January 2020 Newsletter

Happy 2020 everyone! 
With lots of events, group meetings, resources and initiatives in development plus an updated website in the pipeline it is looking exciting for the Forum in 2020. Many members of the health care R&D community contribute their time to making the Forum a vibrant and supportive place for all and we hope you will continue to do so over the coming year.  
If you would like to get involved, create a resource, join a group, or work on something with others, please get in touch FAO Kate via info@rdforum.org.uk. Please also contact Kate if you can help drive any of the initiatives highlighted in this edition of the news. 
Become a Forum Trainer
We are selecting new trainers for Forum courses, in particular the Essentials of NHS Research and Regulatory Ready courses. If you are experienced in NHS R&D management with a broad understanding and you are a great trainer looking for a development opportunity to support others, please get in contact FAO Allyson via info@rdforum.org.uk and for information on all our training courses please click here

For more information click here. 

Did you know?

2020 is the international year of the nurse and midwife. 

Sally Humphreys, Research Management Working Group chair, Florence Nightingale Foundation research scholar (and nurse), blogs about the pivotal role nurses and midwives play in research. Read Sally’s blog here.

Did you read? 

The Academy of Medical Sciences Report exploring the NHS-academic interface and our Forum response:
The report was published earlier this month by the Academy and calls for improved investment in health research, making 6 recommendations.  With links to a number of associated papers including case studies, a patient round table and an economics analysis for consultant time in research, the report is important to read and is welcomed. Our strategy & leadership working group have issued a response and call for the inclusion of all professional groups across all care settings from the outset. 
The report also explores the value of joint research offices, which is a topic that will be presented and discussed further at the Forum conference in May. 
Link to our response, the report and associated papers here.

Medical & Dental Pay Scales for Junior Doctors – Write up by Mark Terry, 
Clinical Research Operations Manager at the Royal Marsden
Last month Mark wrote up his experience of securing funding to support a salary gap between clinical fellows and research fellows in his Trust. You can read his update in his summary paper here. Mark is willing to share his experience in this area. If you would like further information contact mark.terry@rmh.nhs.uk

Effective delivery of Complex Innovative Design (CID) cancer trials—A consensus statement

Blagden, S.P., Billingham, L., Brown, L.C. et al. Effective delivery of Complex Innovative Design (CID) cancer trials—A consensus statement. Br J Cancer (2020).
This consensus statement was published earlier this month to improve the conduct, quality and acceptability of oncology CID trials in clinical research but may be applicable to other disease areas. 

Some of the authors of this paper will be presenting at our Forum symposium in March, where we shall discuss the management of complex studies with adaptive designs such as umbrella trials, platform trials and also data driven technologies.

Read more here.

Early Bird Rate extended

The early bird rate was due to end on 31st January. Although bookings have been flying in, we have received requests from a large number of NHS Trusts who are in the process of setting up new suppliers and raising Purchase Orders. We appreciate that due to the restructure it is taking delegates longer than normal to obtain a PO, so we have taken the decision to extend the early bird rate for two weeks. 

Click here to book.

RDF20 programme and list of posters now online

The Conference Programme is now available online. Plenary Sessions include:

  • Louise Wood CBE
  • Dame Jackie Daniel
  • Professor Mary Dixon-Woods
  • Professor Shaun Treweek
  • Professor Chris Whitty
  • Professor Clare Bambra

The programme including breakout sessions and a list of posters is now available.  Click here to view the programme.

Forum Symposia – Research not as we know it: Managing novel methods in research
2nd March 2020: London 
 The agenda is live and we are delighted to confirm two new speakers: 
  • Sheuli Porkess, Executive Director Research, Medical & Innovation, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry who will given an industry perspective on the future of clinical research. 
  • Will Navaie, Engagement Manager HRA, will share his thoughts on managing methods for evaluating data driven technologies.
Innovative real world research designs are likely to become more commonplace for both sites and Sponsors and so we aim to look at how we can build our confidence as a community to ensure they are able to run well in and for the NHS. We shall discuss with industry regulators and hear experience from R&D teams the management of complex studies with adaptive designs such as umbrella trials, platform trials and also data driven technologies. 

Professional Learning & Development

A Practical Application of Monitoring in a Health Care Setting
Date: 2nd & 3rd March 2020
Location: Bristol
Further details and booking

Local Capacity & Capability for Research
Date: 20th March 
Location: London
Further details and booking

Archiving Master Class
Date: 29th June
Location: London
Further details and booking

Forum courses ‘in-house’ 
All courses on the Forum programme can be tailored to serve local needs and settings. If you would like a course delivered in your organisation please contact info@rdforum.org.uk

Forum Round Up

CRNCC Research Engagement Survey for your completion.

