Patients in the Thames Valley will have early access to a range of new treatments thanks to a new clinical trials unit based at the University of Reading.
Over the last two years, approximately 10,000 patients across the Thames Valley have benefitted from taking part in clinical trials, however, these trials are usually led by clinicians and researchers at Oxford, London or other sites in the UK. A recent survey showed that 93% of people living in Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire would be willing to take part in a clinical trial.
The creation of the Thames Valley Clinical Trials Unit (TVCTU) is an exciting new collaboration between the University of Reading, the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust and the Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust established to address this need. It is the only clinical trials unit in the UK that brings together a community and mental health trust with one of the largest general hospital foundation trusts in the country and a leading research-intensive University. The TVCTU will deliver a significant change in clinical research capability within the Thames Valley, raising the profile of health-related research across the region and provide real benefits to patient health and wellbeing.
The official launch of the Centre was marked at the University of Reading with an invited audience of clinicians, research nurses, trial managers, IT/data experts, statisticians and quality assurance professionals.
Emily Moore, Executive Director of the Thames Valley Clinical Trials Unit said: “Clinical trials are absolutely necessary for evaluating important new treatments and they form the basis of evidence-based healthcare. Establishing this clinical trials unit in the Thames Valley region means more patients will have access to therapies at an earlier stage. We welcome opportunities to collaborate with anyone wishing to provide research opportunities for clinicians and patients in our area including primary care, mental health services and acute care.”
Professor Adrian Williams, Research Dean for Health at the University of Reading said: “The TVCTU has grown out of our strong existing collaborations between the University of Reading, the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust and the Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. As a three-way partnership, we have the expertise to support clinical trials across the whole range of patient needs, from community based health care provision through to acute medical, surgical and specialist procedures, underpinned by the highest quality health-related research.”
Steve McManus, Chief Executive at the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our role in education and research is really important to us. Our collaboration with The University of Reading and Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust in developing the Thames Valley Clinical Trials Unit brings together the parties’ respective expertise to plan and deliver clinical research to the very highest standards in order to impact positively on patient care.
“The creation of the TVCTU is central to our research strategy and the collaborative nature of the CTU optimises clinical trial resources across all three organisations and will help us to remain regional leaders in this important arena.”
Minoo Irani, Medical Director,Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said: “Berkshire Healthcare is committed to supporting research which would benefit our patients, and improve the physical and mental health of the wider population. This new facility will offer our clinicians unique support to convert their research ideas into high quality research projects which in turn will lead to better patient outcomes”.
Working closely with the Research Design Service and the Clinical Research Network the TVCTU will ensure studies are conducted to the highest standards generating reliable data to inform patient care.