The Association of Coloproctology Great Britain and Ireland took it’s research show on the road yesterday to the North West town of Warrington.

CReaTE (Colorectal Research and Trials Engagement) is a fascinating insight into the world of colorectal research and gave attendees a preview of a number of key clinical trials taking place across Great Britain and Ireland.

Around 100 healthcare professionals including research nurses, surgeons, consultants and trainees attended along with expert patient representatives, trials unit staff and key funders in the research sector.

Austin Acheson, Chair of the ACPGBI research committee commented;

‘Working together in multidisciplinary teams with patients at the centre is undoubtedly the key to the successful delivery of any clinical trial- this is what CReaTE is all about’

The event kicked off with the deconstruction of a research study that is being run by the team at Countess of Chester known as the HiP study. This important observational study is looking at two different types of treatment options for patients with rectal cancer who cannot have their bowel joined up again and therefore need to have a stoma.

The HiP study is being funded by the Bowel Disease Research Foundation (BDRF).  Peter Rowbottom, CEO of BDRF who attended the day as an expert speaker commended the work on the study thus far and said

“Achieving better outcomes for patients is an essential part of why BDRF exists and this is a great example of how our work plays an integral role in helping to alleviate suffering for people with bowel disease”

Three major trials were then enthusiastically discussed in an open and interactive session with the audience. These trials are all crucial parts of the colorectal research tapestry that is being sewn by ACPGBI members and all aim to ultimately improve clinical outcomes for patients with bowel disease.

Azmina Verjee who attended the day as an expert patient representative and who is also a Trustee at BDRF was able to bring her personal experience of many years of colorectal surgery and medical treatment to help fuel the debate.

“I was absolutely determined to ensure that all the healthcare professionals in that room knew how important colorectal clinical research is.–  I really want to help ensure that in future nobody will have to go through all the kinds of pain and suffering I went through as a teenager and young adult. “

Azmina’s comments and observations at the event were widely applauded and vehemently agreed with throughout the auditorium and really brought to life the sentiment that the patient must be at the very centre of any research trial.

One of the aims of the CReaTE workshops is to help bring to life the many clinical studies that ACPGBI are running and to ensure that healthcare professionals from all disciplines are comfortable in recruiting patients.

The stumbling blocks that medical professionals face was excellently presented in a session run by Simon Bach and James Glasbey who are part of the GRANULE project. This BDRF funded project aims to equip trainees with the necessary skills to recruit patients into clinical trials which is an area that surprisingly is hugely neglected in medical training.

An excellent day was had by all and the organisers were hugely impressed with the success of the event. Dale Vimalachandran, Consultant Colorectal Surgeon and local course convenor commented;

“ I hope the day unpicked some of the mysteries and questions that surround clinical research and trial recruitment. I am confident that such roadshows will increase the number of available clinical studies for patients with bowel disease to be able to take part in.”

The next CReaTE roadshow event is taking place in Edinburgh on 7th June – further details will be available on the ACPGBI website soon.

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