New dedicated clinical research unit at The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

New clinical research
New dedicated clinical research unit at The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust
14 July 2015

Patients participating in high quality clinical research trials at The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust can now attend their appointments in a purpose-built research unit.

The specific unit at Fairfield General Hospital in Bury is housed in the former ward 19 and provides a bespoke unit for conducting clinical research, which provides most of the services for research staff to carry out research effectively.

Previously participants were quite often seen in outpatient clinics which sometimes lacked capacity in terms of space to carry out research activities.  The new unit however, allows a number of participants to be seen at any one time for screening, randomisation, study visits and procedures, and follow-up visits.

Within the unit there are two bays which can accommodate up to eight participants in each, a research office, a quiet office, staff room, laboratory, treatment area, archive space and a lounge for patients.

Staff working on the unit include research nurses, doctors working as principal investigators, a clinical trials administrator and an occupational therapist.

Linda Kent, senior research nurse at Pennine Acute Trust, said:

 “Before we had access to this unit it was very challenging trying to use clinic space for complex phase II and phase III randomised controlled trials.   We can now carry out most research procedures in a comfortable and reassuring setting for our participants. 

“The unit provides a pool of expertise in the running of clinical research for both medical and nursing staff.  It is a bright, but quiet and comfortable place for our participants and they also have the benefit of a lounge area separate from the clinical space, which is great for them to use, as some of their research visits can last a full day.”

Staff involved in clinical research at the Trust which includes North Manchester General Hospital, The Royal Oldham Hospital, Rochdale Infirmary and Fairfield General Hospital, have welcomed the new unit. 

Maria Khan, clinical research administrator, said:

 “The research unit brings the administrative and clinical requirements of research altogether in one place.  It is patient friendly and therefore provides a much better patient experience.”

Dr Steve Woby, director of research and development at Pennine Acute Trust, said:

“The amount of research being supported by the Trust has significantly increased over recent years with over 2,500 participants being recruited into high quality studies in 2014-2015.  This new research unit at our Fairfield site is a fantastic development and will help us attract more high quality research to the Trust.  This will not only further enhance our national and international reputation as a ‘go to’ Trust for high quality research, but more importantly provide our patients with better access to high quality research and ultimately better care.”     

The research unit has also had the thumbs up from patients taking part in research trials.  Hannah McCarthy said:

“The ward is comfortable and airy, the perfect setting for this type of treatment.”

Glenn Brooks said:

“The new research unit is a great facility.  It is close to home, a global service in a local regional hospital serving the local community.”

Pictured left to right are: Linda Kent, senior research nurse at Pennine Acute Trust; Joe Ogor and Jo Taylor, research nurses and patients (seated) Hannah McCarthy and Glenn Brooks.