RJAH Research Team wins award for clinical impact

Release Date: 27/11/2017

RJAH Research Team wins award for clinical impact

Members of the Research department at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH) are celebrating after winning an industry recognised award, which has led to a change of practice at the hospital.

The team won the West Midlands Clinical Research Network (WMCRN) Clinical Research Impact Award for their work on the Fused Ankle Shoe Trial (FAST), as well as being Highly Commended in the Overall Performance category, at their recent annual awards ceremony in Birmingham.

The FAST study looked at 14 patients, who had undergone ankle fusion surgery, and would typically have been referred to the hospital’s Orthotic department for a custom made pair of Orthotic shoes with a curved sole, which would cost about £200.

However instead of just looking at Orthotic shoes as an option, as part of the trial, patients were examined in the Gait Laboratory (ORLAU) at RJAH, wearing Orthotic shoes with a curved sole, as well as branded shoes Skechers and MBT shoes, both of which also had the curved soles.

The study found, based on the speed and how patients walked, that these branded shoes were in fact better for the patients than the specially-made Orthotic shoes.

The trial was the brainchild of Mr Patrick Laing, an Orthopaedic Surgeon who is an Honorary Consultant at RJAH.

Mr Laing said: “I’m absolutely delighted that the FAST study has won this prestigious award, and with it resulting in a change of practice at RJAH, it would be great to see this rolled out elsewhere across the country, it just makes perfect sense. Not only is it more cost effective but it’s led to better patient outcomes from what we’ve seen so far.”

Sarah Turner, Research Project Manager at RJAH, said: “We’re thrilled and immensely proud to have not only won an award but to have also been highly commended.

“The work carried out as part of the FAST study has actually led to Orthotics changing their practice here which is just fantastic, and exactly why this sort of research is important. Although it must be said this was a real multi-disciplinary team effort, with work undertaken by not only the Research team but also Orthotics and ORLAU.

“Due to the change of practice here, it would be brilliant to see whether other hospitals would be interested in the study, particularly on a larger scale as our preliminary study only comprised 14 patients.”

Teresa Jones, Research Manager at RJAH,  added: “The FAST study is a good example of cross department team work achieving a result. This change in practice shows exactly how research leads to change and becomes best practice. The next challenge is a larger multi-centre study to change practice across the NHS. It’s good to see RJAH leading the way.”

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