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National Patient Recruitment Centres

Published

24 November 2020

Version

1

Contents

This document is a plain text version of the ebrochure.

Introduction

National Patient Recruitment Centres (PRCs) are dedicated to setting up and delivering late-phase commercial clinical trials at pace and scale.

Our National Patient Recruitment Centres (PRCs) are the first family of NIHR-funded research infrastructure that is 100% dedicated to delivering commercial research.

They bring to life one of the Sector Deal 2 commitments contributing to the Government’s Life Sciences Industrial Strategy which sets out a series of measures to strengthen the UK’s clinical research environment and improve the UK’s competitiveness in the global market.

In a rapidly changing world it’s crucial that the UK remains at the forefront of medical science and the development of innovative new treatments, and our PRCs have been created with this in mind.

The UK already has an excellent reputation and track record for delivering clinical research. In 2019/20 financial year:

  • 732,176 participants took part in studies across England alone, and 28,832 of those took part in commercial research;
  • In total the NIHR supported 6,052 studies, of which 1,580 were commercial;
  • For the last two years 100% of the organisations that make up our National Health Service (NHS) have actively recruited participants into clinical research, with 75% contributing to commercial research.

Our PRCs are the next phase. They offer new ways to conduct late-phase, large-scale commercial research projects and will help to maintain the UK’s position as a global destination for commercial clinical research.

Innovation is key, and is a defining characteristic of our PRCs. Our forward-thinking approach to research delivery seeks to optimise the unique opportunities for delivering clinical research that are presented by our NHS.

Speed and efficiency are also key. By making it easier and quicker to deliver commercial research, our PRCs are not only increasing the UK’s capacity and capability for delivering commercial trials, they are also improving how we deliver those trials.

So whether you require a new recruitment strategy to reach a specific patient population, or a testbed for a decentralised trial, we hope you will consider bringing your trial to our PRCs. In doing so you will be helping us to increase opportunities for our NHS patients to access cutting edge treatments and therapies.

General enquiries

Email: prc@nihr.ac.uk

Web: www.nihr.ac.uk/prcs

 

Speed and consistency

We work collaboratively through an innovative ‘franchise-like’ model to make it easier and quicker to deliver commercial research in the UK.

We understand the needs and priorities of life science companies.

As well as increasing NHS capacity to deliver late-phase commercial clinical research, our unique, franchise-like operating model has been purpose-designed to improve the speed and consistency with which commercial research is delivered. This approach is facilitated by our remarkable team ethos which enables all five centres to work in a harmonised manner to deliver the following benefits:

Excellent communication

A single point of contact for initial enquiries, and clear points of contact and established lines of communication across all five centres.

Faster costing and contracting

All five PRCs adhere to the new National Contract Value Review process which utilises standardised costing and contracting processes and, uniquely, they operate a single costing model which requires just one costing negotiation for all five centres, with minimal local variation.

Streamlined study set-up

If you’re working with more than one centre you can rest assured that we work in a collaborative way to ensure your study is set up effectively and efficiently at each location.

Consistent research delivery

All five centres use shared standard operating procedures (SOPs) which enable us to operate in an identical manner with the same level of dedicated facilities and staff at each location.

Piece of mind for your participants

The patient's experience is our priority. We offer a personalised, concierge-style service to all participants throughout their research journey and our centres are accessible in terms of operation hours, travel links and mobility and disability considerations. Each centre has a welcoming waiting area, just for trial participants, with free refreshments and parking.

 

Capacity and capability

The national Patient Recruitment Centres represent a significant Government investment to boost commercial research in the UK.

Each centre is receiving £1,309,280 of pump-priming funding over three years, which is predominantly for research support staff costs. Consequently, we have the capacity and capability to support the planning, set-up and delivery of more late-phase commercial research. This means you can expect:

Access to research active NHS clinicians

We can connect you to NHS clinicians, across a wide range of therapeutic areas, to work as investigators for your study. Our investigators, many of which are world-renowned, are supported by our dedicated and highly-skilled research delivery staff.

Expert research delivery support

Whether you opt to deliver your trial at one PRC, or all five, you will be working with a team with a wealth of commercial expertise and experience. All five centres have been selected for their strong track record in delivering commercial research to time and target.

Access to NHS support services

Each PRC has guaranteed access to NHS services to support delivery of your trial including pharmacy, radiology and pathology.

A dedicated space for your study

Each centre has onsite facilities to store trial medicines and samples, including refrigerated and frozen storage, and operates tracking and storage systems to maintain sample integrity. We also provide secure study document storage, space for study monitoring and refreshments and parking for company representatives.

 

Recruitment engines

The national Patient Recruitment Centres are offering new ways to conduct late-phase, large-scale commercial research projects.

We provide a range of opportunities for life sciences companies to access a broad cross section of the UK patient population.

Geographical reach

Our five centres are geographically distributed throughout England and offer wide coverage of the country in terms of recruitment reach. This compliments and builds upon the existing research delivery infrastructure provided through the NIHR Clinical Research Network.

