Get Involved

Clinical trials in Stroke here in the North east and North Cumbria are changing the lives of Stroke survivors across our region

Stroke is a brain attack and there are two main types, either a blockage in blood vessels supplying the brain or a bleed. Strokes can affect anyone, although most affected are over 65 years. There are approximately 152, 000 strokes per year in the UK which equals 1 every 3.5 minutes.

Clinical Research Network (CRN) Stroke supports a portfolio of high quality research studies relating to all aspects of a stroke patients care pathway.  There are dedicated research staff based in all stroke services who work alongside the multi-disciplinary team providing specialist stroke care.  We support studies in a range of settings, from ambulance, hospitals, rehabilitation units to care homes, GP practices and patients’ own homes.

There are a range of studies in the hyper-acute, acute and rehabilitation phase in which patients can choose to participate.  Research is funded by a variety of sources; life science companies, charities and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

In our region, North of Tyne has Hyperacute Stroke Research Centre (HSRC) status – one of eight in England.  This provides round-the-clock access to research into the very early stages of stroke with access to Neurosurgery and interventional Neuroradiology.

Portfolio of research

  • Hyperacute (within 9 hours of stroke onset)
  • Acute
  • Rehabilitation
  • Prevention
  • Long term support
  • Health services research

There are a range of randomised and non-randomised controlled trials that patients could potentially participate such as drug therapies, observational and genetics studies.

The Stroke research community

There is a range of support available to local clinicians to get involved in recruiting patients to high quality multicentre trials throughout the North East & North Cumbria:

  • Stroke Units
  • Community rehabilitation teams
  • Primary Care  
  • R&D departments
  • Patient Carer Panels/Groups
  • Universities
  • Clinical trial and biomedical clinical trial units
  • Clinical research facilities

We collaborate with other services and specialties for example: the Strategic Clinical Network helped to create a referral pathway for neuro intervention studies at a regional level.

Our research is not just led by doctors to develop new medical treatments. We also work closely with non-medical researchers in physiotherapy, psychology, occupational therapy, technology and speech therapy to help secure research funding and find patients who are suitable for participation

There is a large team of healthcare professionals working within the Clinical Research Network: North East North Cumbria to make sure that research for stroke happens.
The Stroke Research Group (SRG) based at Newcastle University aims to undertake clinical and health services research which is relevant to patients, carers, and the NHS through development and evaluation of the clinical and cost effectiveness of interventions and services.

SRG research themes are:

  • Assessment and treatment of hyperacute stroke
  • Interventional neuroradiology
  • Clinical service design and professional role development for improving urgent assessment of patients with suspected stroke.
  • Clinical and cost effectiveness of acute, rehabilitation and community stroke services.
  • Shared decision making in stroke care.
  • Technology assistance and therapy approaches for upper limb and gait rehabilitation.
  • Stroke and cognition

The Clinical Research Network provides funding for research staff who work alongside Stroke doctors and nurses in our hospitals.  Together they offer patients opportunities to take part in research trials.  Research staff are located in the following hospitals:

  • Bishop Auckland Hospital
  • Darlington Memorial Hospital
  • Royal Victoria Infirmary Hospital
  • James Cook University Hospital
  • North Cumbria University Hospital
  • North Tyneside General Hospital
  • Queen Elizabeth Hospital
  • South Tyneside General Hospital
  • Sunderland Royal Hospital
  • University Hospital of Hartlepool
  • University Hospital North Durham
  • University Hospital of North Tees
  • Wansbeck General Hospital

It’s OK to ask – please ask your doctor about research trials in your hospital.

We are keen to include the views of patients, carers and the public in our work. In order to do this, we work closely with a group of patients and carers through the Patient & Carer Panel (PCP). Panel members provide a vital patient and carer perspective about stroke research, and advise us on how best to share information with patients.

We collaborate with other services and specialties for example: in creating a referral pathway for neuro intervention at a regional clinical network level.

We also work closely with non-medical researchers in physiotherapy, psychology, occupational therapy, technology and speech therapy to help secure research funding and find patients who are suitable for participation.

For a full list of studies on the stroke portfolio please visit: UK Clinical Trials Gateway

Meet the Team

Dr Chris Price

Stroke Specialty Lead and Consultant in Stroke Medicine and Honorary Clinical Senior Lecture

Professor Helen Rodgers

Stroke Research Group, Theme Leader and Clinical Professor of Stroke Care

Dr Maria Bokhari PhD

Patient and public Involvement and Engagment (PPIE) Lead and Clinical Trials Team Lead Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Sheriff Hill, Gateshead NE9 6SX

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