WARMING patients before surgery and asking critically ill people about their experiences are two projects to come under the spotlight at a research and development conference at a North-East hospital.

A conference at the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, will highlight recent research carried out by staff at the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust.

Other ideas under discussion will include the ethics of research, and plans to interview breast cancer patients referred to the hospital by their GPs within two weeks.

This is the third annual conference on research and development, and will take place next Friday.

Professor David Leaper, the trust's research and development director, said: "Research is the lifeblood of the NHS.

"Many people think that it is only carried out by drug companies and teaching hospitals, but local hospitals such as North Tees and Hartlepool also do a great deal of important research.

"This conference has been organised to showcase the vast amount of research which our staff have carried out over the past year."