Barts Charity has donated £2.9 million to establish a new centre of excellence for academic trauma and orthopaedic surgery at Queen Mary University of London and Barts Health NHS Trust.
The aim of the centre is to unlock the potential for learning to improve care for people around the world who suffer with conditions affecting their bones, joints and muscles.
Queen Mary’s partner NHS trust, Barts Health, has the busiest orthopaedic service in the UK, dealing with painful musculoskeletal conditions such as arthritis, which have a huge impact on patients’ quality of life.
The trust is also home to the UK’s largest orthopaedic trauma reconstruction service, where clinicians fix broken limbs, restore patients’ mobility and prevent future pain for adults and children who’ve sustained injuries. The department is one of the country’s leading sites for recruiting patients into orthopaedic clinical trials, which allows patients to be offered to new treatments and helps to improve knowledge and understanding in this under-researched area.
The team now plans to develop its strong expertise and track record to become an outstanding academic unit, conducting more research which will have a wider impact.
Queen Mary and Barts Health will use the funding to work together to develop the infrastructure and recruit the team needed to build a sustainable, world-class centre of excellence for academic trauma and orthopaedic surgery in East London, conducting meaningful, innovative and life-changing research.
Professor Xavier Griffin has been recruited as chair of the centre. One of the country’s leading musculoskeletal experts, Professor Griffin was previously associate professor of trauma surgery at the University of Oxford and honorary consultant trauma surgeon at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital. He is also chief investigator for National Institute for Health Research randomised clinical trials and holds a commission in the Army Reserve.
Professor Griffin said: “I can’t wait to join the team at Queen Mary and Barts Health; but the real news here is that together with Barts Charity we will be building a new musculoskeletal group that will deliver on world class research, deliver on academic training and deliver opportunities for young clinicians to realise their academic aspirations. Let’s start the journey!”
Fiona Miller Smith, chief executive at Barts Charity, added: “We’re delighted that Barts Charity’s funding will facilitate this potentially life-changing research into orthopaedic conditions, which affect so many people in our community and across the globe. It’s fantastic to have Professor Griffin on board—one of the UK’s top figures in this area, who brings with him an extraordinary wealth of expertise.”