Nurses win silver award for combined clinical trials network

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Research nurses at Southampton’s university hospitals have been nationally recognised for their work in developing a clinical trials network covering three specialties.

The gastrointestinal, hepatology and neurosciences (GIHN) team at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust was named PharmaTimes clinical research site of the year silver award winner at a ceremony in London.

Led by senior research manager Jan Westbury, senior sister Julie Mitchell and senior research nurse Amy King, the team completed a series of tests, examinations and presentations over the course of a year to fight off competition from 42 other entrants for a place in the final seven.

The innovative approach to co-ordinating clinical trials sees ten nurses rotate between specialties of medicine including the stomach and intestine, liver and disorders affecting the brain to prevent delays in the trial process and provide additional patient support.

The GIHN team, which was set up last year, recruits up to 70 patients a month and is currently supporting 39 studies.

“It is a fantastic achievement, not only for our specialist team, but for the whole research and development division at the Trust, to be recognised at such a prestigious national event as it is a reflection of the progress we are making towards becoming a true international centre of excellence in the way we prepare and conduct research,” said Jan.

“And, while we are delighted our processes are being nationally commended, it is of even more satisfaction to us that patients are increasingly benefiting from the work being performed here and consistently have better access to the latest advances thanks to our expanding networks.”

Recent figures released by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network ranked UHS one of the top three trusts in England during 2010/11 for recruitment, with 13,464 patients on 256 clinical trials.

Posted on Monday 27 February 2012