Video: showcasing how clinical research makes a difference

Watch the Sheffield Star's video of Alison Mortimer, lead research nurse for the Trust talk about her experience of how clinical research has improved care.

Lung sufferer's research hope

Julia Anne Finney suffers from bronchiectasis, a little understood illness which causes severe tightening in the chest.

On a bad day it can restrict her breathing so much that getting dressed and going shopping with her daughter are uncomfortable and strenuous.

Around 1 in every 1,000 adults in England suffer from the disease. Unlike other lung diseases bronchiectasis occurs as a result of damage to lungs when patients were younger. This is caused by previous childhood lung infections, underlying problems with the immune system, or an allergy to a certain type of fungi that damages the lungs.

How research helped

Now Julia is thanking research staff based at the Sheffield’s National Institute for Health Research’s Clinical Research Facility for inspiring her to carry on living with the illness. The National Institute for Health Research’s Clinical Research Facility operates from both the Royal Hallamshire and Northern General Hospital.

Julia said: “Since my illness got worse I’ve had to really slow down – even taking my daughter out shopping can be difficult. I used to really enjoy gardening, too, but I can only manage half an hour before I have to stop. When I was a midwife I used to work round the clock, working on-call and doing night shifts, so I just want to give hope to other patients.

“I’d urge anyone thinking about getting involved in clinical research to go for it, as everything is carefully monitored and I know much more about my condition than I ever did before. The care is absolutely first class here – when I have a tightening in the chest it’s picked up early and you never know what impact new treatments might have on people’s lives in the future.”

Increasing understanding of diseases

Julie Sorrell, a research sister from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Imagine your worst chest infection and then times this by 20 – this is what life is like for bronchiectasis sufferers. It’s a little talked about disease, and as well as supporting patients to manage an illness which can make them really poorly, our research gives realistic hope for the future.”



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