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News //

November 2018

Annual Surgical Research Prize 

The Academic Surgical Unit (ASU) ran another successful Annual Surgical Prize in Carlisle. This was a one-day event ran by the ASU for researchers within the NHS.  The event was an excellent opportunity to listen to research submission proposals and to discuss the exciting areas of research which were taking place locally and nationally across the NHS.

Eleven competitors were given the opportunity to present their research and to answer questions from a Panel of Judges. The quality of the presentations were all of a high standard and the ASU was happy to announce the winners on the day as the following:

Joint 1st Prize

  • Mr Leo Brown, North Tees Hospitals  

​" Evaluating the effects of Surgical Subspecilisation on patients outcomes following emergency laparotomy.

Mr Leo Brown was delighted to win the prize and stated, "I'm very grateful to have been awarded this year's prize. Many thanks to all at the Academic Surgical Unit for organising this excellent competition. It's a great opportunity for trainees to share their research with useful feedback and interesting discussion." 

  • Dr Jen Ong, North Cumbria NHS Trust

"Post-radiotherapy thyroid function testing in head and neck cancer." ​


Winner of the F1 categorgy 

  • Dr Jonathan Russ, City Hospitals Sunderland

"Review of day case rates of primary inguinal hernia repair, umbilical and hernia repair and laparoscopic cholecystectomy." 






Please contact Bridget Hamilton  for further details on how you can become involved in next year’s prize taking place on 27th September 2019



One day Laparoscopy /Suturing Course for Foundation Trainees


The Academic Surgical Unit (ASU) ran a successful laparoscopic training day on 9th November in collaboration with Ethicon and Applied Medical at the CLIC offices, NHS offices, Carlisle.

This was a one-day, practical course providing basic skills in laparoscopy and Suturing.  In collaboration with Applied Medical’s assistance, by providing five lap trainers on the day and Ethicon’s assistance at providing the excellent suturing kits for delegates to practice their suturing techniques on.


The course was well attended by MBBS medical students, Surgical trainee ACPs and F1 foundation trainees with little knowledge or practice of suturing techniques.

 “A suture and laparoscopy training course which was brilliant and very informative. The course has taught me a great deal of knowledge about suture materials & simple steps to avoid potential complications during surgery.” MBBS Student.

Another course will be run on 18th February 2019 at CLIC offices.  For more information please contact 

July 2018

New Honorary Fellows

Congratulations to our four ASU Faculty members who have been awarded an academic title from the University of Central Lancashire.  This will help the ASU based within North Cumbria NHS Trust achieve its academic transformation plan transforming the department of surgery into a more focused academic department leading to the improvement in patient healthcare. 


  1. Senior Lecturer: Mr Ioannis Michalakis, Consultant Breast Surgeon, NUCH

  2. Lecturer: Mr Shafiq Rehman, Specialist Registrar Surgery , ASU Coordinator and MMBS Undergraduate tutor UCLan

  3. Lecturer: Mr Salman Ahmed, Specialist Registrar Surgery, Northern Deanery

  4. Lecturer: Mr Adnan Muhammad, Clinical Research Fellow , Department of Surgery NUCH.


June 2018

Laparoscopy and suturing course

A laparoscopy and suturing course was held by the Academic Surgical Unit at CIC on 21st June. The day was attended by 14 foundations trainees and physician associates who are interested in a career in surgery and to give them the basic knowledge as well as critical practical skills in the procedure.


The attendees learned from Trust surgeons and got to practice their techniques on the equipment in practical sessions. At the end of the day all of the participants were able to perform basic laparoscopic tasks including laparoscopic dissection and suturing, and pneumoperitoneum in simulation.

GP Training Course

The Academic Surgical Unit ran its first GP Training Course on 28th June in CIC. A variety of topics was discussed by some enthusiastic speakers who are all surgeons at North Cumbria University Hospitals. This was an excellent chance for GPs and Consultants to engage with each other.   

March 2018

Creative Innovation Zone Event

in North Cumbria 

An event which brought together some of the finest creative minds in health was held at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust (NCUHT) Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle.  The event was held in collaboration with the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and hosted by Professor StJohn Crean, UCLan and Professor Ruben Canelo, Director of the ASU. 

The keynote speaker at the event was Professor John Wright, Chief Investigator and clinical epidemiologist at the Bradford Royal Infirmary. Professor Wright and Ian Beesley have recently worked on one of the largest health research studies in the world called "Born in Bradford."  The study is a powerful way of understanding the many influences that shape our lives and our health outcomes. 

The event also heard from Ruth Raban, Partnership Development Manager for UCLan Innovation and Enterprise, who talked about how UCLan and NCUHT can learn from each other for the benefit of patients, not just in Cumbria and Lancashire but across the plate. 

Professor Ruben Canelo said, "This is a fantastic development for the surgical team and the Trust. We have some of the best surgical teaching in the country and strive to be at the forefront of clinical research". 

Helping to increase research capacity within North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust in partnership with the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). 

Providing High quality CPD, professional training and academic qualifications. 

Pancreas Transplant 


Transplantation of the pancreas is required for the treatment of patients with diabetes who are difficult to manage with oral medicines and insulin. It cures the diabetes but requires immunosuppressive medicines to prevent rejection of the transplanted pancreas.

Principal Areas of Research

- Pathophysiology of Cholangistis in Benign Diseases      and Cancer


- Acute and Chronic Pancreatitis


- Scoring System and Outreach in Acute Pathology

- Pacreatic Duct Pathology 


- Early Detection of Liver Metastasis using T Markers and Imaging 

- Survival Predictors in Coloerectal Cancer.

Get involved with Research 

Knowing the right questions to ask


​Is my study research? 

- Use the HRA decision tool to decide

All research taking place in the NHS must have HRA Approval.

Do I need NHS REC approval?

How to develop a Research Study 

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