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Fundraising by BEWT leads to two new research appointments at Bristol's Southmea

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6 February 2024

Fundraising by BEWT leads to two new research appointments at Bristol's Southmead Hospital

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Bottom L-R:Caple's Service Director, Richard Wood and Sirius Buying Group's Managing Director, Steve Jones with the generous amount raised at the Sirius gala dinner charity auction.Top L-R:Caple's Managing, Director Danny Lay and Caple's Finance Director Graham Perry join them.


Two new members of specialist research staff have started work at Bristol's Southmead Hospital after more than £265,000 was jointly raised by Caple and the Billie Elizabeth Wood Trust (BEWT). The researchers will be focussed on subarachnoid haemorrhage and vasospasm to drive ground-breaking improvements in this field of medicine.

Money collected includes £12,000 from the latest fundraising initiative atSirius Buying Group's 2023 trade show awards gala dinner charity auction.

The charity was set up by family members after Billie Wood, the beloved daughter of Caple's Service Director,Richard Wood, niece of Caple's Managing Director,Danny Lay and Finance Director,Graham Perry, and the granddaughter of Chairman,Maurice Lay, passed away suddenly in intensive care from a vasospasm six days after suffering a SAH.

These funds havehelped theSouthmead Hospital Charityto fund a vasospasm research nurse and research facilitator, following agreement on a proposal submitted by one of the hospital's consultant neurosurgeons, Crispin Wigfield. Crispin and his colleagues are keen to have a dedicated vasospasm research team to drive ground-breaking improvements in this field of medicine.

Crispin explains,"I am really delighted to have the core members of the research team appointed with this focus on vasospasm research. Already they are bringing additional perspectives for research to the table. The goal of saving more lives and improving the quality of life and outcomes of survivors, is something that will be shared and distributed nationally in all centres caring for those who suffer a subarachnoid haemorrhage. There is also a view that hospitals that are research active, or participate in research, ultimately benefit from improved outcomes for their patients."

Ryan Leesehas been appointed as the new vasospasm research nurse and his work will include responsibility for setting up studies and trials and enrolling patients. He will also collate data via medical records and send this on for analysis to look for trends and subsequently provide clinicians with a clearer picture of SAH and vasospasm and how to treat them. Humza Saeed is the new research facilitator, and he will support the neurosurgery team to identify areas where vasospasm and SAH-related work can be focused to improved care. Humza will also help this team to identify potential funding avenues for future research, such as clinical trials, and establish and grow the vasospasm research team to conduct this ‘home-grown' research, which is to support Southmead in becoming a centre of excellence for vasospasm research.

Caple's Service Director, and Billie's father, Richard Wood concludes, "My daughter's sudden death at such a young age was heartbreaking for family and friends and we know she would support our aim to help others who may find themselves in a similar situation. She would be extremely proud of the way in which we have managed tomake a difference with the appointment of these two new roles."

Fundraising activities continue and you can make a donation to BEWThere. For more information on these two new roles, please visit our latestblog.

For more information on Caple, please

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*SAH: A subarachnoid haemorrhage is a form of stroke in which bleeding occurs into the fluid-filled space surrounding the brain (called the subarachnoid space) and it's a medical emergency where approximately 35% of patients with a subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH) die within three months and more than 50% of survivors make an incomplete recovery according toMacdonald RLSchweizer TA - Spontaneous subarachnoid haemorrhage. Lancet. 2017; 389: 655-666.

Southmead Hospital Charity is the official charity of North Bristol NHS Trust (NBT).

With the help of donors, they support world-class projects across five key areas: pioneering research; patient & family support; staff wellbeing & training; cutting-edge equipment; and enhancing buildings & spaces. Working alongside the 12,000 staff at North Bristol NHS Trust, they drove £3.7m of transformational projects in 2022/23.

North Bristol NHS Trust is home to Southmead Hospital, Cossham Hospital, Bristol Centre for Enablement, and services at Frenchay Hospital. It is the major trauma centre for the South West, and a regional specialist centre for neurosurgery, renal transplants, and stroke services. Every year, it treats one million patients from Bristol, South Gloucestershire, North Somerset and further afield.

NBT remains a leader in health research that aims to answer important clinical questions. They are currently managing £30 million grants awarded to deliver new programmes of research.  Their pioneering treatments and advances in care have won international recognition, placing them at the forefront of medical knowledge. 

For more information, please visit. or NBT -

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Taylor Alden Ltd
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