Respiratory consultant Dinesh receives top national research award

Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is delighted to announce that Consultant Respiratory Physician Dinesh Saralaya has received one of the UK’s most prestigious research awards.

Dinesh has been a leading light in respiratory research for many years and has now received the Royal College of Physician’s (RCP) NIHR Clinical Research Network 2019 award in the consultant category for “outstanding research leadership in the NHS”.

Dinesh, who is also our own Associate Director of Research, richly deserves the award which is recognition for leading the transformation of our Respiratory Clinical Trials Unit into a global centre for severe asthma and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) research.

He said: “I am truly delighted at this honour which saw me receive the award on October 16 at the RCP in London.

“The award carries a certificate and cash prize of £6,000, which will be used to grow research further in Bradford and benefit patients within the community.

“Receiving this honour is recognition for establishing the clinical trials unit for respiratory medicine for the very first time at Bradford Teaching Hospitals in 2009, and growing it to become the second-largest respiratory commercial Respiratory Clinical Trials Unit in the UK.”

The clinical trials unit has often led the way in global and European respiratory research, securing five global-first, three European and five UK-first recruits to respiratory trials in the last seven years alone, and is now home to three research nurses, a research assistant and a research co-ordinator.

In total, it has recruited into more than 70 global severe asthma and COPD trials, with 10 currently ongoing.

Thanks to the efforts of Dinesh and his team, Bradford Teaching Hospitals is now recognised as one of the preferred clinical trial sites in the world for severe asthma and COPD trials.

Research excellence

The unit’s reputation for research excellence led pharmaceutical giant GSK to choose Dinesh and his team to launch their worldwide vaccine study in COPD.

The trial, a phase IIB randomised, observed-blind, multi-centre study, assessed whether the vaccine offered protection against a bacteria which commonly causes a worsening in the condition of patients with COPD.

The team recruited then 69-year-old global first patient Harry McCarrick, a married dad-of-seven from Shipley, who had had COPD for 10 years.

Dinesh added: “We have been a leading recruiter into COPD trials, and our recruitment was also key in supporting the development and licencing of Novartis’s new COPD inhalers, which have expanded current treatment strategies for COPD patients.”

Dinesh, who is the National Institute for Health Research’s (NIHR) Clinical Lead for Respiratory industry studies, also set up a severe asthma service at the Trust in 2006, which provides a regional clinical service for patients and offers access to cutting-edge treatment years before many other patients across the country.

His team also host our popular annual research day at the Bradford Institute of Health Research (BIHR), and hold regular patient-facing days for current and prospective trial participants.

Professor John Wright, Director of Research at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Many congratulations to Dinesh on a richly-deserved award which recognises the significant contribution he has made to global respiratory research and respiratory patients!”

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.

Picture caption: Dr Dinesh Saralaya with patient Joan Roberts and Respiratory Research Nurse Karen Regan.



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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:

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