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Case study: Award winners share engagement and recruitment tips for RECOVERY trial

The Yorkshire-based team won the award for Clinical Research Nursing in 2020

The research team at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust won the Clinical Research Nursing Times award in 2020 for engaging NHS staff in the delivery of clinical research to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

The team are hugely successful in recruiting to the RECOVERY study, and have shared with us their top tips for engaging with clinical and nursing staff to encourage high recruitment:

1.     Use tools such as a staff WhatsApp group to maintain continuous communication across the trial workforce (all Doctors, including respiratory and ICU clinicians, and Research Nurses). Use it to enable timely staff deployment as well as immediate responses to queries, support for novice investigators and to identify potential patients for the study (REMEMBER – no identifiable data can be used on the WhatsApp chat).

2.     Support staff with a daily distanced huddle (in person or via Microsoft Teams if location requires) and buddy newer staff with a more experienced team member.

3.     Where possible, enable research staff to be present on wards to guide ward staff through the study processes in person and answer any questions upfront.

4.     Ensure a file is available on all wards caring for COVID patients which contains detailed study information; patient information sheets & consent forms. Include process flowcharts and guidelines for ward staff.

5.     Utilise electronic patient records to enable research teams to carry out screening and randomisation from home out of hours (this is dependent on robust processes).

6.     Utilise electronic patient records to enable clinicians to access templates for eligibility/consent to ensure all the required information is documented by the clinical team.

7.     Provide alerts regarding any issues or new amendments and instructions to WhatsApp group

8.     Regular training for clinical and research staff led by Principle Investigator.

9.     Collaborate effectively with support departments and clinical teams.