National cancer research commendation for surgery team

06 November 2018

The general surgery research team at QEHB have once again been recognised for their outstanding work, this time by the NIHR Cancer Research Excellence in Surgical Trials (CREST) awards which took place this week.

The awards were created by the NIHR Clinical Research Network and the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) to recognise surgical teams who have made the greatest contribution in recruitment to the NIHR cancer trials portfolio.

The awards are aimed at surgeons or teams who have made the greatest contribution in recruitment to the NIHR cancer trials portfolio in the year leading up to October 2018.

Award judge, Professor Richard Shaw, NIHR Clinical Research Network National Specialty Lead for Surgical Oncology, let the team know how they had done in a letter inviting a representative to the award ceremony. He said:  “Your nomination was felt to be very strong indeed and made the final shortlist. As such we would like to recognise your huge effort with a certificate of commendation on this occasion. Although not winning on this occasion, your team is a great example of how surgeons can work as part of a multidisciplinary trials group to the benefit of cancer patients, and should be congratulated.”

Neil Smart, Consultant Colorectal Surgeon and Honorary Associate Professor at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust was responsible for nominating the team for the prestigious award. In his nomination he said: “The general surgery research team at UHB works very closely with the cancer research team to set-up and deliver surgery-led cancer research trials. The team deliver an exciting and world-class portfolio of trials and research through the multi-disciplinary approach they take involving oncologists, surgeons and specialists in the areas of colorectal surgery, intensive care, physiotherapy, radiography, upper gastrointestinal surgery, liver surgery, pathology, pharmacy and nursing.  There is a real multi-disciplinary approach to the research and one which is growing and gaining fantastic momentum.”

The general surgery team is a relatively new research team that has grown over the last 12-18 months. In the past general surgery research had been delivered through surgeons and trainees, supported by clinical research nurses for some trials. However, under the leadership of research lead and recent Clinical Research Network award winner, Thomas Pinkney, the team has leveraged funding from NIHR for several research trials and projects. As a result it is rapidly expanding to include surgeons, trainee surgeons, a trials manager, four research nurses, a trial administrator, a project manager and more recently  a new CRN-funded nurse/clinical educator, whose role is to facilitate trainees’ engagement in portfolio clinical research across the West Midlands.