Fylde coast heath trust contributes to award-winning research project

Research nurses Judith Saba and Philomena Shooter

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust contributed to a national research project that won a prestigious British Medical Journal (BMJ) award.

The Trust’s Research and Development team worked on the study which looked at the value of using certain antibiotics for patients with asthma. Researchers from the Trust contributed to the study which was led by Imperial College, London.

The AZALEA (Azithromycin for Acute Exacerbations of Asthma) clinical trial won the ‘UK Research Paper of The Year’ category of The BMJ Awards 2017 on May 4 in London, after careful selection by the judging panel.

Dr Tarek Saba, a respiratory consultant for the Trust, said: “The study looked at whether specific antibiotics could help patients with asthma.

“We wanted to see if routinely prescribing antibiotics would improve patients’ treatment and outcomes.

“It was a very well run and well organised study. The study found that prescribing antibiotics didn’t make any difference so we now have strong evidence to say that we shouldn’t be routinely be giving patients antibiotics.

Dr Tarek Saba

“It won the ‘Paper of the Year’ which is fantastic. As a respiratory research department, we were one of many hospitals around the country contributing data.

“We are thrilled and delighted that we were part of this high quality study.

“It gives us a strong sense of satisfaction that the data we have produced is of such a high quality and that the paper has had such a successful outcome.”

Judith Saba, the research nurse who coordinated the trial at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, said: “The result of the trial is important because we work with people who have chronic lung disease.

“It’s good to have this new information.”

Philomena Shooter, a research nurse who worked on the trial, said: “We screened a huge amount of patients to see if they could participate in the study.

“It was hard to find patients who would be suitable. It answered a very important question about antibiotics.”

Michelle Stephens, Manager of the Trust’s Research and Development department, added: “We would like to thank all of the patients who took part in this study and by taking part they have contributed to us having improved knowledge that routinely prescribing antibiotics does not make any difference patients’ treatment and outcomes.

“Without our patients these developments cannot be made.”

The Azalea award trophy

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