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Nursing Times Awards 2020 Clinical Research Nursing award winners announced


The Clinical Research Delivery team at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust has won the 2020 Nursing Times award for Clinical Research Nursing.

The team demonstrated many innovative approaches including; the use of WhatsApp to network with over 40 clinicians to provide immediate responses to questions about patient recruitment, supporting novice investigators and staff redeployed to deliver urgent public health studies using a buddy system.  They ensured governance continuity by rapid trial set-up, providing seven day cover, training over 50 staff, daily stand up meetings and scheduling staff across sites. 

As a small team they successfully recruited 250 patients to COVID-19 studies and to date the team has recruited over 250 patients into the RECOVERY study which has had a global impact. This was achieved through excellent collaboration with clinical colleagues while creating a supportive environment during the extraordinary challenges of the pandemic. Their engagement and dedication continues.

Announcing the winner, Dr Louise Wood, Director of Science, Research and Evidence at the Department of Health and Social Care, said: 

“The judges were greatly impressed with the level of collaboration and achievement with limited resources. This group made research more accessible by demonstrating flexibility and resource utilisation within challenging and extraordinary times. Many congratulations!”

Dr Sharon Barrett, NIHR Clinical Research Network Associate Director of Nursing and lead judge, said:

“Despite the challenging year, it was so important to find time to celebrate clinical research nurses and midwives.  It is also important to recognise all the other entries for this category.  The other judges and I were incredibly impressed with the many initiatives, training and collaborations described and we will go further to share some of these.”

Tracy Wood Clinical Research Nurse Manager, who led the research team at Calderdale said:

“The complexity and challenges involved in clinical research don’t always get recognised but winning this award gives us the recognition for how we adapted to the challenges and frequent changes involved in COVID clinical trials. It raises the profile of clinical research being a vital but complex process for our patients. Collaboration between clinicians, pharmacy and the research team has been amazing. To win this award makes me feel very proud for my team and my Trust”.

The Clinical Research Nursing award is sponsored by the NIHR and was created to recognise the key contribution of the clinical research nursing workforce.

Shortlisted teams

  • Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, Engaging NHS staff in the delivery of clinical research to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, A journey of empowerment: how a small clinical research team made a big impact during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, The rapid training, development to support the deployment of an organization wide COVID-19 Clinical Research Team 
  • Morecambe Bay GP Collaborative, Innovation: originality of the idea
  • Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, Researching together- a roadmap for creating an integrated mental health research service
  • Portsmouth Hospital University NHS Trust, One trust; a united response
  • Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust and University of Exeter Medical School, Rapid restructuring of clinical research teams in response to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Collaboration in a crisis: research nurses band together to tackle COVID-19
  • South West NHS Trusts and Universities, South West NIHR70@70 Senior Nurse Research Leaders: dynamic, responsive research leadership and collaboration in times of crisis
  • University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and NIHR UK CRF Network, Development of the UKCRFN study intensity tool