Staff from Oxford Health’s Clinical Research Facility (CRF) spent two engaging days at the CRF Network conference in Nottingham from 6th-7th July 2023. They attended lectures and seminars on topics ranging from quality assurance, to working with industry partners, to patient and public involvement, and much more.
The UK CRF Network consists of 54 CRFs across the UK and Ireland. CRFs are dedicated facilities, where NHS and University staff come together to run patient-oriented specialist early-phrase experimental research. As the only National Institute of Health and Care Research (NIHR) funded mental and cognitive health CRF, staff had a unique opportunity to raise the profile of this important research field.
Simon, a past Oxford Health CRF research participant, presented in a workshop about Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) alongside Debbie Moll (Oxford Health CRF PPI Lead). They presented their experience of involving people with mental health conditions in clinical research.
The team presented 4 posters at the conference. These related to study set up, sustainability, equality diversity and inclusion, and developing research staff skills in administering mental health assessments.
Team member Rebecca Smith was the winner of the Science and Technology poster category, with her poster entitled ‘Setting up mental health clinical trials at an NHS site’.
Rebecca said: “It is fantastic to be recognised for all the hard work that has been carried out in study set up so far. Study set up is a huge team effort and I am grateful to Amanda Colston, CRF Team Lead and Dr Katharine Smith, CRF Clinical Lead for all of their work and guidance throughout. A huge thank you also to the wider CRF and R&D team. We have more work to do but it is an exciting time for the Oxford Health CRF. We are very small compared to other CRFs and the only UK facility to focus solely on mental health research and I feel proud that the entire UK CRF network recognised and voted for us.”