Set up four years ago, SWARM is a trainee-led audit and research collaboration between six NHS organisations in the region, including Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust and Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust.
It is also supported by Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry (PUPSMD) and PenCLAHRC, where we fund a research fellow who draws on our expertise in patient and public involvement and critical appraisal to design future projects.
Judges’ comments on the winning Anaesthesia team were that: "SWARM provides good opportunities for career development and will increase the future supply of highly informed, engaged and motivated anaesthetic researchers working for the benefit of patients."
The power of the network is in scaling up projects to run concurrently at all the participating Trusts, thus bringing high-quality, high-impact, multi-centred research and audit to patients across the whole region. So far the network has run 10 of these collaborative projects, presenting and publishing their results widely.
Dr Gary Minto, Consultant Anaesthetist at Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, said:
“We are delighted with this national recognition of the contribution of west country patients, anaesthetists and research nurses. It was a successful night all round for the peninsula - winning in three categories; anaesthesia (SWARM), neurology (Derriford and Cornwall) and diabetes (Exeter).”
Ann James, Chief Executive for Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, said:
“This is a brilliant achievement for such a dedicated and inspiring team. Well done SWARM, you should be incredibly proud of your efforts – as we all are.”
In 2016 SWARM will complete recruitment to CUPPA, a study of whether careful brushing of teeth decreases patients’ risk of getting pneumonia after major surgery. This trial is the first national grant funded multicentre project ever to be delivered by a UK anaesthetic trainee network.