The haemophilia and research and development teams at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital have been commended by the NIHR Clinical Research Network for recruiting the first patient to a global study looking at therapy used to treat patients with Haemophilia A.
Haemophilia is a rare condition that affects the blood’s ability to clot. The research study, which will last between six and 12 months, is looking at the standard product that people with Haemophilia A use to control or treat their disease.
The current therapy used helps to reduce bleeding and the associated problems, including long term joint damage and pain, by replacing the missing clotting factor in the blood. However, in order to prevent bleeds, most patients have to take the solution through an IV every other day, which can often place a huge burden on patients, as well as being a costly treatment.
The second phase of this study will test a new version of the therapy, which will mean patients can reduce the number of treatments needed, improving their quality of life. For patient Phil Wheeler, being part of this first phase will mean he is eligible for the second phase of the study, which the team hopes to begin later in the year.
Phil said: “Being part of this study gives me hope for both my own future and for younger haemophiliacs. Involvement in a study like this helps me to feel like significant advancements are being made, and I hope that in future, haemophiliacs will be protected for longer and need a lot less medical management.
“Of all the Haemophilia centres I have been to throughout my life, the centre in Basingstoke has really felt the most like my home centre and I’m thankful for the care I have received there. It is such an inclusive place, from the reception staff to the specialist doctors and all the nursing and physiotherapists in between. Everyone makes you feel completely welcome.”
Dr Sarah Mangles, clinical director for haemophilia and thrombosis at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Basingstoke hospital, as well as hospitals in Winchester and Andover, said: “We are thrilled to be able to recruit the first patient in the world to the study, managing to beat colleagues from the United States of America by two weeks!
“Recruiting a patient to this important study involved a coordinated effort from the whole team, from the research and development team to the clinical team preparing for the study, completing training and contacting the patients, and it is great to see this hard work has paid off.’
Alex Whitfield, chief executive of Hampshire Hospitals, added: “Research and collaboration are key in our Trust and it is fantastic to see these two principles working hand in hand.
“Studies like this are hugely important so that we can continue to deliver the best possible care to our patients, whilst also providing our staff with learning and development opportunities. I am exceptionally proud of all of our staff who were involved in helping our Trust to be the first to contribute to this study and look forward to seeing how this may help to shape care in the future.”
Hampshire Hospitals is part of The Southern Haemophilia Network, the first network of its kind in the UK to provide consistent standard of care to patients with bleeding disorders across the region.