The engagement of ‘non-research’ NHS staff was clearly identified in our Forum community survey as a critical area requiring further support and development. We have therefore supported the NIHRCRN CC engagement team in sending out a subsequent survey to help establish successful engagement practices and to find out more about the challenges in this area. 

The survey is distributed in google forms format, which should be accessible to all without a log in. Please email Roger.steel@nihr.ac.uk if you have difficulties accessing it.  

Access this short survey here

CHART: An Alliance for Community Trusts Progress update

In light of the NHS Constitution1 and the Long Term Plan2 emphasising the need for new ways of working, this is an ideal time for Community Trusts to join forces.  The Community is often the NHS component that falls between Acute Trusts and Primary Care and is not well understood which is mainly attributed to its complexity.  Community Trusts are not renowned for their research activity, however many have aspirations to develop and grow.  

Read more about CHART and an update on their progress here

Beyond project specific PPI

The Forum Service Users and Carer Group welcomes a paper exploring a move beyond project specific PPI towards better organisational involvement.

A recent paper published has highlighted the importance of strategic PPI, which is a key area of work for the Service Users and Carers group of the Forum. The paper “Moving beyond project-specific patient and public involvement in research” explores how patient public involvement moves beyond project-specific activities to become embedded within the wider infrastructure of the organisation. 

This is an area that the service users group have identified through their extensive personal experience and highlighted to the NIHR and policy makers. The group will continue to work with our partners and the Forum strategy and leadership working group to develop this area of important work. 

A link to the paper is here 

Calls from the Community 

The set-up of social care research: Key issues and barriers from a governance perspective plus a call for resources and good practice
The CRN Coordinating Centre has provided funding to Eastern and Wessex Clinical Research Networks to carry out a piece of work to scope how the Clinical Research Networks can support the set-up of adult social care research. This is being led by Clare Symms, Viv Shaw and Jan Westbury who are looking at the key issues and barriers from a governance perspective and looking to devise potential solutions taking account of what is in place already. 
If anyone knows of resources or practice that work well we would be very interested to know more. Please get in touch in early February and do circulate this information on to colleagues.  
Contact at CAPCCG.RandDoffice@nhs.net or SNCCG.RandDoffice@nhs.net.

Further information about the project is available here

CQC well led inspections: Trust R&D teams, what supporting information do you need?
Members of our groups continue to work with the National partnership that is supporting the inclusion of research in CQC well-led inspections. The partnership has fed back to CQC inspectors on the experience of Trusts and would now like to support Trusts and R&D staff further. To help us provide information that will be of most use please email your thoughts on what you would like to see FAO Kate and Ashley via info@rdforum.org.uk

How do you review a study for sponsorship? 
We are collating sponsor assessment SOPS & review processes to help inform our development of some standards following on from the sponsors symposium table talks. Please send anything you have FAO Kate at info@rdforum.org.uk
Example agreements or SOPS for outsourcing site activities
Do you have any examples of agreements or SOPS you have used when outsourcing for site activities? We are collating examples to support guidance in this area.

SoECAT information or training slides for research teams 

If you have a developed a slide set or materials you can share that aims to support research teams to understand the SoECAT (what it is, what it is for, and how it affects researchers) please send them to either Kate at info.rdforum.org.uk or Phillip

Update on #makeitpublic research transparency strategy 
The #Make it Public strategy was agreed, in principle, by the HRA’s Board when it met in December. The Board thanked everyone involved in the consultation and agreed that the strategy had been developed through a robust process. However due to the General Election the Board postponed approval of the strategy. The Board will meet again in early February 2020 to agree the implementation plan. The HRA will make an announcement about strategy after the February Board meeting.

Pharmacy Assurance process for NHS Sponsors from 1 April 2020 
From 01 April 2020, NHS sponsors and co-sponsors of Phase I-III oncology CTIMPs and Phase III non-oncology CTIMPs will be expected to submit their studies for review through the Pharmacy Assurance process, specifically the Self-managed route. Non-NHS sponsors can still submit through Pharmacy Assurance; we remain open to the aforementioned CTIMPs. Further information is available on the HRA website.

Read more about the process including dates for free workshops here.

