Research update (Summer 2021)

General health

New charity-backed venture funds first crop of research projects

Myocardial disease, bronchiectasis and improving catheter ablations are just some of the themes that have successfully secured funding from a new scheme supported by the Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Charity.

The Research Management Fund, administered by the Research Management Committee (RMC), has been established to help allocate funds to prime Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals based research infrastructure and project grants that strive to tackle heart and lung disease.

The response from our teams to the launch of this scheme was extremely positive and both RMC and the independent panel of expert and lay reviewers were pleased to see this in the breadth and quality of proposals received. 23 applications were submitted for consideration, of which 5 were awarded.

Gill Raikes, who was CEO of the Charity when the scheme was created and has recently retired, said:

“Funding these vital and ground-breaking research programmes is a very exciting project for the Charity, and the Trustees and the team are honoured to be supporting such innovative work.

“Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals is a centre of excellence for research and knowing that the Charity – our donors and other supporters – can play a part in helping to find treatments and cures for some of these diseases and conditions is inspiring.

” The successful applications include funding for projects run by Dr Joyce Wong, consultant cardiologist, Dr Anand Shah, respiratory consultant, Professor Sabine Ernst, consultant cardiologist, Dr Clare Nolan, specialist pulmonary rehabilitation physiotherapist and Dr Shouvik Haldar, consultant cardiologist.

Wham study gets the go-go from NIHR

A research study has been awarded funding to determine whether singing classes can help people maintain the health benefits seen after undertaking pulmonary rehabilitation.

Pulmonary rehabilitation is an education and exercise programme recommended for people with lung conditions to help improve the management of symptoms, such as breathlessness, the ability to exercise and improve quality of life. Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust has its own pulmonary rehabilitation service which is run by physiotherapists at both hospital sites.

The aim of this research project will be to encourage people who complete the pulmonary rehabilitation programme, to participate in Singing for Lung Health (SLH) classes led by a specially trained singing teacher.

The SLH classes will help participants learn techniques to help control their breathing, using singing exercises and tools to improve breathing control and in the process, gain the skills to help them to cope with their lung condition.

Dr Adam Lewis, physiotherapy lecturer at Brunel University London and an honorary researcher at the Trust, is leading the project and hopes to prove that the project is feasible - paving the way for a clinical trial in the future to demonstrate any clinical benefits.

Dr Lewis said:

“It’s fantastic to win this award which has been fully developed and endorsed by patients within the hospital. This award will enable patients with different respiratory condition across London to access a potentially valuable therapy when current choices are limited."