Research - Intestinal Failure Unit

At Salford Royal Foundation Intestinal Failure Unit research is undertaken in surgery, medicine and nutrition.

Our Research Leads and Research Fellows

We are committed to research, training and education in all aspects of intestinal and colorectal disorders. We have an active research programme with research fellows based at the intestinal failure unit.

SimonLalThumbNail.jpgSimon Lal holds is an honorary professor at the universities of Manchester and Salford and a visiting professor at the university of Chester. He undertook a PhD in nutritional physiology and leads a research team with academic interests in clinical nutrition, intestinal failure and inflammatory bowel disease.

Professor Lal has published over 160 peer-reviewed papers and a number of book chapters and he and the team are keen to collaborate to develop further research ideas for clinical benefit nationally and internationally.


Sorrel Burden.jpgDr Sorrel Burden is Reader in Nutrition and Dietetics and is the lead for nutritional research in intestinal failure. Sorrel works between the intestinal failure unit at Salford and the University of Manchester. Sorrel has experience of undertaking mixed methods research including qualitative and quantitative research.

Anne Marie Sowerbutts.jpgDr Anne Marie Sowerbutts is a research associate at the University of Manchester.

She has experience of undertaking mixed methods research, but specialises in qualitative research.

Debra Jones.jpgDebra is a nutrition and exercise research scientist, working in the School of Health Sciences at The University of Manchester. She is a registered Public Health Nutritionist (RNutr) with the Association for Nutrition and has 11 years’ experience of working in NHS and academic settings on community and clinically based nutrition programmes.

Current roles include project management of clinical nutrition trials in people with cancer or intestinal failure with data collection using surveys and body composition measures.

Ashley Bond.jpgDr Ashley Bond is a gastroenterologist with a specialist interest in Intestinal Failure (IF) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).  He completed his medical school training in Birmingham UK, moving to the Mersey and Greater Manchester area to complete specialty training. 

During this time he completed a series of advanced fellowships, including those in endoscopy, IBD, nutrition and IF.  During this time, he also completed an MD at the University of Liverpool.   He was a consultant in Liverpool for 2 years before moving to the IF unit in Salford in 2021.  He has an extensive publication and presentation history, including book chapters, peer reviewed papers and international presentations.

Maja Kopczynska.jpgDr Maja Kopczynska is a NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow in Gastroenterology and currently undertaking an MSc in Health Data Science at the University of Manchester. Her academic interests are intestinal failure, evaluating patient outcomes in those with complex nutritional needs, and investigating the burden of chronic gastrointestinal diseases including their impact on quality of life.

Melanie Baker.jpgMelanie has over 20 years NHS experience in the dietetic management of intestinal failure and has supported various national workstreams. Her research interests include parenteral nutrition, high output stomas and home enteral feeding after cancer surgery.  

She is currently completing a PhD investigating the parenteral nutritional requirements of adults with chronic intestinal failure using quantitative and qualitative research methods.

Current Research

Providing a person with food through a vein is known as parenteral nutrition (PN). This process is used when nutrients from food can't be taken in by the intestine (intestinal failure). Patients with type 3 intestinal failure are completely reliant on artificial feeding and often manage this at home; home parenteral nutrition (HPN). HPN therapy is life saving for these patients.

It is important to assess patient’s quality of life and their own reported effects of the HPN. The Parenteral Nutrition Impact Questionnaire (PNIQ) is a validated tool for measuring quality of life when receiving HPN.

A recent study involving the use of the PNIQ in multiple hospitals in the UK, showed that those on fewer nights of HPN had better quality of life than those on more nights of HPN. Whilst this was useful for looking at quality of life at one time point, it is now important to assess change in quality life over time and any impact on family member’s quality of life.

This study will recruit HPN patients across the UK and ask them to complete the PNIQ survey at several different time points. This will assess the impact of HPN over time. Family members involved in the participants HPN care will also be asked to complete a carer burden survey (at one time point) to assess the impact of HPN on carers.

This study aims to evaluate the use of mix and match regimens to determine if patient’s requirements can be met adequately without compromising clinical outcomes.

Using a mixed methods design with a cohort study and qualitative interviews we plan to recruit patients who are suitable for a mix and match regimen. This is a pilot study so only 30 participants will be recruited and followed up for 6 months on a mix and match regimen. Participant interviews will take place towards the end of the study period to enable us to document patients’ experiences.

This project has been based on the principles of the James Lind Alliance (JLA) and aims to inform those that fund health research what really matters to patients, carers and healthcare professionals in the area of home parenteral nutrition (HPN).

Within this project HPN is defined as the provision of intravenous supplementation, either fluids and electrolytes alone or nutrition admixtures, outside the hospital setting. We will consider separately the views of patients using HPN with benign intestinal failure and those with a cancer diagnosis.

This study will recruit patients, carers and healthcare professionals from the U.K. America, Italy, and Denmark to identify uncertainties about HPN. All responses will be categorised and refined into summary questions that are addressable by research, unanswered in the literature and understandable to all. A steering committee will identify the top 25 questions which capture the key themes and topics that are most prevalent from the responses. The top 25 questions will then be prioritised through the help of patients, carers, healthcare professionals and finally an expert steering committee. A list of the top ten prioritised uncertainties will be agreed, published and taken to research commissioning bodies to be considered for funding. This process is important to ensure that the issues that matter most to those with experience of HPN are prioritised for future research.


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