A recent parliamentary inquiry into avoidable deaths and failures of care for sickle cell patients in secondary care identified that too often acute painful sickle episodes are poorly managed by the NHS. It recommended that the NHS Race and Health Observatory (NHSRHO) undertake a study into sickle cell care in relation to race and ethnicity. In collaboration with the National Haemoglobinopathy Panel, the UK Forum on Haemoglobin Disorders, and the Sickle Cell Society, NHSRHO has decided to commission research to identify means of robustly improving the management of acute painful sickle cell episodes.
It is hoped that this research identifies potential interventions to improve the management of acute painful sickle cell episodes and develops a peer-reviewed cluster randomised trial protocol to rigorously assess them. The purpose of developing and publishing this research protocol is to catalyse research, and improvement, in this area.