Current Research Studies





Athena Logo

Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox.

It “sleeps” in the nerve cells for decades. When it “wakes up”, it can make people feel generally unwell, cause tingling or pain in one part of the body, followed a few days later by a rash. The rash can take up to four weeks to heal. Antiviral medicine helps reduce initial pain and rash severity.

Some people can have “nerve pain” months after the shingles rash has gone. Called post-herpetic neuralgia, we don’t have any treatments to prevent this. Patients buy, and GPs prescribe painkillers such as paracetamol, but they often don’t help. The study aims to find out whether taking a low dose of amitriptyline soon after getting shingles can prevent long-term nerve pain associated with shingles.

Currently active – recruitment open

For more information please visit their website



De-escalation of opioids post-surgical discharge 

The role of the clinical pharmacist in reducing opioid dependence at the interface between hospital and primary care.

A local study looking at supporting patients coming home from surgery with a specific group of medicines, known as opioids. 

A research study involving the management of opioid medication following a surgical procedure in hospital. We are asking particular patients who meet with the criteria listed below to undertake an early medication review with your practice pharmacist.

  • Are over the age of 18 years old.
  • Have undergone a surgical procedure in Margate, Canterbury, or Ashford and are a Newton Place Surgery patient.
  • And who were discharged with and continue to take opioid medicine to manage their pain.

Currently active 


Virology Surveillance - Giving swab samples for disease surveillance 

Virology surveillance is a programme to measure the effectiveness of the influenza/flu and COVID-19 vaccinations using results from swabs taken by patients who are unwell. The swabs are used to monitor the spread of respiratory viruses, like flu and COVID-19, in different regions throughout the winter. 

The anticipated burden of flu and COVID-19  during winter season on the National Health Service (NHS) is significant. By providing this swab, you are enabling public health bodies to make crucial public health decision. 

Currently active: Yes, recruitment ongoing



static trial

STopping Aminosalicylate Therapy in Inactive Crohn's Disease Study. A randomized, open-label, non-inferiority trial.

There are plenty of studies showing that aminosalicylates (5-ASA or mesalazine) are very useful drugs in the treatment of Ulcerative colitis. Equally, there are plenty of studies showing that they are NOT useful in the treatment of Crohn’s disease. In fact, they are little more than a placebo in Crohn’s disease. To this effect, the British Society of Gastroenterology does not suggest using 5ASAs to treat CD. However, a large proportion of patients with Crohn’s disease are still prescribed 5ASAs, even after other medication (like azathioprine or biologics) has been added to help control their symptoms.

This clinical trial will aim to definitively prove that 5ASAs have no role in the management of CD, and it is indeed safe to stop these medications when CD is in remission (i.e. currently not flaring). The study aims to show that stopping or continuing 5ASAs will not have any effect on disease flares and complications related to CD. 

Who can take part in the study?

Patients over 18 with Crohn’s Disease (CD) that is in remission and are currently taking a type of medication known as an aminosalicylate (5-ASA or mesalazine).

For more information please visit their website

Currently active 



Aspirin To Target Arterial events in Chronic Kidney disease

Does low-dose aspirin reduce the chance of a heart attack or stroke in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD)? This is a large-scale academic study led by the University of Southampton, to see whether or not patients with chronic kidney disease should be taking aspirin daily to prevent a first heart attack or stroke. It is recruiting patients from GP practices across the UK, and looks to invite 198,000 patients.

Currently active: Recruitment ended December 2023

For more information please visit their website



DaRe2THINK is a study developed by the University of Birmingham targeting those with Atrial fibrillation (AF). AF is a common heart rhythm condition that leads to a high chance of stroke, frequent hospital admissions, a higher risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Blood thinning tablets called anticoagulants greatly reduce the number of patients with AF that will suffer a stroke, but are usually only given to older patients or those with other health issues. DaRe2Think aims to determine whether direct oral anticoagulant (DOAC) therapy reduces premature death, stroke and other consequences of AF in younger patients, including the prevention of cognitive decline and vascular dementia. The trial is aiming to recruit 3,000 patients from up to 600 GP surgeries across England.

If you have received an letter from the practice inviting you to DaRe2THINK and you are interested in taking part, please contact our Research Team.

Currently active: Yes, recruitment ongoing.



Blue and Yellow Duration Logo

Impact of duration of antibiotic therapy on effectiveness, safety and selection of antibiotic resistance in adult women with urinary tract infections (UTI): a randomised controlled trial.

UTIs are the commonest bacterial infection seen in primary care and far more common in women than men. Over four million prescriptions for UTIs are issued to women in the UK every year. However, there is little evidence to help GPs decide how many days of antibiotic treatment are necessary. We need to make sure that the antibiotics are taken for long enough to treat the infection, but avoid over treating which increases the likelihood of bacteria becoming antibiotic resistant, which would mean that future UTis could be harder to treat.

The study aims to recruit 2248 adult women with UTI symptoms who visit a clinician in either a hospital or GP surgery, and for whom the clinician judges that antibiotics are needed for a suspected bladder (cystitis) or kidney (pyelonephritis) infection.

The clinician will randomise women with cystitis to receive one of two commonly used antibiotics for this condition, then randomise them again to one of five different treatment durations. Women with pyelonephritis will be offered one of a family of antibiotics which work in similar ways, depending on the local prescribing policy, and will be randomised to take their antibiotic treatment for one of six different treatment durations.

Visit their website for more information 

Currently active: Yes, recruitment ongoing.


Discover Me

Discover Me

Discover Me is a research study that aims to analyse health and genetic information on thousands of people. The aim is to increase our understanding of many different diseases, and help improve patient care.

