Research is of key strategic importance in the NHS in Wales. The NHS Wales cancer clinical community has much to offer in improving the quality of care and wider outcomes for cancer patients in Wales and beyond, through clinical research. Cancer Research UK is keen that Clinical Trial Units build a portfolio of trials. Leadership, including supporting and developing Chief Investigators, is required to engage in the development and delivery of cancer clinical research. We undertook a short survey to try to understand barriers to the development of such leaders in NHS Wales.
The short survey was developed by Professor Richard Adams from the CRUK core funded Centre for Trials Research and Jodie Bond from the Wales Cancer Research Centre, in collaboration with Dr Sue Channon and Dr Philip Pallmann from the Research Design and Conduct Service, (RDCS-South East Wales). It was disseminated to our mailing list, all NHS Wales cancer multi-disciplinary teams and the Wales Cancer Network in October 2020.
The survey was completed by 80 practitioners, including oncologists, surgeons, nurses, physiotherapists, radiographers, psychologists and clinical scientists. The results of this survey show that there are barriers perceived and experienced at an individual and professional group level. While there is support available, through the RDCS and where needed through Clinical Trials Units in Wales, this needs better signposting, workloads need to be reviewed and time needs to be allocated within job plans for the development of this important work and to ensure succession planning for our future leaders. The survey has provided valuable information and areas for focus going forward and we are very grateful to all those who completed it.