10 years of Alder Hey's CRF

10 years of Alder Hey's CRF

As we celebrate the 10th anniversary of our NIHR funded Clinical Research Facility, we look back at the impact it has had on some of our patients and families…

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Alder Hey Clinical Research Facility.

Funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the state-of-the-art facility has spent almost a decade creating a healthier future for children and young people.

One of them is Nikita who took part in a clinical trial to help improve management of her Type 1 diabetes.

Nikita case study pic.jpg

The research that Nikita is took part in is called the CLOUD study and involves testing out a device called an ‘insulin pump’ which means no more finger prick tests, no more injections and less hypos, when blood sugar drops too low.

Finger prick tests are often a source of discomfort and annoyance for individuals suffering from Type 1 Diabetes so the study aims to improve the quality of life day to day for those suffering with the condition.

Nikita, from Liverpool, said: “I wanted to take some of the worry away for not only me but my parents as well.

“I’m a dancer and found it hard to control my glucose levels with exercise. I also really wanted to help other children and young people like me to live their best life with few restrictions. Without research and clinical trials, we can’t move forward.”

Nikita’s ambition is to become a paediatric nurse and credits her experiences at the Alder Hey Clinical Research Facility for helping mould that ambition.

She said: “The trial has been life-changing for me and my family and has really helped me with my blood sugar control. I also really wanted to help other children and young people like me to live their best life with fewer restrictions!”

Another person who has helped Alder Hey by taking part in research trials is Jessica from Liverpool.

Jessica has needed a colostomy stoma since age 4 and during one of her regular appointments at Alder Hey, she took part in the LAVA pilot study to trial a new COVID test.

The LAVA pilot study helped to trial a new COVID test, which we now know as the lateral flow test, to see how effective these were to try and help the hospital gain quicker results.

This trial was in 2 separate parts and the second lateral flow was taken on the day of admission 3 days after the first test which was taken in advance.

Mum Kim said “I feel this trial was Important because it can help patients get there results in minutes rather than days and allow the children to leave their room for walks around ward or to go to the play room faster, we asked Jessica did she want to take part and explained what it was for and because she likes helping other children she said yes!”

Jessica, who recently turned 7 is now leading a happy, healthy life and enjoys dancing drawing and singing. She has a passion for helping other children with stomas and advocates for new and improved treatments for them.

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Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust is committed to creating a healthier future for children and young people.

The Liverpool hospital is the busiest children and young people’s NHS Trust in the UK and has been a world leader in healthcare and research for more than 100 years.

The NIHR Alder Hey Clinical Research Facility (CRF) is a state-of-the-art dedicated Clinical Research Facility, operated and housed within the trust.

Alder Hey CRF is one of 22 research facilities across the UK funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), and one of two exclusively for paediatric patients. 

It’s an internationally important facility for experimental medicine and early phase research for children and young people, recruiting 10 first global, four first European and five first UK recruits to clinical trials since 2011.

The facility has also supported the delivery of 150 studies in the past five years.

With some of the UK’s leading experts in paediatrics and outstanding co-located facilities, the CRF prides itself on being child-centred and tailored for delivering safe, high-quality, complex and high intensity paediatric research in areas of unmet medical needs.

In September 2018 the dedicated research, innovation and education centre was completed, which sits alongside the hospital as part of the wider vision of an Alder Hey in the Park Campus.

Home to researchers, academics and industry partners, this facility supports vital collaboration for better healthcare for children and young people in the future.


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Alder Hey Children's Charity