There are local networks to support health professionals who want to get involved in research – either by recruiting patients or through their own original research.
The Thames Valley Comprehensive Local Research Network is one of the 25 CLRNs across England providing the infrastructure to support high-quality clinical research to take place in the NHS. Trials accepted onto the Network Portfolio, will have been funded by a reputable research organisation, already have a sponsor and will have been through the full range of research governance checks including ethics approval.
The CLRN website includes support for health professionals who are considering getting involved in research as well as publishing an annual research league table, presenting a picture of clinical research activity in NHS trusts across England. The research network is linked to the new Oxford Academic Health Science Network as well as running clinical interest groups and study days.
For those with specific clinical interests, there are Topic-specific Networks, each with a portfolio of research studies. These include:
The CCG is also a member of the Thames Valley Primary Care Research Partnership which comprises Primary Care Organisations in Oxfordshire, Bucks, Milton Keynes and Berkshire and has a team of facilitators who provide practical support to GPs engaged in CLRN portfolio studies.
In this webcast Dr Jonathan Sheffield, CEO, NIHR Clinical Research Network discusses:
How Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) have the power to secure the future of clinical research, for the good of patients and the NHS service.
How research helps us to make the NHS better for patients – and more affordable for the nation
How the NIHR Clinical Research Network can support CCGs.
Participating in research
Across Milton Keynes (NHS Foundation trust and Primary Care) in 2012/13 there were 38 research studies actively recruiting patients, involving over 800 patients (Portfolio Activity League Table 2013)
Many trial leaders are looking for practitioners who have an interest in participating in their study.
Milton Keynes CCG receives local support for R&D and Research Governance from the Clinical Governance Team at CNWL-MK (see contacts below). To get involved:
Register your interest with the Clinical Governance Team who can contact the CLRN to find out whether there are any trials open to recruitment or recently released and about to open.
Have a look at the CLRN portfolio to understand the range of research studies in progress
If there is an open trial of interest to you the Clinical Governance Team are able to contact the Chief Investigator on your behalf to find out what would be involved (including funding arrangements)
If you decide to take part, you would be given a full briefing and ongoing practical support by the Primary Care Research Partnership.
E-learning to support research and audit (DH e-Learning for Healthcare) This series of e-learning modules aims to introduce healthcare staff to a variety of topics pertinent to clinical research and audit performed by the NHS and its academic partners. The 12 core sessions are:
1. Epidemiology: Basic Principles 2. Meta-analysis and Evidence-based Medicine 3. Audit: Basic Principles 4. Searching the Journal Literature and Locating Papers 5. How to Review a Paper 6. Formulating and Writing a Research Proposal 7. The Regulatory Environment for Conducting Research within the NHS - Research Governance and Ethics 8. Designing a Randomized Controlled Trial: Basic Principles 9. Clinical Studies Part One: Cohort Studies and Measures of Association 10. Clinical Studies Part Two: Study Design 11. Systematic Reviews 12. Qualitative Research: Basic Principles
Nationally, research leaders are working to cut down on the bureaucracy involved in getting new studies off the ground, while keeping everything safe. They are also addressing diffeences between PCT responsibilities for local research approval and the roles of CCGs. Some interim arrangements for research approval have been established locally. Contact the Clinical Governance Team for details.
To register your interests or for further information and support contact: