Trust News posted 14 November, 2017

Researchers scoop an impressive five awards at the Greater Manchester Clinical Research Awards

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The fifth-annual ceremony of the Greater Manchester Clinical Research Awards took place in the city centre on Thursday 9th November to showcase the achievements and successes of researchers and teams from across the region’s Trusts and GP practices.

Founded in 2013, the NIHR CRN awards have grown from strength to strength. Celebrating their 5th anniversary in style, they received an impressive 160 nominations across 10 categories, with additional special awards presented on the night to outstanding recipients and teams.

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust* drives continuous improvement in the care patients receive through clinical research and this was showcased on the night with a record number of winners across a range of categories:

Best Community Research Contribution

Community Lung Health Study

University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust

A feasibility research project, bolted on to the pioneering Lung Health Check. UHSM’s Thoracic Oncology Research Hub has driven this exciting project forward in the pursuit of identifying a biomarker for lung cancer. An additional positive outcome is to generate indicators of cardiovascular risk, because heart disease is another proven killer among the same demographic of Manchester people.

The challenges facing the research team were huge, but they have far-exceeded their target by recruiting 900 patients by taking the research to the people – setting up trucks in ultra-convenient locations such as Gorton Tesco and Wythenshawe Forum. The study has been described as “a real game changer for the lung cancer burden for our people of Manchester”.

Public Engagement

Public Programmes Team

Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

The team has been at the forefront of Public and Patient Involvement and Engagement, or PPIE, in research since 2003; supporting a range of NIHR researchers, programmes and infrastructure across Manchester. Their combined experience makes them one of the most experienced PPIE units nationally. And their status supports younger PPIE talent in Manchester, with a focus on diversity and inclusion, and developing PPIE capacity among their many partners.

They support at least 100 researchers year-on-year; many of whom have gone on to flourish and win awards for their own PPIE work. Since its inception, the team has engaged more than 50,000 people face-to-face through informal learning and dialogue, hundreds of thousands of people online and via social media, and led on countless projects. Uniquely, the team also combines PPIE practice with original research into Patient and Public Involvement.

Research Administrator/Coordinator of the Year

Gemma Donohoe

Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Gemma is described as a rising research star, having successfully earned two promotions over the last three years. Currently the manager of the Paediatric Research Team’s portfolio, she commands respect with her consistent pro-active approach to solving challenges and encourages others to achieve their best.

Alongside managing a team and a portfolio of research, Gemma has also delivered her own studies; a challenge that required her to learn a new set of skills while continuing to juggle the demands of being a clinical trials manager. Clinicians trust Gemma’ support implicitly and she has been described as “instilling professionalism” when communicating with staff at any level.

Research Nurse/Midwife of the Year

Richard Clark

Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

After developing his skillset and earning two promotions, Richard is now the senior nurse coordinating all the efforts of the EMERGING team. This involves running 15 to 20 NIHR portfolio studies at any one time in two very challenging areas – with an entirely unpredictable workload.

Very often, Richard goes above and beyond to recruit and follow-up patients. This has included staying into the early hours of the night for patients in trials such as RELAX-2 and doing unplanned follow-up visits at the weekend for several critical care studies. This has allowed the EMERGING team to recruit to complex trials that other, similar research teams have simply been unable to deliver.

Richard has shown excellent leadership skills in managing the team through a substantial period of recent change and is recognised as a truly invaluable asset to the department.

Outstanding Industry Collaboration

The Sexual health Team at the Hathersage Centre

Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

The Sexual health Team at the Hathersage Centre is carrying out some amazing work. Not only are their efforts commended by their peers, but they have also been singled out for praise by commercial partners. Don Jayawardena from PPD describes them as a “great team” who are “ultra co-operative and responsive”.

Iveta Kudrava, also from PPD, paid tribute to their approach, describing them as “amazing people – friendly and very helpful.  I love working with them. Professionalism with a human touch.” Matthew Rossall from Merck highlighted the “the comradery” and how they make time to have “informal discussions” which make him “feel comfortable, contented and actually part of their team”. Continuing this theme, Kelly Leach from Parexel says it’s a “pleasure to work with them – “they go above and beyond to ensure the requirements of the sponsor company are met and the patients are receiving the best care possible”. These are superb words of praise and well deserving of this Special Award.