A multi-million pound boost for orthopaedic research

04 Jun 2020

We’ve given £2.9 million to establish a new centre of excellence for academic trauma and orthopaedic surgery.

The centre aims to unlock the potential for learning from our diverse community to improve care for people around the world who suffer with conditions affecting their bones, joints and muscles.

Barts Health NHS Trust has the busiest orthopaedic service in the UK, dealing with painful musculoskeletal conditions like arthritis, which have a huge impact on patients’ quality of life. The Trust is also home to the UK’s largest orthopaedic trauma reconstruction service, where clinicians fix broken limbs, restore patients’ mobility and prevent future pain for adults and children who’ve sustained injuries.

The department is one of the country’s leading sites for recruiting patients into orthopaedic clinical trials, which allows patients to be offered to new treatments and helps to improve knowledge and understanding in this under-researched area. The team now plan to develop their strong expertise and track record to become an outstanding academic unit, conducting more research which will have a wider impact.

Our £2.9m funding will allow Barts Health NHS Trust and Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry at Queen Mary University of London to work together to develop the infrastructure and recruit the team needed to build a sustainable, world-class centre of excellence for academic trauma and orthopaedic surgery in East London, conducting meaningful, innovative and life-changing research.

The busy orthopaedic department sees around 10,000 operations and 80,000 outpatient appointments each year. This large volume of patients represents an ethnically and economically diverse local population with an expanding proportion of older patients. This means that the centre has huge potential to learn from patients in its base to improve future care in our local population and far beyond.

We’re pleased to announce that Professor Xavier Griffin (pictured, right) has been recruited as Chair of the centre. One of the country’s leading musculoskeletal experts, Professor Griffin was previously Associate Professor of Trauma Surgery at the University of Oxford and Honorary Consultant Trauma Surgeon at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital. He is also Chief Investigator for NIHR randomised clinical trials and holds a commission in the Army Reserve.

Professor Griffin says: “I can’t wait to join the team at Queen Mary and Barts Health; but the real news here is that together with Barts Charity we will be building a new musculoskeletal group that will deliver on world class research, deliver on academic training and deliver opportunities for young clinicians to realise their academic aspirations. Let’s start the journey!”

Fiona Miller Smith, Chief Executive at Barts Charity adds: “We’re delighted that Barts Charity’s funding will facilitate this potentially life-changing research into orthopaedic conditions, which affect so many people in our community and across the globe. It’s fantastic to have Professor Griffin on board - one of the UK’s top figures in this area, who brings with him an extraordinary wealth of expertise.”

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