Evidence suggests that patients who receive care in research-active institutions have better health out-comes than patients who are treated in a non-research environment, so by joining the research community you are actively helping to drive up the standard of healthcare for your patients. It’s also an opportunity for patients to better understand their health condition and feel like they’re giving some-thing back to the NHS.
Clinical research provides an enhanced career path that is intellectually challenging and highly rewarding. It provides an opportunity to spend more quality-time engaging with patients and the chance to learn new techniques and approaches to treatment.
Whether you work in primary care or a hospital setting, we can support you and your team to make sure you have the resources and funding available to get involved with clinical research and make a difference to patients now and in the future.
For resources and materials to help you engage your colleagues in health research visit this website.
Life sciences companies
The free support we provide helps the life sciences industry deliver high quality research in the NHS, which gives patients access to new treatments. We offer a range of services across the research pathway that will help study feasibility, set up and delivery to time and target. Regardless of study type, study size or therapy area of the research, we will provide consistent and high quality support throughout Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Milton Keynes. We have a team of dedicated advisers with a thorough understanding of the NHS research environment. Some of the things they can help you with include:
Study Support Service
Our Study Support team offers a bespoke service to enable a collaborative approach that responds to your overall study delivery.
The Study Support team consists of highly skilled professionals dedicated to supporting researchers in the successful set up and delivery of high quality research enabling the study to reach its time and target in the NHS in England. As a team we able to offer a first-rate service focusing on working with researchers to add value during study planning and set-up activities, specialising in supporting the facilitation of multi-site studies running in the Thames Valley and South Midlands Clinical Research Network.
Early contact and engagement:
We encourage researchers to come to us at the earliest opportunity so that we can provide the full range of benefits to you for your study, which include support with cost attribution, assistance with grant applications, protocol development and signposting to funders with calls for applications.
The Study Support team are able to deliver comprehensive and efficient early feedback on your study, offering advice and guidance on study complexity, patient population, timelines and recruitment strategy. The aim of this service is to optimise set-up and delivery of the study across multiple sites enabling the study to reach its milestones and targets.
Effective study set-up:
Our service uses a national approach to ensure that your study is set-up as quickly and efficiently as possible across all sites. As a network we are able to build on central knowledge and skills to create a bespoke plan for your study. We work closely with the research team to provide proactive solutions and recommendations to other networks and sites that enable R&D departments to assess site capacity and capability swiftly.
We offer a national approach to site identification, through which all NHS Organisations and General Practices can be notified of your study and provide an expression of interest. Following which you can engage directly with the interested sites to enable site selection.
For commercial studies with pre-selected sites, our site intelligence service forms part of the assessment to determine eligibility for access to CRN study support. It complements existing feasibility by using local site and study intelligence and expertise, including any competing or previous studies.
Our data systems collate local site information providing study-wide oversight to support, proactive performance monitoring. Here at the CRN: Thames Valley and South Midlands our Industry Team and Research Delivery Managers work closely with the research teams and R&D departments to ensure that recruitment to time and target is attained. This enables early identification of any issues that may arise and enables a swift resolution. For our Lead LCRN studies we also work closely with our Chief Investigators and the Sponsor Representative.
With the support of the Clinical Research Network, there has been a step change in research in primary care, with more than a third of GP practices now active in research.
More than 6,240 patients were recruited into 50 studies across the region's five clinical commissioning group (CCG) areas in 2018/19, with Oxfordshire ranked first out of 195 CCGs for the highest number of studies, 40, which enrolled 4,988 participants in 2018/19.
These successes have been driven by the network’s six-person facilitators' team, which works closely with practices and CCGs to provide opportunities to conduct research, support to get trials up and running and training and development for practice staff.
The network provides funding for GP and nurse time to run studies and direct support through the Peripatetic Clinical Research Nursing Service, a team of seven nurses who work in surgeries to run studies, often alongside practice nurses, as well as training and development. The team recruited 1,674 patients to 16 studies in 2018/19. Further support is available to practices through three GP champions.
Training, Learning and Workforce Development
In Thames Valley and South Midlands Clinical Research Network, we are committed to supporting the development, learning and retention of our Clinical Research workforce in order to build capacity and deliver research to the highest standards across the region.
The workforce development team coordinates the provision of nationally and locally designed research-related training topics including :
Training is freely available to all staff that contribute to NIHR portfolio studies within Thames Valley and South Midland Clinical Research Network.
All courses are advertised and booked via a dedicated website https://learn.nihr.ac.uk/
We also support local, regional and national initiatives which aim to develop the capacity and capability of the research workforce and find practical solutions to enable research to be embedded within clinical settings.
The Thames Valley and South Midlands CRN run an Annual Fellowship programme. This is a unique opportunity to develop and expand knowledge of the research landscape and aims to grow researchers for the future.
Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement (PPIE)
The LCRN’s Communications and Engagement Team works with research teams, partner trusts and other NIHR infrastructure to support recruitment and promote research in general using a range of communication and engagement methods.
These include promotion of stories in the media led by patient case studies, events, newsletters, talks, social media and training in Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement (PPIE) for the public and staff.
The team also manages a network of patient volunteers under the national Patient Research Ambassadors Initiative to promote research to the public and work with researchers to ensure the patient’s voice is represented.