Chronic common and long term conditions

We specialise in recruiting non-hospitalised patients with common chronic conditions.

In the UK a large proportion of patients with these conditions are managed in primary care by their GP (general practitioner). Some may also be managed in community, social and other non-traditional care settings with help from health professionals such as pharmacists, dentists or other Allied Health Professionals (AHPs).

Think asthma, think IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), think type 2 diabetes – to name just a few common chronic conditions that are often managed outside of hospital clinics.

We engage these patients by harnessing the recruitment potential of our regional health care community. Through partnerships and collaborations we can extend our recruitment reach beyond the specialist clinics in secondary care. These local connections are a key feature of our operating model which enable us access to a wider cohort of patients.

Proactive recruitment

This unique recruitment reach is combined with forward-thinking recruitment strategies to deliver results for your study, to time and target.

Our proactive and inclusive approach to recruitment does not rely on the right patient walking into the right clinic at the right time. Instead, where possible, we reach out into the local community and empower patients to volunteer for research. We use health-related campaigns to raise awareness of research and drive enrollment to our rapidly expanding ‘consent to be contacted’ research registers. In addition to the usual recruitment methods, expect a multiple-modality approach including social media, local press and radio, and adverts on pharmacy shelves to raise awareness of research participation opportunities.

Data driven delivery

Add to this our unparalleled access to NHS data. Whether it’s sense checking study feasibility, or analysing electronic health records to identify suitable participants, we work with our partners across the region to optimise the recruitment potential that NHS data presents. Through our feasibility processes, we can also help to match your clinical trials to clinical need across England, thereby boosting both recruitment and retention.
Centre-specific USPs (unique selling points)

As you learn more about the different PRCs on the following pages you will discover that each centre provides distinct opportunities to access different demographics and areas of disease prevalence. So although the PRCs are purpose-designed to deliver phase 3 and 4 commercial trials requiring a large volume of patients, we can also support smaller studies targeting specific patient populations.

Accessible for all

We aim to remove all barriers to recruitment and retention. We ensure that our centres are accessible in terms of operation hours, travel links and mobility and disability considerations.

 

Innovate and improve

The national Patient Recruitment Centres provide a test bed for new approaches to research delivery, process design and future innovation.

Innovation and continuous improvement are central to our ethos.

The very concept of the PRCs is an evolution of how we deliver commercial research in the NHS environment. It represents a significant development in the NIHR research infrastructure – the first family of research facilities to be 100% dedicated to delivering commercial research.

Our vision for how the PRCs operate, through their unique franchise-like model, is also innovative. It builds upon the strengths of the NIHR Study Support Service provided by the NIHR Clinical Research Network and takes our collaborative culture, for which the UK is renowned, to the next level. This synergistic way of working seeks to develop and test new process models and work flows to improve the quality and efficiency of research delivery.

Then, where efficiencies and improvements are achieved, the same franchise-like model supports the rapid dissemination and adoption of innovation, best practice and best-in-class commercial business processes across all five centres.

Implementing a ‘digital first’ approach is also high on our list of priorities. From launch in 2020, we will be working towards using shared digital platforms, such as the NIHR Hub, to support effective delivery of all studies across all five centres.

Finally, having the ability to adapt quickly to new challenges and situations has never been more important than in the global COVID-19 pandemic. Agility is a key feature of our PRC model and, within the first few months of operation, PRC: Newcastle had commenced delivery of one of the UK’s first fully virtual commercial interventional trials. This success is paving the way for new possibilities presented by virtual, hybrid and decentralised trials in the NHS.

Another example is our rapid response to COVID-19 vaccine trials which was demonstrated when PRC: Blackpool became the first site in the UK to open and recruit to Novavax’s phase III trial – a success that was quickly followed by our centres in Bradford and Exeter. With their unique, proactive recruitment capabilities, our PRCs will continue to be integral to the UK’s vaccine offer throughout COVID-19 and beyond.

From piloting patient simulations to running real world research, we are keen to explore new opportunities. Our aim is to become an exemplar by pioneering new approaches and sharing our learning.

“When the UK Government approached us earlier this year about our work and conducting a phase 3 trial, we were quite interested. The NIHR trial network is excellent in terms of both the infrastructure and the investigators themselves. In addition, the clear communication with MHRA laid out expectations with respect to trial requirements. At this point, early enrolment success in the sites at Blackpool, Bradford, Exeter and other sites is very encouraging and while the COVID-19 resurgence is unfortunate, it should help us answer the fundamental questions around efficacy in a very rapid manner.”

Novavax

“The RELIEVE IBS-D trial team has gone to great efforts to keep IBS research going throughout the pandemic. Working with a forward-thinking NHS team like the one at Newcastle has really helped us transition to this new virtual version of our trial. Enrolment, consent, treatment and doctor visits are all being conducted remotely, without the patient needing to leave their home."

Enteromed Ltd

 

Patient Recruitment Centre: Blackpool

PRC: Blackpool is situated within Blackpool Victoria Hospital in the north west of England.

