BCS & BHF Launch New Clinical Research Collaborative

Publish date:
BHF CRC Launch

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) is funding the development of the BHF Clinical Research Collaborative (BHF-CRC) to support the prioritisation, planning and conduct of clinical research in heart and circulatory diseases in the UK. The Collaborative is being hosted by the British Cardiovascular Society.

The Collaborative is being launched on Monday 3 June 2019 at the British Cardiovascular Society (BCS) Conference in Manchester.

The Collaborative will provide the infrastructure to facilitate, enhance and coordinate the current clinical research planning of existing cardiovascular and surgical societies and clinical study groups.

The BHF-CRC will enable research teams, working with patient groups, to:  

(i) identify and prioritise clinical research questions
(ii) develop robust and integrated study proposals
(iii) engage and mobilise clinicians in conducting clinical research to complete studies effectively
(iv) enhance UK cardiovascular clinical research capacity and capability.

This exciting initiative, which will be hosted by the British Cardiovascular Society on behalf of all the specialist societies and study groups, will provide opportunities for face-to-face collaborative meetings between clinical researchers to discuss their research ideas and plan their studies as well as a virtual network for the clinical community. The first meeting will be held in the Autumn of 2019.

The BHF-CRC will also provide practical support in terms of online infrastructure for sharing project ideas, research planning and, in later years, it hopes to facilitate training for clinicians who want to engage in research.

The ultimate beneficiaries will be patients and health services both in the UK and worldwide through the prioritisation of research questions that matter to patients and development of high quality research-driven evidence that will inform clinical practice.

Allyson Arnold, the newly-appointed Chief Operating Officer of the BHF-CRC will oversee the launch and running of the Collaborative. She said:  

This new initiative is a boost in the arm for clinical cardiovascular research in the UK– allowing teams to come together to identify and prioritise the most important research questions and enable greater integration of the clinical community. 

We’ve had early conversations with a number of relevant societies and clinical groups that have all pledged their support, but now we have launched, the real work begins. We’ll work with these societies to map out the clinical research landscape, identifying any obvious needs to enable, develop and enhance the brightest and best collaborations.

Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, Medical Director of the BHF said:  

The BHF is committed to a research strategy that improves and saves the lives of those with heart and circulatory diseases. To do that we need to make the most of the great research landscape that we have, support the very best collaborations across disciplines and ensure clinical research exists an environment where it can develop and thrive.  

The new Collaborative will help to draw out key issues for the clinical cardiovascular community, pick out the big questions and, we hope, align those with the best expertise to answer them.

Professor Rod Stables, consultant cardiologist at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital and Clinical Lead of the Collaborative said: 

While funded by the BHF, and hosted by the BCS, this Collaborative will only come to fruition with the involvement of clinicians across disciplines – it is they that will deliver the next life-saving clinical research project.