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Research and high standards of patient care

Research projects, recognising potential new ways of working and developing high standards of patient care are an important part of the NHS. We are committed to offering patients in our communities the opportunity to take part in research studies that are appropriate for them. We do this by bringing national trials to our patients. We also work with academic university colleagues to produce research projects initiated by our own clinical staff. Evidence suggests that people who receive care in research active institutions have better health outcomes. The main aims of research are to:

  • improve patient care
  • provide the best advice and treatment for our patients
  • improve the quality of life for people living with illness
  • prevent disease and reduce the number of people who become ill
  • make sure the treatments we give are effective.

Our clinical research relies on help and support from the people who use our services. If you wish to take part, you may be asked to participate in a research study or clinical trial. It’s up to you whether you want to do this. If you decide not to take part it will not affect your treatment in any way.

Getting involved in research

Being a participant in a research study can vary from filling out a simple questionnaire to trialling new treatments, depending on the study. You will be given plenty of time and information to help you decide if you want to be involved and you can leave a study at any point, without giving reason.

Watch Pat Conneely, patient rep for research, talk about his involvement.

Watch Stephen Grice Deputy Head of Sexual Health Services talking about the service’s participation in the HipVac trial a portfolio study on genital warts.

What are the benefits?

Taking part in research may benefit you and others in some of the following ways:

  • by giving you earlier access to new treatments, interventions and medicines
  • your treatment and progress may be monitored more closely with more frequent and longer appointments, meaning problems or changes can be picked up and acted on more quickly
  • the opportunities to learn more about your medical condition may help you to manage it better
  • you would be helping to identify and try more effective medical treatments for yourself and others
  • you would be helping the NHS provide people with the best possible standard of care.

As a Trust we work with patients to understand which areas need researching further and those that would benefit from a newer and more innovative way of working. If you are interested in a research study in a particular area of health or social care, then please do let us know. Alternatively, have a look at the list of studies we are recruiting people to at the moment. If you are interested in being a potential participant or would like to understand more, please give us a call. You can talk to a clinical or research nurse, in the strictest confidence.

What is health research?

For anyone who is interested in finding out more about health research, FutureLearn have created a free, online course looking at ways people can get involved in research and the benefits that research brings to healthcare. The course can be found at and is available to everybody.

Research studies you may be interested in joining

At the moment, we have the following studies running that are looking for volunteers:

COVID-19 research

Have you tested positive for COVID-19 in the past five days? If so, you could be eligible to help with research investigating whether or not a popular herbal remedy could be an effective treatment against the virus.

Researchers at East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust are the first in the country to trial the use of Sambucol Black Elderberry liquid – available in many health food shops – in patients who are being treated for coronavirus.

For more information about the research study visit

Sexual health - Medicines burden on people with HIV

This study is looking at the experiences of what it is like for patients with HIV to use regular long-term medications. Participants will complete a survey and also be invited to take part in an interview. This study is run by the Medway School of Pharmacy at the University of Kent. If you would like to find out more please contact our Research team at

RETAKE-RETurn to work After StroKE

This study involves patients who have suffered a stroke and who were in work before the stroke took place. The study aims to test an enhanced therapy package to see if it improves the likelihood of patients returning to work after a stroke, compared to if they receive usual care. This is a joint study with East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust.

If you would like to find out more about this study or are interested in taking part please contact our Clinical Studies Officer Charlie Marlow on 01233 667776 or email

CRE-SLANG-Centre for Research Excellence in Speech and Language Neurobiology

This study is trying to find out if people who have difficulties with speech or language have genetic changes to their DNA, or have some very subtle differences in their brains.

If you would like to find out more information please contact Sarah Chapman, Clinical Studies Officer on 01233 667776 or by email

Community Nursing - TICC - Transforming Integrated Care in the Community

Transforming Integrated Care in the Community (TICC) is a study aiming to change the face of community care and provide services better suited to our ageing population. It is guided by the principles of the Buurtzorg model of care.

Buurtzorg focuses on maintaining independence and autonomy for the patient for as long as possible. It involves small self-managing teams of care staff working at community level who handle every aspect of patient care and business. This model of care has been used in The Netherlands and has shown to be very effective at improving outcomes for patients, carers and staff.

The research involves answering questionnaires to assess the impact of this new model of care. We are also recruiting staff, patients and carers using the standard model of care in the Tunbridge Wells area for comparison purposes.

If you would like to find out more information about this study please contact Daniel Dacosta on 01233 667776 or email

Diabetic foot ulcers - Midfut

This study is looking into the best way to treat chronic diabetic foot ulcers. There are a number of treatments used in the NHS but there is limited evidence on which combination of these works best at helping to heal Diabetic Foot Ulcers. This is a joint study with East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust.

To take part in this study, patients must have a Diabetic foot ulcer that is not healing well.

