Trust forges closer links with pharma giants to boost research activity

Representatives from some of the giants of the pharmaceutical world travelled to Bradford to take part in a growing annual event dedicated to enrolling greater numbers of NHS patients into pioneering clinical trials.

Senior staff from GSK, AstraZeneca, Sanofi Aventis and IQVIA met with clinical and research staff at Bradford Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust’s (BTHFT) popular Research Industry Facing Day.

Commercial research activity at BTHFT, home to Bradford Institute for Health Research, has grown every year since 2014 by 10-15 per cent. However, the Trust is committed to increasing this number to allow even more patients to access the most advanced experimental treatments.

Consultant Respiratory Physician, Dr Dinesh Saralaya, BTHFT’s Associate Director of Research, said: “The Industry Facing Day was organised by the Trust to showcase our excellent research facilities and research teams.

“Bradford maintains a tradition of bringing high-quality research and innovation and cutting-edge technology to the patients of Bradford.

“We pride ourselves on being the single largest trust delivering successfully into the NIHR Industry portfolio. We now hope to increase our research partnerships with major international sponsors of clinical trials.”

Research remains integral to BTHFT, so much so that the Trust recently produced a new research strategy – ‘Together, Making Research Real’, which aims to promote and support research that will allow us to deliver the best healthcare we can to our patients in Bradford and beyond.

Jane Dennison, the Trust’s Research Support and Governance Manager, said: “The Research Industry Facing Day was very well attended with over 60 attendees. The feedback was very positive and exciting.

“The presentations were of excellent quality and very thought-provoking.

“The event provided an excellent opportunity to showcase the Trust’s work, celebrating and strengthening existing research partnerships and forging new business relationships.”

Professor John Wright, Director of the Bradford Institute for Health Research, added: “We currently have over 50,000 Bradfordians actively involved in our research studies, and over the next five years our goal is to increase this to 100,000.

“Central to our strategy is the importance of genuine community and patient co-production in research.”

In order to reach our goal, the Trust has committed to forging even closer ties with the pharmaceutical industry. To achieve this, we have:

  • A dedicated executive team which oversees commercial research development across the Trust
  • Expanded the Trust’s Pharmacy in order to increase its capacity for the storage of trial medicines and opened its doors to more industry-sponsored studies
  • A Clinical Research Facility which has dedicated space to deliver clinical trials located on our main Bradford Royal Infirmary site
  • A research nurse manager to support the nursing infrastructure in trial recruitment and delivery
  • Raised awareness and shared best practice to equip the research teams with the knowledge and tools to deliver commercial research successfully.

Later this summer the Trust’s and the region’s research capacity will expand even further, when the Wolfson Centre for Applied Health Research (CAHR) officially opens next door to the Bradford Institute for Health Research.

It aims to use the latest research to improve the health and wellbeing of children and the elderly, and will bring together researchers from the universities of Bradford and Leeds with clinicians from across the Trust.

The CAHR has been made possible thanks to a £1 million award from national charity the Wolfson Foundation, which provides grants to support and promote excellence in fields including science, medicine and healthcare.


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Note to Editors:

  1. Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust:

Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is responsible for providing hospital services for the people of Bradford and communities across Yorkshire. We serve a core population of around 500,000 and provide specialist services for 1.1 million people.

Our 5,500 staff work over several sites, including Bradford Royal Infirmary, which provides the majority of inpatient services, and St Luke’s Hospital, which predominantly provides outpatient and rehabilitation services. We also manage local community hospitals at Westwood Park, Westbourne Green, and Eccleshill.

In early 2017, a new £28 million wing opened at Bradford Royal Infirmary, part of a £75m investment to improve patient care across our hospitals over a five-year period. It provides world-class facilities for elderly care, children’s services, a state-of-the-art intensive care unit with increased single-room provision and a retail concourse.

The new wing is a continuation of our work to improve patient experience after our new £2 million neonatal unit officially opened in January 2015. Our maternity services were recently shortlisted for the Royal College of Midwives’ (RCM) Midwifery Service of the Year Award, recognising excellence and innovation in the provision of maternity care.

In 2017, we also completed a £2m refurbishment of our Emergency Department (ED) as part of an ambitious vision to create a more efficient acute medicine service for the people of Bradford. It has been designed to provide a slicker and more efficient service, with faster senior clinical involvement at an early stage in the patient pathway.

As a teaching hospital, we are at the forefront of education and development in healthcare, and have an excellent reputation for research performance. We are one of the leading centres in conducting applied research in the country, particularly in quality and safety, elderly care and rehabilitation.

The Trust is home to the Bradford Institute for Health Research (BIHR) where researchers have led the development, validation and implementation of the award-winning Bradford Electronic Frailty Index (eFI) which helps calculate an elderly person’s risk of disability, impairment, falls and complications of chronic diseases, as well as their diminishing independence and capability. This is now being used by 98% of all GPs across the country.

Our award-winning Ophthalmology department is home to numerous worldwide clinical trials taking the lead in eye care research and we are one of only three sites in the United Kingdom to be enlisted in the Perioperative Enhanced Recovery Hip Fracture Care of Patients with Dementia (PERFECTED) study, which will investigate how the NHS can introduce better standards of care to improve outcomes for people with dementia.

The Trust has its own Bradford Hospitals Charity:

Follow us on Twitter @BTHFT or visit


  1. Born in Bradford (BiB) 2019

Born in Bradford is one of the biggest and most important health research studies undertaken in the UK. The project started in 2007 and is looking to answer questions about the city’s health by tracking the lives of over 13,500 children and their families from across the city.

The aim of Born in Bradford is to find out more about why some families stay healthy and others fall ill by studying children and their families from all cultures and backgrounds as their lives unfold. It provides vital research information for studies across the UK and around the world.

Bradford has some of the highest rates of childhood illness in the UK. Born in Bradford is helping to unravel the reasons for this ill health and bringing new scientific discovery to the world. It is also providing a catalyst for communities to work with the NHS and local authority to improve child health and wellbeing in the city.

Examples of the success of Born in Bradford in changing practice include the establishment of a Yorkshire-wide congenital anomalies register, the first hospital in the UK to provide gestational diabetes screening for all pregnant women in the district, major improvement in vitamin D supplementation in high risk mothers, rapid implementation of NICE guidelines in midwifery practice, improved detection of childhood obesity by health visitors, and development of a simple mobile phone app to help parents and health professionals monitor children’s weight. Its findings on the effect of air quality on health have been used by the City’s council to lobby for investment to refurbish some of the city’s most polluting buses.

Born in Bradford will continue to follow the children, and their families, until they are adults, and help doctors to understand more about the big health challenges of the 21st Century such as heart disease, mental health and cancer. The Born in Bradford project has the potential to promote real change at a local level and also make major contributions to global knowledge: our children may be born in Bradford, but they will change the world.

Born in Bradford is led by Professor John Wright and Dr Rosie McEachan and the research team is based at the Bradford Institute for Health Research at Bradford Royal Infirmary.

Born in Bradford is hosted and supported by the Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

For more information, find us at, Twitter @BiBresearch or Facebook