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Pharmacy team recognised for work aiming to align research pharmacy across Greater Manchester

A Greater Manchester pharmacy team have been recognised for their pioneering work to develop a centralised pharmacy approach to setting up and delivering clinical trials in NHS trusts across the region. 

The CRN Greater Manchester Certificate of Achievement is presented to deserving teams or individuals who have made a significant contribution to the delivery of health and care research in the region. 

The Research Pharmacy Group from Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) were presented with the certificate by Clinical Research Network (CRN) Greater Manchester, part of the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). 

The team comprises of Miriam Lettieri, Dr Bea Duran, Sophia Boydell and Dr Bahareh Amirloo (pictured with Susan Neeson, CRN Greater Manchester Deputy Chief Operating Officer and Sarah Fallon, CRN Greater Manchester Chief Operating Officer).

Since 2022 they have been leading on a number of ongoing projects to bring together different elements of research delivery in NHS trust pharmacy departments. Working in collaboration with CRN Greater Manchester, their ambition has been to improve pharmacy capacity in Greater Manchester, East Cheshire and East Lancashire by addressing system challenges being felt regionally and nationwide. 

Their projects have included: 

  • a single pharmacy clinical trials risk assessment process for muti-centre clinical trials of investigational medicinal products (CTIMPs), covering advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs), home care delivery, mental health, amendments, etc.
  • a clinical trials pharmacy ‘community of practice’ and training frameworks cutting across multiple professional groups
  • the implementation and sharing of platforms accessible to partner organisations 

Dr Bea Duran, Specialist Lead Pharmacist in Clinical Trials and ATMPs, MFT, said: “We believe that working collaboratively is key to finding efficiencies and increasing capacity within pharmacy clinical trials service. The creation and adoption of a GM single risk assessment provides a streamlined and standardised approach for setting up multicentre trials in our region. The success of this project is primarily due to the efforts of the clinical trials pharmacists and technicians in our region (11 NHS pharmacy clinical trials services participated), who have invested time and energy to ensure its success, along with the support from CRN Greater Manchester. Since January 2024, more than 12 projects have been identified.

“The work done by our GM pharmacy clinical trials can be scaled nationally, and the model can be applied to other processes aiming to reduce bureaucracy and accelerate the delivery of multicentre trials. Our community of practice is now well established, and we continue to meet and collaborate to find more efficiencies in the system, as well as train and retain regional talent within our teams. I am sure that more project outcomes will be forthcoming soon”.

Sarah Fallon, CRN Greater Manchester Chief Operating Officer said: “Bea and her team have shown exceptional energy and commitment to address a need by bringing together different aspects of research delivery in pharmacy departments to improve capacity and address bottlenecks across our region. 

“These challenges are felt all across the country and, with services pressures and competing demands, it is very hard to find time and space for professionals to come together across organisational boundaries and look at solutions. 

“Bea, Miriam, Sophia and Bahareh have got the approach just right for teams and CRN GM. They focus on the areas that create the most substantial bottlenecks and look at inclusive innovations. This work has been shared nationally and many other centres are now looking to this group to continue the momentum. They have lived our CRN GM values and made the local system stronger through collaboration and shared expertise.”