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Case study: Q&A: Sophie Hutin - Clinical Trials Assistant at CRN Wessex

An interview with Clinical Trials Assistant Sophie Hutin about her role in the Direct Delivery Team at CRN Wessex

The new Direct Delivery Team (DDT) at the Clinical Research Network (CRN) Wessex will play a pivotal role in facilitating research in Dorset, Hampshire, South Wiltshire and the Isle of Wight.

In this Q&A, we speak to Sophie Hutin, CRN Wessex Clinical Trials Assistant (CTA), about her experience of working in the DDT and what she's enjoying most about her role. 

When did you join the CRN Wessex Direct Delivery team?

I joined the CRN Wessex DDT team in September 2021.

How are you settling in?

I am settling in well, thank you! Both the Wessex team and Portsmouth hub team have been very welcoming and friendly.

Please tell us a little bit about your role within the team.

I work as a CTA at the Portsmouth Research Hub. On a clinical day my role can include: setting up the clinic rooms, creating QC packs,  coordinating clinics, symptom checking and greeting participants. 

On some clinical days, I support recruitment and follow-up appointments. This means I am in a pod with research participants, taking blood, checking vital signs and carrying out nasal swabs.

On non-clinical days, my role can involve inputting data, setting up packs, resolving queries, recruiting participants, answering phone calls and checking stock levels of research study supplies and restocking as required. 

Is this your first role within research?

Yes, this is my first role within research. Getting involved in research projects at university inspired me to get into research. Also, having a previous job in a hospital attracted me to this clinical research role.

What have you found most rewarding, enjoyable or interesting about your role so far?

For one study, we recruited over our target number and were asked as a site to recruit more participants which was very rewarding. It has been really interesting to see how studies are set up and then follow them through until the end. On Fridays, we have lunch together as a team which is really enjoyable. 

Tell us about a time a participant or member of the research team has made you feel inspired and proud of working within the field.

A time I felt particularly proud of working in the field was when the Portsmouth Research Hub got nominated for a Pride of Portsmouth award.

What have you found challenging about your role so far?

With the rise in coronavirus cases, more of our research participants have tested positive for COVID-19 and it has been challenging to keep up with the rise in calls and logging the data onto the database.

How would you describe the role of the Direct Delivery Team?

The DDT is a flexible workforce created to support research in the community. It is currently made up of three hubs: Portsmouth, Southampton, and Bournemouth.

What are you most looking forward to career wise in the next six months?

Going into other research studies in the community.