:

Maidstone Birth Centre Team, Antenatal Ward and Maternity Triage Team

The team were nominated for their contribution to the GBS3 study, which involves the routine testing of pregnant women for group B Strep (GBS), the most common cause of life-threatening infection in newborn babies in the UK, comparing two different testing approaches. It aims to inform future GBS prevention policy in the UK. The nomination read “Their enthusiasm and determination have resulted in 70% of eligible women being offered a test for group B strep which they would not have otherwise been offered. This has resulted in a reduction in the number of babies becoming unwell with invasive GBS disease – with none since the study commenced in May. The success of this study is purely down to these teams – their commitment has been astounding.”

Endoscopy Teams

The Endoscopy team were nominated for their support for upper and lower gastrointestinal (GI) research studies. The Trust’s Research and Innovation team nominated them because of their ‘can-do’ attitude to supporting research, saying “nothing is ever too much to ask; the Endoscopy team always make time to incorporate research into their day to day work. Without their enthusiasm for research we could not run the upper and lower GI studies.”

Abraham Joseph, Clinical Specialist in Radiotherapy

Abraham was nominated for his contribution to Oncology studies. His nomination noted that “he always looks into how he can help the Oncology clinical trials team in anyway way he can”.

Dr Joanne Zamani, Chief Operating Officer of NIHR CRN Kent, Surrey and Sussex, said: “The range and variety of the studies being worked on by trusts across the region is quite breath-taking. These awards clearly demonstrate that research cannot happen without the support and cooperation of our colleagues in clinical, administrative and support roles.”

Hazel Everest, the Trust’s Head of Research and Innovation said: “I am delighted that our colleagues have received this recognition and been nominated in this year’s Research Support Awards. Research benefits all of us: it changes lives, saves lives and improves outcomes. Through high-quality clinical research, which can only happen with the support of a huge community of colleagues across our hospitals, we can create the care of tomorrow.”