Our research

Research graphic

Providing excellent care and facilities is central to all that we do, but there is a huge amount of work that goes on behind the scenes in research that helps us find cures and better treatments for our women, children and families now and in the future. Our vision is that every child, young person, woman and family who comes into contact with our hospital’s services is offered the opportunity to take part in a research project that is appropriate to them. Our aim is to ensure that all research associated with the Trust is of high quality, ethically sound and of benefit to patient care, treatment and rehabilitation.

As an organisation, research excellence is measured according to our recruitment onto clinical trials. Currently, we have several hundred active clinical trials and next year we are forecasting even more!

At our Women's Hospital, we have world-leading research including in Genetics where we are looking at the factors involved in the development of cancer and Gynaecology, where we host the National Centre for Miscarriage Research.

At our Children's Hospital, we carry out world-leading research and treatment for children with rare diseases which affect less than one in 100,000 children. Although rare diseases can affect many different parts of the body, the one thing that is common is that they all require care and treatment from several different specialist areas and if unrecognised they can lead to severe disabilities.

The Research and Development (R&D) department are responsible for overseeing research that takes place at BWC, from conception to completion. We have dedicated teams who provide support, advice and guidance during the research process. The R&D team is made up of professionals from a variety of disciplines including Quality Assurance, Project Management and Data Management; Governance; Nursing; Midwifery and Genetics.

To learn more about our research and to find out how you can get involved please contact our research team.

Location, opening times and contact number

The team works across both BCH and BWH and are available Monday to Friday, 8am – 5pm.  To get in touch with us please either call 0121 333 8751 or email bwc.research@nhs.net.

The main R&D office at BCH is located on the third floor of the Laboratories Block, which is on Whittall Street.  It can be accessed via the main hospital entrance through the Rainbow Corridor, which is just off the ground floor main corridor. 

Taking part in research

There are many different ways of getting involved in research at BWC. Everyone should be entitled to be a participant in a trial if there is one suitable for you. You can speak with your Doctor or Nurse in charge of your care and they will be able to tell you if there is any active research in that area. Alternatively, you can be an active member in delivering research across BWC and providing women, children and their families to help in the future.

The R&D team can provide the following services to all staff and students based within BWC. 

  • Delivery of research and access to delivery support such as research nurses & midwives & data managers as well as the Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility.
  • Research governance, which ensures research, is being conducted in line with international and national frameworks and legislation
  • Quality assurance, including audit and monitoring of research projects
  • Performance management of open and recruiting projects
  • Maintenance of a local portfolio management system (EDGE) to help organise and co-ordinate research activity
  • Research-related training, including Chief Investigator/Principal Investigator master classes, Good Clinical Practice (GCP), consent and site file management
  • Support with pharmacovigilence and safety reporting
  • Investigating serious breaches in research and research misconduct
  • Involving & Informing Consumers in Research
  • Support with grant applications
  • Sponsorship of research projects
  • Support with closure and archiving of research projects
  • Partnerships and alliances with other research and innovations teams, including Birmingham Health Partners, West Midlands Academic Science Network and Clinical Research Network: West Midlands.

Patient Opportunity

Birmingham Women’s and Children’s run a variety of trials across both sites and work with many different commercial sponsors, charities and other institutions around the world. Building the relationships with sponsors and funders is essential to us to carry our world-leading research and treatment for our women, children and their families.  

To date we have given 25,000 patients the opportunity to participate in research at both Birmingham Women’s and Birmingham Children’s sites with currently having opened around 700 research projects. We are keen to work alongside commercial and non-commercial partners to help recruit our women, children and their families to our world-leading research.

We work alongside Pharmaceutical companies to test new treatment or devices and also work closely with charities, other NHS hospitals and Institutions to deliver successful research projects and to provide our patients with opportunities to participate in research. We also participate in Non-Interventional and Qualitative research too.

The commercial research we do at BWC largely amounts to drug and medical device trials.

National research report

In the National Research Report 2017/18 we've been ranked one of the highest performing Trusts to report an increase in the number of research studies in the past year. In the latest Research Activity League published by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), we are third in England, reporting a 23.8% increase in the number of research studies. During 2017 and 2018, we recruited no less than 4,731 participants to 177 studies. If you would like to get involved with research, please speak to your clinician and ask about the options in your relevant specialty.

Research performance

Like other NHS providers holding NIHR contracts, we are required to provide quarterly performance reports to the NIHR Central Commissioning Facility. These reports provide an overview of recruitment to clinical trials, including commercial contract clinical trials. They show whether the Trust has met the ’70 day benchmark’ of recruiting a patient into a trial within 70 days of receiving a valid application for approval to open the study.

The most recent reports can be found below:

For more information about these reports or any of the studies, please contact bwc.research@nhs.net.

Research activity performance of initiating clinical trials for Q1 2019 2020.pdf [pdf] 194KB

Research activity performance of delivering clinical trials for Q1 2019 2020.pdf [pdf] 105KB

Research activity performance of initiating clinical trials for Q4 2018-2019 [pdf] 248KB

Research activity performance of delivering clinical trials for Q4 2018-2019 [pdf] 100KB

Research activity performance of initiating clinical trials for Q3 2018/2019 [pdf] 222KB

Research activity performance of delivering clinical trials for Q3 2018/2019 [pdf] 142KB

Research activity performance of initiating clinical trials for Q2 2018/2019 [pdf] 301KB

Research activity performance of delivering clinical trials for Q2 2018/2019[pdf] 66KB ​​​​​​​

Research activity performance of initiating clinical trials for Q1 2018/2019 [pdf] 253KB

Research activity performance of delivering clinical trials for Q1 2018/2019 [pdf] 35KB ​​​​​​​

Research activity performance of delivering clinical trials for Q4 2017/2018 [pdf] 87KB

Research activity performance of initiating clinical trials for Q4 2017/2018 [pdf] 283KB

Research activity performance of delivering clinical trials for Q3 2017/2018 [pdf] 75KB

Research activity performance of initiating clinical trials for Q3 2017/2018[pdf] 337KB

Research activity performance of delivering clinical trials for Q2 2017/2018 [pdf] 86KB

Research activity performance of initiating clinical trials for Q2 2017/2018[pdf] 175KB