The future of our research

We are at a very exciting point in the development of clinical research here in Birmingham and the Clinical Research Facility (CRF) here at Birmingham Children’s Hospital is at the centre of lots of developments and initiatives. These will play a key role in providing the infrastructure and capacity to ensure that ‘translatable’ findings from our research scientists become ‘translational’ to improved patient care.

Birmingham Health Partners

In 2012/13 we helped to form Birmingham Health Partners (BHP) which, like the Birmingham CRF, is a collaboration between University Hospital Birmingham, Birmingham Children’s Hospital and the University of Birmingham, creating an overarching research management structure.

Under the umbrella of the BHP, the innovative Institute of Translational Medicine (ITM) is due to open in 2015. This is a unique facility which has attracted national funding and will be key to the strategic development of the Birmingham life sciences agenda - with the specific remit to foster links with small and medium sized enterprises and the pharmaceutical industry.

NIHR Rare Diseases Translational Research Collaborative

In autumn 2012, Professor Dame Sally Davies, created a new NIHR Rare Diseases Translational Research Collaborative (RD-TRC).  The RD-TRC will provide world-class NHS research infrastructure to support fundamental discoveries and translational research on rare diseases. Programme Director of the Birmingham Paediatric CRF, Professor Tim Barrett, is the national lead for the paediatric cross-cutting theme and Birmingham will lead the research into Type 2 diabetes in children. 

Putting patients at the heart of research

research wallA key remit of the CRF is to ensure that patients are at the heart of the research we deliver. On both sites, there is now a member of staff with a specific remit of overseeing the Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) and Patient and Public Engagement (PPE) strategy and this progress is reported back to the six-weekly management meeting.

It's OK to Ask

The NIHR “It’s OK to Ask” campaign is being rolled out across both Birmingham Children’s Hospital and the University Hospitals Birmingham. At BCH, the Research Wall is an initiative developed by the West Midlands Medicines for Children Research Network (WM-MCRN). With eye-catching artwork - designed by the Young Person’s Advisory Group - and occupying a prominent location in the hospital corridor, the wall will help to raise the It's ok to ask about clinical trialsprofile of research within the hospital. Research participants visiting the CRF will be supported by the play therapist to create artwork depicting what it’s like to take part in research studies.

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