Patient is first in region to join international research trial

Study participant Charlie Francis and podiatrist Rachel Murchison. Picture submitted by Norfolk and

Study participant Charlie Francis and podiatrist Rachel Murchison. Picture submitted by Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. - Credit: Archant

The Norfolk and Norwich University hospital has recruited its first patient to an international clinical trial.

Charlie Francis, of Halesworth, has been selected after having been treated by the diabetes service at the N&N for three years.

The trial investigates the safety of a new treatment for diabetes-related foot ulcers.

Around 6.5pc of patients who have diabetes will develop a foot ulcer over the course of their lifetime, and the problem is the most common cause of diabetes-specific hospital admission.

Mr Francis, 66, has already had one toe amputated because of his diabetes.

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'I was intrigued to be asked to take part in the trial,' he said.

'I am interested in understanding the trial's process, how new treatments are brought to patients, and potentially prevent further amputations for myself in the future.'

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'I really like the fact that by participating in the trial I could be helping others,' he added.

Participation in the trial will involve being given three injections in the wound at three weekly intervals.

At all other times Mr Francis will be required to wear bespoke footwear in the form of a boot stretching from knee to foot, to reduce pressure on his affected foot.

Neither Mr Francis or the N&N team will know if Mr Francis is receiving the trial product or a placebo, in order to ensure that unbiased and effective monitoring can take place.

The participants will be in the study for a total of 24 weeks.

Dr Ketan Dhatariya, a consultant in diabetes and endocrinology, said: 'We have a fantastic research set-up and are regularly involved in clinical trials of international importance.

'This particular trial seeks to improve healing rates and find a more effective treatment for a condition which is affecting a growing proportion of our population.

'The prevalence of diabetes continues to increase in the UK and we are excited to be a part of establishing new and innovative treatments to enhance care for our patients.'

The N&N are in discussions with two additional patients to establish whether they could also benefit from participation in the trial.

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