In line with the new National Health Research strategy (best research for best health), the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust (HEFT) welcomes both internal and external innovators looking to access NHS facilities for clinical research. The Medical Innovation Research and Development Unit (MIDRU) exist as a facilitating hub in this regard.
The regulatory and guidance requirements relevant to research studies that utilise radiation are often complex in nature. The Directorate of Radiology, HEFT is therefore proud to have set up the first dedicated imaging research support team within the West Midlands region. The role of the team is to assist researchers in utilising imaging within clinical trials and to increase the capacity for research and associated data management within radiology, and to speed up the approval processes for these studies. This involves liaising with many different organisations and individuals within and outside the Trust, including but not limited to, the Birmingham and the Black Country Comprehensive Local Research Network (CLRN), the Pan Birmingham Cancer Network (PBCN), MIDRU. Our systems and processes are fully documented in line with IR(ME)R and MHRA requirements. Leadership for this group is provided by a Superintendent radiographer.
The team also follows up patients recruited into clinical trials, facilitating appointments if necessary to ensure that imaging is performed in consonance with timelines specified in the trial protocol. It also ensures that appropriate scan parameters and reporting criteria are followed in performing and reporting these scans. This is achieved by working very closely with Principal Investigators, Research Nurses, Consultant Radiologists and radiographers amongst other staff groups.
Ours is a large and busy Directorate with twenty-seven (27) Consultant Radiologists with a broad spectrum of clinical interests. A good proportion of this group are research active. Some are developing and implementing innovative techniques, for example, Uterine Fibroid Embolisation (Dr Paul Crowe), Radio-Frequency Ablation (Dr Shuvro Roy-Choudhury), just to mention a few.
We have state of the art equipment to support clinical research, including a Toshiba 320 slice CT scanner and the Philips 'open' MRI scanner which offers significant benefits to claustrophobic patients. Our centre has consistently recruited the highest number of patients into a wide range of Oncology and Haematology trials in the past few years.
Building on the stable framework provided by the imaging research support team, our vision is to use the resources of this group to encourage and promote research originating from Radiology. We are also looking to consolidate the various pieces of research activities already going on in the Directorate to access the resources of the unit.
For Research & Development enquiries please contact Bernard Olisemeke
0121 424 0869 / Bleep: 2898