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Judging at the Nursing Times Awards 2018

Christine Catley on judging this year’s Nursing Times Awards

‘This time last year, our research team were proud to have won the Nursing Times’ Clinical Research Team of 2017, a prestigious national award sponsored by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR).  

‘The award has meant so much to us. It has seriously raised the national research profile of MEHT, brought new research offers from commercial research sponsors and has been a special experience to share with our patients.  

‘This year, I was lucky enough to be nominated to be part of the NIHR’s judging panel by my Lead Nurse and R&D Director, Tracey Camburn.

‘There were fifty national and international entries to the Nursing Times Awards’ clinical research category. The judging process started in May and being part of the NIHR judging panel meant many hours on my laptop after work and at weekends, carefully shortlisting every application against a strict criteria.  

‘When each of the eight judges had completed this process, the shortlist consisted of ten Trusts, made up of excellent entries from research teams and individual research nurses. Each applicant was then given instructions to prepare a ten-minute pitch to present on judging day which would be followed by fifteen minutes of questions from the judges. This Dragon’s Den-style interview was the format we had experienced the previous year, so I was well aware of the extra-curricular hours of practice and preparation required by a team to achieve success. 

‘All interviews took place over one day at Nursing Times’ London HQ in September. It was great for me to experience the awards process from both sides and to finally meet all the shortlisted teams whose applications I already knew so well.  

‘Nursing Times required us to write a summary of each presentation and choose our winner by the end of that day.  As one of the previous finalists, our team remembers only too well the anxious wait from judging day to the awards night!  

‘Tracey and I headed to London on 31 October to spend the day with the finalists ahead of the ceremony that evening. This daytime event was led by Dr Susan Hamer, director of nursing, learning and organisational development at the NIHR and was a chance for all the finalists to share their work. Tracey and I presented our unforgettable experience of being finalists and talked about MEHT’s year as award winners. We described how much the award means to our team as individuals and collectively. That evening, we were honoured to attend the awards night as guests of the NIHR to see the 2018 trophy presented by Dr Louise Wood, director of science, research and evidence at the Department of Health and Social Care.  

‘The new Nursing Times clinical research nurse of the year was Sharon Simpson RMN from Solent NHS Trust. A worthy winner, Sharon is a passionate and enthusiastic lead research nurse who takes dementia research opportunities out to local nursing homes for the benefit of residents and their families. She was nominated by her R&D director, Sarah Williams, and all the judges thought Sharon to be an inspirational nurse. She will be visiting our research team at MEHT soon and we are really looking forward to meeting her and hearing more about her innovative work in dementia research.’

Clinical Trials Day_Cake Sale 2018

Clinical Trials Day

Every year on May 20, hospitals and universities around the world celebrate International Clinical Trials Day. This marks the anniversary of the first clinical trial by James Lind in 1747 into the causes of scurvy on board the HMS Salisbury. This year, the Broomfield research team celebrated the occasion with a three day event in the main atrium, highlighting the numerous research activities and achievements by the many members of staff across Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust.

This event showcased major milestones in MEHT since it’s official opening in 1992; milestones which could never have been achieved without the generous contribution of patients volunteering their time to take part in local, national and global research trials in the past. Thanks to such volunteers providing crucial evidence to research questions, we all now benefit from countless national initiatives, for example the breast screening service and the use of alcohol hand gel to reduce MRSA and clostridium difficile rates of infection, to name but two.

The team had lots of educational games for staff and the public to play, including a research version of ‘Play your Cards Right’, ‘Operation’ and a ‘Chocolate Buttons Trial’, as well as a display demonstrating the journey of a research blood sample. They also held one of their famous bake sales, raising £282.42 for ‘Our Charity’. Thank you to all who generously contributed to this successful charity collection in aid of the MEHT surgical robot appeal.

As the current Nursing Times Clinical Research Nurses of 2017, the Broomfield team were privileged to have Dr Susan Hamer and local members of the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network (CRN) share one day of Clinical Trials Week at MEHT. Susan is the Director of Nursing, Learning and Organisational Development at the NIHR and also chief Nursing Times awards judge for the research category. This visit enabled Susan to meet the extended team, chat with clinicians and hear directly from research patients within our winning trust.

Later in the day, Susan met with Dr Elamin to officially open the new research laboratories which are housed in the Microbiology department. We’re very fortunate at Broomfield to be able to process all our research laboratory samples in house. We’re hopeful that the opening of the research laboratory will encourage more doctors to work with the research and laboratory team to develop local research projects and continually elevate the status of our trust.

The team received great feedback from Susan and the NIHR and would like to thank all colleagues who supported her visit and spent time with them across the three days of Clinical Trials Week.

Chairman’s Award

Research and Development Team

The MEHT research team has had an exceptional year. Not only has the team won the Nursing Times award for ‘Clinical Research’ and been finalists for ‘team of the year’, they were also finalists for innovation with the British Journal of Nursing. More recently, they have expanded the research team into primary care to enhance research across the whole of MSB. The R&D service has developed within a very short time span and now covers many specialities within the trust. We are really proud of you.

