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The CRN Dermatology National Specialty Group (NSG) has closely linked objectives and many connections with two key stakeholders: the British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) and the UKDCTN.
Dr Nick Levell, NIHR National Specialty Lead for Dermatology 'Dermatology research improves lives for patients. It brings in new treatments for difficult conditions and shows up drugs which are neffective. Patients who get involved with clinical studies tend to stay healthier, so our team wishes to make research available for all. Research is best done in a team and the NIHR is working towards bringing doctors, patients, nurses and scientists together to achieve what could never be done alone.'
UK Dermatology is a cohesive network. The professional organisation for dermatologists is the British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) which is a charity with objectives to improve patient care, education of health professionals dealing with skin disease and improve research into skin disease. The BAD President, Nick Levell, is also National Dermatology Lead and chair of the CRN National Dermatology Specialty Group (NSG). The NSG, which currently meets twice a year in facilities provided free at the charities headquarters. BAD have produced a number of useful resources including Patient Information Sheets and NICE Accredited Clinical Guidelines for Dermatologists. The BAD organisation, UK TREND, run by Professor Nick Reynolds is a newly formed translational research network which reports into the CRN National Dermatology Specialty Group.
The UK Dermatology Clinical Trials Network (UKDCTN), an associated special interest research group of the BAD, have a joint executive and steering group meeting with the CRN National Dermatology Specialty Group (NSG). Several of the NSG members, including the Nick Levell the National Specialty Lead for Dermatology, are also members of the UKDCTN steering group and executive. The UKDCTN was set up by Professor Hywel Williams and is a charity with over 900 active members. These include doctors, patients, nurses and scientists. The UKDCTN sets up, obtains funding and runs clinical trials in many common skin diseases, often using ordinary low-cost drugs which would not be tested in commercial pharma studies, providing valuable evidence to guide treatment.
Professor Hywel Williams describes the impact of the research delivery support we provide:
“It has been such a joy for me to witness the continued progress of the dermatology CRN speciality group in providing first class support in delivering portfolio studies that will result in patient benefit. Being able to come to your meetings to tell you about our study pipeline and to then follow-on with our own UK Dermatology Clinical Trials Network meetings on the same day is a clever formula that strengthens the bond and dependencies between study development and delivery. And long may it continue”
All of the UKDCTN studies so far have been adopted by the NIHR portfolio providing a valuable library of evidence in dermatology. Other links between these three organisation include the Patient Support Group committee of the BAD, allowing valuable PPI into clinical studies.