Open day brings Doctors, Patients and Researchers together to drive forward research

CLAHRC NWC PhD Student and Clinical Pharmacologist Dr Ahmed Al-Naher (pictured, left), delivered the real spirit of collaboration at a public involvement event in the latest stage of his pioneering research.

Clinicians, patients and researchers attended the open day at the University of Liverpool to offer input and complete research questions for Dr Al-Naher’s research titled PERMIT (Personalised Renal Monitoring via Information Technology). 

The initiative revolves around developing personalised kidney function monitoring guidelines, based on the clinical symptoms of individual patients with heart failure. Cutting edge technological devices will be the platforms used to facilitate remote care and underpin the research.

It is envisaged that the availability of such monitoring protocols and remote care options will change clinical care pathways, potentially reduce hospital admissions, reduce costs and improve the quality of life for patients.

Opening the event, Dr Al-Naher said GPs across the region and several Trusts were now sharing data and clear progress had been made, with a target  for the research outcomes being adopted by partner Trusts by 2020 with the potential for a national rollout. The work is part of CLAHRC NWC's Delivering Personalised Health and Care Theme portfolio of research. 

Dr Al-Naher said: “We couldn’t have got the research this far without patient and public input and the support of our clinical partners. This project is designed to impact directly on improving care for heart and kidney patients and asking the patients and public today to complete research questions on the design of technological devices demonstrates their importance to this research.  Who better to ask than the people themselves who will benefit from this research?“

CLAHRC NWC Partners Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital Foundation Trust (LHCHFT) and Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Liverpool CCG and University of Liverpool are stakeholders in the project in addition to General Practitioners and the University of Manchester. 

Heart failure patient Sam Samoff gave a passionate insight into his treatment to date and pressed the need for the research by suggesting if such guidance had been available it may have helped his condition earlier. Sam has also taken part in a video about Dr Al-Naher’s research.

Keith Wilson, a patient and public adviser on the CLAHRC NWC funded project, said: “We have heard today about the impact of heart failure, the use of diuretics and monitoring of kidney function and the impacts on patient lives. It’s great that we are hearing these stories as it demonstrates the clear need for the research and the impact on individuals, carers and their families. We meet regularly with Dr Al-Naher as a patient group and feel our experiences are really shaping this research.”

Dr Jay Wright, Consultant Cardiologist at LHCFT and part of the research project’s supervising team, explained to the attendees the importance of the research. He said: “This is a new way of creating personalised monitoring for patients which is needed. This should lead to safer prescribing and improved options for heart and kidney patients. It should also reduce the number of hospital admissions that shouldn’t have happened in the first place.”

GP Sanjeev Maharaj of Elizabeth Street surgery in Blackpool, said: “Most GPs will initially stabilise any kidney disease, then monitor patients over time, but there is no clear guidance on doses of medication and we can't track acute renal function and disruption caused by diuretics. To be able to do this in a smarter way would give us and patients more confidence in the right treatment plan.”

Next to anti-inflammatory drugs, diuretics are the second commonest cause of drug-induced hospital admissions, with most patients presenting with renal impairment.

Attendees were asked specific research questions on the types of remote technology they would prefer based on time usage, convenience and communications, in a Discrete Choice Questionnaire for Remote Care.

A question and answer debate about the research ended the day focusing on the impact of the research reducing health inequalities.

Dr Al-Naher commented: “The final algorithm developed will be inclusively designed. Patients are a strong force for promoting the take-up of devices so ensuring their ongoing input and finding out what they think is critical.”

To find out more about the PERMIT project please click here.

More articles     Posted on: 25 October 2017