The Institute of Cardiovascular Medicine and Science (ICMS) is a world-class body set up to improve outcomes in cardiovascular medicine drawing on the combined clinical expertise of its founding partners:
- Royal Brompton and Hare eld NHS Foundation Trust (RB&HFT) and
- Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (LHCH).
Founded in 2011 as a joint venture, it was formed as a company limited by guarantee and registered at Companies’ House. Initial investment by each Trust of £50,000 was followed up by further investment in 2015 of £50,000 by each Trust. It is supported by its academic partner, Imperial College London.
The Institute is the rst of its kind in Europe, delivering clinical research programmes that translate directly into clinical practice. ICMS is developing research to deliver the best possible patient health, through advances in diagnosis, management and treatment. By attracting international leaders in the eld, the ICMS enables clinical sta to have access to education and training that is at the forefront of innovation in the delivery of cardiovascular care.
‘Delivering clinical research programmes that translate directly into clinical practice’
The genetics laboratory, based at Royal Brompton Hospital (RBH) in London, offers diagnostic genetic testing for families and individuals at risk of inherited disease. LHCH is keen to use the RBH clinical genetics lab (once accredited) for clinical service and for a 100,000 Genomes Project. RBH is likely to replace Oxford as the primary genetics lab. It will have the potential for over 200 tests a year referred on a Trust-to-Trust basis, plus joint research papers/biobanking.
Currently the lab offers next-generation sequencing to improve the diagnosis of inherited cardiac conditions; testing for inherited respiratory conditions is under development. The laboratory is an accredited medical laboratory under the UK Accreditation Service and actively participates in European Molecular Genetics Quality Network and the UK National External Quality Assessment Service Quality Assurance schemes.
Combining datasets from comparable patient cohorts was one of the principal motives for setting up the ICMS collaboration. The datasets relating to aortic surgery patients from both Trusts have been integrated using a virtual and secure server. This has allowed the analysis of data from 1,506 patients at LCHC, 709 from Harefield Hospital and 776 from the Royal Brompton Hospital. Analysis of baseline demographics has shown some substantial differences in characteristics of patients between the hospitals, most notably the incidence of renal impairment is substantially lower at LCHC (2.5%) compared with London patients (59.5% Harefield, 43.7% Royal Brompton).
Expansion to other centres
The potential to expand to other Trusts is under consideration. For example, there is currently interest from some senior clinicians at Southampton, who have strong linkages to RB&HFT and LHCH, to join ICMS.
Potential added value for partner trusts
ICMS could generate considerable added value for each partner trust. It offers:
- a joint faculty to run/speak at educational events
- better access (as two centres) to major grants for efficacy and mechanism evaluation and health technology assessment
- learning from each other’s best practices (to aid clinician and service development)
- twice the depth/breadth of data pool to enable better research, audit, clinical decision-making support, etc.
- combined interventional mass can increase attractiveness as industry partners’ test-bed for new technologies?
- combined interventional mass can also provide more ‘clout’ (size and geographical spread) to influence tariff setting.
Articles in the handbook
2. National Institute for Health Research
3. Optimising clinical research using electronic medical records
5. Clinical trials in the UK from a commercial perspective
6. Brexit: threat or opportunity
7. How to initiate a clinical trial in the UK
8. Useful organisations