Debra Alexander and Laura Haythorn from the Orthopaedic Institute Charity visited Borderland Rotary to give some insight into the work the charity does and how they operate alongside the RJAH Orthopaedic Hospital.

Debra explained, “Our mission is to support research and education in the specialist centres and departments within the Robert Jones & Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital.  We are a dedicated charity set up in 1971 and work in parallel with the hospital.  We support both clinical and scientific research, as an example, for over 20 years we have been helping to fund a study into Autologous Chondrocyte implantation (ACI).  The procedure sees a sample of cartilage removed from the patient’s knee from which their own cells are then grown in a laboratory, a process which takes around three weeks.  These cells are then returned into the patient’s knee in a second surgical procedure.  The successful study resulted in the RJAH being the first centre to be granted certification by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) who approved the technique for wider use across the NHS.”

“Equally we work to support studies on many more conditions such as Muscular Dystrophy, Osteoarthritis, Cerebral Palsy and Rheumatoid Arthritis – to name but a few.”

The researchers collaborate with several universities from around the country which include Keele, Chester, Birmingham and London, with PHD students working with the teams as they begin their scientific careers.”

Debra finished by thanking Borderland for their past donations saying, “We’re very grateful to organisations like Rotary for helping us buy equipment for the laboratories as every donation, big or small, makes such a difference and will enable us to do more research and in turn, facilitate better outcomes for patients”.

Picture L-R: Andy Boroughs, Laura Haythorn, Debra Alexander & Brian Ashton.  Picture CBS.