£1.9m grant to translate sepsis research into real world benefit

The major grant will contribute to research that aims to improve how antibiotics are used in critically ill patients and has the potential to fundamentally change the management of patients with sepsis.

Dr Tom Hellyer has been awarded a £1.9m grant to determine whether antibiotic exposure in critically ill patients with sepsis can be safely reduced by shortening the duration of the initial course. Tom is one of five recently appointed NHIP Senior Clinical Fellows who is contributing to our ambition to translate research and innovation into real world benefit.

Awarded as part of the Health Technology Assessment (HTA) grant from the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), the funding will deliver a large trial recruiting over 2,000 patients from 50 critical care units in the UK.

Tom, who is also an Honorary Intensive Care Consultant in the Newcastle University Translational and Clinical Research Institute, commented on his success: “This HTA award will deliver a large, multi-centre trial to determine whether fixed, short-duration antibiotic courses are effective in critically ill patients with sepsis – the SHORTER trial.

“The SHORTER trial aims to improve how we use antibiotics in the sickest patients to make sure they get the right treatment while minimising the harms. If short-duration antibiotics are safe and effective, this would fundamentally change the management of patients with sepsis, reducing antibiotic exposure leading to avoidance of antibiotic-associated harms, reduced risk of antimicrobial resistance and significant cost savings.”

The NHIP recently invested in the appointment of five outstanding NHIP Senior Clinical Fellowships in the areas of vascular surgery, paediatrics, rheumatology, intensive care and haematology.

As one of these newly appointed Fellows, Tom will contribute to an Academic Health Science Centre that brings together the region’s leading research, NHS and city partners to address health inequalities.

The Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme funds research about the clinical and cost-effectiveness, and broader impact of healthcare treatments and tests for those who plan, provide or receive care from NHS, and social care services. You can find out more about the Health Technology Assessment grants from the NIHR here.


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