Date: 03 September 2018
A North West London clinician has been recognised for their contribution to research in awards announced this week.
The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and Clinical Research Network research awards scheme recognises outstanding contributions of NHS clinicians to the conduct of National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network Portfolio research studies.
There are five awards each for consultants and trainees worth £500, with the prize money to be used to increase their contribution to Portfolio studies in the future.
PhD candidate Peter Saunders, Clinical Research Fellow in Interstitial Lung Diseases at the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust (RBHT), was one of the winners of the trainee category.
Dr Saunders won for his dedication to increasing the opportunities for patients in his unit to take part in research.
“I am currently finishing my training in respiratory medicine. My career plan is to have an NHS career in which the running and designing of clinical trials forms a significant portion of my work.”
“This aligns with my view that clinical trials should be seen as a standard of care and should be offered to the majority of patients.”
Dr Saunders helped increase the number of patients taking part in research by raising awareness of research amongst his colleagues, building closer ties with other hospitals who may have suitable trial candidates.
“I am also available to see patients in clinic and on the wards at the time of their visit when trial entry is being considered. This has increased recruitment to trials because patients are able to directly speak to someone who knows the trial well at a time they are already at the hospital, saving on a repeat visit.”
One of the studies Dr Saunders' team is most proud of is RECITAL, which is comparing the effectiveness of two different immunosuppressant therapies used to help suppress inflammation and minimise lung scarring in patients with connective tissue disease associated interstitial lung disease (CTD-ILD).
"One of our greatest challenges is to better understand how to use the therapies we have in a more targeted way to ensure only those who will benefit receive them. My experience so far makes me keen to design and implement studies that address these questions."
"RECITAL is a good example of the kind of study design I would like to be able to replicate in the future."
As part of the application process the applicants had to set out how they would use the prize money to increase their contribution to NIHR Clinical Research Network Portfolio studies in the future.
Dr Saunders says he plans to put the prize money towards further training in the design of clinical trials and statistical planning.
“This will equip me with the necessary skills to be a principal investigator and to design future drug trials.”
You can read more about the Awards and the other winners on the NIHR website.
You may also be interested in