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Yorkshire Coast Focus for New Medical Research Project

A new initiative aims to bring more health research projects to the Yorkshire Coast.

The "Scarborough Coastal Health and Care Research Collaborative" - or SHARC - has been set up to understand and reduce the health inequalities affecting Scarborough’s population.

It's a joint project involving the York and Scarborough NHS Trust and Academics from York Saint John University.

Dr Phil Dickinson is the clinical lead for SHARC

Dr Dickinson says the move is in part a response to coastal deprivation issues highlighted in Chief Medical Officer, Chris Whitty's, report on coastal communities.

Lisa Ballantine is York and Scarborough Teaching Hospital's, Research and Development Grant Writer and Project Manager for SHARC, Lisa says there is a need for more medical research to be conducted on the Yorkshire Coast.

The project is a partnership between the York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and York St John University’s new Institute for Health and Care Improvement.

Professor Garry Tew is Institute Director at York St. John University and the Academic Lead for SHARC, he says there are a range of health issues that they team will be keen to look into, but says they will be lead by the local population.

Professor Tew says the project could lead to more research facilities being based at Scarborough Hospital meaning local people wouldn't have to travel to York, Leeds, or Hull to take part in medical research programmes.

The team behind the project hope that the Yorkshire coast community will embrace SHARC. The Trust’s Project Manager Lisa Ballantine said:

“Connecting with our coastal communities who are the experts of their own personal health experiences will give us the opportunity to help tackle the complex issues that affect them. 

The benefit from a patient perspective includes access to new treatments although patients must have a willingness to contribute to the research effort to help test discoveries that can help others.”

Simon Morritt, Chief Executive, of York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said he was delighted with the new collaboration adding:

“I am looking forward to the outcomes of this shared approach to help improve the best care for Trust patients living on the coast.  SHARC will be able to maximise leading support from experts and give us an ideal opportunity to build some strong relationships in health research."


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