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The clinical research unit in Trauma and Orthopaedics at St George’s Hospital participates in a number of national trials recruiting patients into studies investigating musculoskeletal diseases and injuries. These studies are supported by the National Institute for Health Research and have contributed to improvements in care for many patients in the UK.

The unit also leads innovative studies in basic sciences which may benefit patients in the future and studies into trauma outcomes from patients treated in our major trauma centre. The unit has established links with the Botnar Research Centre, the Musculoskeletal Laboratory at Imperial College, The University of East Anglia and Kingston University  through its collaborative research projects.

The unit is led by Caroline Hing who works closely with allied health professionals, clinicians and academics to deliver research into musculoskeletal diseases and injuries. The unit is supported by the Clinical Research Facility and the Joint Research and Enterprise Office who facilitate research governance and research delivery. The research team consists of MD students, Junior Orthopaedic Research Fellows, Research Physiotherapists, Research Nurses and a Clinical Trials Assistant.

Patient and public involvement

Research for patient benefit needs patients and carers to have a say in how studies are designed so that they answer the questions that are important to them. Patients can be involved in designing studies and ensuring the results are disseminated to the public. Our studies have involved patients from their inception through to grant application and publication.

National studies

Below are links to the national studies our patients have participated in:

WHIST – https://www.ndorms.ox.ac.uk/clinical-trials/current-trials-and-studies/whist

DRAFFT2 – https://www.ndorms.ox.ac.uk/clinical-trials/current-trials-and-studies/drafft-2

FIXDT – https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/med/research/ctu/trials/critical/fixdt/

CPinBOSS- https://www.ndorms.ox.ac.uk/clinical-trials/current-trials-and-studies/cpinboss-study

CRAFFT – https://www.ndorms.ox.ac.uk/clinical-trials/current-trials-and-studies/crafft

SCIENCE – https://www.ndorms.ox.ac.uk/clinical-trials/current-trials-and-studies/science

DISC – https://www.crd.york.ac.uk/CRDWeb/ShowRecord.asp?ID=32017000102&ID=32017000102

ARTISAN – https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/med/research/ctu/trials/artisan/

AceFIT – https://cctu.org.uk/portfolio/core/trials-closed-to-recruitment-in-follow-up/acefit

ACTIVE – https://www.york.ac.uk/healthsciences/research/trials/research/trials/active/

KReBS – https://www.york.ac.uk/healthsciences/research/trials/research/trials/krebs/

PROPHER2 – https://www.york.ac.uk/healthsciences/research/trials/research/trials/profher-2/

L1FE – https://www.york.ac.uk/healthsciences/research/trials/research/trials/l1fe/

TULIP – https://www.ndorms.ox.ac.uk/publications/1087473

PAPO – https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02603939


As well as participating in national studies we have helped to design studies within our department.

SPRING – https://www.hra.nhs.uk/planning-and-improving-research/application-summaries/research-summaries/the-unstable-kneecap-the-impact-of-anatomy-on-function-2/

PEP-TALK – https://www.ndorms.ox.ac.uk/clinical-trials/current-trials-and-studies/peptalk

STIFF-F – https://www.ndorms.ox.ac.uk/clinical-trials/current-trials-and-studies/stiff-f

CTA – https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00590-019-02416-4

Research team

Research lead – the research lead is responsible for the work of the research unit and overseeing the research team. The research lead supervises the research studies within the department and the training of researchers within the department.

Research fellows – research fellows work part time within the research department on a project registered with St George’s University of London for an MD and within the trauma and orthopaedic department on clinical duties.

Junior orthopaedic research fellows – JORFs work closely with a clinical supervisor on research projects within the department and as Associate Prinicipal Investigators on national trials. They also have a clinical component to their post and the aim is to improve their CV for application to core training in trauma and orthopaedics. The JORFs are encouraged to take part in the St George’s academic training and can go on to complete a PGCert in education or research.

BSc students –  medical students from St George’s University of London can participate in small research projects within the department as part of an intercalated BSc.

Medical students – medical students are encouraged to participate in research projects within the department as part of their SSC during their training.

Research physiotherapists – our research physiotherapists work part-time within the department, developing their skills as principal investigators and independent researchers.

Principal investigators – our department supports the training of new principal investigators in national trials.

Clinical trials assistant – a CTA works closely with the department, supporting our national trials.

Research nurses – research nurses work closely with our department supporting our national trials.


Patient and public involvement – https://www.invo.org.uk

National Institute for Health Research – https://www.nihr.ac.uk

Botnar Research Centre – https://www.ndorms.ox.ac.uk

Musculoskeletal Laboratory at Imperial College – https://www.imperial.ac.uk/msk-lab

The University of East Anglia – https://www.uea.ac.uk

Kingston University  – https://www.kingston.ac.uk

Clinical Research Facility – https://www.sgul.ac.uk/research/our-research-facilities/clinical-research-facility

Joint Research and Enterprise Office – https://www.stgeorges.nhs.uk/education-and-research/research/joint-research-and-enterprise-office-jreo/

St George’s academic training – https://www.sgul.ac.uk/study/professional-education/st-georges-academic-training