10 highlights from Clinical Academic Groups in 2019

To mark 10 years of King’s Health Partners, we take a look at some of the breakthroughs in research, clinical care and education our CAGs have made in 2019.

Postcard Translating CareImaging and Biomedical Engineering

New MRI techniques to image the fetal heart are currently being developed at Evelina London Children’s Hospital, in collaboration with King’s College London and the iFind project.

Unique to King’s Health Partners, these techniques , correct motion to allow for incredibly detailed 3D reconstructions, even when the foetus is just a few centimetres in size. The scans can then be used to definitively diagnose any suspected cardiac condition, allowing for more accurate aftercare.


King's Health Partners Haematology is leading the way in treating adult patients with pioneering CAR T therapy. CAR T therapy is a complex immunotherapy that is personally developed for each individual patient. It involves harvesting T cells – the immune cells that recognise and kill viruses – from the patient, reprogramming them to recognise cancer cells, and infusing them back into the patient so they attack the cancer.

We are also the first organisation in the country to offer integrated physical and mental healthcare to people living with blood cancer.

Pharmaceutical Sciences

The Pharmaceutical Sciences CAG is first of King’s Health Partners 22 CAGs to publish an outcomes scorecard. Having published their Outcomes Book back in 2016, the CAG wanted to produce a more focused selection of key metrics to benchmark their performance year on year in clinical care, research and education. 


In addition to publishing their first Outcomes Book, the King’s Health Partners Neurosciences marked a major breakthrough when a two-year-old became the youngest child in the world to undergo deep brain stimulation to treat severe, uncontrolled and painful muscle movements. This success was down to a cross-partner team from Evelina London and King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Orthopaedics, Trauma and Plastics

It’s hip to bring value. Lucinda Gabriel, Clinical Fellow at King’s Health Partners, authored a paper on how we applied our core Value Based Healthcare values to a pilot project in orthopaedics. The work was published in the journal BMJ Open Quality, where best practices in outcomes and cost measurement in the elective hip replacement pathway at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust were highlighted. Lucinda blogged for us on the key findings.


King’s Health Partners clinicians developed a novel device to help surgeons carry out keyhole surgery with much lower risks than open surgery. A cross-partner team created the novel device using a 3D printer and have affectionately termed it ‘The Gripper'.

In addition, earlier this year, Jackie Field became the first patient in the world to receive an experimental new treatment to remove large blood clots from veins, without the use of clot-busting drugs.

Deep vein thrombosis is a blood clot that forms in a vein deep within the body, usually the leg. It affects around 620,000 people per year with 25,000 deaths. Researchers have been trying to find the best way to remove these, with treatments ranging from blood thinners and compression socks, to drugs which break up blood clots.


We marked six months of the King’s Health Partners Alcohol Care Team in June. This cross-partner team has helped divert nearly two-thirds of alcohol-related hospital admissions away from one of London’s busiest emergency departments as part of a plan to refer patients to better sources of care and reduce the pressures on A&E.

We spoke with Joshua Stapleton from the team to find out more


Genetics, Rheumatology, Infection, Immunology and Dermatology

The National Xeroderma Pigmentosum (XP) service at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust celebrated winning Dermatology Team of the Year at the BMJ Awards in May. The team was recognised for providing outstanding care to patients with XP. People with the condition are not able to repair the damage caused to their skin by the ultraviolet (UV) part of daylight.  They can burn easily and can also develop eye, nerve or brain problems, and are more likely to develop skin cancers.

As part of the service patients attend an annual multidisciplinary clinic where they can see a dermatologist, dermatological surgeon, ophthalmologist, neurologist, neuropsychologist, geneticist, and specialist nurse.


The development of psychosis is thought to be linked to abnormalities with the connectivity and organisation of the brain network. One measurement of this connectivity is changes in blood flow in the brain during the resting state.

In a collaborative study with University Medical Center Utrecht and University of Roehampton, researchers within the CAG have found that treatment with cannabidiol (CBD) significantly reduced the passage of blood through some parts of the brain associated with the development of psychosis.

CBD appears to act in a very different way from existing medications in mental health. CBD may be particularly appropriate as a treatment for people at high risk of developing psychosis due to its lack of serious side effects.

At King’s Health Partners annual conference in May 2019, we heard more from Prof McGuire on this work:



Every day 23 people in England have a toe, foot or leg amputation as a result of diabetes

Due to peripheral neuropathy leading to loss of feeling in the feet and legs, people with diabetes are prone to developing foot diseases which can deteriorate rapidly and often don’t present to services until its too late. The five-year mortality for people with diabetic foot problems is 70%.

Multi-Disciplinary Foot Teams brings together podiatrists, vascular surgeons and diabetologists to centralise care.  People are seen locally within 24-48 hours which reduces referral time and speeds up treatment.  Service consists of rapid access clinic at Guy’s, St Thomas’, King’s College, and Princess Royal University Hospitals (where operations take place).

In the first six months almost 450 patients benefitted from the new clinics and there is a helpline for patients to ring and receive advice follow up care.

We were also awarded £295,000 by NHS England to deliver a 15-month pilot service for people with type 1 diabetes and disordered eating, which is sometimes called Diabulimia.

Find out more on the Health Innovation Network website.

Find out more about the work of our CAGs.