£1.9m grant could help to improve antibiotic use in sepsis patients

The major grant will contribute to research that aims to improve how antibiotics are used in critically ill patients and has the potential to fundamentally change the management of patients with sepsis.

Dr Tom Hellyer has been awarded a £1.9m grant to determine whether antibiotic exposure in critically ill patients with sepsis can be safely reduced by shortening the duration of the initial course.

Tom is an honorary intensive care consultant at Newcastle Hospitals and part of the Newcastle University Translational and Clinical Research Institute.

Awarded as part of the Health Technology Assessment (HTA) grant from the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), the funding will deliver a large trial recruiting over 2,000 patients from 50 critical care units in the UK.

Tom said: “This HTA award will deliver a large, multi-centre trial to determine whether fixed, short-duration antibiotic courses are effective in critically ill patients with sepsis – the SHORTER trial.

“The SHORTER trial aims to improve how we use antibiotics in the sickest patients to make sure they get the right treatment while minimising the harms. If short-duration antibiotics are safe and effective, this would fundamentally change the management of patients with sepsis, reducing antibiotic exposure leading to avoidance of antibiotic-associated harms, reduced risk of antimicrobial resistance and significant cost savings.”

Tom is also one of five recently appointed Newcastle Health Innovation Partners (NHIP) senior clinical fellows who have recently completed their training. These appointments are a key part of NHIP’s vision to help translate research into improving people’s lives.

Article adapted from NHIP: https://www.newcastlehealthinnovation.org/news/1-9m-grant-to-translate-sepsis-research-into-real-world-benefit/

  • NHIP brings together five core partners – Newcastle Hospitals, Newcastle University, Newcastle City Council, Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, and the Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria – to improve population health in the North East and north Cumbria.
  • The Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme funds research about the clinical and cost-effectiveness, and broader impact of healthcare treatments and tests for those who plan, provide or receive care from NHS, and social care services.

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