Trainee anaesthetists instrumental in research study’s success

Research studies often require a lot of patients agreeing to take part.

Ensuring there’s enough patients can take time, especially when there’s a set criteria of who can be included, so when a group of trainee anaesthetists were happy to help, it was a great learning opportunity and helped ensure the study was a success.

SNAP-3, or the 3rd Sprint National Anaesthesia Project, is a research trial looking at links between frailty, multi-morbidity and delirium in older patients in their surgical journey.

Research team involved in SNAP-3 (Stephanie Bell is third from left)

Stephanie Bell, lead generic research nurse, said the study focused on patients over the age of 60 who had planned or emergency surgery.

She said: “The study was carried out over one set week, and our role was to recruit patients from Ipswich and Colchester hospitals. Patients had to be assessed on how they were before and after their operation. Questions were asked regarding general health, social circumstances and cognition.

“As well as being a valuable study to inform clinicians about patients’ health and care, Stephanie said it was down to the involvement of the trainee anaesthetists that ensured so many patients agreed to take part.”

She added: “Engaging healthcare staff in research early on in their career is vital as it’s a key part of healthcare and we can be instrumental in making improvements to patient treatment and care in the future.”

Lizzie Speirs

Lizzie Speirs, consultant anaesthetist

At Ipswich, the study was led by Lizzie Speirs, consultant anaesthetist. As principal investigator, her role was to oversee the conduct of the study at site and support the trainees.

Ceren Senver

Ceren Senver, lead trainee anaesthetist

Vanessa Rivers, generic research nurse working on SNAP-3, added: “The trainees were led by Ceren Senver under the guidance of Lizzie Speirs, who set up a rota to ensure there were trainees across the week to help. Not only was it a good team bonding experience, but they were all exposed to research and why it’s so important.”

Trainee anasthetists

The team of trainee anaesthetists

The study, which is supported by the Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA) and managed by the University of Nottingham and Health Services Research Centre, included data collected from 118 patients who were operated on at ESNEFT hospitals. The study is a long-term trial so the results won’t be released for some time with plans to include data from 12,000 patients in total.

Patients who took part were assessed after surgery, three days after surgery and a week after surgery if they were still in hospital, as part of the trial.

One of the trainees told the team the experience really made them think about how they manage ‘frail’ patients and how they approach assessing them to meet their needs.

Members of our research team may contact or ask you to be part of a trial while receiving care through ESNEFT. More information about the team and what they do can be found on our website.

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