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ED team highly commended for research impact


The Emergency Department at the Royal Devon & Exeter hospital was highly commended for the Health Service Journal (HSJ) Clinical Research Impact Award 2016.


The award is sponsored by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network. It is presented to an NHS organisation that has gone the extra mile to embed clinical research as core business and harness the outcomes of clinical research to improve services and treatments for its patients.


The South West had three contenders out of the 11 organisations shortlisted nationally for this award category – the RD&E Emergency Department, South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust and Devon Dementia Collaboration (Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust and Devon Partnership NHS Trust).  


RD&E Consultant Emergency Physician Dr Andy Appelboam said: “The development and expansion of emergency medicine research would not have been possible without the fantastic support of the local Clinical Research Network and the Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust. They have recognised, despite the challenging environment in which our patients are cared for, the importance of the opportunity for these patients to take part in research.


“This both contributes to evidence-based emergency medicine and guides best care in the future for the benefit of patients. They have also recognised, given the expanding and varied demands on our service, the potential for increasing recruitment to a wide range of studies and the chance for collaboration with other specialties. Through this support we have been able to significantly increase the number of participants in both emergency medicine research and in a number of allied specialty studies, therefore benefiting both emergency patients and the wider health community.”


Helen Quinn Chief Operating Officer of the CRN South West Peninsula said: "The Emergency Department at the Royal Devon & Exeter hospital has made great strides with strong clinical leadership in their commitment to embed clinical research as an integral and routine part of their patient care.


“They have fostered local, regional and national collaborations to ensure more people have the opportunity to participate in research studies. In recent years more than 1,100 patients have been recruited in this busy department to studies which has made a significant contribution to our success in the South West as the top recruiting Clinical Research Network region to injuries and emergency research last year.”


Dr Jonathan Sheffield, Chief Executive Officer of the NIHR Clinical Research Network said:
“What’s fantastic about this award is that it’s not just about the size and scale of the research activity, it’s also about organisational culture and the NHS delivering new leading edge therapies. The category gets more competitive each year. To win this award NHS organisations need to demonstrate not only that they are doing research, but also that it is having a tangible impact on clinical practice.

“What’s happening in Exeter is impressive. Our Accident and Emergency departments are under huge pressure but Royal Devon and Exeter has shown by developing local, regional and national collaborations, whilst embedding clinical research as a routine aspect of emergency care, the NHS is developing better care for all patients.”

Clinical research is the way clinicians gather evidence about new treatments, in order to improve patient care in the NHS. In 2015/16 100 per cent of NHS trusts supported opportunities for people to actively participate in clinical research, with 42 per cent of family doctor surgeries active in clinical research. Whilst most NHS organisations do some level of research, there is a national drive to increase the number of opportunities for patients to take part in high-quality research studies.


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