If you would like to find out more information about this study please contact our Clinical Studies Officer Charlie Marlow on 01233 667776 or email

Covid-19-ISARIC/WHO Clinical Characterisation Protocol for Severe Emerging Infections in the UK (CCP-UK)

A selection of patients admitted to community hospitals with Covid-19 are enrolled into this study and data is collected on their symptoms, treatment and outcomes. This data contributes to global efforts to provide information on those most at risk on Covid-19 as well as to help find common signs and symptoms of Covid-19 and to help establish treatments.

Children’s Speech and Language therapy - Palin

The study aims to explore how effective a stammering therapy (Palin STSC) is when delivered by speech and language therapists trained in the programme, compared to the treatment they would usually receive. This study is suitable for children who stammer age 8-14 and have been referred to the speech and language service.

If you would like to find out more information please contact Sarah Chapman, Clinical Research Practitioner on 07876 218138 or by email

Covid-19-Berry Study

This study involves trialling the use of Sambucol Black Elderberry liquid in patients who are being treated for coronavirus. Participants in the study will either receive the black elderberry liquid or a placebo.

If you would like to find out more information please contact Charlie Marlow, Clinical Research Practitioner on 07900 713027 or by email

Continence Care- Survey of practitioners’ education and attitudes regarding continence care (SPEAC study)

This is an online survey to gather opinions on continence care. All healthcare staff, any grade, any discipline, any setting are being invited to complete the online survey, which should take about 15 minutes to complete on your computer, laptop, smartphone or mobile device. The study team are keen to hear from as many members of staff as possible, and would be very grateful to hear your opinions on this fundamental area of care.

COPD-Non-interventional Study Related to Fixed LAMA/LABA/ICS Triple therapy (TriOptimize)

This study is being run in collaboration with Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust. It aims to measure the health-related quality of life of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) when they are taking a fixed LAMA/LABA/ICS triple therapy (Trimbow). The study also aims to see if participants take the medication as prescribed.

Recent studies

We have recently carried out these research projects:

Intellectual Disability and Mental Health

Assessing the Genomic Impact on Neurodevelopment (IMAGINE ID): This study is looking at collecting information on children and young adults diagnosed with intellectual disability. Intellectual disability often has a genetic cause and many children with ID are born with genetic changes. These changes in the genetic code (DNA) are very complex. This means that people with ID rarely have the same genetic changes. Examples of genetic changes include gains or duplications of DNA, losses or deletions of DNA and changes of the letters of the DNA code. By collecting this information the study team hope to understand the impact of genetic changes on children’s behaviour. The study involves completion of online questionnaires and an online puzzle.

If you would like to find out more information please contact Charlie Marlow, Clinical Studies Officer on 01233 667776 or by email at

FEMUR III-Fracture in the Elderly Multidisciplinary Rehabilitation III

This study involves patients over 60 who have had a hip fracture that has been repaired with surgery. An enhanced rehabilitation package has been designed for patients who are recovering from hip fracture surgery.  This study aims to establish what the effectiveness is of an enhanced rehabilitation programme following surgery to fix the hip fracture, compared with usual care. This is a joint study with neighbouring acute hospital trusts.

If you would like to find out more information please contact our Research Nurse Danielle Pearce on 01233 667776 or email

Brain Stimulation and cognitive training in ADHD

The aim of this study was to help develop a new treatment for ADHD that is not reliant on pharmacological medication but training of attention and self-control skills with the extra help of some brain stimulation. Participants were trained to improve their attention skills with a computer game and at the same time they received brain stimulation using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS)

Sayana Press

Sayana Press is a contraceptive injection and it allows the patient to self-inject in the home environment. This was a Phase IV trial-meaning the drug was already approved for use in July 2015.  Women were given a year’s supply of the contraceptive and self-administered a dose every 13 weeks in the comfort of their own homes. This was our first commercial study and was a great success.


This study was looking at whether people with a rotator cuff problem do better after up to 6 physiotherapy sessions or after one best practice advice session with a physiotherapist. The trial also looked at testing whether getting an injection in the shoulder joint before starting either regime helped. All of the treatments are already commonly used in the NHS to treat rotator cuff. The trial has finished recruiting in our area and the participants are currently undergoing their treatment.

Cardiac Rehab-CARD-Treatment Patient Preferences in Myocardial Infarction

This study was comparing patient preferences for antithrombotic treatments for patients experiencing an acute and chronic Myocardial Infarction (hearth attack) through an online survey.

Sexual health-PrEP

This aim of the study was to investigate PrEP (HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis) use in HIV negative patients to see who many people might need PrEP, how many want to take PrEP and how long they stay on the drug. The findings of this study were used to enable a national PrEP programme to be planned in England.

Publications resulting from studies KCHFT has been involved in