We are delighted to announce that, on behalf of WMTRAIN, Charlotte Small has been awarded the NIHR/RCOA trainee award – the funds from which will be used to develop our contribution to NIHR CRN portfolio studies. We’ll be announcing details of our new initiatives soon!




Clinical Research Network West Midlands awards 2017

WMTRAIN were delighted to receive the highly commended award for Team of the Year at the 2017 Clinical Research Network West Midlandsawards. The committee would like to thank all our members for your hard work and support the year!crn


How does the individual/team fit the criteria for this award? 

The West Midlands Trainee Research in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Network (WMTRAIN) was established in early 2013 by senior anaesthetic trainees, Drs Charlotte Small, Joyce Yeung and Jaimin Patel (co-chairs), supported by a committee of specialty trainees and Academic Consultants from across the Birmingham, Warwick and Stoke Schools of Anaesthesia. The founding ambitions of this Trainee Research Network (TRN) were to generate culture-change within anaesthesia; facilitating high quality, trainee-led research whilst allowing for training programme migration around the region. In the last 12 months WMTRAIN have:

1. Been awarded second prize in the Research and Audit Federation of Trainees Annual Project Development Meeting, securing national support for their study “Management of regional anaesthesia-induced hypotension during elective caesarean section.”

2. Been actively involved in a number of NIHR portfolio studies in perioperative and pain research, such as the band 3 studies: BALANCED, PRISM, TOPIC, FLO-ELA and AMPSIM and the band 2 studies: IHyPE (16 acute trusts across the West Midlands), Patients Reported Experience Measures after Hip Surgery, PQIP and SNAP2-EpiCCS. Most recently, WMTRAIN allocated anaesthetic trainees in a total of 19 acute NHS hospitals in the West Midlands to perform data collection and follow-up of the EpiCCS study. Their effort within the CRN WM, with Consultants’ support, resulted in our CRN achieving the leading recruitment network with 3,207 surgical patients recruited over two weeks, which represented 10.5% of the total 30,601 recruited UK patients. The WMTRAIN committee provided direct support to PIs and local investigators throughout the trial process, facilitating local approvals and encouraging trainee involvement in all trusts.

3. Provided resources to aid research training and opportunities via the WMTRAIN Sandpit event; educating trainees on research funding, trial methodology and governance, as well as via their website, project management site, social media, peer support and mentoring.

Network values, themes or priorities addressed

WMTRAIN is one of the most active and successful trainee research networks in the UK. They have been exemplars to all specialties in the West Midlands in their strategy to encourage trainees to participate in NHS clinical research, in particular to deliver NIHR portfolio studies. The NIHR measures five metrics for the success of CRNs in delivering clinical research, and WMTRAIN have made significant contributions to the success in delivery of NIHR portfolio studies in the Anaesthesia, Perioperative and Pain specialty group (APMPM) in 2017, compared with 2016 financial year:

• High Level Objective 1: There was a 7.8-fold increase in number of participants recruited into portfolio studies (4021 vs 519) and the highest recruitment out of 15 CRN in the UK.

• Activity Based Funding (ABF) unit: The boosted recruitment has resulted in 5.6-foldincrease in ABF unit (3.9% vs 0.7%);

• High Level Objective 5: We reached 100% NHS Acute Trusts (19/19) performing research from 32% (6/19) in 2016.

• WMTRAIN’s Academic trainees have provided support to more inexperienced Consultant PIs, reducing time required to secure local approval and finalise trial set up.

Benefits to the NHS 

Anaesthesia has traditionally been a specialty where few trainees, or Consultants, participated in research. WMTRAIN has provided resources and incentive to allow a cultural change across the West Midlands, not only in teaching hospitals, with membership  numbers now approaching 200. During EpiCCS, over 50 trainees completed GCP training and assisted with data collection and follow up, supporting the local CRN nurses and Consultant PIs. During trial recruitment WMTRAIN established support networks across the region, via closed social media groups, communicating with the study Chief Investigator and other anaesthetic TRNs across the UK, facilitating trouble-shooting and rapidly identifying and managing trial-related issues within the region. Trainees have reported the beneficial influence of their involvement in research on their clinical training and practice, via enhanced knowledge and understanding of research methods. A number of the founding committee are now Consultants and have acted as PIs for NIHR portfolio studies, supporting and inspiring the next generation of trainees. The WMTRAIN chairs have not only supported the establishment of both anaesthetic and other specialty TRNs across the UK, but also given advice on trainee engagement in research to a number of educational bodies, such as the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine.

Benefits to patients 

A few years ago, anaesthetic research was almost exclusively undertaken in teaching hospitals by academic clinicians. The engagement of WMTRAIN members across all trustsin the West Midlands has ensured that patients can expect to receive the potential benefits of participation in anaesthetic research, regardless of the hospital within which they are treated.

WMTRAIN has been supported by the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Critical Care and Trauma Patient and Public Involvement group, who have collaborated on protocol design and patient information documents, ensuring their research is relevant, appropriate and clearly understood by all participants. WMTRAIN has developed a number of working groups across specialties with studies delivered, and in set up, across obstetrics and general surgery, and across all domains of anaesthesia, from Intensive Care to Pain Medicine. As well as providing great opportunities for research and innovation with patient benefit, these collaborations can only serve to enhance understanding of care across disciplines, strengthening relations between clinicians, promoting better teamwork and improving patient care.

Ease of scalability 

WMTRAIN has developed frameworks for effective collaboration between members at all stages of trial design and delivery in support of NIHR portfolio studies. Transparent process, declared in their constitution, supported by online communication platforms and periodic educational events, have reduced the traditional restrictions to research delivery imposed by trainees rotating between trusts. In the last year, WMTRAIN has supported the establishment of the national Pain Medicine (PAIN-TRAIN) and Defence Medical Services TRNs, as well as a number of interdisciplinary trainee-led groups, who have replicated many aspects of WMTRAIN’s communication and trial administration systems.

Third party endorsements/supporting comments 

In NIHR ‘Health Futures’ 20 year forward view, training clinical trainees engaging in health research is a major part of NIHR, thus CRN responsibility. The WM TRAIN has instigated the remarkable transformation in anaesthetic and critical care clinical training in modern NHS culture, not only in the successful delivery of clinical research but also in the development of patient-centred clinical research and service improvement programme. Their achievements have been outstanding over the last 12 months as demonstrated above. They have our specialty’s full support for the nomination of the Team of the Year Award, NIHR CRN WM 2017.

Professor Fang Gao,

Perioperative, Anaesthesia and Pain, WM CRN,NIHR Senior Investigator

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