Our host organisation, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, was awarded a ‘Teaching Hospitals’ status in 2010. It serves a regional health economy catchment area that spans Lancashire and South Cumbria, supporting a population of 1.6 million. The Trust is a provider of specialist tertiary care for cardiac and haematology services across this region. The PRC itself is co-located with the Lancashire Cardiac Centre and Lancashire Haematology Centre, which are both centres of excellence, and our team delivers commercial studies within these therapeutic areas, and more.

“The UK’s national Patient Recruitment Centres are playing a key role in the global fight against this pandemic. Drawing upon the country’s renowned research expertise and the world’s largest, and most fully integrated healthcare system, the PRCs are providing a unique proposition to the life science industry. Leading biotech and pharmaceutical companies are bringing phase 3 trials to the PRCs so that COVID-19 vaccine research can be delivered at pace and scale in a safe environment. We look forward to continued collaboration with leading life science companies.”

Dr Rebecca Clark, Principal Investigator, Layton Medical Centre, Blackpool

Get in touch

Phone: 01253 951514

Email: bfwh.prc.blackpool@nhs.net

Web: PRC: Blackpool website

Our host NHS trust research statistics 2019/20

  • Supported 269 trials, 53 of which were commercial
  • Recruited 1775 participants, of which 290 were recruited into commercial research
  • Achieved 67% recruitment to time and target *an incomplete year due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

Our expertise

Our expertise in commercial research spans a wide range of clinical specialties. All the studies we support are delivered by our dedicated and highly skilled clinical research team who have experience of working across a multitude of diseases and conditions. They support over 40 experienced research-active NHS clinicians: 

  • Principal investigators leading research in: Anaesthesia, Cardiology, Cardiothoracic, Community, Care of the Elderly, Critical Care, Dementias and Neurodegenerative diseases, Dermatology, Diabetes, Emergency Care, ENT (Ear Nose & Throat), Gastroenterology, Haematology, Infectious Diseases, Oncology, Orthopaedics, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Respiratory, Surgery, Paediatrics, Stroke, Urology.
  • Chief investigators leading research in: Cardiology, Cardiothoracic, Gastroenterology, Orthopaedics, Microbiology.

Research expertise

  • 40 chief and principal investigators delivering research in 23 therapeutic areas

Patient population reach

  • The host NHS trust provides:
    - a range of acute services to approximately 352,000 people 
    - a range of community health services approximately 445,000 people
  • Local partnerships help us to reach 1.6 million people
  • Wider regional collaborations extend our reach to more than 6 million people

Our track record

At PRC:Blackpool we understand the importance of supporting the life sciences industry to deliver research within the NHS. We have consistently achieved excellent latephase commercial research time and target figures, with average rates of 79% over the past 3 years. This has led to repeat business and year-on-year increases in both commercial and non-commercial studies being awarded to our host NHS Trust with a 30% increase in patient recruitment for commercial trials from 2018/19 to 2019/20. To date we have worked with a number of pharmaceutical companies and Contract Research Organisations (CROs) including Bayer, Roche, Novartis, Sanofi, AstraZeneca, GSK, Janssen, Pfizer, Eli Lilly, Amgen and with Syneos Health, IQVIA and Parexel.

Successes

  • First UK site to recruit outside of the trial centre:
    - November 2016: Study: Mini-mitral: Minimally invasive thoracoscopically-guided right minithoracotomy versus conventional sternotomy for mitral valve repair: a multicentre randomised controlled trial (UK Mini Mitral)
    - September 2019: Study: QUACS: Quality of life after cardiac surgery – a national multicentre observational study
  • July 2018: Number one in data accuracy in the world for the VISION cardiothoracic study in 2018: data accuracy of 99.6%
  • February 2018: First to recruit a participant in the UK in both cohorts 1 and 2 for the STAND UP AHF study : Study Assessing Nitroxyl Donor Upon Presentation With Acute Heart Failure
  • September 2020: Recruited world’s first participants to phase 3 trial of the Novavax Covid-19 vaccine candidate
    - 471 patients recruited in 30 days
    - First patient recruited and first site to recruit 100 patients

Our region

One of our key strengths is our ability to connect with our local and regional health care community. Lancashire and South Cumbria is one of the first areas in the country to be working as an Integrated Care System. The Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System is a partnership of NHS, local councils, voluntary, community and faith sector organisations, public sector and local communities. Five Integrated Care Partnerships sit within the Integrated Care System, ours being the Fylde Coast Integrated Care Partnership, known as Healthier Fylde Coast.

As a result, we have established positive working relationships with primary care colleagues in and around Blackpool. We also work closely with our partner NHS Trusts within the NIHR North West Coast Clinical Research Network footprint. Additionally, we have also strong relationships with colleagues within the Greater Manchester Clinical Research Network area.

