Research and Innovation

Dr John Ashcroft


To be Research & Innovation Director at this time of great change within NHS research structures provides both great opportunities but also great challenges.

The NHS is embracing research as part of its core business, being embedded in both our constitution and operating framework, and this is now directly influencing institutional cultures and distilling out into our clinical practice.

We have wonderful resources within the Trust. Our staff and our patients who, with appropriate support, are already increasing our activity year on year and a firm commitment from our executive means there has never been a better time to build on our previous successes.

This commitment to research, alongside the catalysts of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and the formation of Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) aligned with Clinical Research Networks (CRNs) provide us with great opportunities. 

Dr John Ashcroft, Research and Innovation Director
at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust


research wheel

Research studies at Mid Yorks have helped patients within and beyond the Trust by our involvement in the development of new techniques in healthcare delivery. This innovative approach to testing new ideas is only possible thanks to our patients and researchers.

Mid Yorks is committed to providing excellent research, development and innovation opportunities and actively engages with academic and healthcare organisations to explore and support research partnerships to improve our care. Between 1st April 2016 and 31st March 2017, 87 research studies were active within the Trust (including studies where patients are being followed up after recruitment and treatment phases are complete). Of those, 40 studies were new and opened during 2016­/17.

The number of patients receiving relevant health services provided or subcontracted by Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust in 2016/17 that were recruited during that period to participate in research approved by a research ethics committee was 2040. 95 % (1949) of this activity is related to research adopted onto the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) portfolio of high quality studies.

Research activity is overseen quarterly by a multidisciplinary  Research Committee, chaired by the Trust’s Research and Innovation Director. In line with Trusts across Yorkshire and the Humber and supported by the Yorkshire and Humber Clinical Research Network (YHCRN), Mid Yorks has begun using an online system called Edge to record all research activity which then links directly to the National Institute of Health Research.

Our research performance is audited and managed within The Trust as well as external bodies. In 2016, we held our first annual research event: ‘My Research: My Question’. This was an opportunity for staff and partners to share information about our research activity, highlight several studies across our services and detail different ways for Trust staff to get more involved in research. 

Examples of our work

An NIHR funded ‘Research for Patient Benefit’ (RFPB) study looking at the consent process for patients in cardiology who were receiving percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) was completed. The findings have been used to inform the revision of the patient consent leaflet at Mid Yorkshire and was presented in the British Medical Journal >>>

RadPoc>>> study to look at the use of point of care technology to undertake a blood test in radiology at the time of scanning. This investigated whether they can provide immediate information about renal function to help decide on the suitability of an injection during some specific scans. This was the first piece of Mid Yorkshire investigator initiated research to be adopted to the NIHR national portfolio and involved 363 patients as research participants. A follow up study, SCIPS, has begun in The Trust to do further work in this area.