A Yorkshire hospital trust has been awarded a £1.78m grant to lead a trial into the way women suffering from a potentially serious side effect of fertility treatment are treated.
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust's research to test new and cost-effective treatments for ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome has been hailed as a "potential game-changer."
The five-year study could save the NHS an estimated £2.62m in inpatient hospital admissions per year as care could be provided in an outpatient setting.
The groundbreaking trial will be led by Jessop Wing - part of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust - across 20 UK-wide fertility units.
Jessop Wing is the UK’s leading centre for pioneering innovative research that aims to improve the care of women undergoing fertility treatment.
The trial is being funded through the National Institute for Health Research’s (NIHR’s) prestigious Health Technology programme, which aims to demonstrate the broader impact of healthcare treatments and tests for those who plan, provide or receive care from the NHS.
Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome affects as many as 33 in 100 women.
In the majority of cases, symptoms are mild, causing mild abdominal swelling, discomfort and nausea, and will recede quickly.
However, in three to eight per cent of sufferers, symptoms can worsen; leading to more serious complications which require admission to hospital.
The study will look at identifying new ways to stop the condition from worsening and prevent the need for women to require inpatient hospitalisation.
Mostafa Metwally, a consultant gynaecologist and sub-specialist in reproductive medicine and surgery at Jessop Fertility, said: “We are delighted to be leading this transformational research into the management of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, a potentially serious side effect of assisted reproductive treatments caused by overstimulation in the ovaries.“
Mr Metwally, who is chief investigator of the trial, added: "This trial is a potential game-changer in the way women with this condition are treated, as earlier and quicker interventions could prevent the need for women to be admitted to hospital.
"As well as being much better for both women and their families, it could also save the NHS an estimated £2.62million in inpatient hospital admissions per year because the care could be provided in an outpatient setting.
”This research study is collaboration between specialists at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, including doctors and nurses at the Jessop Wing and researchers at the University of Sheffield’s Clinical Trials Research Unit as well as colleagues from other fertility units around the country."
Clare Pye, Lead Research Nurse and 70@70 Senior Nurse Research Leader at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, said “We’ve worked immensely hard to secure this funding and feel this is largely due to the successful collaboration between our colleagues at the University of Sheffield’s Clinical Trials Research Unit, clinicians and nurses as well as the strong contribution of the Sheffield Reproductive Health Research Public Advisory Panel at the Jessop Wing.
"The panel are instrumental in helping us design and run research studies our patients want, and ensure the care we give is the best it can be, is evidenced-based and guarantees the needs of our patients remain at the centre of everything we do.
“Women undergoing IVF are monitored on a daily basis, so by offering quicker and earlier management to this group of women, fertility units across the country are uniquely placed to better manage women’s care at this all important time.
"The five-year study will start in December. The Trust was previously awarded a £1.2m grant from the National Institute for Health Research to determine whether endometrial scratching should be offered routinely to all women having their first IVF treatment cycle. The results of this large multi-centre study are due summer 2020."