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Home to researchers, academics and industry partners, Alder Hey’s NIHR Clinical Research Facility supports vital collaboration for better healthcare for children and young people. Our aim is to improve their health and emotional wellbeing by providing the highest quality innovative care, and by working in partnership to improve the lives of all children and young people, everywhere.
We are committed to expanding access to early phase and experimental medicine studies for children and young people, improving equality of access and diversity of participants. To this end, we work to expand the footprint of the CRF beyond the hospital walls
Alder Hey works in close partnership with the MHRA Phase 1 accredited NIHR Royal Liverpool University Hospital Clinical Research Facility, ensuring we can support a ‘cradle to grave’ approach for experimental medicine and early phase research. The partnership has led to multiple mutually beneficial outputs including:
In 2022, NIHR Alder Hey CRF and Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen CRF will join a new North West CRF Alliance that includes CRFs in Manchester and Lancashire. The alliance will focus on enhancing the delivery of early phase trials, with particular focus on delivery expertise, sponsorship, training, and equality, diversity and inclusion in phase 1 studies, with at least one study undertaken as part of the new partnership.
NIHR Alder Hey CRF will also establish a partnership and develop shared facilities with Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Trust in 2022, to support levelling up communities as part of a CRN-led project.
With each collaborative partnership, NIHR Alder Hey CRF will leverage new expanded research recruitment and delivery networks to maximise recruitment to our portfolio of studies, ensuring equality, diversity and inclusivity of paediatric participants.
The campus at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital includes the Institute in the Park. Four partner universities: University of Liverpool; Liverpool John Moores University; Edge Hill University; University of Central Lancashire are onsite and create an environment of superb clinical and research expertise focusing on discovery science, experimental translational research for children. The Institute also houses the UK’s only Experimental Arthritis Treatment Centre for Children and the Liverpool Paediatric Medicines Research Unit, which underpin important translational research activity.
Alder Hey is a founding member of Liverpool Health Partners (LHP) which brings together clinical research from three universities, eight NHS Trusts and commissioners under one strategic umbrella with the aim of facilitating greater collaboration and streamlining the process of establishing studies across multiple Liverpool sites.
This is embodied through the LHP Starting Well Programme, which provides citywide leadership for research involving children and young people. Liverpool has an international reputation for research in a number of areas including paediatrics, infection, pharmacology and childhood inflammatory diseases, all of which are embedded within the academic and industry partnered research programmes within the Alder Hey CRF.
Sarah Wright (Fletcher), Deputy Director of Delivery and Performance, LHP, said:
“LHP was established at a time when research funders and industry partners were looking for more strategic partnerships to work with and where “without walls” research and training - breaking down the barriers to collaboration with individuals working across different institutions and companies - was on the increase.
“Across my eight years at LHP, I have witnessed how important it is to collaborate when working towards improving the health of our population, whether that be small multi-organisational special interest groups working together on research grant applications and developing strategies in specific areas of population need, to larger more strategic partnerships to benefit the wider population and system as a whole. Examples include the successful North West Coast Genomic Medicine Centre bid in 2015 and the £5m Liverpool City Region Civic Data Cooperative bid in 2020.
“Before LHP had an established Starting Well Programme, it contributed to the University of Liverpool’s Better Safer Healthcare Steering Committee. Led by Professor Michael Beresford - now our Programme Director for Starting Well at LHP – the group brought together key leads across the University of Liverpool, Alder Hey, Liverpool Women’s Hospital and LSTM in the area of children and young peoples’ health research. Amongst many initiatives and successful funding applications it supported, was the NIHR Alder Hey Clinical Research Facility which is celebrating 10+ years of creating a healthier future for children and young people.
“CRFs are built on partnership working, enhancing the capability to run innovative research studies and trials which in turn help to develop new treatments for generations of the future. And now, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been shown how increasingly important it is to collaborate is in research.
“The importance of breaking down barriers, reducing silos, and pulling together in partnership in research is paramount to improving the health of our population.”
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