Newcastle Hospitals is one of the most research active trusts in the country, topping the NIHR research league table for seven consecutive years. As a trust, we and carry out around 120 commercial trials each year through strong partnership with industry, bringing the latest treatments to our patients.

Newcastle P3 Clinical Research Unit (P3 Unit) is the UK’s first clinical trials facility in the NHS to specialise in late phase (phase 3 or 4) commercial trials. It is a standalone facility on the Campus for Ageing and Vitality in Newcastle between Westgate Road and Studley Terrace, in Fenham. It is run by a dedicated team (below), led by Professor Yan Yiannakou, Clinical Director.

In the NHS, patients are generally recruited to trials though specialist clinics; but many patients with common chronic conditions are managed outside hospitals, either by their GP or through self-care. Efficient recruitment to trials of common chronic conditions (such as headaches, back pain, moderate asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, depression, common skin conditions) can be challenging. The Newcastle P3 Clinical Research Unit is the first NHS trials unit that specifically fills that niche; by developing a capability to recruit from the surrounding community as well as from within the trust.

Our most valued partnership is that of our patients and our local community. We aim to provide an enhanced patient experience through excellent facilities and patient feedback. The P3 Unit has access to all NHS support services and has easy parking and public transport connections

Equally important, though, is the opportunity to work with experienced specialist consultants, acting as Principal Investigators on relevant studies, from across the North East and Cumbria.

Why take part in research?

Since the establishment of the NHS in July 1948 healthcare has improved considerably. We need to do research to ensure that healthcare continues to improve. The UK population is living longer and enjoying a better quality of life because of many of the advances in healthcare, which have been developed through research.  Medicines and procedures, which we research today may well become the treatments of choice in the future.

Newcastle P3 Clinical Research Unit Team

Professor Yan Yiannakou, Clinical Director

Yan is a Consultant specialising in Gastroenterology. He is also Director of Research and Development for County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust. He is passionate about research and endlessly enthusiastic about expanding research opportunities.

Hazel Forsyth, Senior Research Sister

Hazel leads the P3 Unit and has been instrumental in the concept and set up. She has a wealth of research, clinical and management experience. She is keen to establish a friendly team who are passionate about providing a welcoming environment for patients so they feel valued, safe and empowered by their experience of taking part in clinical research studies.

Sandra Mawdesley, Business Manager

Sandra is Business Manager, for the P3 Unit and has worked within the NHS for many years, over a decade within the Trust. She has extensive business and management experience, working as an analyst and performance manager, and is proficient with capacity, demand and other models. She works closely with the research finance team.

Gez Richell, Research Sister

Gez is a research nurse in the team. She has worked on research studies for over 20 years in various specialities including diabetes, neurosciences, and rheumatology and also within primary care as respiratory specialist nurse.      

Phil Robinson, Research Nurse

Phil is a research nurse and brings an extensive background including both clinical experience and service management. For the past couple of decades he has worked predominately overseas in the Middle East and Australia.

Donna Robson, Clinical Trials Coordinator

Donna joined the P3 Unit in July 2019, with previous experience in study set up and trial coordination in other research teams within the Trust, most recently within the neurology team.  She previously worked in haematology research and in lung function as a Clinical Trials Associate. Outside of work Donna is a qualified lifeguard and continues to work as a coast guard.

Jodi McCoy, Clinical Trials Associate

Jodi is a clinical trials associate at the P3 Unit. She was in post prior to the unit opening and, alongside Hazel, has been responsible for much of the organisation of the unit itself. Jodi was recently responsible for the smooth running of the RELIEVE-IBS study.

Dr Lizzie Little, Doctor

Lizzie works part time as a GP and is also a medical educator. She is excited to be working in the team and will be sub-investigator for several studies at the P3 unit. Currently Lizzie generally works with the unit for two sessions per week.

Mr Andrew Pieri, Consultant Surgeon

Andrew is a consultant surgeon who specialises in breast cancer and reconstruction procedures. He is passionate about research and innovation with a particular interest in medical device and digital technology progression. He will be principle investigator for a number of studies at the P3 unit. He general works two sessions per week at the unit.