Patient Recruitment Centre: Exeter opens with immediate success
Pictured above (left to right): Emma Chamberlain, PRC Administrator; Sarah Benyon, Senior Research Nurse; Ged Yardy, Business Innovation Hub PRC Project Manager; Cathryn Love-Rouse, PRC Project Manager; Dr Pete Ford, Consultant Anaesthetist and Clinical Director for Commercial Innovation; Helen Quinn, Director Joint Research Office; Stephanie Estcourt, PRC Team Lead; Professor Ray Sheridan, Novavax Sub Investigator, Consultant Physician and Director of Medical Education; Daniel Razey, Research Assistant Practitioner
The new Patient Recruitment Centre (PRC) at the Royal Devon and Exeter (RD&E) Hospital site in Wonford has been officially opened by RD&E NHS Foundation Trust Chief Executive Suzanne Tracey.
The PRC: Exeter is already up and running as one of five centres across the country funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to run late phase commercial clinical trials of new medicines, devices and treatments.
It has been running the Novavax COVID vaccine trial from the Nightingale Hospital Exeter, and exceeded its target of 500 volunteers from the South West region ahead of schedule. Now that the Nightingale has been activated to receive COVID patients, the PRC will be continuing the next part of the trial from its new facilities at the RD&E.
Divya Chadha Manek, Clinical Trials Lead for the Dept of Business Energy Industry and Strategy, paid tribute to Prof Ray Sheridan and his team who are delivering the trial at PRC: Exeter saying:
“I am aware of how challenging this has been for you and your teams, with long hours, weekend work and intense pressure. On behalf of the UK Vaccines Taskforce, I would like to express my utmost gratitude for the work you and your team have done for this study and contributing towards addressing the pandemic, through research.”
The PRCs are the first part of a new NIHR infrastructure that is dedicated to delivering commercial research as part of the Life Sciences Strategy to strengthen the UK clinical research environment.
The PRC: Exeter will provide an opportunity for people in Devon and the South West to participate in research and access cutting edge treatments, and it will link researchers in science and industry with patients who wish to take part in clinical trials.
The newly installed facilities available at the RD&E site include clinic rooms, dedicated pharmacy, reception and parking and it can offer participants flexible appointments to suit them.
Pictured above (L-R): Professor Ray Sheridan, Stephanie Estcourt and Suzanne Tracey
Opening the new centre, RD&E Chief Executive Suzanne Tracey said:
“I’m so proud that our Trust has been selected as the host of the South West’s Patient Recruitment Centre – it’s a tribute to the great team we have here and our track record in supporting cutting edge medical science and research.”
Helen Quinn, Director of the Joint Research Office, said:
“Partnerships and collaborations across the health sector in our region are a key feature of our offer to the life sciences industry and what made the RD&E’s bid to host the PRC unique.
“These connections, which include primary, secondary, community and social care organisations, extend our reach far beyond the city of Exeter.
“This means that we can provide more opportunities for more people to access cutting edge treatments and therapies not yet widely available through the NHS.”
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Patient Recruitment Centre: Exeter