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Case study: CRN Greater Manchester core team blog series: Delivery Team

The latest entry from CRN Greater Manchester's staff blog series

Our CRN Greater Manchester Delivery Team provide quarterly updates to the CRN Managers' Meeting to demonstrate their activity and impact, particularly on research in non-NHS settings. The report for Quarter 1 of 2023/24 was published recently. This format is new for us; we decided we needed a more interesting way of presenting what we have been up to, so we put it all together in a jazzy infographic.  

Some highlights of Quarter 1 include recruiting our 1,000th participant to the Genes & Health study -  Nazir Afzal OBE!  He was so down-to-earth and friendly, and happily made us a video to promote the study, in one take - what a pro!  The DiscoverMe study is off to a great start, with over 1,800 people in Greater Manchester already signed up and waiting to find out about their ancestry - remember to check if your GP is taking part.

We also started recruiting to a primary care study called PROGRESS, it’s a pharmacogenetics study whereby people who are going to be prescribed a new medication can have a DNA test first (saliva sample); the results of the test will tell us whether or not that person will effectively metabolise that medication, and therefore changes can be made to the prescription if necessary. Of the first six participants we recruited, it turned out that five of them required prescription changes! Meaning that, without the test, these people could have been taking an ineffective medication, which could have caused side effects, for potentially weeks or months!  

One of the studies we have been providing considerable support to is now coming to a close - the PAFA study, looking at patterns of adult food allergies, has been on our books for the last year and most of the team have had the opportunity to work on it. It has involved us running clinics at five different GP practices in the region - sometimes running up to 11 clinics a week! We also utilised the research van and trialled high throughput weekend clinics for participants. Preliminary results were shared recently and it looks like the study will have a significant impact on UK policy relating to marketing of food products, so we’re all very proud to have been part of that.  

Primary care research is a big focus for us this year; we now have a primary care engagement team and we are trying to engage GP practices who are new to research. So far, 14 previously “research naive” practices have now taken part in NIHR portfolio studies this year. Primary care provides so many opportunities for research, and is more accessible for the local community, so we want to build on this and work with our colleagues in primary care to increase research capacity and capability.

All in all, it’s been a busy year so far for the CRN Delivery Team, with lots more exciting studies and events in the pipeline. We continue to get out into our local communities, attending events like festivals, and mental health support groups, offering people the opportunity to take part in relevant research; and we’re still beaming with pride at being bronze winners of the PharmaTimes Clinical Site Team of the Year Award!

The Delivery Team

August 2023