Individual award Nominated by Patients

Gopalakrishnan Srinivasan, Consultant Oncologist

This nomination was made on behalf of the nominator’s father, who is currently under Dr Srinivasan's care for terminal prostate cancer. They said he has been exemplary and has made this extremely difficult time for their dad that much easier and for their mum, brother and families. Nothing is too much trouble, and he always spends the time he needs with his patients. He shows amazing compassion, is a credit to the NHS and to Broomfield Hospital. The nominator is a nurse and said that from a professional perspective he is amazing, and from a daughter’s perspective he has been an angel to their dad.  -  Presented by Karen Hunter, Non-Executive Director

Broomfield Hospital scoops first global recruit into gastroparesis medical device study.

On the 25 th  April 2018, Mr Sri Kadirkamanathan (Consultant Surgeon, Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust) successfully recruited the first global participant into the Medtronic sponsored gastroparesis study entitled the Product Surveillance Registry (PSR) for ‘Gastric Electrical Stimulation” (GES).

Gastroparesis is a stomach disorder in which food is digested more slowly than normal. In a healthy digestive system, strong muscular contractions move food from the stomach through the digestive tract. With gastroparesis, however, the stomach muscles work poorly (or not at all), thus preventing the stomach from emptying properly. For some people, this condition results in debilitating nausea and vomiting that cannot be adequately controlled with standard medications.  This study is looking at the long-term safety and performance of Medtronic’s implantable gastric neuro-stimulator (Enterra™) which alleviates symptoms of gastroparesis. We are proud to say that under Mr Kadirkamanathan, Broomfield Hospital is a leading European centre for conducting this procedure, which has proven to be transformative to the lives of people with the condition. 

The secret of the recruitment success at Broomfield Hospital has been due to the close working relationship between Medtronic, the study team and the hospital’s R&D department; with assistance from the North Thames Clinical Research Network. The study was opened locally within 8 days with the first participant recruited just 27 days later.  


Research Team reach the finals of the British Journal of Nursing Awards

The Research Team at MEHT are delighted to have reached the finals of the British Journal of Nursing Awards.

They have been nominated for the ‘innovation’ category, in recognition of initiatives within the research team and development of a growing research culture within our Trust.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony on Friday, March 9, at Shakespeare’s Underglobe, London.

Tracey Camburn, Lead Research Nurse and Co-Director of R&D said: “We are thrilled and proud to be shortlisted for this prestigious award.  The research team has grown and developed within both Mid Essex and primary care and this nomination is clear recognition of our achievements.”

Nursing Times Awards

Research and Development Team win prestigious Nursing Times award

Many congratulations to the Research and Development Team on winning a prestigious accolade at the Nursing Times awards.

The team were presented with the ‘Clinical Research Nursing’ award, sponsored by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), at a ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London, last night (Thursday, November 2).

Having been announced as finalists for two categories – ‘Clinical Research Nursing’ and ‘Team of the Year’ - in July, they then had to closely follow a strict brief and prepare two detailed presentations for the judging panels. Five members of the research team were selected to face the judges, undergo intensive interviews and deliver the presentations. 

The department were shortlisted for their innovation of merging the oncology research, generic research and R&D teams, who had always previously worked in complete isolation from each other. By combining their skills and continually adapting, the research team now has a strong identity, shared goals and is actively changing the research culture within the trust. 

The judges were particularly impressed by the number of patients who are now offered research opportunities at MEHT and the excellent standard of nursing care delivered. Since becoming an integrated department, the number of patients entering national studies at Broomfield Hospital has increased by over 200% and we are now the highest recruiting district general hospital in the East of England.

Lauren Perkins, research and development innovation manager, said: “It is my absolute pleasure to announce that we won the ‘Clinical Research Nursing’ award.

“I’m beaming with pride this morning and I’m so proud of the hard work that the team do day in, day out."

Lyn Hinton, director of nursing, said: “Well done to our Research and Development Team for this outstanding achievement. It is wonderful to see them recognised on a national platform and is cause for celebration across the trust.”

christine catley

“I fell in love with working in research”

Christine Catley is no ordinary nurse.  After 12 years working in the insurance industry, she grasped the opportunity to train for the career she now loves. 

The Comms team from CRN North Thames visited Christine during a working day, at the Helen Rollason Research Centre and asked her all about her journey and love of clinical research.

Christine’s journey

Having studied for a nursing degree, Christine qualified in the year 2000 and began working in the renal unit whilst raising her family. Her chance came when one of the many respected researchers at Broomfield wanted to conduct a polycystic kidney disease study. With no research-experienced renal nurse to hand, Christine was offered training to broaden her role and she enthusiastically rose to the challenge. Within the Broomfield Hospital grounds in Chelmsford, the team at the Helen Rollason Research Centre were so supportive, the study made Christine fall in love with working in research.  

