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Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust win award for achieving Recruitment to Time and Target for 100% of commercial trials

Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust win award for achieving Recruitment to Time and Target for 100% of commercial trials

Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (SASH) received the award for Recruiting to Time and Target (RTT) at this year’s NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) Kent, Surrey and Sussex Partner Awards. This year’s award follows on from 2018 when SASH won Best Contribution to Commercial Research for the GLOVE study.

Dr Kate Jones, Chief Operating Officer for CRN Kent, Surrey and Sussex said: “Achieving recruitment to time and target is a key objective for the NIHR. Delivering on our promises, particularly for commercial trials, is a great way to secure repeat business for research in the UK. SASH has shown exemplary performance for three years running and is inspirational to other organisations wishing to secure commercial research contracts, great work.”

Anne Shears, Head of Research at SASH said: “We are very pleased to be given this special award in recognition of our success. There has been much more emphasis on RTT across the network and not only does our success show in the data but this award also recognises what we have achieved.

“We will decide not to run a study if we do not think we will recruit the target number of participants. We know what can and cannot be done and what works and does not work. Delivering studies to a high quality and RTT is crucial in order to win repeat business from commercial and non-commercial partners.”

The ethos of the trust is to be outstanding and this also runs into research. Recently the Trust achieved Outstanding in their CQC inspection and research and innovation was mentioned within the key findings of the CQC report. The report stated, “The way the trust supported and encouraged innovation was a real strength. We saw good examples across the divisions and our observations were consistent with positive feedback we received from staff individually and at the focus groups.”

Anne Shears continues: “Over the last ten years SASH has seen an increase in pro-activeness and drive to deliver quality research. If a study is not supported well by the delivery team it will not achieve its recruitment target. Everyone involved in a study knows what their role is and how they fit together as a team. R&D add an extra level of expertise, as we know what to do to help the clinical teams succeed.   

“Particularly with commercial studies we put in more effort in the initial site selection visit and ensure someone from R&D is there to answer questions. Before a study is taken on, the R&D Manager conducts high level reviews.  To get it right first time we use sound feasibility and evidence base target setting. We look at the protocol and identify where in the patient journey potential problems may arise within the study and then we put in extra resource or effort to resolve the issue”.

Although this award recognises commercial RTT, recruitment success is evident in other areas too.  Recently SASH was announced as the first site in the UK to achieve the recruitment target of 20 patients to the POETICS 2 international research study. POETICS2 is known as VIP2 outside of the UK and stands for Very old Intensive Care Patients study 2: Development and validation of a prognostic score. It is a large, prospective, multinational, multicentre study which seeks to develop a prognostic score for very old, critically ill patients who are more than 80 years old and in intensive care units (ICU). The study gathers information from medical notes to look at which specific factors influence a person's stay in ICU. The Principal Investigator, Dr Pat Morgan, was supported by a research delivery team which included ICU trainee doctors who underwent GCP research training and assisted with study consent processes and data collection.

Anne Shears concludes: “The award from CRN Kent, Surrey and Sussex will be given individually to clinical teams and eight PIs who have helped the trust achieve RTT over the last three years.”