All four neighbouring NHS Trusts fully support our PRC and are keen to enable wider access to late-phase commercial research for their patients. This gives our PRC an overall potential reach to a population of over 1.6 million, and additional patients in Merseyside, Cheshire and Manchester are also likely to benefit, potentially increasing our reach to more than 6 million people.

These connections enable us to conduct large commercial trials effectively, accurately and efficiently, as demonstrated by our successful recruitment of the world’s first participants to take part in a phase 3 trial of the Novavax Covid-19 vaccine candidate. This was achieved in collaboration with Layton Medical Centre, a primary care general practice.

Unique to our region

  • Blackpool is in the top 20% most deprived areas in England and has one of the lowest life expectancies amongst men and women when compared with local authorities nationally.
  • The region has the largest proportion of people aged 50+ in Lancashire and one of the lowest percentages of people under the age of 15 in the county.
  • Within the highest 20 Clinical Commissioning Group areas for cancer incidence in 11 of 15 tumour types.

Patient Research Experience Survey 2019

  • 90% of over 850 patients in the north west* said they had a good experience of taking part in research.
    *North West Coast Clinical Research Network area

 

Patient Recruitment Centre: Bradford

PRC: Bradford is situated in the heart of northern England and hosted by Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

We are located on the Bradford Royal Infirmary site where over £9 million has been invested in research infrastructure over the last decade to create the Bradford Health Research Hub - a focal point for our research expertise. This includes the Bradford Institute for Health Research (BIHR), our new PRC and the £3 million Wolfson Centre for Applied Health Research (a partnership with the Universities of Bradford and Leeds).

Bradford Institute for Health Research was established in 2007 as a partnership between the primary, secondary and community care trusts and Bradford Council. The vision of BIHR was to build a systems approach to clinical and health research that has strong community co-production, effective NHS collaboration and high impact research translation - the perfect foundation for our Patient Recruitment Centre.

“It has been exciting to see Bradford go from strength to strength and become a true centre of excellence in the execution of clinical trials, nationally.

“As excellent collaborators, an industry facing day in 2019, brought together key partners from the hospital, academic unit and industry to set the scene for 2020 and beyond, in the delivery of high quality clinical trials. With the dedication that Prof Saralaya and his team have put into the unit, they are thoroughly deserving of this recognition and designation as an NHIR PRC, and I expect they will continue to build on their successes for many years.”

Sanofi

Get in touch

Phone: 01274 383448

Email: prc.bradford@bthft.nhs.uk

Web: PRC: Bradford website

Our host NHS trust research statistics 2019/20

  • Supported 580 studies (455 on the NIHR portfolio), 100 of which were commercial (91 on the NIHR portfolio)
  • Recruited over 14,000 participants, of which 113 were recruited into commercial research
  • Achieved 61% recruitment to time and target*. Achieved 79% and 80% (respectively) recruitment to time and target in previous two years *an incomplete year due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

Our expertise

We support clinical research spanning a large number of therapeutic areas including: We support clinical research spanning a large number of therapeutic areas including: Respiratory Medicine, Cardiology, Diabetes, Stroke, Haematology, Nephrology, Oncology, Digestive Diseases, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Paediatric And Neonatal Medicine, Maxillofacial, Dermatology, Rheumatology, ENT (Ear, Nose & Throat), Nephrology, Ophthalmology, Anaesthetics, Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and Infectious Diseases.

We currently have 190 access to research active NHS clinicians who can lead your research either as chief or principal investigators.

We also have dedicated, skilled and experienced research teams in pharmacy, radiology, research and development management, and finance – and we ensure our workforce reflects the rich cultural diversity of our region.

Research expertise

  • 190 chief and principal investigators delivering research in 20 therapeutic areas
  • 6 key opinion leaders in Respiratory, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, Rheumatology, Cardiovascular and Diabetes

Patient population reach

  • The host NHS trust provides:
    - Core services for 500,000 people
    - Specialist services for 1.1 million
  • Local partnerships help us to reach 2.5 million people in West Yorkshire
  • Wider regional collaborations extend our reach to 5 million people across Yorkshire

Our track record

Our host trust, Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, is a world class centre for the delivery of late-phase commercial trials and has an impressive performance track record to match.

Our commercial research activity has grown, on average, by 10-15% year on year since 2014. We have consistently achieved excellent late-phase commercial research time and target figures with average rates of 73% over the past three years. We currently recruit large numbers of patients into commercial research from a wide range of clinical areas, and in recent years we have recruited six first global, three first European and twelve first UK trial participants. We are a preferred UK research site for Novartis, AstraZeneca, Sanofi, Roche, Genentech, GSK and a Northern Prime site for IQVIA.