Initially fulfilling a research role for one day a week, Christine is now a dedicated full time Research Nurse, working as part of Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust’s (MEHT) team at Broomfield Hospital.   

Research at MEHT

Since starting in her research role, Christine and the Clinical Trials Unit (CTU) have grown from strength to strength. The unit were the top UK recruiters in the polycystic study and last year Mid Essex were the highest recruiting non-teaching hospital for the specialty in North Thames. Christine has helped teach other nurses about research and get them involved in studies across the hospital. There is now a second renal research nurse and others working in different specialties. 

The research nurses work closely together, assisting each other with practical support as well as pooling knowledge and experience. Christine thrives in the busy department and is inspired by those she works with. She tells us:

“Our renal doctors are very enthusiastic about research, and our nursing colleagues in the renal unit are very supportive of research too.”

The research nurse’s role

Christine is passionate and enthusiastic about her position and is frequently an advocate for the research nurses’ role. She reveals some interesting facts behind the growing profession:

“Research nursing is now one of the fastest
emerging specialisms, and nurses are the largest body of professionals
carrying out clinical research in the NHS"

“Research nursing is a great extension to the skill set of the renal multi-disciplinary team and it’s important that nurses can offer research to patients. The role is ideal for those wanting to extend their education and through it we’re able to actively contribute to knowledge of conditions and bring about positive change.   

“It’s a real privilege working so closely with individual patients and we receive great feedback. Many patients and their families tell us how much they enjoy coming here to the CTU”.

Support from the NIHR

“Through the NIHR CRNs the Department of Health is placing more than £300 million a year into funding research staff and paying for the use of NHS equipment and facilities. CRN North Thames coordinate and support the delivery of our research and give us practical help in things like advice on studies in the pipeline and facilitating regular teleconferences with other hospitals undertaking renal studies”. 

Patients are key

Patients seem keen to participate at MEHT, but what would you say to others who are considering taking part in clinical research?

“Just to take your time to make sure you are comfortable with the requirements of the study; discuss it with your family, friends and any healthcare professionals. Research is completely voluntary and the patients’ needs and safety are always put first so we make sure that it’s always right for them”.

Christine has participated in two studies herself and gained personal experience:

“I know I felt content that I helped improve the knowledge surrounding diseases which will hopefully improve care for patients in the future. Without volunteers, there would be no innovative treatments, devices or new techniques to improve care or quality of life.”

“One of my patients spoke to me recently after taking part in a two-year study” Christine tells us.  “He told me”:

“I would say to anybody
who is asked to enter this kind of research,
       seize it with both hands. It is a wonderful opportunity”.    

    Article courtesy of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)
Nursing Times Awards 2017 logo

Shortlisting Success for the Nursing Times Awards 2017

We are so proud to announce that Mid Essex Hospital NHS Trust have been shortlisted for our Clinical Research Nursing and Team of the Year in the Nursing Times Award 2017, which represents true excellence in nursing and patient care.

The winners are set to be announced at the prestigious ceremony (sponsored by the National Institute for Health Research) on 2 November 2017 at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London. Good luck team!

Tea for Helen 2017
Tea for Helen 2_2017

Tea for Helen

The Research Team raised £891.84 in the latest charity fundraiser, Tea for Helen.


Interview Success!

The NIHR CRN interviewed one of our research nurses to find out what it’s really like to work on the frontline of research. 

Please follow the link to find out more about how research makes all the difference https://www.nihr.ac.uk/news/research-makes-all-the-difference/6461 

International Clinical Trials Day 2017

International Clinical Trials Day  

The Trust celebrated International Clinical Trials Day on Friday 19th May with an information stand in the atrium with food, patient representatives and reps from ARU & CRN.

Thank you to everyone who participated and helped on the day, it was a great success! 

R&D Burns Team_OSCA winers 2017
St. Andrews Burns and Plastics Research and Development Team
Gracy Kumar, Renal Nurse
Gracy Kumar, Renal Nurse

Mid Essex Staff OSCA's 2017 Winners Revealed 

Well done to the winners of this years Mid Essex Hospitals' Services OSCA Staff Awards.This year a new award was introduced for Research and Innovation, which was kindly sponsored by Health Enterprise East (HEE). Two awards were up for grabs, one for an individual and the other for a team, the winners are as follows:

  • Gracy Kumar, Renal Nurse
  • St. Andrews Burns & Plastics, Research & Development Team.

Well done to everyone who were nominated for this award - you are all winners! 

SNAP 2 National Survey

SNAP-2 National Study Success 

Mid Essex Hospital NHS Trust R&D Team were the highest recruiter for the SNAP-2 National Study.

We would like to say a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who participated in the study and look forward to more studies like this in the future. 

If you would like to follow the SNAP-2 progress, please see here for the dedicated twitter feed.