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Two UHB teams secure awards for their excellence in research

Published on 01/12/2023

Our STANDING Together Team, and Charlotte Ferris and the Heartlands Hospital Cancer Research Team, have both won prestigious awards at the 2023 Clinical Research Network West Midlands Awards, which took place late last year.

The annual awards, now in its eighth year, celebrates and recognises the achievements of those involved in delivering research across the region.

Our STANDING Together Team were announced as winners for the ‘Patient & Public Involvement and Engagement (PPIE) Award’, as a result of their outstanding commitment to involving patients and the public, particularly those from minority populations, in their research design and delivery.

Representatives from UHB’s STANDING Together Team - Winners of the Patient & Public Involvement and Engagement Award
Representatives from UHB’s STANDING Together Team - Winners of the Patient & Public Involvement and Engagement Award

In October 2023, the team, led by researchers at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Birmingham, published a set of recommendations that ensure datasets for training and testing Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems are inclusive and adequately represent the diversity of our populations.

These recommendations are the result of a two-year research study involving over 350 people from 58 countries, including patients, researchers, healthcare professionals, industry experts, and regulators.

Research fellow for the project, Dr Elinor Laws, said: 'It's wonderful that the work of our STANDING Together PPIE committee has been recognised with this award. The STANDING Together project is grounded on the importance of diversity and inclusion in health data, and it was essential for us to ensure that diverse voices were heard as part of the project.

“We are proud to have built a respectful and inclusive PPIE community that have challenged our thinking and shaped the direction of the project at every stage. We would like to thank all of our PPIE committee members for their invaluable support and insights.”

Meanwhile, Charlotte Ferris and the Heartlands Hospital Cancer Research Team scooped the ‘Access to Research Award’ for their effective work in creating equity of access to cancer trials for patients across the region.

Charlotte Ferris and representatives from the Heartlands Hospital Cancer Research Team - Winners of the Access to Research Award
Charlotte Ferris and representatives from the Heartlands Hospital Cancer Research Team - Winners of the Access to Research Award

Through engagement with thoracic surgeons, lung oncologists and other key stakeholders, the team have successfully designed a ‘cancer trial map’ to be delivered during multidisciplinary (MDT) meetings across the region. The map details local trials available for patients, with the aim of increasing treatment options and research opportunities for patients regardless of where they live.

Charlotte Ferris, Senior Haematology/Oncology Research Nurse, said: “On behalf of the Birmingham Heartlands Hospital Cancer Research Team, we feel very proud to receive the award. Improving awareness and access to cancer trials for patients is so important, and I look forward to seeing how collaboration around the region can further benefit our patient’s treatment options.”

The team’s attended the awards ceremony at the Grand Central in Wolverhampton on Friday 30 November, where they received their awards, alongside fellow nominees, winners, and highly commended teams.

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