UHDB research unit ‘leading the way for innovations in clinical trials’ alongside AstraZeneca | Research news

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UHDB research unit ‘leading the way for innovations in clinical trials’ alongside AstraZeneca

Derby Clinical Trial Support Unit

The exceptional innovations made to advance clinical trials at UHDB during the pandemic have been recognised nationally – in the same breath as “industry giants” AstraZeneca.

UHDB’s Derby Clinical Trials Support Unit (DCTSU) were named runners up for an award at the Association for Clinical Data Management Awards, after coming up with an inventive way of ​ reporting trial data that is simpler and more accurate than what was used before.

By using a new, automated Central Monitoring system that can automatically check and highlight any errors – no matter how small – that might have been made when reporting data from trials, the team have been able to ensure results are recorded even more accurately.

The UHDB team have created a Microsoft Power BI dashboard that is able to conclusively make these checks, whereas before, the process was much more complex and required multiple colleagues to manually input data into reports – leaving more room for potential human error. 

Based at Royal Derby Hospital, the DCTSU is likely to be the first clinical trials unit anywhere in the country ​demonstrating this unique approach, with this achievement being recognised in the Innovation in the Management of Clinical Data Award category, which was won by AstraZeneca and fellow pharmaceutical giants PHASTAR.

Dr Victoria Chester, Senior Clinical Trials Data Manager at the DCTSU, said: “We’re still a very small clinical trials unit, so we’re extremely proud to have been mentioned alongside all of the industry giants that we were competing with. The fact that our system is automated is time efficient and helps us to ​ensure high-quality results and make more of a difference by taking out the human error aspect and letting the machine do all of the work to tell us what the problems are.”

The DCTSU was first set up in 2008 and is currently in the process of applying for full UK Clinical Research Collaboration (UK CRC) accreditation – having obtained provisional registration already.  Since the unit has been established, DCTSU has successfully delivered NIHR (the National Institute of Health Research) supported trials to the value of more than £15 million. 

Having UK CRC accreditation will allow the unit to run more clinical trials at Royal Derby Hospital, so it is hoped that receiving national acclaim at the Association for Clinical Data Management Awards will help the DCTSU achieve this accolade sooner.             

Dr Chester added: “The successes of this new system will create more trust for our unit and will ultimately help build our reputation further. If we get full UK CRC accreditation, we will be able to run more clinical trials from here – ultimately improving patient care, so we’re very excited at this possibility. This is what we’ve been working towards as a department for a very long time.  

“We’re a small team but we do absolutely the best that we can with the limited resources we have, which is reflective of how dynamic and inventive we are as a department. We’re extremely proud to be going in the direction that we’re going and to say that we’re now among those leading the way for innovations in clinical trials.”