Successes

  • 2011 and 2013: First global participant in Novartis COPD trial: CQWA2339 and CQWA2318
  • November 2017: First global participant in GSK COPD vaccine study: NTHI Mcat-002
  • November 2017: First European participant in AstraZencea ANDHI severe asthma study
  • November 2017: First global participant for GSK: Impact
  • June 2018 highest recruiting site in the world in a phase 1b study with Genentech: GX29915: UTTR1147A in Diabetic Foot Ulcers
  • November 2018: First European participant for ROCHE: RHINE study
  • November 2019: UK and European first participant for AstraZeneca: RESOLUTE study

Our region

The Bradford region is culturally diverse with a large Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) population with the largest proportion of people of Pakistani ethnic origin in England. One in four people living in the district describe themselves as Asian /Asian British ethnic origin, compared to under 1 in 10 people on average for England. Our multilingual staff and interpreters ensure equity of access for our diverse communities. Bradford is also the ‘youngest’ city in terms of the average age – the district’s population has the fourth highest proportion of under 16 year olds in England.

We are also an area of high disease prevalence, however, our population is very engaged in research. We are a ‘City of Research’ with research firmly embedded within our culture from ‘cradle to grave’ (from childhood to the elderly). This is reflected in our strong local and regional links and collaborations with other NHS Trusts, primary care and local government, and in our many research partnerships with universities including the Universities of Bradford, York and Leeds. Our investment in these partnerships and collaborations has developed dense clinical networks across the city of Bradford, its surrounding 2.5 million West Yorkshire population, and the wider 5 million population of Yorkshire.

Our Connected Bradford dataset is one of the richest in the UK, with linked health (and educational/social care) data for 700,000 citizens. It contains deeply phenotyped/genotyped data from our world-class cohorts and is supported by one of the leading NHS-based research data teams. Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is one of the most digitally developed NHS organisations with full Electronic Patient Records (EPR) and excellent system-wide linkage.

Unique to our region

  • One in four people describe themselves as Asian / Asian British ethnic origin
  • We have the 4th highest proportion of under 16 year olds in England
  • Access to phenotyped/ genotyped data for 700,000 citizens

Patient Research Experience Survey 2019

  • 83.3% of 54 people said they had a good experience of taking part in research at our host NHS trust

 

Patient Recruitment Centre: Exeter

PRC: Exeter is located within the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust which is committed to research and is a leading centre for high-quality clinical research and development in the South West Peninsula.

Our host Trust was one of the first Foundation Trusts and provides integrated health and care services across Exeter and East and Mid Devon. It manages a large acute teaching hospital, twelve community sites, and provides acute and community services to a core population of over 450,000.

“I received a text from my GP informing me about the Novavax Covid-19 vaccine trial. They mentioned the basic criteria for the trial and an email address if I was interested. From the moment I sent the email to my first vaccination everybody involved was fantastic. Even the physical examination and drawing of blood was as painless as they could make it and the study personnel reassured me and informed me on everything they did all the way”

Novavax trial volunteer

Get in touch

Email: rde-tr.prcexeter@nhs.net

Web: PRC: Exeter website

Our host NHS trust research statistics 2019/20

  • Supported 406 trials, 91 of which were commercial
  • Recruited 3750 participants, of which 152 were recruited into commercial research
  • Achieved 84% recruitment to time and target Median set-up time for commercial research: 55 days

Our expertise

We support clinical research spanning a large number of therapeutic areas including: Ageing, Anaesthetics Perioperative & Pain Management, Cancer, Cardiovascular, Children, Critical Care, Dementias and Neurodegeneration, Dermatology, Diabetes, Ear Nose & Throat (ENT), Gastroenterology, Genetics, Haematology, Health Service and Delivery Research, Hepatology, Infectious Disease and Microbiology, Mental Health, Metabolic and Endocrine, Musculoskeletal Disorders, Neurological Disorders, Ophthalmology, Oral and Dental health, Renal, Reproductive Health and Childbirth, Respiratory, Stroke, Surgery, Trauma & Emergency Care.

We currently have 35 principal investigators supporting 91 commercial trials. We also work with two highly experienced general practitioners who support early and late-phase commercial trials. More broadly, looking at all trials (including non-commercial) we currently have 24 chief investigators and 187 principal investigators supporting 406 studies. These investigators are supported by our skilled team of delivery and professional services staff who provide consistent and comprehensive support in the management of all our research activity.

We also work in close collaboration with the University of Exeter including the NIHR Exeter Clinical Research Facility. This enables us to work with life sciences partners across all phases of their product development, and we are in the process of forming a Joint Research Office. Our academic investigators work across the NHS and Higher Education Institutions and work with life science industry collaborators in the innovation of healthcare for the benefit of our population and beyond.

Research expertise

  • 24 chief investigators and 187 principal investigators supporting 406 studies in 28 therapeutic areas

Patient population reach

  • Our host NHS trust provides:
    - Acute and community services to over 450,000 people
  • Local partnerships help us to reach 1.25 million people in primary care
  • Wider regional collaborations extend our reach to the 1.1 million population of Devon

Our track record

We have a proven track record of efficient and effective commercial research delivery of phase 3 to 4 clinical trials across a broad range of clinical specialties and trial designs. Since 2016 we have helped to deliver over 130 commercial trials. In the 2019/20 financial year 84% of the NIHR-supported commercial studies we delivered achieved recruitment to time and target, and our median set-up time for new studies was 55 days.

