GMMH Research & Innovation is named winner and highly commended in two categories NIHR Health & Care Research Awards 2023 | News and Events

GMMH Research & Innovation is named winner and highly commended in two categories NIHR Health & Care Research Awards 2023

Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMMH) has been honoured in two categories at the 10th annual National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Greater Manchester Health and Care Research Awards 2023.  

Over 220 guests gathered at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester on Thursday 5 October to celebrate the outstanding research work of the awards finalists for 2022/23 in Greater Manchester, East Cheshire and East Lancashire.  

Colleagues from GMMH Research and Innovation team attended the event, where Professor Lucy Chappell, Chief Executive Officer of the NIHR and the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Department of Health and Care, gave a keynote speech. Chief Executives and other senior leaders from each of the NHS trusts were featured in a video montage, thanking and congratulating the researchers. 

GMMH’s Research & Innovation department are delighted to be recognised in the following categories:  

WINNER: Best Contribution to Research Delivery outside of the NHS – Lumi-Nova Tales of Courage” study team : The Innovation team, BfB Labs and GM.Digital Research Unit (GMMH and the Centre for Women’s Mental Health at the University of Manchester) 

The Lumi Nova team won the award for ‘Best Contribution to Research Delivery outside of the NHS for its focus on an underserved population and impressive participant numbers. 

Lumi Nova: Tales of Courage is a therapeutic mobile game for childhood anxiety. The immersive game is designed for children aged between seven and twelve years old to teach young people to self-manage their fears and worries. In this implementation study, the research team and GMMH’s Schools Link Team engaged with schools in Wigan and Bolton to incorporate Lumi Nova into the care pathway, making this achievement possible.  

Lumi Nova Team

Left to Right: Roger Spencer, Chairman (CRN GM Partnership Group), Donna Waterson, Trial Manager (GMMH), Niamh Bolton (BfB Labs), Rachel Rosenhead, Research Initiation and Delivery Manager (GMMH) and John Sainsbury, Innovation Manager (GMMH)

John Sainsbury, Innovation Manager at GMMH, said:  

“This is a wonderful recognition of the efforts of a new collaboration and the efforts of many people from schools, families, Mental health school teams, Digital Navigators and research assistants. 

“To recruit 117 children from deprived areas of Greater Manchester to engage with a digital therapeutic intervention was considered by some as impossible.   

“What this shows is that there is a high need for early interventions for children with anxiety and an openness to give digital therapies ago.  

“Thanks to everyone who supported this study the award is as much yours as ours.”  

The principles behind Lumi Nova are based on exposure therapy – a highly effective part of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) – which involves setting goals, breaking down fears into manageable steps and gradually attempting these fears.  

Highly Commended: Outstanding Achievement by a Team – GMMH’s Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) study team  

The Greater Manchester Clinical Research Network told attendees that in five of the eleven categories, the quality of finalists was so high that additional recognition was due. GMMH was ‘Highly Commended’ in the ‘Outstanding Achievement by a Team’ category for their trial of a potential drug to treat the symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).  

OCD Team Photo

Left to right: David Rogers and John Goddard (Medicines Evaluation Unit), Donna Waterson, Trial Manager (GMMH), Dr Sehrish Shafique, ST6 (Biohaven), Leanne Howieson, Clinical Services Officer (GMMH), Georgia Addison, Research Nurse (GMMH), Damien Longson, Associate R&I Director (GMMH), Roger Spencer, Chairman (CRN GM Partnership Group)

GMMH is working with pharmaceutical company Biohaven to trial the effects of a new ‘investigational’ drug, Troriluzole, and evaluate its effectiveness in treating OCD symptoms, and whether participants with OCD find it easy to use.  

Damien Longson, Associate Director of R&I at GMMH, said:  

“A fantastic ‘well-done’ to the whole OCD team, who have shown so much care, efficiency and professionalism, working hand-in-hand with our collaborators at the Manchester Clinical Research Facility.  

“It’s such a privilege being able to offer new and exciting treatments to our trial participants, without whom none of this research would be possible.” 

The randomised controlled trial sees participants given Troriluzole or a placebo for a period of three months, with regular assessments to see how the participant’s health and mental health have changed, with a particular focus on the severity of OCD symptoms.  

The trial is still ongoing, with a number of participants having found a benefit from Troriluzole and opting to be part of the extended trial of 96 weeks.

The night came to a close with remarks from Professor Andy Ustianoswki, Co-Clinical Director of NIHR Clinical Research Network Greater Manchester, saying: 

“On behalf of the CRN, I would like to say how extremely grateful we are to work with everyone in this room and across our network. It is a privilege to work alongside you all to help change people’s lives through research. The work you do really does make a difference and you all should be very proud.” 

A full list of the winners and highly commended finalists in each of the categories can be found  here  

A huge congratulations to the research and innovation teams involved in these impressive studies!  

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