Our Researchers are all heart!

Greta Van Duyvenvoorde with ‘Mr Hearty’ in the Clinical Research Centre at Blackpool Victoria Hospital

A ‘Hearty’ character will be a special guest at a research awareness event for the public and staff at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

Mr Hearty, the mascot of the British Heart Foundation (BHF), will be on a stand on the hospital’s mezzanine level helping to raise awareness of heart-related research projects on Friday, June 9.

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s Clinical Research Centre have conducted many research trials in partnership with the BHF in recent years.

Two such research studies sponsored by the BHF are currently underway at the Clinical Research Centre. One study is looking at the benefits of using medicine and angiograms and the other is looking at the efficacy of using iron infusions in certain patients.

Greta Van Duyvenvoorde and Steve Preston, Senior Research Nurses for the Trust, organised the event to promote the BHF research projects and clinical trials.

They will be on hand on the day with information and they will also be conducting some basic health checks for people who want them.

Greta said: “We are raising awareness of the research we do here in Blackpool.

“On our stand, we’ll have other members of the team and we’ll be talking about what we do.

“We have more than 30 studies running at the Lancashire Cardiac Centre and we have the second highest patient recruitment on the North West coast. The highest is at Liverpool Heart and Chest NHS Trust.

“The BHF puts a lot of money into research that allows us to improve the care we give locally.”

Steve said: “One of the BHF projects I’m involved with is called ‘SENIORRITA’.

“We are looking at the patients over the age of 75 who have had a certain sort of heart attack.

“The study is looking at whether they should just have medicine or medicine with an angiogram. The research will see what is better in older patients.

“This study is being conducted with the Lancashire Cardiac Centre and it’s led by Dr Gavin Galasko.”

The Trust is also participating in a BHF research project Called ‘Iron Man’.

Steve explained: “This study is looking at giving IV (intravenous) iron infusions to people with heart failure.

“It’s for patients who have an iron deficiency but who would normally fall below the need for iron infusions. We want to see if patients with heart failure will do better with iron infusions. If they do better, this could lead to fewer hospital admissions.”

Greta added: “We are looking for the ‘gold standard’ in this project and in all of our studies.

“This research could mean people won’t have to come back to hospital as often and we can see them in Outpatients. This, in turn, could mean improved patient experience.”

Stave said the work of the research team is highly varied and added: “It’s nice to look back at some of the work we have done years ago and to see the difference it has made to patient care today.”

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