Meet the Research Team

Dr Nicola Lester (Female)

Dr Nicola Lester (Female)

Dr Nicola Lester (Female)

GP Research Lead Abbeywell Surgery, PCN Research Clinical Lead Romsey & North Baddesley

Dr Nicola Lester joined the research team at Abbeywell Surgery in July 2021 and set up the PCN (Primary Care Network) Research Team in 2021/2022 covering Abbeywell Surgery, Alma Road Surgery and North Baddesley Surgery.

Liane Armstrong (Female)

Liane Armstrong (Female)

Liane Armstrong (Female)

Senior Research Nurse

Liane joined the research team in September 2022, from University Hospital Southampton, where she previously worked as a Research Nurse for the Oncology Research Team, managing the gastrointestinal cancer research portfolio for over 12 years.

Liane is also our Nurse Manager and works very closely with our practice nursing team.

Tracy Whitfield (Female)

Tracy Whitfield (Female)

Tracy Whitfield (Female)

Administrator and Research Facilitator

Tracy joined the research team in January 2022, from University Hospital Southampton, where she previously worked as a Clinical Trials Assistant for the Oncology Research Team.

Allie Perkins (Female)

Allie Perkins (Female)

Allie Perkins (Female)

Clinical Trials Assistant

Allie started working with the research team from March 2022 working as a Clinical Trials Assistant.

What is Clinical Research?

Clinical research in healthcare is the study of health and illness with the aim of developing and advancing medical knowledge to improve current treatment options and patient care.

Individual trials and studies focus on different aspects of healthcare. These can be for new treatments and medications, new life-style support techniques or aids and questionnaires to improve your wellbeing.

Research trials can be performed as a face-to-face appointment in your local hospital or GP surgery, or you may be offered the opportunity to access and participate in telephone or web based apps.

Research trials are promoted and conducted within all NHS settings to improve patient care and wellbeing.  The primary care setting consists of GP surgeries, Dental practices and Pharmacies, working with the research networks and trials sponsors to deliver research in their local area for the management of long-term illnesses, prevention of future health conditions and promoting healthier lifestyles.

We are recruiting participants to the following studies

Remember, you can withdraw from a clinical trial at any time if you feel that it is not right for you. If you have questions or concerns about any aspect of a trial, you should feel comfortable discussing them with the research team at any time. Please also read our FAQs further down the page.

Research Team Contact Details: 07547 224832


We want to find out if taking amitriptyline can prevent the persistent long-term pain that some people get after shingles.

50 years or older and recently had shingles? If so, you might be able to take part in this study.

Athena Study


Our practice is one of over 500 GP surgeries across England working with researchers at the University of Exeter on a large research study.

The researchers are trying to find out if a new computer-based risk assessment tool can help to identify cancer earlier.



The MiSTIC study is a clinical research study comparing two asthma treatments. One of the treatments is approved as a maintenance treatment for asthma in adults whose asthma is not well controlled. The other one is approved for treating asthma.

If you are 18 to 75 years of age, have had asthma for at least 1 year and were diagnosed before age 40, and your current asthma treatment is not working well for you, you might be able to take part in this study.


DaRe2THINK Trial

This trial is looking to see whether the use of blood thinning tablets reduce the chances of stroke or dementia in later life

The Trial is for patients with Atrial Fibrillation who are under 75 years old

You may be required to take blood thinning tablets that are already widely used and would be part of your future care anyway

Follow up will be automatic with no extra visits for patients, all you need to do is complete some questionnaires every 6 months using your phone, tablet or computer at home.

The Active Brains Study

Are you aged 60-85?

Would you like to try an online programme to help with brain and body health?

This study is to check how helpful ‘Active Brains’ is for 60-85 year olds.

We would like people to take part even if they have no trouble with their memory or thinking skills.

To take part, you need internet access on a computer, laptop or tablet

Asymptomatic Trial

The aim of the ASYMPTOMATIC trial is to find out the best way for children and young people with asthma to use their inhaled corticosteroids (preventer inhaler).

  At the moment, children and young people in the UK are advised to take their corticosteroid inhaler every day. Although this approach appears to help prevent asthma attacks, it may not be needed in all children with mild asthma.

They could perhaps instead use a corticosteroid inhaler only on days when they have asthma symptoms, such as cough, wheeze, or shortness of breath.

 This study will measure if the number of asthma attacks is different between children who take their corticosteroid inhaler everyday (the “daily” group) and those who take it only when they have symptoms (the “symptom-driven group”).

Asymptomatic Trial

Hipdys Study

We are conducting a study which seeks to improve the diagnosis of developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) by use of a diagnostic aid during the compulsory 6-week hip check. This diagnostic aid comprises a 9-item checklist.

Static Study

STATIC is a study that is looking at people who have been diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in the past, who are taking a specific type of medication known as an amino salicylate (5-ASA), but whose disease is not flaring (is in remission).

The Static study aim is to show that stopping or continuing aminosalicylates will not have any effect on disease flares and complications related to Crohns disease.

Suitable patients

Aged 18 +

Crohns Disease in remission

Currently taking aminosalicylate

The results from this study could change clinical practice going forwards.

Wave Study

Wave is a study focused on supporting people who are absent from work due to health conditions. 


The study will determine whether adding a new specialist vocational advice service will help patients return to work sooner than when they receive usual care.

Taking part will involve being allocated to one of two groups

Group 1 – Care as usual from your GP team


Group 2 – usual care plus access to a vocational support worker, who will support you to manage your health and return to work.


Why take part in Research Trials at Abbeywell Surgery?

The recent Covid 19 pandemic has highlighted the global importance and need for research trials for the general public in all healthcare settings. Not only is research necessary for discovering new treatments for emerging diseases, it is also important to develop research to improve treatments and symptoms for a wide range of existing conditions.

Taking part in a research trial not only allows you the opportunity to gain access to new treatments that may improve your own health conditions, but to also provide health data to improve the future care of others that are experiencing the same illnesses and similar symptoms.

Our experienced research team, led by Dr Nicola Lester, are dedicated to providing Abbeywell patients with the opportunity to access not only new and alternative treatments but also lifestyle support techniques with the aim to improve your health and the health of others.

All research participants are provided with a direct mobile number to be able to contact the team at any time during practice hours. The team are available to answer any questions or concerns you may have.

Who Can Take Part in A Clinical Trial / Clinical Study?

Suitable participants will be contacted by a member of the research team at Abbeywell. We will normally contact you via a phone call or text message or we may send you an information sheet which provides all the details of the trial.  The team will then follow up with a phone call to find out whether you would like to take part in the trial, and they will answer any questions you may have.

You will always be given plenty of time to consider whether you would like to take part. If you decide to enter the trial, you can withdraw at any time if you feel it is not right for you.

Are Clinical Trials Safe?

All clinical trials are regulated to protect participants and are monitored by an Ethics Committee to ensure that the participants rights, safety and well-being is protected.

Good Clinical Practice training must be completed by all research staff involved with clinical trials to demonstrate they have the relevant training and experience. Good Clinical Practice is an internationally recognised quality standard that must be followed when performing research.

What happens to my personal details and is my personal information safe?

General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) is legislation that ensures your identity is protected. These guidelines are adhered to at all times guaranteeing the safe sharing of your data and personal information.

When you join a clinical trial, your information is anonymised. This means, that all patient data is submitted using an individual trial identification number rather than using any personal information, ensuring your personal information is protected and secure.