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Moorfields within sight of national award


An online platform set up by Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust that allows members of the public and patients to easily register their interest in research opportunities has been shortlisted for a national award.

ROAM (Research Opportunities at Moorfields) is in the running in the Clinical Research Nursing category of the Nursing Times Awards.

Prior to the development of ROAM, the R&D department at the trust received up to 400 enquires per month about research at Moorfields. There was no mechanism in place to document expressions of interest for participation in research.

Roxanne Crosby-Nwaobi is Lead Nurse for Research at the trust and she led the ROAM project. She said: “The key aim of ROAM was to increase the awareness of research amongst patients and staff, enabling more patients taking part in research and to easily find research available to them.

“Nursing and medical staff will be able to quickly find and review the synopsis and eligibility criteria for studies open to recruitment to be able to offer patients a further treatment option. Additionally, an algorithm was created to direct all telephone and email research queries to the ROAM platform.”

The platform can ensure patients are not contacted too frequently about studies, identify if a participant is a past or present patient of Moorfields, has an easy opt-in or opt-out function and works on mobile so research nurses can help patients find the right study for them in clinic with speed and ease.

ROAM has been publicised through internal staff communications, patient information screens, research link nurse meetings, external talks and conferences, charity communications, news stories and patient magazines. Plans are in place to include details of ROAM in all the trust patient communications including letters, texts and emails.

Roxanne was part of the NIHR 70@70 programme in 2019, a key part of which was to embed research into an organisation. For Roxanne, ROAM has been a fundamental part of meeting this aim. She said: “ROAM is a novel digitally enabled initiative designed to increase research awareness and participation of patients, families, communities and our staff. We know that research enhances patient clinical outcomes. Therefore, this tool is integral to our collaborative efforts to support the bench to bedside research model allowing earlier patient involvement and shortening the time it takes to translate results into new treatments.”

CRN North Thames Chief Operating Officer, Dr Sharon Barrett, said: “It is fantastic news that Moorfields has developed the innovative ROAM platform to bring research to more of its patients.

“It seems entirely right that this new platform has been shortlisted for a prestigious Nursing Times award. We wish Moorfields the best of luck on the night.”

The Nursing Times Awards will take place in person in London on October 27, 2021.