A little girl from Lowestoft has seen a substantial improvement to her health after her mum signed up for a global research project looking at how baby feeding formulas may affect young patients.
When Megan Bowman’s baby daughter Daisy became unwell at just two months old, Megan knew something wasn’t right.
After trips to the doctor, Megan asked if anything further could be done and a referral was made to the James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust allergy clinic, where the family were offered the opportunity to take part in a global research project, which sees babies given either a standard or trial formula with the aim of improving things for them regardless of which they are given.
Megan said; “Daisy was crying constantly, being sick and had a rash over much of her body. I knew there was something was very wrong and asked our local GP if she could be referred to the hospital. We were in within a week and a number of things were done – including skin prick and patch tests - to see if Daisy had allergies. During one of our visits Dr John Chapman mentioned there was a study that we might like to get involved in and we were given a pack to read more about it, the opportunity to spend some time with the research nurse who provided more information and to choose whether we wanted to take part.
“We thought anything was worth a try, and if it meant helping others too we thought it would be worth it. We agreed to start as soon as possible.”
At the first visit paediatric consultant Dr Chapman and his team thought Daisy could be a candidate for the study.
Claire Whitehouse, lead nurse for research, who has been working closely with Megan and Daisy, said; “Daisy was assessed and was found to meet the criteria for the study. Her family have been fantastic throughout the process and agreed to take part not only to see if it could help her, but so that it might help other families in the future.”
Megan said; “Daisy had been losing weight due to her illness but immediately started to put it back on. She stopped crying and has become really like a different baby – happy and interested in things again.
“The treatment she has received from Claire and the team has been outstanding. They’ve become like another family, with everyone asking about how Daisy is doing, including the wonderful pharmacy research staff. She has monthly checks as part of the year-long study but if I have a problem I’ll just call Claire and she is there to assist. It’s so nice to have a dedicated team – it feels like I’ve known them forever.”
Claire said; “Choosing to become part of a project can be a big decision but Daisy is a good example of why we do research – to find individual solutions to suit each individual. We know it can be a big decision but patients can ask if there is any research they can participate in and it may help you directly as well as helping others in the future.”
James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (JPUH) has seen a significant increase in clinical studies across a large number of disease areas in the last year, according to the annual National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Research Activity League Table, published earlier this week.
Research teams at the Trust increased participant recruitment by 14%, from 323 to 569, offering more opportunities for patients to get involved.
The Research Activity League Table is published by the NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) annually to detail research activity across all NHS trusts and CCGs in England. The table provides a picture of how much clinical research is happening in which NHS organisations, and involving how many patients. More people than ever before are being given access to new and better treatments through participation in clinical research across the country, according to the latest figures.
The table sits on the NIHR website at www.nihr.ac.uk/nihrleaguetable, accessible to anyone wanting to understand how much research activity is happening in their local trust or CCG.