The aim of the AHSC Ears, Nose and Throat Programme is to combine and build on the expertise of our member organisations, to develop innovation and to translate basic science into meaningful outcomes for the benefit of our local population.
To date, the AHSC Ears, Nose and Throat Programme has focused on supporting the development of children with hearing loss, establishing an ears, nose and throat (ENT) clinical trials programme and bench-bedside translation of regenerative medicine therapies in ENT. The work of this programme feeds into the AHSN Integrated Cancer Programme.
Within this programme, our members treat the most common sensory disability in adults and children (hearing loss), the most common western chronic conditions (rhinosinusitis, laryngitis, balance disorders) and disfiguring craniofacial disease. Our members are enhancing the treatment of patients with diseases of the ears, nose and throat, communication disorders and debilitating conditions that affect communications and sensory function within London, across the UK and globally.
This has been done through the establishment of a partnership-wide network of excellence in scientific investigation and clinical practice in ENT medicine and ENT-related disciplines. The network brings together ENT and head and neck surgeons (including maxilla-facial reconstructive surgeons), physicians in audiovestibular medicine, audiologists, speech and language therapists and allied scientists and professionals.
- To support the development of children with hearing loss through research into improved diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation and timely efficient implementation of our results
- To establish a clinical trials programme in ENT and allied sciences which will deliver trials addressing the most outstanding questions in our specialities
- To test the safety and potential efficacy of stem cell and tissue engineering based approaches to ENT disease, through first-in-man (compassionate use) and early phase clinical trials, feeding back to discovery scientists information to permit reverse translation and continuous improvement in these world-leading technologies
Case study: establishment of a partnership-wide clinical research hub for ENT
Previously across the partnership, ENT and audiology research was scattered across many sites and in outdated accommodation, away from key co-locations.
A new hospital is now being constructed at University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH) to house clinical and clinical research activities carried out by the AHSC Ears, Nose and Throat Programme. A new working structure has brought all hearing scientists together under one umbrella, the UCL Ear Institute, which is co-located with a vibrant clinical hub at the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital. The new hospital will co-locate ENT and the UCL Ear Institute with neuroscience and cancer, the two closest related clinical and scientific collaborators and key programmes within UCLPartners.
At present, the UCL Ear Institute and the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital are co-located at an interim site on Grays Inn Road in central London, with ENT management from the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust transferred to UCLH. This restructuring has successfully brought together the ENT community across the partnership and supported the targeted recruitment of world-leading clinical academics to further build on our work, including Professor Shakeel Saeed, Professor Anne Schilder and Professor Martin Birchall, who now leads the AHSC Ears, Nose and Throat Programme.
As part of the AHSC reaccreditation process, we are currently refining our strategic objectives for 2014-2019.
to find out more about our future plans.