The NI Clinical Research Network (NICRN) undertakes Orthopaedic research throughout Northern Ireland. The NICRN is part of a UK-wide initiative to provide opportunities for patients and clinicians to participate in high-quality clinical research.

Trauma and Orthopaedics (T&O) has recently joined the Northern Ireland Clinical Research Network (NICRN). The Trauma and Orthopaedic Research Charity (TORC) is a local charity which has already collaborated with NICRN on several national multicentre NIHR trauma studies and helps enable high-quality T&O research to be carried out across Northern Ireland.


The NICRN aims to:

  • Focus on all areas of musculoskeletal injury, disease and rehabilitation
  • enhance patient outcomes and experience by conducting high quality research which translates into improvements in care, knowledge and understanding.
  • Ensuring our clinicians have access to the latest training and research infrastructure is fundamental to this goal.


Areas of interest include the following:

  • Enhanced recovery after surgery
  • Improved outcomes for major trauma patients
  • Fragility fractures care – particularly hip fracture patients
  • 90 day complications following joint arthroplasty
  • Reduction of blood loss following orthopaedic procedures
  • Peri-operative medicine and regional anaesthesia in trauma
  • Low cost solutions for orthopaedic procedures
  • Psychological impact of trauma and pain on patient recovery
  • Surgeon Education through Simulation
  • Improved access to leading edge technologies for patients & clinicians
  • Building on the current platform to deliver further level 1 research trials

Dr Owen Diamond – BHSCT

Orthopaedic Clinical Lead

Mr Owen Diamond was appointed as Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon to the Royal Victoria Hospital and Musgrave Park Hospital in September 2018.

He completed his medical degree in Trinity College Dublin in 2004, a Research Doctorate (MD) in Hip Surgery, in Queens University Belfast in 2013 under the supervision of Professor Beverland. He also completed a Diploma in Sports and Exercise Medicine in the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh in 2010 and a Master of Science in the Critical Appraisal and Understanding of Research at the University of Warwick in 2013 under the tutelage of Professor Matt Costa.

He has specialist interest in Orthopaedic Trauma, including Pelvic and Acetabular fractures, and also in Elective Orthopaedics including, Hip and Knee Arthroplasty and Young Adult Hip Surgery . Following completion of his Orthopaedic training in Northern Ireland, he spent extensive time on Fellowship at internationally renowned centres in Birmingham, Vancouver, Bristol and the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

 He has an interest in research into the outcomes for trauma patients, in particular fragility fracture care, pelvic & acetabular trauma and ankle fractures. He has worked to bring National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) in Orthopaedic Trauma to Northern Ireland and was recently the local Principle Investigator for an NIHR study investigating the benefits of early weight bearing after ankle fracture fixation (WAX). With 562 recruits upon completion, the WAX study is the largest RCT ever completed on operatively treated ankle fractures and Royal Victoria Hospital was the second largest recruiter in the NHS, with 62 recruits.

Dr Diamond has been a co-lead and PI for the Clinical Research Network since 2020. Contact email: Owen.Diamond@belfasttrust.hscni.n

Dr Richard Napier – BHSCT

Orthopaedic Clinical Lead

Richard Napier completed his medical training at Queens University Belfast in 2005. He holds a Masters in Clinical Education (Queens University Belfast – 2012) and became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 2015.

He worked as a clinical research Fellow in hip and knee arthroplasty under Professor Beverland in 2011 and after completing his training in N. Ireland he undertook Fellowship training in arthroplasty, knee and sports medicine within internationally renowned orthopaedic research centres in Exeter and Melbourne.

He is passionate about medical education and research. He is currently a member of the N. Ireland Trauma & Orthopaedics Training Committee. Richard has published on a wide variety of orthopaedics and trauma, and has presented this research both nationally and internationally. Through his work with TORC (Trauma & Orthopaedics Research Charity) and their research team he is a Principle investigator (PI) on a number of local and national studies. He was awarded PI of the year in 2020 for his involvement in children’s trauma research.

Dr Napier has been a co-lead and PI for the Clinical Research Network since 2020. Contact email: Richard.Napier@belfasttrust.hscni.net