Birmingham Surgical Trials Consortium
Clinical Director of Birmingham Surgical Trials Consortium (BiSTC). The BiSTC is funded by the Royal College of Surgeons of England to develop new surgical clinical trials, widening participation in trials and train the trialists of the future.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Tom’s specialist clinical interest is in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). He is the Chief Investigator of the NIHR Research for Public Benefit (RfPB) funded ACCURE-UK feasibility trial. ACCURE-UK is being run in parallel to the Dutch ACCURE trial (Chief Investigator: T.J. Gardenbroek, Academisch Medisch Centrum, Amsterdam).
ACCURE-UK will test the hypothesis that laparoscopic appendectomy is a feasible and safe option to try and improve symptoms in patients with ulcerative colitis who have previously experienced multiple flare-ups. Having completed recruitment of 53 patients across 6 sites, the feasibility trial is now in follow-up and will lead to a full randomised clinical trial.
Alongside the clinical trial, with Dr Ye Htun Oo, Tom is co-supervising an academic clinical fellow’s translational project exploring possible mechanisms underlying the appendix’s role in ulcerative colitis.
Surgical Site Infection
Tom was the Chief Investigator of the ROSSINI (Reduction of Surgical Site Infection using a Novel Intervention, 2008-13) trial. ROSSINI randomised 760 patients across 21 sites and explored the clinical efficacy of a wound-edge protection device in the reduction of SSI. The results were published in the British Medical Journal.
Tom is a member of the Trial Management Group and local Principal Investigator for the Bluebelle study, a feasibility study of three wound dressing strategies in elective and unplanned surgery (Chief Investigator: Professor Jane Blazeby, University of Bristol).
He is (or was) local principle investigator for the following portfolio trials:
European research networks
Tom is a member of the European Society of Coloproctology (ESCP) Research Committee and Chair of the ESCP Cohort Studies Subcommittee. He was the Chief Investigator of the ESCP’s first-ever pan-European snapshot audit in 2015, focussing on anastomotic leak following right hemicolectomy. Outcomes data was collected on over 3200 patients across 284 surgical units.
Tom continues to take an active role in running the 2016 ESCP snapshot audit, which is auditing complications following stoma reversal. He is also supporting and promoting EuroSurg, a student-driven European audit and research network.
NIHR Portfolio trials
Tom is the Clinical Research Speciality co-Lead (CRSL) for General Surgery for the NIHR CRN West Midlands, promoting and facilitating the involvement of surgeons across the region in clinical portfolio trials. He is also the Clinical Academic Group (CAG) Lead for Surgery for Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.
UK trainee research networks
Tom was a founding member of the West Midlands Research Collaborative (WMRC), a regional trainee-led research network. As a consultant Tom continues to actively support and champion WMRC.
WMRC’s achievements that Tom has contributed to include:
- Running several regional observational studies, including on Ethnicity and Breast cancer (CANOEs) and F1 competencies (SWIFT).
- Running the first national trainee-led cohort study on appendicitis.
- Completing recruitment to three large surgical randomised controlled trials:
- ROSSINI: Reduction of Surgical Site Infection using a Novel Intervention. ROSSINI recruited 760 patients across 21 centres.
- DREAMs: Dexamethasone Reduces Emesis After Major Gastrointestinal Surgery. DREAMS recruited 1,350 patients, closing 6-months early.
- ROCSS: Reinforcement of Closure of Stoma Site. ROCSS is currently in its follow-up phase having randomised 790 patients to prophylactic biological mesh at the time of stoma closure versus control.
Hosting annual national collaborative research meetings in 2009-12.