Date: 12 March 2019
A new initiative aimed at encouraging more inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) Clinical Nurse Specialists to get involved in clinical research as part of their role was launched earlier this month.
NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) Gastroenterology specialty, led by National Specialty Lead Professor Mark Hull, launched the initiative at an event in central London. It attracted more than 60 IBD Nurse Specialists and research nurses from NHS trusts across the UK and was attended by Crohn’s & Colitis UK.
The event was organised in response to the results from questions asked in a survey led by the Royal College of Nursing to IBD clinical nurse specialists. One of the survey questions asked whether they were interested in developing their role in relation to clinical research. Two thirds said they were interested in getting more involved in research.
Gastroenterology National Specialty Lead Professor Mark Hull said:
“It’s fantastic to see such a positive response to the initiative promoting clinical nurse specialists to get more involved in clinical research. Two thirds of studies being delivered through the Gastroenterology specialty portfolio are related to IBD, and there’s a real need to ensure that as many patients as possible have the opportunity to take part in research that’s available to them.
“Clinical nurse specialists are the ‘eyes and ears’ of hospital IBD teams and have close contact with their patients through all stages of their treatment, so it’s a really positive step forward that many could also support their patients through a research journey”
Speakers at the event took the opportunity to explain how the CRN supports clinical research in the NHS, described some of the studies on the portfolio, how the role of clinical nurse specialists has the potential to give patients better access to research opportunities and how clinical and research teams work successfully together.
Dr Karen Kemp, Consultant Nurse IBD at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and NIHR Research Doctorate Fellow describes the benefits of enveloping research into the clinical nurse practice:
“The relationship that IBD Clinical Nurse Specialists have with their patients is truly one of trust, compassion and care that has often developed over a long period of time, so they really understand the patients’ needs and that can be of real benefit to a research team recruiting patients into studies. Additionally, it allows for development opportunities for IBD clinical nurse specialists to learn more about clinical research and how it works in the NHS.”
More information and a series of videos about this work is available on the Gastroenterology section of the NIHR website.
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