By collecting health and genetic information on thousands of people, Discover Me aims to help us find out why diseases may affect some people more than others. This could help transform healthcare.

As part of Discover Me, you can learn more about your own health, supporting you and your doctor to make better decisions about your health and care.


Optimise 2

optimise 2 logo

The OPTIMISE 2 trial will establish whether deprescribing common drugs that lower blood pressure is safe or effective in older people in the longer term (a year or more).

The population of the UK is getting older and more people are living with multiple illnesses, taking lots of tablets to manage these illnesses. High blood pressure is one of the most common medical conditions in older people and many take two or more drugs to treat it. Recent scientific studies suggest that large reductions in blood pressure, and too many drug prescriptions, may be associated with an increase in falls and death in older patients. We have previously undertaken a trial which showed that reducing the number of blood pressure lowering drugs prescribed to older people is safe in the short term (over a three month period). However, we do not know what the longer term effects of stopping blood pressure lowering drugs are. This trial aims to assess this in people aged 75 years or older, who have blood pressure in a normal range, are taking two or more medications and are at a higher risk of drug-related side-effects. 

Currently active: Yes, recruitment ongoing

For more information please visit the Optimise 2 website



toucan logo

Evaluation of new rapid tests for diagnosing urinary tract infections in GP practice

Half of all women will experience a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) at least once in their lifetime. The most common treatment is with an antibiotic. However, the number of bacterial infections which are resistant to antibiotics is rising because women are being prescribed antibiotics which they don’t need. This happens because GPs don’t have rapid, accurate diagnostic tests to be sure whether a woman needs antibiotics and, if she does, which antibiotic would be most effective.  

Currently available UTI diagnostic tests are slow, may not be 100% accurate, or even both. GPs use a combination of symptoms, signs and a simple dipstick test to predict whether someone may have an infection. New, rapid diagnostic tests are now in the early stages of development aiming to indicate whether a woman does indeed have a UTI, and to suggest which antibiotic will be effective. Doctors and patients will then have the knowledge to make immediate and appropriate treatment decisions.  

The TOUCAN study is investigating some of these new tests. We will compare the results from the new tests, performed in GP surgeries, with established tests performed in a specialised laboratory to make sure that the new tests give reliable information.

Starting shortly

For information please visit the Toucan website


The third study of infectious intestinal disease in the UK (IID3)

This research project aims to estimate the burden and causes of infectious intestinal disease (IID) in the UK population
Infectious Intestinal Disease (IID) usually presents as diarrhoea and vomiting. In the UK, IID usually has no long-term health effects, but has a high associated cost due to the numbers of people who fall ill, and the consequences of absence from work or treatment cost. However, in some cases, IID can lead to death for high-risk individuals.

IID is caused by a range of microorganisms, including bacteria (e.g. Salmonella, Campylobacter and Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli), viruses (e.g. norovirus and rotavirus) and parasites (e.g. Giardia or Cryptosporidium), and transmission can occur through a variety of pathways.

Two previous IID studies have been undertaken examining the rates of IID: In 1993-1996, the Study of Infectious Intestinal Disease (IID) in England  (IID1 study) and in 2007-2009, the Second Study of Infectious Intestinal Disease in the community (IID2 study). Both previous IID studies indicated that the number of cases of IID in the UK is significantly underreported and cases are often not assigned to a pathogen, with under-reporting due to numerous factors, including the individual not seeking medical care, samples not being taken at point of contact with primary healthcare, and negative test results despite meeting the criteria for an IID diagnosis. 

This third study will follow similar strategies to the previous IID studies, aiming to provide data that allows comparisons across the three, but will also utilise technologies unavailable at the time of previous studies, such as whole genome sequencing.

Starting Shortly

For more information please visit The Food Standards Agency website



Relief Logo

Randomised Controlled Trial of a New Relief Inhaler in Mild Asthma: The RELIEF Trial.

Approximately 10% of UK adults have asthma. Many have “mild” asthma, requiring a reliever (blue) inhaler for symptoms with or without, low-dose-inhaled steroid treatment. Asthma causes airway inflammation, so treatment with regular inhaled steroids is important. Blue inhalers provide symptom relief but cannot help inflammation. Increasing use of blue inhalers and decreasing use of preventer (usually brown) inhalers is associated with poorer asthma outcomes.

The Global Initiative for Asthma (world-wide asthma recommendations) suggest replacing the first-choice standard blue inhaler for all asthma patients with a combination inhaler containing both reliever and a preventer medicine.

The study aims to determine;

  • How effective a combination inhaler might be versus standard care for symptom relief in mild asthma
  • Overall costs and savings of the two treatments
  • Health care providers and patients views of the new way to treat mild asthma

Currently Active

For information please visit the University Of Nottingham website



asymptomatic logo

A randomised controlled trial assessing symptom-driven versus maintenance preventer therapy for the outpatient management of asthma in children (The ASYMPTOMATIC study).  

Asthma is the commonest long-term disease in children in the UK. It causes cough and difficulty breathing. The main treatment for asthma is a preventer inhaler, containing corticosteroids, which prevents irritation of the airways.

The ASYMPTOMATIC study aims to find out whether taking a preventer inhaler only when a child, with mild asthma, has symptoms is as effective as taking it every day.

The study will involve around 250 GP practices in England and around 2000 children and young people with asthma.

Currently active: Yes, recruitment ongoing

For information please visit the Asymptomatic website


Are you interested in research?

If you have any questions or would like more information about any of our research please call the Newton Place Surgery research mobile on 07538 115938. 

Research Direct Telephone: 07494 773957

Contact us via email