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Patient Recruitment Centre shortlisted as a finalist for the HSJ Value Awards 2021 for RELIEVE IBS-D virtual trial

NIHR Patient Recruitment Centre: Newcastle, in collaboration with the Newcastle Research Informatics Team at Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, has been shortlisted for the Digital Clinical Transformation Award at the HSJ Value Awards 2021 for its successful RELIEVE IBS-D virtual trial.

The trial, which is sponsored by EnteroMed Ltd., assesses the efficacy, tolerability and safety of Enterosgel in the treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome with diarrhoea (IBS-D) and is one of the first fully virtual interventional clinical trials to be conducted in England.

Virtual trials use digital technology to recruit to and deliver clinical trials without the patient visiting a recruiting site, helping to reduce the risk of infection and allowing patients to participate regardless of where they live. For the RELIEVE IBS-D trial, this meant that a greater number of participants could be recruited more quickly. The success of this trial is a ground-breaking achievement for the NHS and could help to shape the future of research design and delivery.

This is the Patient Recruitment Centre’s second recent success for the RELIEVE IBS-D trial, as they were also finalists for the PharmaField awards in collaboration with EnteroMed Ltd.

Professor Yan Yiannakou, Clinical Director at NIHR Patient Recruitment Centre: Newcastle said: “I am delighted that the team has been recognised as a finalist for the work we have done to deliver the RELIEVE IBS-D virtual trial and hope this inspires other NHS units to develop virtual trial capability.

“Irritable bowel syndrome is common and causes much suffering, but the treatments for it are limited. We were determined to trial this new treatment and, despite the challenges, were able to do so because of three key factors: strong collaboration, a willingness to innovate and a keenness to listen to our patients.”

HSJ editor Alastair McLellan commented: “We would like to congratulate The Patient Recruitment Centre in collaboration with the Newcastle Research Informatics Team on being shortlisted in the Digital Clinical Transformation Award category for the HSJ Value Awards 2021. This year’s finalists have not only contributed to the continued fight against the COVID-19 pandemic within the NHS, but have also been exceptionally dedicated to enhancing healthcare across the UK. We are honoured to be recognising and celebrating their outstanding work after what is, no doubt, the most challenging year in the history of the NHS. We are looking forward to welcoming them to the ceremony in June."

The judging panel for the award comprises a diverse range of highly regarded figures across the NHS and wider healthcare sector. To be shortlisted as a finalist for the HSJ Value Awards is a huge achievement for the Patient Recruitment Centre and the Newcastle Research Informatics Team, as it recognises their outstanding dedication during an extremely challenging year for the NHS. The RELIEVE IBS-D virtual trial has been selected due to the team’s diligence, ambition and the positive impact that the project has had in its field.

The winners will be selected following a rigorous second stage of judging ahead of the awards ceremony. Held at Manchester Central at the end of June, the evening will provide an opportunity for influential figures to unite and celebrate the achievements of their industry peers. The awards evening is expected to be attended by leaders and professionals from within the NHS.

The full list of finalists for the 2021 HSJ Value Awards can be found on