The first Colorectal Research and Trial Engagement (CReaTE) roadshow was held on Wednesday 19th March in Warrington. CReaTE will build upon the extremely popular DELPHI programme, which has successfully facilitated development of new clinical research in colorectal surgery. CReaTE will now help surgical teams to deliver this surgical research in their own hospitals.
CReaTE roadshows are a joint venture supported by the ACPGBI Research Committee and Chapter Leads, the RCS Surgical Trials Initiative and key stakeholders including NIHR clinical networks, charity organisations including BDRF and industry. The roadshows aim to promote current research studies throughout UK and Ireland by helping to break down barriers to participation in surgical research.
This first roadshow set out to promote colorectal research engagement in the Northwest/Mersey Chapters by bringing together the NIHR networks (Northwest Coast and Greater Manchester), their local sub-speciality leads (Dale Vimalachandran and Sarah Duff); local research nurses, surgical trainees and PI’s along with representatives from the RCS Surgical Trials Initiative including staff from the Northwest Surgical Trials Centre and Simon Bach the RCS subspecialty lead in colorectal surgery.
The day was strongly supported by the ACPGBI with the President, Professor Jim Hill and President in waiting Miss Nicola Fearnhead both in attendance and participating in a number of the sessions. The Research and Audit Committee chair (Austin Acheson) and members (Jared Torkington, Doug Speake, Faheez Mohammed, Gabrielle Thorpe, Matt Lee, Peter Vaughan-Shaw) all made the trip to Warrington to lend their enthusiasm and support to the day. A number of patients (Azmina Verjee and Sue Blackwell) also attended providing at times compelling and critical insights as to why such trials are so important.
Azmina commented “I was absolutely determined to ensure that all the healthcare professionals in that room knew how important colorectal clinical research is.– I really want to help ensure that in future nobody will have to go through all the kinds of pain and suffering I went through as a teenager and young adult”.
Mr Peter Rowbottom, CEO of BDRF who also attended and found the event extremely insightful commented “A remarkable day spent in the company of the finest minds working in research into bowel disease. I was really impressed with the level of interaction and debate around key issues in colorectal research. The future for research is looking very promising indeed. A natural progression from the fireworks in Bournemouth, these CReaTE roadshows are definitely not to be missed”.
The format of the day was very much informal with the focus on audience interaction and participation. Each session was led by enthusiastic local surgical teams and/or ACPGBI Research Committee members and ran as a natural evolution from the research unplugged session through to the research under the spotlight and question time sessions. Simon Bach and James Glasbey ran a mini version of the highly successful BDRF sponsored GRANULE programme that provided practical advice for recruiters who face the task of discussing randomised studies with patients.
The day was a great success with over 110 delegates attending and feedback has been very positive, with most delegates commending the informal and interactive style of the sessions. The roadshow will continue to move throughout the country with the next show in Edinburgh on Thursday 7 June.