The Trust


What is research?

Research is defined within the Research Governance Framework for Health and Social Care, 2005, as "the attempt to derive generaliseable new knowledge by addressing clearly defined questions with systematic and rigorous methods".

Research is a necessary part of NHS work and is essential for the advancement of healthcare. All Trusts are accountable for continuously improving service quality. We as a Trust are committed to ensuring that we provide the best possible care for our patients. By carrying out research into the care we provide, we can compare or investigate different ways to treat illnesses, allowing us to contribute to improvements in patient care. Research is therefore essential to enable us to ensure our services and the care we deliver are of the highest standards.

Healthcare is evolving all the time as a result of research, and we are part of this.

Current Research at East Cheshire NHS Trust

At East Cheshire NHS Trust we currently undertake research in the following areas:

• Cardiology

• Gastroenterology

• Health Service Delivery

• Musculoskeletal disorders

• Neurodegenerative Diseases

• Oncology (cancer)

• Paediatrics

• Physiotherapy

• Reproductive Health and Childbirth

• Respiratory disorders

• Rheumatology

• Sexual Health

• Surgery

• Urology

Who does the research?

Doctors. A number of clinicians who work in different specialities carry out research, and lead research studies at the Trust.

Research nurses and therapists. Our research nurses and therapists work closely with and support the doctors in caring for patients involved, and manage the research studies.

Pharmacy, Radiology and Pathology departments. Colleagues within these departments work together with the research teams.

All of our doctors, nurses, therapists and support staff involved in research are trained in Good Clinical Practice Guidelines (GCP) to ensure we carry out research in a safe and effective manner.

The Research & Development service, based at Macclesfield District General Hospital, builds the research strategy for the Trust and ensures research is regulated in line with Department of Health research governance policies.  It is the point of contact for advice and guidance regarding research governance.  

We are supported by the Greater Manchester Local Research Network which is part of the National Institute for Health Research.

Getting involved

If you are a patient at our Trust and meet certain criteria you may be invited by your doctor or nurse to take part in a research study. If you are asked to participate, you will be given a patient information leaflet all about the study to keep and read through.  Your doctor or research nurse will discuss it with you, and you can ask any questions you may have. You will be supported throughout the study by the research team.

If you would like to take part in our research but have not been asked, please talk to your doctor or nurse, who will refer you to the research team if appropriate.

Being involved in research is voluntary, and you can change your mind at any time. You will be asked to give consent before you will be considered for research.

The National Institute for Health Research have produced an information booklet about participating in health research, called 'Understanding Clinical Trials', which you can access by clicking via the following link:

Understanding Clinical Trials


Research at East Cheshire NHS Trust is led by Stephanie Ratcliffe, Head of Clinical Governance and Chris Smart, Clinical Lead for Research.
If you would like any further information, please contact the Research and Development Team on 01625 661743 or via email at

For further information about specific research areas please contact;





Barbara Townley
Senior Oncology Research Sister

01625 663115



Natalie Keenan
Paediatric Research Nurse

01625 661870


Integrated Research Team

Maureen Holland
Senior Research Nurse

01625 663873


Research team

Patient Stories

A patient story is an individuals personal account of their healthcare experience as described in their own words.


FUTURE is a research study looking at how useful a special bladder test called ‘Urodynamics’ is at improving the treatment results for women affected by refractory overactive bladder (OAB).

OAB affects 12-14% (12 in every 100 women) of the adult female population in the UK. Symptoms include increased frequency (going to pass urine more frequently); urgency (being unable to hold-on); urgency incontinence (Urinary Leakage being unable to hold-on); and waking up at night to pass urine.

Although rarely life-threatening, OAB can have a considerable negative impact on patients’ quality of life, restricting their social life and ability to work, and up-to social isolation in severe cases.

External Links