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2020 NIHR ACF PES Birmingham Acute Care



2020 NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowship in Priority Research Themes

HEE Local Office: West Midlands
Medical School: University of Birmingham
Research Theme: Acute Care
Specialty Options: Anaesthetics or Intensive Care Medicine or Neurosurgery 

Plain English Summary

Acute Care is any unplanned healthcare contact or escalation in hospital healthcare requirements, including front door medicine and surgery and peri, post-operative and critical care. Annually, the NHS provides 110 million acute care contacts. Emergency admission costs are vast; £17 billion in 2017. There is poor understanding of the mechanisms which drive acute disease, a lack of biomarkers to diagnose acute illness or predict treatment response, a lack of innovation in therapies and a lack of real-world evidence to inform whether Experimental Medicine insights are generalisable to broader populations. Care providers and NHS organisations therefore require the scientific evidence base to improve treatments, pathways and inform health policies.

The Birmingham Acute Care Research Group (BACR) is a globally unique, cross-disciplinary, cross-Institute and inter-hospital acute care research collaborative. Its vision is to:

“Lead translational and clinical research in acute care to improve the health of patients of all ages, by working together across disciplines linking academia, industry and the NHS. To maximize benefit from unplanned hospital or intensive care admissions, improve pre, peri and post-operative care and determine the credible alternatives to acute hospital care which deliver the right care, at the right time, in the right setting.”

This post will be supported by a collaborative group of international experts with complementary expertise and an established track record. Training posts have been offered in Anaesthetics (study of sedation, pain and anaesthesia during and after surgery), Intensive Care Medicine (study of critical illness) or Neurosurgery (study of brain surgery and injury). Our clinical academic training programme at the University of Birmingham offers a wide choice of multidisciplinary research options from laboratory science to health services research focussed on the pathogenesis, treatment, and prevention of acute illness. This will be provided through strong links with the BACR, Anaesthesia, Intensive Care Medicine, Neurology and Neurosurgery, the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine (RCDM), the NIHR Trauma Centre (SRMRC) and with basic sciences in inflammation and neuro-regeneration. The trainees have the opportunity to work with a wide range of scientists and includes research into i) Understanding the immune system and its metabolic profile to enable the design of new drugs in sepsis, ii) Improving outcomes from major surgery, iii) Mechanism and treatments for acute lung injury, iv) Reducing chronic pain following major surgery, v) Role of health service organisation in mortality following emergency admission, vi) Improving the recognition and treatment of delirium in acutely ill patients, vi) The role of brain surgery in patients with traumatic intracranial hypertension (raised pressure in the brain), viii) Therapies in traumatic brain injury, ix) Modulation of neurorepair using light therapy, x) Advanced neuroimaging and non-invasive diagnostics of sport concussion.

This collaboration therefore offers a unique training experience and exposure that encompasses the breadth of research from experimental, early and late stage clinical trials, health service delivery and policy changes. It utilizes our inter-disciplinary expertise across Acute Care with an emphasis on patient centred outcomes. Trainees will be supported and encouraged to interact with our strong patient and public INVOLVE partners and disseminate their work through national, international scientific meetings and publications as well as our social media platforms.