Priorities & facilities

Clinical Priorities

Our clinical priorities are shaped by the needs of citizens and clinicians in Surrey Heartlands. They support the health and care system to address some of its most significant challenges.

This ensures that we work in areas where innovation can make most difference to outcomes and increases the prospects for successful new products and services to be commissioned and generate economic growth.

The HTA has a number of active projects as listed below, and we’ll be bringing you more details and updates as they move through the HTA process.

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To support the system to provide an integrated, digital “front door” for Mental Health services by connecting service providers. Currently in scoping, engagement and desktop research phase. Project timeline and plan are being developed.

Supporting frailty covid remote monitoring and reablement to reduce hospital admissions and improve clinical effectiveness and value for money. Support to produce an outline evaluation plan for phase 2 of the pilot is now complete and awaiting next steps.

Piloting community photo hubs using imaging sharing tech to upload onto a patients records as part of remote assessment. The HTA is providing match funding alongside NHS Digital to support learning and evaluation. Interim report is due October 2021; scoping and planning is underway.

Development of a phone based intervention/ avatar. Development is through interviews with IDDM 1 patients (n=20) in first instance through SASH and following further development looking to involve more patients with potential for HTA to be a base for further development/testing. Currently in scoping phase.

Partnership between local Care Home Networks in Surrey and the Sleep Research Centre at the University of Surrey for testing use of technology to monitor nocturnal disturbance and sleep, as well as environmental variables and their impact on sleep and health within a care home setting. The HTA will link the Sleep Research Centre lab and the digital lab to support testing, gathering of data and analytical support. Currently scoping and application submitted to University of Surrey ethics committee.

A pioneering Internet of Things study that enables clinicians to remotely monitor the health of people with dementia living at home. Current work includes a COVID related study.

Developing new technology.

SMEs will be able to test out early-stage concepts and designs within a space that’s focused on robust clinical and academic processes.

 A commitment to co-design principles sits at the heart of this work, ensuring that developed technology not only meets the stringent needs of the health and care system, but is functional, acceptable and practical for those who are destined to use it.

As new technology evolves through the HTA process, SMEs will find they have a ready-made pipeline to further their product’s development via the University of Surrey’s state of the art clinical research facilities.

These facilities will also benefit from the HTA and its work. Data from existing projects will be collated in the HTA, with learnings from these more established projects helping to inform and shape the development of new technology approaches.

The Surrey Sleep Research Centre (SSRC) is home to forward-thinking multidisciplinary approaches to clinical sleep research, using a wide range of state-of-the-art equipment to monitor, record and analyse sleep patterns and sleep disorders and to test and validate new technologies and devices.

The SSRC has six state-of-the-art, individual sleep/intensive physiological monitoring laboratories which have advanced sound attenuation, temperature control, and isolation from all external time cues. All rooms are fitted with a mobile sleep recording system that allows full clinical polysomnography (PSG) including video to be recorded. The bedrooms are connected to a communal area and have access to bathroom facilities. Participants can stay in the facility for a night a day or several days or weeks. A dynamic lighting system allows both the brightness and colour of the lights to be adjusted to optimally influence circadian and sleep-wake rhythms. A portal blood collection system allows blood samples to be taken without needing to enter the room when participants are sleeping. The centre’s ground-breaking sleep studies are published in high impact academic journals, and the centre director (Professor Derk-Jan Dijk) and other members of the SSRC frequently appear on television and feature in national and international newspapers.

This superior two-room facility is a true ‘living lab’ well suited to test new technologies and devices. The facility can accommodate both persons living with dementia and their care givers in a safe clinical research environment. The rooms are equipped with a double and single bed and bathroom facilities. The controlled en-suite bedroom environment is fitted with sleep recording systems, a dynamic lighting system, as well as a pressure sensitive floor and imaging cameras. A portal blood sampling system enables collection of timeseries of samples through the 24-h day.

A core human research resource recognised as a centre for the delivery of clinical trials and studies involving participants, particularly early phase studies such as phase 1, First in Human (FIH) and phase 2a (proof of concept). The facility consists a self-contained ward space (six beds) with associated kitchen/lounge, nurse station, consulting rooms and laboratory for sample processing.

The CRF supports academic studies in the University, particularly in sleep where the medical, clinical lab and recruitment staff support studies run within Surrey Sleep Research Centre, and chronobiology whilst developing its own pipeline of studies. The COVID pandemic has seen the CRF lead on a number of vaccine trials giving great exposure and highlighting its capabilities. This has also led to the establishment of a joint vaccine hub in collaboration with Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust.

Medical Director, Dr Hana Hassanin provides medical oversight of all clinical research activities undertaken within the Clinical Research Building.

Designed to re-create real medical scenarios in a replicated hospital environment, this facility contains up-to-date healthcare equipment and features: two large modern simulated hospital wards, an intensive care unit, an operating theatre, resuscitation training simulators and a replica ambulance. Located in the Kate Granger Building, a short walk from the Clinical Research Building which is home to the HTA.

Surrey Clinical Trials Unit (CTU) is fully registered with UK Clinical Research Collaboration (UK CRC) and has the experience, expertise and infrastructure to develop, organise and manage high quality, multi-centre, randomised controlled trials RCTs of national and international importance. It has a core staff of statisticians, data systems experts and project managers to support the design and delivery of RCTs and other studies to support evidence-based decision making in health and wellbeing. The CTU supports an increasing portfolio of studies involving digital health solutions, including those underpinned by artificial intelligence.

The CTU is closely associated with the NIHR Research Design Service SE Surrey hub which is located within the University and Surrey Health Economics Centre for provision of cost-utility and benefit analysis.

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