The Opportunity

On the 13th September please join us for an exciting free event, funded and hosted by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Research Design Service – South Central (RDS SC) and the Health and Wellbeing Theme, providing guidance on the NIHR Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) funding stream.

This event will bring together researchers (both clinical and academic) for a morning of presentations providing an overview of RfPB, how to apply, advice, hints and tips, and a Q&A session with the experts. This will be followed by one-to-one sessions with RfPB representatives and RDS advisers in the afternoon for those with specific project ideas.

If you do already have a project idea in mind for this funding stream- please just follow the instructions on the link provided below and provide a project summary prior to the day.

You can book onto the event via the following link;


Evidence of Success

In the meantime please let this example of local RfPB success act as an example of what is possible through this funding stream:

A study looking at using vinegar to find changes in cells of people with Barrett’s oesophagus (The ABBA study)

ABBA logo

This innovative project was led by Professor Pradeep Bhandari and his team at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust in collaboration with multiple partners including the University of Portsmouth. Utilising support from the Research Design Service, the team went on to secure RfPB funding to deliver this study in locations all across the country.

The Study

This study looked at using dilute vinegar (acetic acid) during endoscopies to check for changes in cells that line the food pipe (oesophagus) for people with Barrett’s oesophagus. This condition increases the risk of developing oesophageal cancer. So, people with it have regular endoscopies to check for areas that might turn into cancer.

An endoscopy is a test to look inside your body. A doctor or specialist nurse (endoscopist) uses a long flexible tube with a tiny camera and light on the end to look inside your oesophagus. They check the oesophagus for growths or abnormal looking areas.

Endoscopists already used acetic acid dye spray during endoscopy, prior to this study, in people who have already had abnormal areas in their oesophagus. It temporarily turns normal areas of Barrett’s oesophagus white, while areas that could be abnormal stay pink. The spray shows doctors where they need to give treatment.

In this study, doctors wanted to see if it would be helpful to use the spray as part of all routine endoscopies. The endoscopist can look at the areas carefully and do a biopsy if they think it is necessary. The hope was that this would lead to people having fewer biopsies and that they can find any abnormal areas at an earlier stage.

Results to Date

The study recruited 200 participants from six recruitment sites and demonstrated that endoscopists’ were able to diagnose dysplasia in Barrett’s oesophagus using this method and that the study was feasible and acceptable to patients. The trialled intervention may offer a simple, universally applicable, easily-acquired technique to improve detection, affording patients earlier diagnosis and treatment, reducing endoscopy time and pathology costs. The ABBA study determined that a crossover “tandem” endoscopy design is feasible and acceptable to patients and clinicians and gathered outcome data to power a definitive trial.

The team are currently preparing publications following the completion of the study and are working up the methodology and scope for “ABBA 2” in preparation for funding applications.