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Healthcare staff who support NHS research honoured

04/10/2017

Healthcare professionals who help run research trials in the NHS were honoured at an awards ceremony in Oxford.

Doctors, nurses and researchers were among those recognised at the Thames Valley Health Research Awards (scroll down for a full list of winners).

They contribute to research supported by the NIHR Clinical Research Network Thames Valley and South Midlands (LCRN), a Department of Health-funded body that helps get trials under way in the NHS.

In 2016/17, the LCRN supported more than 500 studies in Oxfordshire’s NHS in specialities including cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

A total of 30 awards will be handed out to NHS staff from Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Milton Keynes and Oxfordshire at St Hilda’s College, Oxford on Tuesday, September2 6.

Staff were nominated by colleagues and winners were chosen by a judging panel at the LCRN, which provides staff to ensure patients are recruited to take part in research.

Among the winners was Melanie Gager, a sister in the intensive care unit, at Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, who won one of two Patient’s Hero awards, which were nominated by patients. 

She was nominated by Matt Wiltshire for her role in Quality Time, which gathered experiences of the emergency department (ED) from a patient, carer and staff perspective.

 He said: “She was committed to mentoring and buddying up with the volunteers on their first and subsequent shifts in ED, meaning that she was there for us when we needed help with any anxiety or issues.”

 Melanie said: “The Quality Time research used a method called experience based co-design to enable patients, relatives and staff experience of the emergency department to identify areas for service improvement.  They then worked collaboratively to not only seek a solution but also implement it – together.

 “This unique opportunity proved to be a catalyst to ignite many other improvements too. It is the research that just keeps giving. The energy and synergy from the dynamic of service users and service providers to work together was incredible. How could I not love my job?”

 The winner of the Outstanding Research Practitioner award was Emma Reel, a research assistant at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust.

 She said: “I'm very pleased to have been recognised. Ultimately we all benefit from research; from the better understanding of why some people develop a disease and others do not, to testing the effectiveness and safety of new medicines and procedures.

 “Research is a vital part of the work of the NHS, helping improve treatments and outcomes for patients now and in the future and I feel very lucky to be involved.”

 Among the three winners of the Inspirational Team Leader Award was Nicky McRobert, a Senior Diabetes Research Nurse at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

 She said:  “Clinical trials are really important to ensure that we continue to develop new treatments for diabetes, but we would be unable to do this without the commitment of our trial participants who are willing to give their own time, often with no personal gain in order to help improve the lives of future generations.

 “Working with a fantastic team and inspiring patients help to make this such an exciting and enjoyable job.”

 One of the four winners of the All-round High Performing Team award was Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust’s Cardiology Research Team, led by consultant cardiologist Attila Kardos.

 He said: “It is widely understood that research equates quality of clinical care. We are very active in specialities such as cancer, cardiovascular, diabetes, paediatrics and stroke.

 “We continue the thrive and encourage our colleagues in all to be part of our research community  to help to deliver the highest clinical standard of research to our patients.”

 The awards were presented by Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Joe Harrison and Prof Belinda Lennox, clinical director of the LCRN.

 Prof Lennox said: “The CRN: Thames Valley and South Midlands have had our most successful year to date - recruiting more participants to clinical research studies than ever before.

 “This award ceremony is our chance to celebrate some of the people in our region that have made this possible, from members of the public, to NHS staff and whole teams. They have each made an outstanding contribution to research in the NHS, and we want to say thank you.”

 Participating in health research helps develop new treatments, improve the NHS and save lives.

 The NHS supports research through asking patients if they wish to take part in trials and healthy people if they also wish to take part so results can be compared to those with a medical condition.

 Patients are also encouraged to ask their doctor about research opportunities and view trials seeking volunteers at The UK Clinical Trials Gateway atwww.ukctg.nihr.ac.uk.

The full list of winners:

  • All-round High Performing Team - Hepatology Research Team, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  •  All-round High Performing Team - Eye Research Group Oxford, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  •  All-round High Performing Team - White Horse Medical Practice, Faringdon, Oxfordshire
  • All-round High Performing Team - Cardiology Research Team, Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  •  Best Green Shoots Research - Sam Clark, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  •  Best Green Shoots Research - Richard Siviter, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  •  Best Green Shoots Research - Dr Robert Hallifax, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  •  Exceptional Chief Investigator - Prof Cathy Creswell, University of Reading
  •  Exceptional Performance in Recruitment to a Commercial Study - Stroke Research Team, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust
  • Exceptional Performance in Recruitment to a Commercial Study - Wokingham Medical Centre
  •  Exceptional Performance in Recruitment to a Non-Commercial Study - Sophie Marlowe, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  •  Exceptional Recruitment Strategy - South Oxford Health Centre
  •  Innovation in Patient and Public Involvement - Sarah Loving, University of Oxford
  •  Inspirational Team Leader - Nicky McRobert, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  •  Inspirational Team Leader - Melanie Westmoreland, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  •  Inspirational Team Leader - Stephanie Thorp, Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  •  Leadership in Workforce Development - Julie Foxton, Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust
  • Outstanding Contribution to Children’s Research (memorial award) - Hannah Robinson, University of Oxford
  •  Outstanding Research Practitioner - Emma Reel, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust
  •  Patient Leadership -  Douglas Findlay
  •  Research Champion - Dr Gwen Bonner, Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
  •  Research Champion - Julie Tebbutt, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust
  •  Research Rising Star - Dr Chloe Evans, The Download Practice, Newbury, Berkshire      
  •  Research Rising Star - Eleni Fotaki, University of Oxford
  •  Star Research Nurse - Musa Kamfose, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  •  Star Research Nurse - Sally Conway, Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  •  Star Research Nurse - Christopher Deane, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  •  Star Research Nurse - Judith Abrams, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust
  •  Patient's Hero - Melanie Gager, Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust
  •  Patient's Hero - Dr Garry Tan, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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