Menu Close

RDF19 Poster Details

RDF19 Poster Detail

Poster Title 
Cushion of care: Research infrastructure at a major London HIV centre


To highlight how a well-integrated research team can deliver all-encompassing care.


The HIV pandemic of the 1980’s/90’s saw the emergence of a new disease with significant implications including high mortality and stigma. By 2008, worldwide mortality had reached 25 million cases(Kallings, 2008). Within a large acute trust, a dedicated clinic was started to treat patients. The need for research was high due to limited treatment options and so became the forefront of clinical care led by dedicated staff focused on supporting patient treatment within clinical trials. This prompted the development of a dedicated research team. Its uniqueness is the development of a model that incorporates integrated clinical and research staff that remain patient focused, ensuring world class care and access to innovative treatments.

The geographical location of the research team, with the department strongly embedded into the service, is paramount for patient benefit. The strong physical presence of the research team is manifest in the ease of clinician referrals for studies. Awareness of research is increased among non-research staff, who historically are reported as a barrier to research(Woodward et al., 2007). This awareness is maintained through continuous education, joint training and study updates, with all staff undertaking GCP training. In addition, all new patients are introduced to research on their initial clinic visit, many of whom will become trial participants.

This unique model has enabled the team to play a pivotal role in ground-breaking studies which are now embedded into standard treatment guidelines. For example the START(Strategic Timing of Antiretroviral Treatment) study for which we were the highest recruiter across Europe recruiting 100% more than many other sites.


Adopting these practices has helped increase research awareness, portfolio size and patient recruitment as well as develop an integrated clinical and research service which is appreciated by all.

  • NGWU, Nnenna (Clinical Trial Practitioner: Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust)
  • EDWARDS, Jonathan (Clinical Research Nurse: Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust)
  • FERNANDEZ, Thomas (Nurse Practitioner: Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust)
  • HEMAT, Nargis (Portfolio Manager: Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust)
Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust