Nurse Awards

Using clinical trials to improve patient outcomes

A team of nurses that ensures patients with cancer in Northern Ireland have access to clinical trials has been shortlisted for the Excellence in Cancer Research category of the RCNi Nurse Awards 2016.

Eileen DillonNorthern Ireland Cancer Trials Network team. Picture credit: Harrison Photography

The award, sponsored by Cancer Research UK, recognises and rewards the vital role that clinical research nurses play in helping to discover new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer and improve patient outcomes.

The NI Cancer Trials Network in Northern Ireland manages a portfolio of 50-60 trials at a time. A 25-strong network of clinical research nurses (CRN) has been improving the care and experience of patients receiving new and developing treatment strategies throughout their trial journey, from consent to treatment and afterwards.

Each nurse is the primary or associate CRN for a designated, and continuously developing, portfolio of studies in a specific cancer area, acting as their trust’s study site co-ordinator and promoter, and liaising with study investigators, research and clinical teams, and appropriate support services. The CRN supports the preparation and training of nurses required for the study to begin.

The CRN also co-ordinates the care of a caseload of patients during consent, screening and participation in trials.

A total of 9,040 participants have been recruited into a total of 201 regional cancer clinical research studies, and more than 1,000 patients remain on study follow-up. Patient feedback has been positive.

Eileen DillonEileen Dillon. Picture credit: Harrison Photography

Lead clinical research nurse Eileen Dillon, who works for Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, says: ‘As a team we are delighted to have been shortlisted for the Excellence in Cancer Research Award.

‘We are working towards improving our cancer patients’ outcomes in Northern Ireland and this is why our work is so important. Thank you to everyone who has taken part in cancer clinical research – we couldn’t do this without you.’

Lisa Berry, editor of Cancer Nursing Practice, was on the shortlisting panel. She says: ‘The RCNi Nurse Awards 2016 are a wonderful way to recognise those who innovate in their practice to make a real difference to patient care.

‘The standard of entries received for the Excellence in Cancer Research category was exceptionally high. All the finalists showcase the best of nursing practice in this specialty and demonstrate the impact they are having on people’s lives.’

About the sponsor

Cancer Research UKCancer Research UK

Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading charity dedicated to beating cancer through research. It is committed to improving the lives of those affected by cancer and discovering kinder, more effective treatments for patients. Cancer Research UK supports more than 250 clinical trials across the UK, helping to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured. Joining a clinical trial may have benefits for patients, as well as helping new treatments become available. Its unique clinical trials database lists all trials around the UK supported by Cancer Research UK and others. Searchable by trial name, cancer type or location, the database includes details of trials recruiting patients, as well as results from earlier trials. Written specifically for patients, it provides reliable, easy to understand information and is updated daily. Visit the clinical trials database at CRUK.org/trials.