Research enables the NHS to explore if treatment is safe, has any side effects or if new treatments are better than the standard treatments which are being used. This page provides information on what research is, how important it is, how you can help and get involved, real life patient stories and information for researchers.

What is research

The systematic study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions” (Oxford English dictionary)

Research not only drives innovation it generates an income and allows staff to find if there are alternatives to the treatment currently being supplied.

Over the years, the City Hospitals Sunderland Research department has had multiple achievements:

  • Sunderland Eye Infirmary: highest national recruiters to 6 research studies
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology: highest national recruiters for FACT and SALVO trials
  • Several research leadership roles at the Clinical Research Network
  • Regional and National awards for Research and Innovation
  • 2015- NIHR national PI recognition award Deepali Varma
  • 2016- NIHR national recognition award Amna Ahmed, O&G consultant- leading commercial principal investigator

Our research

City Hospitals Sunderland has seven research nurses who cover research studies in several specialities. We currently have ongoing studies in the following areas:

Anaesthesia, perioperative medicine & pain management



Injuries and emergencies

Cardiovascular disease

Metabolic and endocrine disorders


Musculoskeletal disorders

Critical care

Neurological disorders



Ear, nose and throat

Renal disorders


Reproductive health and childbirth



Health services and delivery services


Information for researchers

If you are undertaking clinical research in the NHS, you will need to:

  • Have a well-defined study and a protocol and be able to meet the financial requirements
  • Have an organisation to sponsor your study (e.g. City Hospitals Sunderland, other NHS Trust or University)
  • Gain all governing approvals (e.g. HRA, REC, MHRA etc) via the IRAS system
  • Work with participating sites to arrange confirmation of capacity and capability

Useful links for information and support for conducting Research

HRA decision tool

Feasibility form


How to get involved in research

Taking part in Research is vital to the NHS and can benefit everyone in many ways. Here at City Hospitals Sunderland we have several active research studies which at one point a patient, or relative of that patient may be approached to take part in.

Many of our patients are already involved/helping us with studies and clinical trials however we are always wanting to include more patients to help improve the future of our healthcare.

Taking part in research can be a rewarding experience and we have several Research Nurses on site to speak to if this is something you would be interested in.

Alternatively, if you are interested in taking part in a clinical research study you can:

  • Speak to your doctor, consultant or nurse
  • Visit the following websites Making Research Better & UK Clinical Trials Gateway both will specify any research opportunities and display real life patient stories.

Please note taking part in research studies is voluntary and will not affect your care at any point.

Contact us

Director of Research & Innovation Kim Hinshaw

Research Manager Lynne Palmer

Research nurses

Eleanor Dungca

Pauline Oates

Andrew Smith

Paul Corrigan

Rona Ymballa

Amanda Waites

Sunderland Royal Hospital

Kayll Road, Sunderland, Tyne & Wear, SR4 7TP

Tel: 0191 565 6256

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Sunderland Eye Infirmary

Queen Alexandra Road, Sunderland, Tyne & Wear, SR2 9HP

Tel: 0191 565 6256

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