East Coast Community Healthcare is a research active organisation. We believe in the importance of Research and Development to promote and deliver better healthcare to our patients. We are committed to expanding our research portfolio, and work closely with the National Institute for Health and Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network in the Eastern region to deliver research studies effectively to our local area. 

What types of research are there?

  • Drug studies – to assess how new drugs can improve your quality of life
  • Questionnaires – to seek your views and experiences of treatments
  • New surgical procedures – to help health professionals gain knowledge of the best surgical techniques

Why should I get involved with research?

  • To have the opportunity to shape future research, both locally and nationally
  • To have the opportunity to gain access to the latest medications and treatments whilst on a study
  • To help widen clinical knowledge of diseases and treatments
  • To get a better understanding of your condition and possible treatments

Being involved in research is not just about testing new medicines; there are lots of different types of research you can become involved in.

Participating in research is totally voluntary. Your care and treatment will not be affected if you choose not to take part.

Who will ask me to participate in a research study?

You may be asked to participate in a study by a number of people, such as your GP, a clinic nurse, a hospital consultant, a therapist or a trial research nurse.

You may be asked before you come into hospital or whilst you are an inpatient or an outpatient here. You may be contacted after you have been discharged.

Ask your GP or your clinical team about what research may be relevant to you.

Remember - it's OK to ask

Meet the Team

Dr Noreen Cushen-Brewster, Executive Director of Quality & Primary Care/Research Lead              

Email: noreen.cushen1@nhs.net

David Sweeting, Physiotherapy Clinical Specialist

Email:  david.sweeting@nhs.net

Jenny Harper, Research and Clinical Audit Facilitator

Email: jennyharper1@nhs.net 

Regan Hood, Research and Clinical Audit Apprentice

Email: regan.hood@nhs.net

Amanda Ayers, Research Nurse                                     

Email: amandaayers@nhs.net     

Sharleen Blundell, Research Nurse

Email: sharleen.blundell@nhs.net

Current NIHR Studies


CANDID: CANcer Diagnosis Decision rules

This study is currently run at the Nelson Medical Practice and Bungay Medical Practice.

This study seeks to work out which of the symptoms and examination findings are the most effective in the early prediction of lung or colon cancer and from this produce decision rules for use in the referral of patients suspected of these cancers.


This study is being run at Nelson Medical Practice.

The aim of this study is to investigate whether a tablet commonly used to treat raised blood pressure could help prevent heart disease and kidney damage in people with Chronic Kidney disease - a term commonly used by doctors to describe a long-term impairment in kidney function, frequently accounted for by the natural ageing process.


The Falls Prevention and Research Team are working together on an exciting new study called OTIS which is being led by the University of York.

The study aims to identify whether a home assessment and modification by an occupational therapist can help reduce the number of falls among older people. 


UK Frost

East Coast Community Healthcare is working in partnership with James Paget Hospital on the UK Frost study.

This study aims to assess the clinical and cost effectiveness of the three treatments that are most often provided in NHS hospitals to treat primary frozen Shoulder (Early Structured Physiotherapy (ESP) versus Manipulation under Anaesthesia (MUA) versus Arthroscopic capsular release (ACR) with MUA).


This study is being run at Bungay Medical Practice and Nelson Medical Practice.

The ALL Heart study aims to improve the treatment of patients with ischaemic heart disease. The study is looking to investigate whether adding Allopurinol to these patients’ usual medications will reduce their risk of having a stroke, heart attack or of dying due to cardiovascular disease.

iQuit in Practice

This study is being run at Kirkley Mill Health Centre and Bungay Medical Practice.

This study aims to assess the effectiveness of a stop smoking programme using tailored web and text message based intervention.


Helicobacter Eradication to prevent ulcer bleeding in aspirin users: a large simple randomised controlled study.

This study is being run at Falkland Surgery.

Aspirin is a valuable drug, often prescribed at low doses to reduce the chance of heart attacks and strokes. However, aspirin can sometimes cause internal bleeding from ulcers. This study is investigating whether this occurs more in patients who carry the bacteria Helicobacter (H.) pylori. This bacteria is present in the stomach of more than half the world’s population who usually do not know they have it because it seldom causes symptoms. We are conducting a study to find out whether getting rid of the bacteria with antibiotics reduces the chance of ulcer bleeding.

Non-NIHR Studies

‘To What Extent Does a Warm Home Impact on Health and Wellbeing?’


This evaluation is being run in partnership with East Coast Community Healthcare, Suffolk County Council and University Campus Suffolk.

This evaluation is looking to identify whether there are any health benefits from improving the heating and insulation in the home.

Join Dementia Research

ECCH supports 'Join dementia research', a new service which allows people to register their interest in participating in dementia research.

Once registered, Join Dementia Research identifies any studies a volunteer meets the criteria for and sends them an invitation to take part. The volunteer can then view the details of the study before deciding if they wish to go ahead and join it.

You can find out more information about this service here.


UK Clinical Trials Gateway


OK to Ask

The Clinical Research Network

Contact the research team via: ecch.researchandaudit@nhs.net ot follow us via our Twitter account: @ECCHRandA