The Research Trial Recruiters (RTRs) programme was set up in 2010 to provide more patients to surgical trials and further knowledge through research.
RTRs’ function is to recruit patients into UK-based clinical trials into bowel disease. The aim is to ensure that such trials will recruit enough patients for the results to be scientifically valid: in over half the bowel disease trials over the past 20 years numbers recruited have been insufficient for this purpose. BDRF is working with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) in setting up a UK-wide network of RTRs. NIHR, an NHS body, funds most medical research in the UK. One RTR, Maddie White from Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham says:
“The Colorectal Nurse Specialists (CRNs) at University Hospital Birmingham were persuaded to adopt the RTR role in 2010. We have developed our knowledge and skills within research as a result and have helped increase the number of patients into new surgical trials. The CNS is in an ideal position to take on this valuable role and assist with establishing new trials within the clinical environment”
RTR, Arabis Oglesby of Dorset County Hospitals explains her experience as an RTR:
“I’ve been in post as RTR at Dorset County Hospital since May 2012, and was delighted to be presented with the opportunity to expand and develop our portfolio of colorectal surgical trials. My past experience working in clinical trials only involved working on trials that were already open and well established, so coming into my RTR role has given me a much broader insight into the complexities that come hand in hand with setting up new trials from the very beginning.
The importance of working with enthusiastic and supportive surgeons, and having a fantastic dynamic research team have been essential to my role. It has taken a lot of time, effort and investigative work to set new trials up with a lot of challenges from all angles along the way, but with my new trials opening shortly I’m sure I will now be rewarded with good recruitment.”
BDRF funding for this innovative programme has now ended. You can read more information about this in the report below.