What is the role of a clinical trial coordinator?
The running of a clinical trial imposes a massive administrative burden on the participating clinics, one which can often not be taken on without specialist help. The role of the trials coordinator therefore is to help with this administration and facilitate the setting up and running of trials. Coordinators carry out a variety of duties such as:
- liaising with regulatory authorities
- submission of vital documentation to appropriate bodies, such as ethics boards
- identification of patients who may be suitable for the trial
- helping with recruitment and information
- planning often complex clinic visits and arranging patient travel
- data management, helping with monitoring visits and audits.
The Coordinator is vital to the quality, safety and efficiency of a trial. The coordinator will guarantee that the research is performed within the regulatory guidelines as well as the specifications outlined in the trial protocol. They also ensure they comply with both departmental standard operating procedures (or rules) about the conduct of research and any external governance requirements.Without this role, it would be very difficult for muscle centres to take part in as many clinical trials as they are currently involved in. This is a key position which helps the muscle centres to participate in national and international clinical trials and other projects such as natural history studies. Having clinical trials coordinators at the muscle centres ensures that the families and individuals that Muscular Dystrophy UK supports have early access to trials and potential new treatments.
Professor Kate Bushby is the Acting Research Chair of Neuromuscular Genetics at the Centre for Life at Newcastle University. The Centre has received support from Muscular Dystrophy UK for many years and is currently receiving funding for a clinical trial coordinator.
Prof. Bushby said:
It was very far sighted of Muscular Dystrophy UK to fund trial coordinators at the Muscle Centres in Newcastle and London. Running clinical trials is essential to move forward our understanding of muscular dystrophy and how to treat it, but the regulations that govern these processes are very stringent and complicated to navigate. Having dedicated trial coordinators means that we can dedicate experienced personnel to getting these processes followed properly and this has revolutionised the way we can approach trials and other studies in the UK. We have got a reputation now for excellent recruitment to studies and also very efficient running of trials and other studies. The trial coordinators are a crucial part of that, and we are delighted that Muscular Dystrophy UK continues to be supportive of this crucial piece of the jigsaw for finding new therapies which are desperately needed.
Location: London and Newcastle muscle centres
Further information and links
Find out about our Clinical Trials Information Service
Read about our past investment into a clinical trial coordinator in Liverpool, which is now fully-funded by incoming commerical studies
Find out the latest research and clinical trial news
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