Network collaboration: The key to broadening the scope for research?
As patients, we’d all like to think there is clinical research activity happening in all therapy areas in every part of England so that we can access it as and when we need to. In 2011-12 more than 1,300 new studies were deemed eligible for Network support and entered onto the Clinical Research Network Portfolio, however, there are still pockets of England where research capacity could be increased and provide health benefits for the local population.
Let's Prevent Diabetes (PDF, 129kb)
Diabetes affects 2.5 million of us in the UK with a further 500,000 people unaware they have the condition. But have you heard of pre-diabetes? Like diabetes, pre-diabetes is a condition where the amount of glucose in the blood is too high, as the body cannot use it properly. People with pre-diabetes have an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, but crucially, if you are diagnosed with prediabetes you can take steps to prevent or delay these conditions.
Extending the reach of research (PDF, 327kb)
When Professor Donos contacted the Diabetes Research Network (DRN) seeking to boost recruitment to his study he wasn’t fully aware of the potential support available. Now, over a year on, working with two NIHR Clinical Research Networks has increased research opportunities around this study in more ways than one.
A fast and reliable set of wheels (PDF, 118kb)
Diabetes is predominantly treated in primary care, but this wasn’t always the case. In recent years management of the condition has moved from secondary care. This ‘shift’ presents a challenge for researchers who now have to find routes into general practice to find patients for their studies. This can be a time-consuming step in the research process; something that the life-sciences industry in particular cannot afford. North West London Diabetes Research Network is helping to overcome this by providing two ingredients that are vital to commercial research success - speed and reliability.
ASCEND: taking recruitment to new heights (PDF, 85kb)
Diabetes is one of the biggest health challenges facing the UK today. By 2025 it is estimated that more than four million of us will have the condition. Predominantly treated in primary care, it’s an issue faced by GPs every day and if not well managed diabetes can lead to serious complications including heart disease and stroke. Aspirin is known to reduce the risk of these complications in some people but can also have negative effects. It’s unknown whether the benefits of aspirin outweigh the risks for diabetic patients with no history of cardiovascular disease. Two Clinical Research Networks have been working together to support one study hoping to answer this important question.
Primary challenge for diabetes research (PDF, 131KB)
In the last five years, a great deal of diabetes treatment has moved from secondary to primary care. This shift in environment has brought a new challenge for researchers: how do they recruit patients in GP surgeries when the majority of their contacts are based elsewhere? A global study supported by the North West Diabetes Research Network and Greater Manchester Comprehensive Local Research Network demonstrates how GP engagement, collaboration and effective study support can help to meet this challenge.
NetworK GUIDANCE helps study meet recruitment targets (PDF 131KB)
A major benefit of working with the Clinical Research Network is the support infrastructure you can gain access to. When the South East Midlands Diabetes Research Network set about supporting the delivery of GUIDANCE (UK) (Guideline Adherence to Enhanced Care), the primary care recruitment programme was largely structured around the movements of a mobile retinopathy screening clinic. When this clinic became temporarily unavailable, close collaboration between the study team and the Clinical Research Network meant the trial remained in a strong position to recruit to time and target.
Preventing blindness through a collaborative team approach (PDF 202KB)
Diabetic maculopathy affects our central vision, so our ability to see detail, such as reading small print or seeing people's faces in the distance. It can result from diabetic retinopathy which is the leading cause of blindness in the working age group. Sunderland Eye Infirmary, with support from North East and Cumbria Diabetes Local Research Network and Northumberland, Tyne and Wear Comprehensive Local Research Network, is bringing a new treatment to patients with diabetic maculopathy that will help prevent blindness.
Supporting research regardless of setting (PDF, 324KB)
The Diabetes Research Network has the knowledge and experience to support high-quality research in a variety of settings, whether it is carried out in large foundation Trusts, district general hospitals or community services. This experience is enabling the expansion of the NHS’ research infrastructure and, more importantly, is providing more opportunities for patients to access cutting-edge treatments.