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Children's Clinical Research Facility

Barts Health NHS Trust is one of the largest providers of children's healthcare in the UK. We have the very latest facilities and dedicated clinical staff offering the highest standards of care across a wide range of common and rare illnesses.

Our large patient population, drawn from central and north east London, Essex and beyond, experiences a wide range of medical conditions. Coupled with the excellent research base of our partner Queen Mary University of London, this allows us to deliver a highly competitive paediatric patient based research portfolio.

Our specialist Children's Clinical Research Facility (CCRF) forms part of the Children's Hospital, based at The Royal London Hospital.

Key objectives of the CCRF are to:

  • support experimental medicine research in children, including the timely and efficient recruitment to and completion of studies
  • utilise the world class facilities provided by the CCRF to launch novel research areas in the diagnosis and treatment of common and rare diseases of childhood, work we will undertake with our existing and new partners in the acute sector, primary care, including neighbouring centres of excellence
  • increase our capacity for and expertise in experimental medicine, through education, training and co-development with industry.

Research and speciality areas

Being a Trust consisting of six hospitals we are able to recruit paediatric subjects from one of the largest local populations in the UK. Research nurses included in the CCRF support studies on both sites and for more complex studies can bring subjects back to the facilities at The Royal London.

The CCRF at The Royal London consists of:

  • three fully equipped flexible use clinical investigation rooms
  • a small patient waiting area
  • office space for the clinical research staff
  • secure storage room for active study notes and study materials
  • sample preparation laboratory including a centrifuge and temperature controlled short term sample storage facilities including -20 and -80 freezers (clean utility room)
  • dedicated en-suite, in-patient beds are also available for patients requiring admissions as part of this CCRF. These are co-located next to one of ward areas on the seventh floor where ward based nursing staff can support the research nurses. Using beds in this way also allows some flexibility into admitting well known chronic disease patients into their speciality ward for studies.

The large and busy children's hospital covers most tertiary specialities on site, including gastroenterology, respiratory including cystic fibrosis, endocrinology including diabetes, haematology, neurology, neonatology and neonatal surgery, paediatric surgery, orthopaedics, allergy, paediatric critical care, trauma, ear nose and throat (ENT), dermatology, anaesthesia including pain, immunology and infectious disease, and ophthalmology.

Research infrastructure

Facilities which can be used to study participants include the new imaging department on the first floor of the childrens hospital, including MRI with facilities for general anaesthesia, CT scan and ultrasound. Respiratory function laboratory, bone densitometry, auxology are all available and a state of the art dedicated paediatric endoscopy area on the third floor. In addition the trauma unit and the emergency department in the same building will afford the opportunity for studies of paediatric trauma.

Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry houses a section of the London Research Design Service, with a team of highly qualified staff available to assist investigators design and develop new protocols for experimental medicine and other research projects. The CCRF also has direct access to the NIHR registered Pragmatic Clinical Trials Unit, which provides support from trial management, data processing, pharmacovigilence etc. The Joint Research Management Office (JRMO) has a national reputation for excellence in research governance and financial administration, providing a full support service from costing and pricing projects, gaining research  and development approvals, contracting with funders and managing the financial administration of project funds. As part of UCLPartners there is now a process by which industry studies only have to agree one contract for studies which can be placed in any of the hospitals including those in UCLPartners with Barts Health.

It also maintains close links with Queen Mary University of London's Innovation and Enterprise Office to ensure that the product of the research is adequately protected and commercially exploited. The JRMO's Research Support Unit provides hands-on assistance to investigators applying for external grants and ethics/other regulatory approvals. The population mix of patients attending Barts Health NHS Trust is very diverse, with over 50% of patients in adult outpatients not having English as their first language. There is a very rich support infrastructure of advocates and Patient Advice and Liaison Service, which helps ensure that all children will be able to access research opportunities.

Key staff

Dr Nick Croft, CCRF Director
Email: n.m.croft@qmul.ac.uk

Nicolene Plaatjies, Senior Research Nurse
Email: nicolene.plaatjies@bartshealth.nhs.uk
Tel: 020 3594 1551
Mobile: 077 1580 5162

Hilarious De Jesus, Emma Harley, Maria Dias, Leanne Reardon, Research Nurses 
Tel: 020 3594 1456 or 41455

Hafiza Khatun, Data Manager
Email: Hafiza.Khatun@bartshealth.nhs.uk

Bahadur Anjum, Clinical Fellow 
Email: Bahadur.Anjum@bartshealth.nhs.uk  

Inayet Baz, Clinical Fellow
Email: Inayet.Baz@bartshealth.nhs.uk

Contact details

Children's Clinical Research Facility
7th Floor, North Tower
The Royal London Hospital
Whitechapel Road
London, E1 1BB

Fax: 020 3594 1462

Dr John Ho, Whipps Cross Research Lead
Email: John.Ho@bartshealth.nhs.uk

Dr Nimze Gadong, Newham Research Lead
Email: Nimze.Gadong@bartshealth.nhs.uk

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