Pump Priming Projects

We provide funding in partnership with The Royal College of Surgeons of England to kick-start a research project in the field of burns, wound healing or soft tissue reconstruction over a 12 month period. The objective is to enable the researcher to use the fruits of that initial research as a basis for future larger-scale funding applications.

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Matthew Gardiner

Honorary Departmental Lecturer in Plastic Surgery Oxford University HF NHS Trust

Joint distraction for treatment of base of thumb osteoarthritis

Thumb base osteoarthritis is the most common cause of hand pain and loss of function. Patients and surgeons have selected it as a key priority for research. Scientific evidence suggests that reducing forces through the joint might reduce pain and improve function. The HAILO 2 study aims to develop a new technology that ‘off loads’ the joint. The first part of the study will explore patient attitudes to the device and design a prototype for testing in a small group of volunteers. Ultimately, it may reduce the need for surgery and be more cost effective.


Fadi George Issa

Plastic Surgeon Burns Consultant at Stoke Mandeville Hospital

Detecting dangerous skin cancer early

Skin cancer is the commonest type of cancer in the UK, with approximately 80,000 new patients diagnosed annually. The majority are treated easily, however some types such as squamous cell carcinomas (SCC), can spread and be life threatening. Recently, advanced blood tests have been developed to help identify patients with SCCs that might spread. However, the tests have not been evaluated in the ‘real world’. This study will run these tests on groups of patients with SCC to ensure test accuracy. The aim is to be able to identify patients before the cancer has spread and provide early treatment

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Victoria Giblin

Consultant Reconstructive Plastic Surgeon Sheffield Hospital FT

Wound healing – a sweet solution

Wounds from burns and trauma, seen in all age groups, body areas, all over the world, often struggle to heal. Delayed healing, with countless unpleasant dressing changes, leads to worse, tighter scarring associated with disability, risks of recurrent infection and diminished quality of life for 1000s worldwide. Where healthy blood supply can be generated in the wound bed all these factors improve. Certain sugars appear to encourage blood vessel formation, are resistant to destruction by bacteria and can be incorporated into simple dressings currently used in these wound types, leading to better, faster wound healing.