Our processes are informed by robust feasibility assessments, based on a sound knowledge of our clinical services and our referring population.

As a result we have excellent working relationships with the top Clinical Research Organisations (CROs) and are recognised as a site who can deliver studies effectively, opening to recruitment quickly and efficiently, and achieving agreed recruitment targets on time. Existing collaborations with life science industry partners include the highly successful IQVIA Peninsula Prime Site initiative - for which The Peninsula was the top recruiter of all prime sites in 2016 and 2017 - and membership of the South West Pfizer INSPIRE site initiative

Successes

  • Commenced recruitment to the Novavax vaccine trial in October 2020 at the Nightingale Hospital Exeter: Average of 86 patients per week randomised
  • Positive feedback from our first volunteers on their experience

Our region

Devon has an older population profile than the national average, with peaks in the 60 to 64 age group and those aged 85 years and over, reflecting an ageing population and longer life expectancy. This presents significant opportunities for research concerning older people and their comorbid conditions including dementia, and we have a well-developed network of stakeholders and collaborators which enable us to access these patient populations.

For example, the Devon Dementia Collaboration was formed with Devon Partnership Trust; the co-located mental health Trust. This collaboration has already enabled the delivery of complex large scale mild cognitive impairment and dementia studies, and will support us to continue to deliver these specialty trials at scale.

We also have a close working relationship with Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust and with general practices to deliver studies across the patient pathway. We work closely with our NIHR Local Clinical Research Network (South West Peninsula) to take advantage of the very engaged general practice community in the south west to identify patients via Participant Identification Centres (PIC) activity.

Additional patient populations can be quickly accessed through a number of available high-profile initiatives such as:

  • The NIHR Exeter (EXTEND) 10,000 study
  • The PROTECT Study (target 50000 participants)
  • The 100,000 Genomes Project.

Unique to our region

  • Approximately 20% of the population of Devon are aged 65-84
  • 3.5% are aged over 85
  • Approximately 5% of the Devon population live in the most deprived 20% of areas nationally

Patient Research Experience Survey 2019

At our host NHS trust:

  • 83% agreed or strongly agreed they had had a good experience of taking part in a study
  • 82% agreed or strongly agreed they would take part in future research
  • 79% agreed or strongly agreed they would recommend taking part in a study to others 

 

Patient Recruitment Centre: Leicester

PRC: Leicester is located at Leicester General Hospital, in the heart of England, in one of the most diverse, multicultural cities in the UK. We are just one hour from London by train.

“The Leicester trial team has done a terrific job recruiting patients for our key trial for IgA Nephropathy. They managed to obtain the first patient first visit globally which was a significant milestone and assisted us in pushing competitive recruitment in the UK, as well as reinforcing the UK as continuing to be at the forefront for research and clinical trials globally.”

Novartis UK

Get in touch

Phone: 07950 893428

Email: PRCLeicester@uhl-tr.nhs.uk

Web: PRC: Leicester website

Our host NHS trust research statistics 2019/20

  • Supported 1,026 trials, 51 of which were commercial
  • Recruited 13,755 participants, of which 373 were recruited into commercial research
  • Achieved 72% recruitment to time and target* *an incomplete year due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

Our expertise and facilities

As one of the largest acute trusts in England we have research active staff in all specialties and world-renowned experts in: Cardiovascular, Respiratory, Diabetes, Cancer and Renal Medicine.

Over the last five years approximately 117 investigators have led commercial research in 30 therapeutic areas. When we include non-commercial research that figure increases to 502 investigators covering 53 therapeutic areas, all of whom can be supported by our experienced and highly-skilled team to lead commercial trials.

Our host trust has received a £450 million reconfiguration package from the UK government to invest in state-of-the-art facilities for the benefit of patients. As well as our PRC, the trust hosts and manages a wealth of NIHR research delivery infrastructure, including a Biomedical Research Centre, Clinical Research Facility, Clinical Research Network East Midlands and an Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (jointly funded by CRUK). It has also set up the National Centre for Drug Adherence Testing. This means that our PRC shares its site with, and has access to:

  • A clinical trials pharmacy
  • Full pathology services
  • Sample preparation laboratories
  • Imaging (CT/MRI/interventional radiology)
  • A DEXA scanner
  • Fully equipped gym for exercise interventions, cardiovascular, respiratory and metabolic assessments

The PRC team works very closely with these support services to ensure feasibility assessments are conducted in a robust and timely manner, assisted by an electronic sign-off system to support high-speed capacity and capability assessments. We also have access to two other acute hospital sites run by our host trust, with specialist equipment for, but not limited to, Cardiology, Respiratory, Paediatric and Emergency Medicine.

