Cardiothoracic Research

We are a large team of experienced research staff passionate about delivering quality evidence based care. We aim to make cardiology research accessible to as many patients as possible.

About us

We deliver a large variety of cardiac research studies in the following areas:

  • Heart failure – This is when the heart muscles are not pumping as well as they should.
  • Arrhythmias – This happens when the hearts electrical signals are abnormal.
  • Atherothrombosis – When the blood vessels in the heart becoming narrowed.
  • Percutaneous heart procedures – These are minimally invasive procedures to treat narrowed or blocked blood vessels, replace or repair leaking heart valves and fix abnormal heart rhythms.
  • Surgical/anaesthetic procedures – These include comparing different ways to do cardiac surgery, whether blood transfusions and low risk additional procedure(s) as part of planned surgeries will benefit patients.
  • Prevention – These trials hope to find ways to help patients stay well before, during and after a condition is diagnosed or treated

What are the benefits of participating in a trial?

The benefits of participating in a trial are numerous and sometimes subtle, but significant. Some examples include:

  • If your trial compares one treatment with another. You may, or may not get any personal clinical benefit. However, experience has shown us many patients feel positive about being part of something that may help others in the future.
  • You may receive a new or improved treatment that may benefit you directly.
  • Experience has shown us, that many of our patients benefit because of the additional support and follow up provided as part of many clinical trials. For example, if our research staff are concerned about any aspect of your well being, they will forward this information to an appropriate person and can mean a problem is picked up and treated sooner.
  • Our patients regularly tell us that they appreciate having an additional contact within the hospital.

Please see some of our patient feedback:

“The study was carried out in a professional and  friendly manner. I was reassured at all times.”*

“Hospital and staff first class”*

“Thank you for enabling me to be part of the research study”*

“The research nurse  was a good life line. Could ring her anytime and she put us at ease.”*

*Permission to print data and anonymous feedback gathered via the Patient Research Experience Survey was provided by NIHR Clinical Research Network.

Interested in participating in cardiac research?

New research trials are recruiting and starting regularly. The best way to find out if you are eligible to participate in one of our trials is to get in touch with our friendly team. Please see our contact details below.

Interested in non-cardiac research?

The James Cook University Hospital is a highly research active trust because we know it has positive benefits for our patients.  For details of non-cardiac research, we recommend you contact our ‘research and innovation department’. Please see their contact details below.

Other ways to be involved with research

A good research trial is based upon what patients need.  There are many ways to be involved, here are just a few examples:

  • Taking part in focus groups.
  • By telling us what is important to you.
  • Help us design and write accurate, complete information leaflets that enables all patients to access research.
  • Tell us about your research experience so we can share this with the wider public. We want people to know research is not something to fear!
  • Help us design trials! For a trial to work it has to be as easy as possible for our patients to participate. Your insight will help us appreciate and overcome barriers, for example child care, finances, transport or even a disability.

Contact us

The cardiac research team office is located on the top floor of the Red Shed at The James Cook University Hospital. Our core working hours are, Monday to Friday between 8am to 4pm.

Cardiology research department.
The James Cook University Hospital
Marton Road
Middlesbrough
TS4 3BW
Telephone: 01642 282410
Email:  stees.cardio.researchdept@nhs.net
Research and innovation department.
Institute of Learning Research and Innovation
The James Cook University Hospital
Marton Road
Middlesbrough
TS4 3BW
Telephone: 01642 854089
Email:  stees.researchdevelopment@nhs.net

Frequently asked questions.

• What do you hope to find out from trials?

We hope to find out which treatments, procedures, operations and advice is best for patients and the NHS.

• Are there information leaflets about the trials you are recruiting to?

Yes. All research trials must have an approved participant information leaflet. If you would like a copy of a particular participant information leaflet please contact us.

• How do you choose patients for a trial?

Staff use different screening methods to help us to identify patients who may be eligible for trials we are running. Research staff or your doctors will decide if you are eligible for a trial, but it is your choice if you decide to take part or not. Either way your care will not be affected.

• Do I have to take part?

No you do not have to take part in any trial. You can come out of trials without giving your reasons at any time. Staff will respect your wishes and your care will not be affected.

• Can I change my mind?

You can withdraw without giving your reasons at any time. If you decide to withdraw you may be asked if we can still collect information from your medical records for use in the trial you are withdrawing from. Staff will respect your wishes and your care will not be affected.

• Do I need to come back to the hospital for a trial?

This varies depending on the trial, but we try to limit the number of times you need to come to the hospital for our trials. We always try to fit trial visits alongside normal hospital visits to avoid inconvenience to you. Often follow up phone calls are enough. We always arrange these times with you and try very hard to be flexible.

• I have a special occasion, work, holidays coming up. Will this stop me participating in a trial?

It is rare that we cannot accommodate an important event in patients’ lives. All appointments are arranged ‘with’ you. You can change them if you need to. Please talk to our research staff.

• Will I find out the results of the trial I participate in?

Yes. For the vast majority of trials we inform participants of the results. However, because some trials run for a long time it can be many years after you have finished participation.

• Are there patients who I can talk to?

Unfortunately we cannot give out contact details of participants, but we have included patient feedback and useful resources on this page.

• How are trials monitored?

All trials are ethically approved by external agencies to ensure your well-being is protected. Our site and individual trials are inspected to make sure we are doing everything correctly by Clinical Trials Units. This is known as ‘monitoring’.

• Will my details be anonymous?

Yes. When you enter a research trial you will be given a unique identification number (you do not need to remember this). This number will be used by the research team. You will be informed who will be able to see details about you before you agree to participate in any trial.

• Do I still see my normal doctors while I am in a trial?

Yes. You will continue to see the doctors involved in your care. You will also continue to see your GP, and possibly other health care professionals who will support you before, during and after the treatment you are receiving.

• Am I too old, frail, ill to participate in a research trial?

Not necessarily. If you are interested in participating, research staff will be able to assess your eligibility.

• Who do I contact to ask a question or raise a concern?

If you have any questions or concerns please contact us. Our details can be found in the ‘contact us’ section of this page.