Research & Development (R&D)


Ensuring that our patients are able to take part in clinical trials and other well designed research studies is an important part of the way that Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust provides care.

Having an embedded research culture is important because:

  • Extensive research has shown that patients believe it is important for the NHS to carry out clinical research with the vast majority wanting to be treated in a hospital where research takes place
  • It allows us develop and deliver more effective ways of looking after our patients
  • It encourages our clinical staff to ask questions, to develop research strategies to address them and to contribute to local, regional, national and international research studies will allow our healthcare workforce to reach its full potential. A culture of research in any NHS organisation empowers its staff to think critically and facilitates innovation.
  • It provides income generation through innovation to support the development of research capability and the translation of research findings into improvements in patient care
  • The Government is committed to the promotion and conduct of research as a core NHS role, recognising that this is an integral component of its strategy to support research and innovation to maximise health and economic productivity

The Trust is proud of its long track record of excellence in clinical research.

Our Performance

Our Trust is committed to providing an open and transparent service for the patient population we serve. Along with the Governments Plan for Growth (published in March 2011) we are required to publish data related to our research activity. We will publish data on all Clinical Trials that have received NHS Permission since April 2014.

A clinical Trial is defined using the IRAS categories:

1) Clinical Trial of an investigational medicinal product
2) Clinical investigation or other study of a medical device
3) Combined trial of an investigational medicinal product and an investigational medical device
4) Other clinical trial to study a novel intervention or randomised clinical trial to compare interventions in clinical practice.

Data will be published under the following headings on a quarterly basis:

Performance in Initiating Research relates to whether the trial has recruited its first participant within the Department of Health (DoH) 70 day target (Date of valid research application to first patient recruited). This information is for any clinical trial regardless of whether it is commercial or non-commercial or whether it is adopted on to the NIHR portfolio or not. It will not always be possible to meet this target, if this is the case, the Trust provides formal reasons and explanations.

Performance in Delivering Research relates to commercial trials that we have approved since April 1st 2014 and whether the trial has recruited its agreed recruitment target in the agreed time frame.

For the most recent reports in each of these categories, please see our most recent submissions made to the NIHR here.


Dr Derek Connolly
Director of Research and Development

Gina Dutton
Head of Research and Development
0121 507 4811

Zaida Khalil
Research Management and Governance Manager
0121 507 4092

Brian Gammon
Senior Research Nurse
0121 507 5129

Sarah Potter
Senior Research Midwife
0121 507 5129

Julie Colley
Senior Research Nurse
0121 507 3065

May 2020

Research staff in the NHS have been recognised at the highest level by England’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty, who has written to thank them for their contribution to COVID-19 research and praised the remarkable pace of recruitment so far. He also asks all involved to increase their efforts to recruit to the priority studies in order to speed up the search for treatments.

April 2020

Sandwell & West Birmingham NHS Trust has now recruited 50 patients into the RECOVERY study. This marks an important milestone. The study nationally has recruited > 5000 patients. This study is one of a number of urgent public health studies opened to establish treatments for COVID-19.

February 2020

The Trust is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Derek Connolly, Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, as our new Director of Research and Development. Derek is an active researcher and is currently the principal investigator for a number of clinical trials.

January 2020

Our new Head of Research and Development, Gina Dutton, joined the Trust in January 2020.

Gina, who joined the Trust from the Association for Dementia Studies at the University of Worcester, has more than 20 years’ experience working in a variety of roles in clinical and social care research.

Gina started her NHS career as a diagnostic radiographer and has worked as a radiographer and sonographer in two Birmingham Trusts and two hospitals in Botswana.

Sandwell & West Birmingham NHS Trust encourages all staff in the Trust to be research active. We have a broad portfolio to ensure patients in our care have access to new treatments and interventions.

The Trust has is a new Clinical Research Facility (CRF) based in the Outpatient Department at Sandwell General Hospital. The CRF has laboratory with processing and storage facilities. Researchers and clinical teams are encouraged to use the CRF for patient appointments. For more information, please contact Gina Dutton, Head of Research and Development. We have a research team, including research nurses, midwives, clinical trials practitioners and data coordinators to support the delivery of your studies.

Our supportive Research Management and Governance Team are available to provide advice and advise on study set up.

