New Health Research Authority (HRA) Framework on Health and Social Care Research

The HRA has issued a framework for health and social care research. It is the researchers definitive reference to doing high quality research.  Significantly, from a public involvement perspective Principle 4 reads: 

'Principle 4: Patient, Service User and Public Involvement: Patients, service users and the public are involved in the design, management, conduct and dissemination of research, unless otherwise justified.' 

Click here to read the document in full.  You can also see a video summary by clicking on the picture to the left of this text.

Training and Education Programme 

The CRF has facilitated a training and education programme since opening in 2006 and this has been revised through the collaboration with the Research Workforce Learning and Development Group (RWLDG) which has representation from the Clinical Research Office, Clinical Research Network (Y&H) and the CRF nurse management and admin team. This group  provides a forum for a joint initiative to deliver a revised CRF Education and Development Programme which now provides workshop style education sessions as a rolling programme to identify and deliver current and relevant research topics for the Trust wide research delivery staff and our research partners. Click here for more details of previous events.
The CRF has a training and education lead to coordinate and collaborate at local, regional and national level and ensure the strategic direction for the development and training of research delivery staff will create a workforce fit for practice.
To see upcoming training events please see our calendar on the events page and look for the 'staff training events...' here

Introduction of the Clinical Trials Assistant to the CRF

The CRF has recently introduced the role of the clinical trials assistant to the CRF team. The role provides an opportunity to bridge the gap between an administrative role and a clinical role in research. The CTA’s work as part of a nursing team; they lead on studies appropriate to their skill set. The development of the CTA role has been supported by the creation of a CTA competency framework developed by a collaborative working group including the CRF nursing team, the STH research matron and the lead nurse for the Cancer Clinical Trials Unit.  The 4 week induction period has both generic elements around research knowledge but also allows for variation in the background of the individual CTA’s as some are coming from a non-clinical background. The focus has been on developing knowledge and skills in a clinical environment supported by in house training including patient observations and informed consent.  As this is a new role the CTA group meets at three month intervals to review the use of the competency framework and also acts as an informal support network for the team of CTA’s. The CRF continues to look at the development of this role within our infrastructure as we continue to grow as a unit.

A Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)

Improving Healthcare through Clinical Research - a free online 
course provided by the University of Leeds via Future Learn which will be running from 6th June 2016 to coincide with NIHR at 10 and International trials day.

The course is for anyone who wants to know more about modern healthcare and the role of clinical research and discovery within it. 
To see a flyer on the event click here or if you would like to find out more you can visit the Future Learn website here

Clinical skills for research delivery staff

One of the challenges for individual research nurses is to both develop and maintain clinical skills as they work on a variety of studies requiring differing skills. The Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust clinical skills team define the training required and the boundaries for maintaining individual clinical skills. The CRF training and education lead works closely with the clinical skills team to address the challenges for research nurses.

The CRF hosts a clinical skills open day for all research delivery staff across STH, CRN Y&H and our research partners.  Activities available are venepuncture, administration of intravenous drugs, pump training, glucose monitoring, hand washing, centrifuge operating, spirometry and ECG recording.

The open day provides staff with an opportunity not only to refresh their skills but also allows us to identify any individual training needs which we are able to either support at a later date or signpost to the correct training provider. It also provides networking opportunities for directorate research nurses and creates a forum to share experiences in maintaining clinical skills. 

Spoke placement for Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) student nurses 

The Clinical Research Facility became a spoke placement in January 2014 in collaboration with the Comprehensive Research network Yorkshire and Humber. The objective for the placement centres on the students gaining an understanding of how the research process works in terms of being an integral part of clinical care in all healthcare settings and across all disease areas. By providing a varied placement across both CRF sites, the district general hospitals with the CRN Y&H teams and our research partners in the cancer clinical trials team we can demonstrate both the role of the research nurse and how we collaborate with our colleagues in all clinical areas to deliver research protocols and provide all patients with an opportunity to take part in research. 

To take a look at the student handbook please click here.

Work experience and shadowing opportunities

The CRF has hosted a number of different work shadowing and work experience opportunities, this includes supporting an internship for respiratory medicine and Year 10 and Year 12 work experience in the CRF. We also offer work experience with our admin team which includes the project management team and the data coordinator team.

If you are interested in coming for some work experience or shadowing please contact or telephone 0114 2713339.

Sharing our facilities with our research partners

In 2015 the University of Sheffield filmed in the CRF a trailer for an open online course which is free for anyone to take. The content is put together entirely by University of Sheffield Academics from the School of Health and related research.

The course teaches you about the 'Health Technology Assessment' providing an overview of the process. A part of the HTA process often involves researching a new drug or health treatment and undertaking clinical trials. So being at the CRF takes the learners into context at a location where HTA is undertaken and showcases the facilities available at Sheffield, to prospective students etc.

To view the course details click here