Review of activites and future developments

This has been another busy year for the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation. Endeavours made possible by OREF have added to the overall knowledge base in orthopaedics, opened new avenues of research and promoted accurate data capture. In pursuit of our charitable aims we have listed a summary of our activities below.

To advance education for the benefit of the public in the field of orthopaedic medical research: 

– We have supported ground- breaking research work by two doctoral (PhD) candidates into the part played by inflammation in human joints into the development of osteoarthritis.

– We have promoted the sharing of ideas through active participation in relevant national and international conferences such as the British Hip Society, British Society of Knee Surgery and The European federation of Orthopaedic and traumatology

We will continue this work next year and we plan an exciting new ethically approved research project into the use of stem cells for the relief of orthopaedic pain. We will also be supporting an ethically approved research study titled: Using Machine Learning to detect or predict loosening of the femoral component of an uncemented total hip replacement.

 The relief and the prevention of muscular-skeletal disease:

OREF has been extremely successful in building an outcomes database for patients who have predominantly attended SWLEOC. This information has led to constant improvements in the services and treatments delivered to patients. In 2018-19 the database was enriched with data collected from 44,600 patients, and 40 surgeons have been provided with timely data on their individual performances, allowing them to self-evaluate and devise new and improved measures to treat their patients. In previous years we have sought to roll out the database to other hospitals; while we no longer plan to do this actively the database is an exemplar model for electronic data capture and we would be happy to demonstrate its benefits to other parties.

In the forthcoming year we plan to explore the potential for use of the database to collect and administer PROMs at SWLEOC for submission to NHS Digital, as per the requirements of the National PROMs programme.   Separately, we also propose to collect objective activity data for our hip and knee arthroplasty patients so that we may better understand which surgical techniques and prostheses achieve the best outcomes for patients in the long-term.

Other Activities:

This year we ran a competition for SWLEOC staff inspired by Atul Gawande’s “The Checklist Manifesto”, a ground-breaking study which took a relatively simple idea – that checklists can ensure routine tasks are carried out consistently and thoroughly – and showed how complex tasks can be undertaken more efficiently and with better outcomes. All staff working at the centre were given a copy of the book. We invited staff to develop checklists for their areas of work; we received 48 responses in all, and prizes were given to five staff. While it is too early to evaluate the outcome of this work, we are very grateful to staff for their enthusiasm and the innovative proposals made. We will give copies of the book to our new starters and in time we plan to develop an in-house checklist manual.


The Trustees are very grateful to the staff of SWLEOC, to the patients and other volunteers who have given so much of their time to make our work a success. In particular we would like to thank Irrum Afzal, our board secretary for keeping the day to day business of the charity running smoothly, and Emily Tyrwhitt-Drake our project consultant who has done so much this year to take our work forward.