Excess Treatment Costs update

As part of the on going work to improve the ETC system for researchers, new guidance has been published for researchers, study teams and sponsors on completing the Schedule of Events and Cost Attribution Tool (SoECAT) – in addition to specific guidance on how to complete the SoeCAT.
The new national system for paying Excess Treatment Costs was successfully delivered however the ETC Project will continue for the next 18 months with the aim to tackle a number of issues currently faced in delivery the Excess Treatment Cost service, as follows:
  • Improve the current manual transfer of the ETC per patient value and single modelling method in ODP by developing new alternative ETC payment models to ensure payments are made to the intervention site expecting the funding as opposed to the recruitment site currently recorded in CPMS. This will reduce the number of transactions required to transfer funds between various organisations.
  • Improve the current tools used to attribute the costs of non-commercial studies, which currently use the spreadsheet version of the SoECAT by developing an automated version of the SoECAT within CPMS. 

Changes to NIHR costing methodology from 2020/21

From April 2020, the NIHR’s online interactive Costing Tool (iCT) will be the only system available for industry costing submissions for new studies. In preparation for the transition to the new system, links to the old Excel tool have now been removed from the NIHR’s website. Make sure you are ready for the big switchover – find out more about the iCT and how to get started here.
We encourage all NHS R&D Departments to proactively work ahead of this deadline and register themselves with group CPMS accounts so that are able to receive new iCT requests from our commercial partners, meaning that negotiation timelines and setup are reduced to a minimum. Since its launch last year, there has been a significant increase in the number of companies using the online system. However the NIHRCRNCC continues to work hard to achieve full usage of the new web-based interactive Costing Tool (iCT) before the old, excel version is discontinued from April 2020.  A number of helpful films about the new iCT are available via the NIHRtv Youtube channel including submission guidance for life sciences industry
If you would like to further understand the advantages to working within the iCT ahead of the 1 April 2020, please contact your regional LCRN Industry Operations Manager or email phillip.good@nihr.ac.uk who will be able to talk you through how the iCT can work to the benefit of your organisation. 

NIHRCRN CC Staff Update- Associate Director of Nursing and 70@70 Programme Lead role
Clare Meachin has left her seconded role at the CRNCC as the Associate Director of Nursing and Programme Lead for 70@70 (and also her substantive role as Deputy Chief Operating Officer for CRN South London) at the end of November 2019 to take up a post as one of the Directors of Nursing at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust. Dr Sharon Barrett, currently on secondment to the CRNCC, has succeeded Clare as the interim Associate Director of Nursing and 70@70 Programme Director for the coming period.
Read more here.

Life sciences Industrial Strategy Update is published

An update on progress made towards the life sciences strategy through the industry sector deal 2 has now been published. Many initiatives, including the recently advertised patient recruitment centres, are flagged in the report. 
Read the update

Wellcome Trust research culture survey findings
The Wellcome Trust has published the findings of a large survey exploring how we do research and our research culture. The report calls for change to provide better support for researchers. The Forum strategy and leadership working group will review the implications at their next meeting. 
Read the report or listen to an update

MRC Regulatory Support Centre (MRC-RSC) quarterly news 

The RSC have published their quarterly round up of all research regulatory news. Download it here.

New resources in REX this month

  1. The Development of a core competency framework for clinical research staff Merrie Gowie, DanielleWilson, SarahGregory & Louise L.Clark
  2. What does a great lay summary look like Academy of Medical Sciences
  3. Two e-learning modules to explain the regulations and ethics of Research Tissue Banks HRA & HTA
  4. Youtube Video: The ethical, governance & management implications of involving consumers in health research Virginia Minogue & Anne-Laure Donskoy.
  5. Innovative methods e-learning

View the latest additions to the Resource Exchange here

Other News, Calls & Funding

NIHR Podcasts
The NIHR Clinical Research Network issue monthly podcasts.  Hosted by Prof. Allan Gaw, these discussions explore a wide range of topics related to Health Research.  This month we hear from Prof. Martin Rossor on the topic of  ‘Dementia Research’.  Listen here on the NIHR Soundcloud channel.
There is a wealth of previous recordings available here. These include discussion about Primary Care Research (with Prof. Philip Evans);  Research Ethics Committees (with Dr Hugh Davies); Multi-arm, Multi-stage Clinical Trials (with Prof. Allan Hackshaw); and Patient Research Ambassadors (with Helen Cooke).

Improving Healthcare through Clinical Research – A NIHR Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)
The next presentation of ‘Improving Healthcare through Clinical Research’ starts on the 3rd February.  The course runs for four weeks and new learners can join at any time to learn how medical treatments are discovered, tested and evaluated to improve healthcare for all.
New R&D staff and those interested in a career in Health Research will find this course particularly valuable. You can join this course here

Be Part of Research

Read more from the NIHR here.

NIHR Funding Opportunities 

Health & Care Research Wales Funding Opportunities

Latest Jobs

New jobs this month – see here

Please submit your latest vacancies and we will also post on Twitter.

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