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RD&E holds inaugural Clinical Trials Symposium


The collaborative work of research and clinical staff at the Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust was recently celebrated at their inaugural Clinical Trials Symposium.  The event saw around 70 members of staff who are involved in clinical research across the Trust gather in the Peninsula Medical School for an update on the progress of the hospital’s clinical trials work.


Clinical trials are part of clinical research and are at the heart of all medical advances. They look at new ways to prevent, detect, or treat disease such as trailing new drugs, procedures or devices. At the RD&E there are currently over 500 clinical research projects taking place, with over 4000 patients recruited to projects in 2013-14. 


Proceedings at the Symposium were kicked off with a welcome address by the RD&E’s Assistant Director of Research and Development Dr Michael Gibbons, followed by an update from Helen Quinn, the Chief Operating Officer for the National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network (NIHR CRN) South West Peninsula. Delegates then enjoyed a plenary presentation on public involvement in research from Simon Denegri, NIHR National Director for Public Participation and Engagement in Research.


The symposium was wrapped up with the presentation of the RD&E’s very first Clinical Research Team Awards. There were 16 submissions from research teams across the Trust, which were judged by Medical Director Designate Adrian Harris, Chief Nurse/COO Em Wilkinson-Brice, Chairman James Brent, COO NIHR CRN South West Peninsula Helen Quinn and Clinical School Professor of Nursing Ruth Endacott. The top three research team entries, including the Emergency Department, Exeter Stroke Team and STOPCUTS, were invited to present their clinical trials work to delegates, before the winning team was announced. The Emergency Department Research Team claimed first prize for truly embedding research within the clinical service at every level and were presented with their award by Research & Development Directorate Manager Chris Gardner.


Lead Research Practitioner Leigh Boxall said: “the clinical trials team do a fantastic job at ensuring we offer patients at the RD&E the opportunity to take part in research. We anticipate that over 3500 patients will take part in new research with us during 2014/15. Participants in our studies report that they receive significant benefits from clinical research whether it is access to a novel treatment, additional investigations, more time with a clinician or further information about their disease.  The Clinical Trial Team Awards has allowed us to reflect on and celebrate the achievements of the team over the last year.”


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