Improving the way we do things
This round of articles is focused on ‘improving the way we do things’ - a fundamental driver for clinical research. They illuminate three very different ways that Network support for research is helping to make the NHS and patients better.
The NIHR Clinical Research Network has supported the delivery of thousands of studies across England, all asking important questions to develop new and improved treatments to benefit patients and the NHS. But how do we know what impact our research is having out there to front line services? We look at the effects of a large musculoskeletal trauma study and how it has significantly changed clinical practice in the NHS.
Traditionally, researchers recruit people to one trial at a time. If another trial gets underway, a completely new population has to be identified and recruited. This makes the recruitment process time consuming and expensive. The clinical research community is currently exploring the use of an innovative new design called ‘Trials within Cohorts’ (TwiCs), which is aiming to transform the efficiency and effectiveness of clinical research in the NHS. We investigated this further.
In 2014 there were 6,520 TB cases in the UK, over a third of which were found in London. We spoke to researchers in the capital about how a new approach to diagnosing TB could translate into significant savings for the NHS and a major improvement in patient experience.