Heart surgery patients will benefit from a new collaborative partnership between the University of Leicester and the James Lind Alliance, which will be identifying the top priorities in heart surgery research in the UK.
The Heart Surgery Priority Setting Partnership, which is funded by Heart Research UK, is headed by Professor Gavin Murphy, Honorary Consultant Cardiac Surgeon at Leicester’s Hospitals and British Heart Foundation Professor of Cardiac Surgery at the University of Leicester.
Priority Setting Partnerships (PSPs) identify and prioritise uncertainties, or ‘unanswered questions’, about the effects of treatments that they agree are the most important. The aim of this is to help ensure that those who fund health research are aware of what really matters to both patients and clinicians.
These questions, if addressed by researchers, could help with the progression of modern medicine and be to the benefit of patients.
Professor Murphy said: “We want to identify the key research questions in cardiac surgery. By asking doctors, patients, and their carers for their views we can be confident that our research will address the needs of everyone. This means that our research is more likely to succeed and more likely to improve the lives of our patients.”
The Heart Surgery PSP was established following a workshop which took place in February 2017 that sought to develop a national research strategy in cardiovascular surgery. The main conclusion of the workshop was that an agreed set of research priorities would be welcomed by the main funders of research into cardiovascular disease.
In November 2017 the Board of Heart Research UK agreed to fund the PSP in full with a grant of £80,000.
The Heart Surgery PSP’s first step is to conduct a national survey to identify the research priorities of patients, carers, clinicians and researchers-whether that be prevention of heart disease, diagnosis, or treatment and care of people undergoing heart surgery.
This will be followed up by a second survey to prioritise the questions asked and help decide where research funds should be allocated.
The overall aim of the Heart Surgery PSP is to ensure that research is relevant to people dealing with the issues surrounding heart surgery every day.
• You can take part in the Heart Surgery PSP’s first survey here: https://leicester.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/heart-surgery-priority-setting-partnership-initial-survey
• Find out more about the National Heart Surgery Research Priority Setting Partnership here: https://www2.le.ac.uk/departments/cardiovascular-sciences/Heart_Surgery_Priority_Setting_Partnership
• Additional information about the James Lind Alliance is available here: www.jla.nihr.ac.uk