If you are interested in conducting research at in our Trust, please contact the Research and Development Team by emailing on  or call 0121 507 5439 and request to speak with a member of the RM&G Team. We support experienced and new chief and principal investigators, as well as student and novice researchers.

COVID-19 Research

Our hospitals are taking part in important clinical research looking at treatments for COVID-19. If you or a family member have been admitted to one of our wards, do ask your doctor for information about the studies we have open.

You can find some helpful information about the importance of research and how it is helping us understand more about research by clicking here.

Information for patients and families

Carrying out research is the way that we improve treatments and care and make our services better.

Our Trust takes part in a range of local, national and international clinical trials and other well designed studies. Therefore during your care with us, your doctor or a member of the team looking after you may talk to you about research and ask if you would like to join a study.

Your doctor or a member of our expert research team (research nurses, midwives and clinical trials practitioners) will tell you about the research and ask you if you would like to take part.

You will be given written information about the study and you will be encouraged to ask questions and go home and discuss this with your family. You will then be invited back to talk about the study again and if you would like to take part you will be enrolled in the study.

Sometimes, if it is urgent that you start treatment you may not have time to go home and talk to family, but you will always be able to ask as many questions as you would like.

You don’t have to wait to be asked to take part in research, we would encourage you to ask your doctor or member of their team, if there is research that you can take part in.

Interested in taking part?

Any patients wishing to have an informal chat about taking part in research at the Trust can email or telephone 0121 507 5439.

A playlist of YouTube videos relating to Research and Development can be found on the Trust’s YouTube channel here.

To find out more general information about clinical research and taking part in it, visit these useful websites:

If you are interested in taking part in research about dementia, please go to the Join Dementia Research website. Anyone can register interest, you don’t have to have dementia.

Please feel free to share your experiences of this service. Please e-mail your views to


COVID-19 Research

COVID-19 Urgent Public Health Research is being prioritised to gather the necessary clinical and epidemiological evidence that will inform national policy and enable new diagnostic tests, treatments and vaccines to be developed and tested for COVID-19. To find out which studies are in the national urgent public health portfolio please visit

Sandwell & West Birmingham NHS Trust is participating in a number of COVID studies.

Open studies


Principal Investigator: Dr Sarb Clare, Co-investigators: Prof Dan Lasserson, Dr Arvind Rajasekaran, Dr Nigel Trudgill, Dr Derek Connolly.

ISARIC / WHO Clinical Characterisation Protocol for Severe Emerging Infection Study 

Principal Investigator: Dr Tranprit Saluja.

UKOSS: A national system to study rare disorders of pregnancy

The GenOMICC Study Genetics Of Mortality In Critical Care

Principal Investigator: Dr Jon Hulme, Co-investigators: Dr Kristina Diridis, Dr Santhana Kannan.

REMAP-CAP A Randomised, Embedded, Multi-factorial, Adaptive Platform Trial for Community-Acquired Pneumonia.

Principal Investigator: Dr Jon Hulme, Co-investigators: Dr Kristina Diridis, Dr Santhana Kannan

The PRINCIPLE Trial Evaluating potential treatments for COVID-19 infection in older people

This study is open in Your Health Partnership GP surgeries.

Principal Investigator: Dr Abdul Tabassum

Active Research

Sandwell & West Birmingham NHS Trust is a research active Trust, conducting a broad portfolio of research studies across most of our clinical specialties. Our involvement in research ranges from short questionnaire studies to complex treatment trials. In 2019-20, we recruited more than 2600 research participants into more 110 different studies.

If you would like more detail about the studies that we have open at the moment, please email

Sandwell & West Birmingham NHS Trust participates in research, including projects where you have to give your consent, that is, we will let you know about the study and ask if you want to take part. It is your choice whether you do. We also undertake research within the Trust and contribute to national research projects that use your records where the law allows us to not specifically ask your permission first. We will always look after your data and comply with UK laws and regulations.

You can read our full privacy statement here.

If you don’t wish the Trust to use your care records for any research without us first asking your permission, please read this short document here.

For research where Sandwell & West Birmingham NHS Trust has additional data responsibilities for studies, we have produced study specific privacy information. Please click on the relevant named link below.Study specific statements will be include here when there are Sandwell and West Birmingham sponsored studies.

Study specific privacy statements

IBM Watson Health Imaging: Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to look at chest X-rays and scans.