Research expertise

Over the last five years:

  • Commercial research:
    - 117 investigators covering
    - 30 therapeutic areas
  • All research:
    - 502 investigators covering 53 therapeutic areas

Patient population reach

  • Our host NHS Trust provides:
    - Core services to 1 million people in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland
    - Specialist services to between 2 and 3 million patients
  • Regional partnerships and collaborations help us to Research expertise reach 2 million people 

Our track record

PRC: Leicester is hosted by the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, which is one of the biggest and busiest NHS Trusts in the country, serving the one million residents of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. It’s nationally and internationally-renowned specialist services reach a further two to three million patients from the rest of the country.

In the last five years, we have recruited five ‘global first’ and two ‘European first’ patients into commercial studies. In that time, on average, 76% of the NIHR-supported commercial trials we delivered recruited to time and target. We are one of the highest recruiting sites in the country, with an average of 13,000 people taking part in research each year over the last five years, 403 of which are to commercial studies.

As a result, we have excellent relationships with several pharmaceutical companies including Novartis, Roche and Sanofi, and have partnership agreements with major Contract Research Organisations (CROs) Parexel, PPD and IQVIA.

Successes

  • 5 first global participants and 2 European first participants in five years:
  • February 2020: First global participant for Genentech Inc study: A Phase 1c Study of Single Dose MTPS9579A in Patients with Asthma
  • January 2019: First European participant for Otonomy Inc study: A prospective, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi centre, phase 3 efficacy and safety study of OTO-104 given as a single intratympanic injection in subjects with unilateral Meniere’s disease
  • August 2018: First global participant for GSK study: A double blind (sponsor open) placebo-controlled, stratified, parallel group study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of repeat doses of GSK3772847 in participants with moderate to severe asthma with allergic fungal airway disease (AFAD)
  • May 2018: First global participant for Novartis study: An adaptive seamless randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled, dose ranging study to investigate the efficacy and safety of LNP023 in primary IgA nephropathy patients
  • November 2015: First global participant for AstraZeneca UK Limited study: MESOS (RESP 4524) A Multicentre, Randomized, Doubleblind, Parallel Group, Placebo Controlled, 12-Week, Phase 2 Study to Evaluate the Effect of Tralokinumab on Airway Inflammation in Adults with Asthma Inadequately Controlled on Inhaled Corticosteroid
  • March 2015: First European participant for Anthera pharmaceuticals, Inc study: Study to evaluate safety and efficacy of Blisibimod in IgA Nephropathy
  • December 2014: First global participant for Rigel Pharmaceuticals Inc study: A Phase 2, MultiCenter, Randomized, DoubleBlind, AscendingDose, PlaceboControlled Clinical Study to Assess the Safety and Efficacy of Fostamatinib in the Treatment of IgA Nephropathy

Our region

The city of Leicester is the first non-white majority population in the UK. We work closely with the Centre for Black and Minority Ethnic Health to ensure all voices are heard. The wider county, in contrast, consists of a majority white, affluent and rural population. This blend offers unique opportunities for clinical research and we have agreements in place to work closely with a number of organisations to support rapid, high volume patient recruitment across our region.

Firstly we are part of Leicestershire Integrated Healthcare System which links primary, secondary and tertiary care services. This collaboration enables us to access the patient populations served by:

  • Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust which provides community and mental health services to a population of 1 million;
  • Our three local Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs); East Leicestershire and Rutland CCG; and West Leicestershire CCG and NHS Leicester City CCG which also serve a combined total of over 1 million people.

We also have excellent direct engagement with many primary care services and general practices (GPs). We have developed a contact management database in REDCap that combines primary care network and GP contact data, and other business intelligence relating to GP research interest and engagement. This supports a managed and targeted engagement strategy, with the potential for it to be used as a collaborative tool across the research community. This tried and tested method, used in other major studies like GENVASC and CODEC, demonstrates its effectiveness as an engagement and management tool across a wide geographical area and multiple GP practices.

We work closely with the University of Leicester as our main academic partner.

Unique to our region

  • 55% of Leicester city residents are from black and minority ethnic backgrounds
  • 61% of the city’s population is under 40 years
  • Children and young people under 20 years make up a quarter of the population
  • Over 80% of the wider Leicestershire county is classed as rural

Patient Research Experience Survey 2019

  • 95% of 172 patients said they had a good experience of taking part in research at our host NHS trust

 

Patient Recruitment Centre: Newcastle

PRC: Newcastle is located at the Campus for Ageing and Vitality in the north east of England.

Our host organisation, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, is one of the largest NHS organisations in the UK and a renowned world class provider of healthcare. In 2017/2018, our host Trust came into contact with 1.84 million patients. More than 30% of those patients came from outside the region to take advantage of our expertise. In 2019 the Trust established a bespoke stand-alone research centre, which has evolved to become PRC: Newcastle.

“The RELIEVE IBS-D trial team has gone to great efforts to keep IBS research going throughout the pandemic. Working with a forward-thinking NHS team like the one at Newcastle has really helped us transition to this new virtual version of our trial. Enrolment, consent, treatment and doctor visits are all being conducted remotely, without the patient needing to leave their home.”

