A team from Yeovil Hospital has received national recognition for its innovative and ‘excellent’ cancer care.

Professor Nader Francis and the Colorectal Multi-Disciplinary Team at Yeovil Hospital have won the 2017 Cancer Research Excellence in Surgical Trials (CREST) Award at the British Association of Surgical Oncologists (BASO) and National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Cancer Conference.

The team won the award for their research work, including studies into the impact of 3D imaging to improve surgery, and the use of different stiches to prevent complications after operations.

The award is managed by the NIHR Clinical Research Network and supported by Swann-Morton. Now in its fourth year, the award is presented to a surgical oncology team that has made the greatest contribution in recruitment to the NIHR cancer trials portfolio.

Professor Nader Francis, consultant colorectal surgeon at Yeovil Hospital, said:

“This national award is fantastic recognition for the work of the whole team. It shows how, here at Yeovil Hospital, we’re helping improve care for all colorectal patients by informing the work of cancer teams across the UK.

“I’d like to particularly thank the whole team including our nurses and patients who work so well together to ensure our service delivers the care and outcomes our patients want for themselves and future colorectal patients.”

From left to right: Professor Matt Seymour, NIHR Clinical Research Network Specialty Cluster Lead, Dr Shamaila Anwar, NIHR Clinical Research Network Specialty Cluster Manager, Julie Burton, Colorectal Multi-Disciplinary Team, Professor Nader Francis, Colorectal Multi-Disciplinary Team, Amy Kerr on behalf of Mr Babu Naidu and the Thoracic Surgery Research Team and Professor Richard Shaw, NIHR Clinical Research Network National Specialty Lead for Surgical Oncology.

Julie Burton, Lead Colorectal and Stoma Care Clinical Nurse Specialist said:

“We’re so happy to have won this award! I’m very proud of the efforts of our team. Our “Yeovil Colon Aid” initiative has helped us involve our patients in developing the service and recruiting patients to the research projects. This is now bearing fruit as we continue to push the boundaries of what great colorectal and stoma care looks like.”

Professor Richard Shaw, NIHR National Speciality Lead for Surgical Oncology who presented the award said:

“Congratulations to Nader and the colorectal team in Yeovil, its inspiring to see such a great contribution from a District General Hospital. The team have lead in recruitment to randomised trials in colorectal surgery such as 2D/3D and HART, as well as a number of other studies. The team has also showed great leadership in patient and public involvement in research through their “Yeovil Colon Aid” initiative.

“The team is a perfect example of how surgeons can work as part of a multidisciplinary trials group to the benefit of cancer patients, and they should be congratulated.”


Further information

Yeovil Hospital

Clinical research has been run at Yeovil Hospital since 1995, with more than 110 studies in areas from cancer to diabetes currently recruiting. Over the past two decades, the unit has grown from two nurses running three studies to a staff of 19, recruiting nearly 700 patients per year.

Research is carried out at Yeovil Hospital and across the NHS to continually improve treatment for patients and understand how to focus NHS resources where they will be most effective.

  • Taking part in research opportunities can be very rewarding for patients; it can involve:
  • Taking part in activities that you may find helpful for your condition
  • Understanding your condition better
  • Helping researchers to develop new treatments and ways of working for the benefit of future generations
  • Receiving new treatments that are not yet widely available
  • Feeling that you are giving something back to the NHS

You can find out what research studies are currently being run here and sign up for more information here or contact the clinical research department on 01935 384559.


The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR): improving the health and wealth of the nation through research.

Established by the Department of Health, the NIHR:

  • funds high quality research to improve health
  • trains and supports health researchers
  • provides world-class research facilities
  • works with the life sciences industry and charities to benefit all
  • involves patients and the public at every step

For further information, visit the NIHR website www.nihr.ac.uk

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