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Oxfordshire GP practices honoured for COVID-19 research

Two Oxfordshire GP practices have been honoured for contributions to COVID-19 research.

Windrush Medical Practice and the Eynsham Medical Group in West Oxfordshire were recognised at the annual conference of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP).

They won the Practice Award, one of two research awards presented by the NIHR and the college.

At the onset of the pandemic, practice leaders created a wider research team to run trials including the STOIC and PRINCIPLE studies into possible treatments.

Staff also enrolled more than 470 people into the ENSEMBLE 2 vaccine trial from the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson and NIHR, in late 2020.

Dr. Ian Binnian, GP partner at Eynsham, said: “During the last 12 months we have shown that practices can work together to deliver research at scale. We have rewritten the ‘how to do primary care research’ books and show that research activity and support can move from secondary care to primary care.”

Dr Nick Thomas, Principal GP at Windrush said: “The NIHR Clinical Research Network has supported us through this experience. We would like to thank them for all their hard work, and we will continue to support all research opportunities they provide us. Our model and experiences can set an example for others to follow.”

Dr Imran Rafi, of the RCGP judging panel, said: “The RCGP/NIHR-CRN awards are a perfect vehicle to shine a light on all the practices, practitioners and patients involved in research sited in primary care. What particularly comes through is the dedication, collaboration and hard work that is necessary to support research.”

Phil Evans, the CRN’s National Specialty Lead for Primary care, said: “This has been a tough year for all of us but it has been important to recognise the amazing overall effort and novel methods that have been used by practices and practitioners in primary care research.”

Visit the Primary Care Research Toolkit website for more information about how the NIHR can support GPs to conduct research in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Milton Keynes and Oxfordshire.