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The Research We Do

Our team is committed to ensure that our babies benefit from cutting edge research.  At any one time there are several research projects underway on the unit.  All research taking place on the unit undergoes independent ethics committee and research and development review before it is undertaken.  This safeguards the rights and welfare of research participants, as well as making sure that high quality research is carried out.  Research findings are shared at local, national and international conferences.


Research Team

Dr Ajit Mahaveer is the Research Lead for the unit.

Nicola Booth, Anna Hendrickson and Karen Dockery are Research Nurses/Co-ordinators in the NICU. However, many of the medical and nursing team are involved in research.


Carrying out research is a very important part of what we do in the NICU in our goal to provide the best care and treatments possible for our patients. It is through research that we are able to find out better ways to look after our babies.

Research enables us to develop and improve the nursing and medical care we give. We can test new treatments and medications and improve current ones through research. We can enhance the quality of our services and improve the health of patients by carrying out research in the NICU.

Safety for patients involved in research is very important to us. Every study has a protocol (set of rules or guidelines) and the research is conducted only when all the safety regulations and approvals are granted.  These approvals ensure that the research is planned and designed safely and in the right way to answer the questions the research is asking. Studies are then closely monitored throughout for quality and safety.

Will I be asked to take part in Research?

Wherever possible we like to give parents the opportunity for their baby to be involved in research. The chance to participate in a study will depend if the research is suitable for you, your baby, your baby's condition or baby's treatment. You may find that you are able to, and are asked to consider your baby for more than one study.

If you are invited to take part in a study, you will be given information about the study, a written information sheet all about it, time to think about it and to ask any questions you have. You will receive an information sheet telling you:

  • What is the purpose of the study.
  • Why you/your baby have been chosen.
  • What is involved in the study.
  • What will happen to if you take part.
  • What happens next/at the end of the study.
  • What will happen to the results of the research study.
  • What happens if there is a problem.
  • Contact for further information.

If you decide you would like your baby to participate in a study, you will be asked to sign a consent form to say you are happy to be involved.

Do I have to take part?

Taking part in research is completely voluntary. Parents will be given all the information they need about the study and the opportunity to ask and have their questions answered. If parents decide they do not want to participate in research, or if they change their mind and decide to withdraw from taking part, the care of their baby will not be affected in any way.

What kind of research are we doing currently?

We are currently undertaking or in the process of planning different types of research in various areas of neonatal care:

  • When to give transfusions of platelets to babies with low platelet counts.
  • Prevention study of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) in extremely in premature infants.
  • Blood sampling techniques.
  • Prolonged jaundice.
  • Vitamin D levels in mothers and babies.
  • Ventilation in preterm babies.
  • Immunisation.