Here are 10 ideas on how to make clinical trials easier to do in primary care in the UK. (some of these are based on some mentioned in an interview my research nurse heard on the radio with one of the Oxford Prof’s who worked on the covid vaccine – apologies don’t have link) but we have expanded the list.
1. keep the protocol as simple as possible and only do things that are routinely done in primary care. (while I’m lucky enough to have 2 massively experienced research nurses not every practice has)
2. base the inclusion / exclusion criteria on data/codes routinely kept/measured in primary care
3. provide tools to help find and manage recruitment
4. base numbers and power calcs on real numbers from real results from searches based on the above already collected codes and values already measured
5. only measure things that are routinely measured in primary care so routine primary care staff can do the work and routine visits help add to the data
6. stop doing everything fasting as it massively limits when a patient can be seen
7. use local labs as deliveries and pickups from couriers are a nightmare
8. look at how more visits can be done virtually
9. look at how IP can be kept at more than one location as this limits multi practice recruitment or consider IP delivery by post or other source
10. for the right study think about pre approving SMS/social media messages as we use these media a lot.
and finally get GPs involved at an early stage to advise!
Happy to hear any more or discuss the above.