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Barts Health emergency research team wins leading award

A team at a North Thames NHS trust has won a prestigious national award for their dedication to research in emergency medicine.

The Barts Health NHS Trust emergency research team, led by Ben Bloom, a consultant in emergency medicine, and based at The Royal London Hospital, has scooped the NIHR/Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) award.

They have won for making an outstanding contribution to NIHR portfolio studies across a three-year period from 2020-2022.

Ben Bloom and the Barts Health emergency medicine research team offered every one of their patients the opportunity to take part in research. They engaged with patients and developed innovative approaches to consent, trial prescription, and data acquisition.

The team comprises a consultant and a senior nurse lead, five clinical research delivery nurses, two part time senior nurses also doing PhDs, two associate principal investigators and one clinical fellow.


Caption: Left, Raine Astin-Chamberlain, Senior ED Research Nurse, and Ben Bloom, Consultant in Emergency Medicine

Ben Bloom said: “We believe all patients should be given the opportunity to participate in research and strive to adopt studies and trials that represent our diverse population. Since 2020, our team has delivered 34 NIHR Portfolio studies, recruited more than 6000 patients, and contributed or authored 35 peer reviewed papers.

“We are delighted to have been given this award, which highlights how fundamental research is in the development of effective care for patients, and the importance of supporting clinical research delivery.”

Professor Matthew Costa, NIHR CRN Specialty Cluster Lead, said:

“The COVID pandemic showed everyone just how important clinical research is to the UK. Emergency Care research took centre stage and, given the ongoing difficulties in looking after patients with emergency medical problems across the NHS, the focus upon clinical research in the pre-hospital and emergency departments continues. The RCEM awards confirm that Emergency Medicine has a strong and growing community of clinical researchers and are well-placed to lead research that will make a real difference to clinical practice.”

Professor Jason Smith, Chair of the RCEM Research Committee, said:

“These awards are a great opportunity to showcase excellent research practice while giving researchers the chance to bid for small amounts of funding to get further work underway. Emergency care has historically been an under-resourced topic in research, but this and other initiatives will hopefully increase the profile of this important area. My congratulations to those who have been successful.”

The Barts team was one of three winners of the award. The category of Early Career Researcher and those new to research showing a significant contribution to recruitment into NIHR portfolio studies was won by Andrew Tabner, Emergency Department Consultant at University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust.

Kate Coates, Lead Research Allied Health Professional for the CoMiTED Trial, North Bristol NHS Trust, took the Early Career Researcher and those new to research from all nursing and allied health professional groups showing a significant contribution to recruitment into NIHR portfolio studies category.