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Birmingham research team scoops NHS surgical oncology prize

The Cancer Research Excellence in Surgical Trials (CREST) award was presented to the General Surgery Research Team, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, at the joint NIHR Clinical Research Network and Royal College of Surgeons of England research event in London this week(16 November 2021).

The award is managed by the NIHR Clinical Research Network and supported by Swann-Morton. Now in its seventh year, the award is presented to the surgical oncology team that has made the greatest contribution in recruitment to the NIHR cancer trials Portfolio.

This year the award was presented by Professor Lucy Chappell, Chief Scientific Adviser to the Department of Health and Social Care and CEO of the NIHR.

Arlo Whitehouse, Senior Research Nurse at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, who nominated the team, said: “We have faced many difficulties throughout the pandemic, with all research teams affected in one way or another, but we have to now congratulate each other on the successful reopening of studies. This reopening has only been possible thanks to the hard work and support of colleagues and R&D departments across the country.

“My team is delighted to accept this award on behalf of all the teams in the NHS that continue to break down recruitment barriers and provide our patients with research options. They have all worked immensely hard and I know they will continue to do so as we move forward.”

Mr Dale Vimalachandran, NIHR Clinical Research Network National Specialty Lead for Surgical Oncology said:

Following a 12-month break due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are delighted that this year’s CREST has been awarded to the General Surgery Research Team in Birmingham. Despite the challenges of the pandemic the team have still managed to maintain a large, wide ranging portfolio of studies recruiting a large number of patients to cancer research studies. 

“In addition to their impressive portfolio activity, the academic team at Birmingham have also developed and led the international CovidSurg collaborative, which has produced rapid, real time clinical data that has informed how best to manage surgical cancer patients over the last 18-months.

“Even though this period has been extremely challenging, the awards committee were impressed with the number and quality of applications for the award. There were 13 high-quality applications which demonstrated both rapid and dynamic adaptations to the pandemic, along with exemplars of collaborative research efforts.

"We are very grateful to Swann Morton for their continued support of the CREST award and look forward to next year’s competition.”

Professor Lucy Chappell is pictured presenting the award to Arlo Whitehouse from the research team.


For further information contact: Claire Hall, Communications Lead on 07775 800227.