Enteromed Ltd

Get in touch

Phone: 0191 282 3655 /0191 282 3198

Email: nuth.PRCNewcastle@nhs.net

Web: PRC: Newcastle website

Our host NHS trust research statistics 2019/20

  • Supported 470 trials, 109 of which were commercial
  • Recruited 8277 participants, of which 584 were recruited into commercial research
  • Achieved 72% recruitment to time and target* 88% of commercial studies set-up within 40 days *an incomplete year due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

Our expertise

In response to our regional situation we have already supported a number of research studies in common chronic conditions such as: episodic headaches, asthma, COPD, irritable bowel syndrome, depression and common skin conditions.

We know that recruitment to trials can be challenging. At PRC: Newcastle we take a multi-faceted approach to further improve the efficiency and effectiveness of recruiting participants from our population, while also encouraging and broadening equity of access to research opportunities. This includes direct advertising, a social media platform, a local community engagement programme and disease specific registries such as ContactMe-IBS. Additionally, in 2020, we launched a patient and volunteer registry: Research+Me Register.

We also understand the need for certainty when conducting commercial clinical research and have developed ‘intelligent feasibility’, online self-screening and call-centre capability, to provide efficient management of high volumes of potential participants. We have also developed the capability to set-up and deliver end to end virtual clinical trials. In September 2020 we commenced recruitment to one of the UK’s first fully virtual commercial interventional clinical trials in Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

In our PRC we have a team of experienced research-active NHS clinicians who lead research studies as chief or principal investigators. However, through our host trust we have access to a much wider pool of investigators in Newcastle, many of which are world renowned NHS key opinion leaders. Across the Trust our investigators are leading commercial research in 24 therapeutic areas. When we include non-commercial research, that figure increases to cover all 30 therapeutic areas, and these investigators could be supported by our experienced and highly-skilled team to take on this role for commercial trials.

Research expertise

  • Access to chief and principal investigators delivering research in all 30 therapeutic areas

Patient population reach

  • Our host Trust has over 1.7 million patient contacts per year
  • Partnerships and collaborations help us to reach over 80,000 people through links with Primary Care Networks
  • Up to 1.2 million people reached through links with CCGs across our regional geography

Our track record

Being linked to one of the most research-active NHS organisations in England means that we have a wealth of experience and a successful track record in delivering commercial research. In the last financial year (2019- 20) the Trust helped to deliver 109 commercial clinical trials and recruited 584 participants. For all research, including non-commercial research, that figure was much higher: 8,277 were participants recruited to 470 studies.

Our performance in delivering commercial clinical research is among the best in the country. On average, over the past five financial years, 80% of the commercial studies we have supported have achieved their recruitment target on time.

As a result we have excellent relationships with several pharmaceutical companies and Contract Research Organisations (CROs). We were the first Pfizer INSPIRE site; we are a Flagship site for Medpace, an Alliance site with Parexel, and have partnership agreements with Bayer, IQVIA, Novartis and Roche.

Successes

  • The Relieve-IBS virtual trial recruited its first participant within three days of study opening
  • 10 first global/European/UK participants recruited in the last five years at the host NHS trust. For example:
    - September 2020: First European participant for SANOFI study: HERA
    - October 2019: First global participant for NOVARTIS study: An open-label long-term study of LNP023 in C3G patients
    - March 2019: First global participant for AnaptysBio, Inc: ANB019-002 study
    - February 2019: First global participant for NOVARTIS study: Safety and efficacy of LNP023 in C3 glomerulopathy patients

Our region

The North East and North Cumbria has some of the highest levels of social deprivation and disease burden prevalence rates in the country. This is especially true for a number of common, chronic conditions such as COPD, diabetes and heart failure, cancer and dementia. Life expectancy in our region is two years lower than national average and premature death is 20% higher.

By focussing on research into these and other common, chronic conditions we aim to contribute to improving our regional population’s health and economy.

We also strive to extend our research reach beyond traditional hospital settings to engage with the broader populations we serve. One way we do this is by collaborating with a number of local Primary Care Networks to access community-based data. This enables a reach into general practice populations exceeding 80,000 people. We have also developed strong partnerships with a number of other large research-friendly practices and the wider Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to provide us with ‘ready-to-go’ PIC capability through which we can reach an even greater population up to 1.2 million.

Unique to our region

  • Newcastle upon Tyne is home to nearly 274,000 people
  • The county of Tyne and Wear has a population of 1.1 million
  • Life expectancy in the region is two years lower than the rest of the country and premature death is 20% higher
  • Highest prevalence rates for COPD, Type I Diabetes and Heart Failure in 2018-19
  • Featured in the ‘top three’ regions for type II diabetes, cancer and dementia In 2018-19

Patient Research Experience Survey 2019

  • 96.3% of 163 people said they had a good experience of taking part in research at our host NHS trust
  • 94.4% of participants agreed their privacy and confidentiality were maintained during appointments

 

National Patient Recruitment Centre Programme Office 

21 Queen street
Leeds
LS1 2TW

Email: prc@nihr.ac.uk

National PRC website

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