Our impact

Our impact

The impact of RAFT’s research programmes is far reaching

For nearly three decades we have been undertaking pioneering scientific research that has changed the face of healthcare the world over.  In fact, our work has saved lives, improved treatment, speeded up recovery times, influenced healthcare policy and changed laws.

Thanks to our donors’ support, the work undertaken by RAFT has surpassed even our founders’ most ambitious dreams.  Today more than 100 of our projects are in use in hospitals and clinics throughout the world.   Here are just some of our achievements:


  • Advanced the management and prevention of pressure sores in hospitals by developing mattress testing technology which has been adopted as an International Standard testing method.


  • Improved surgical outcomes for children with cleft lip and palate by developing the use of 3D laser scanning to analyse facial features and facilitate more accurate planning of operations.


  • Developed surgical techniques which have enhanced the lives of patients suffering from facial palsy.


  • Provided evidence that birth trauma is not the primary cause of permanent congenital facial palsy, and that brain structure is a more common cause than was previously thought.


  • Published research on Dupytrens contracture which helped to promote less aggressive surgical techniques and resulted in better patient outcomes.


  • Published research findings which were recognised by the Pharmaceutical industry as being significant for the future of cancer treatments. RAFT researchers demonstrated that using antisense to block the expression of the c-myc gene can improve chemotherapy results for patients.


  • Discovered that vaporisation laser treatment could be more effective in treating BCC skin cancer tumours than surgery


  • Developed the model for teaching patients how to self examine for skin cancer. Now part of the UK guidelines on melanoma care


  • Created the definitive guide to using sun screens to provide protection against skin cancer and the filters now used by every single sunscreen manufacturer to protect against UVA damage


  • Instigated a national network of skin and tissue banks to provide burns and accident patients with quick access to donor skin & tissue


  • Identified the early symptoms of toxic shock syndrome in children so it could be avoided; something that is now routine practice.


RAFT patron Ferrial Syed pictured with her Mum as a child after being discharged from Northwood Hospital, where she received pioneering treatment for third degree burns following an accident.  Ferrial says that without RAFT’s life-saving research she wouldn’t be here today.

We have published hundreds of medical papers, received numerous awards and are recognised by the scientific community as leaders in our field.  However, what is most important to us is the people we aim to support.

Scientific research is the tool that we use to make people’s lives better.  

But, despite our success, today, our research is needed more than ever before. Find out more about our current research projects