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Research Boost For Bristol Heart Institute

The Bristol Heart Institute has taken a major step towards further enhancing its reputation as a centre of excellence for medical research.

The Institute's clinical trials unit (CTU), which is run jointly with Bristol University, has passed a rigorous national standard designed to improve the quality and quantity of expertise to carry out medical trials nationwide.

CTUs are specialist units that bring together the experts needed to carry out trials, including doctors, statisticians and trial managers.

Running a trial is a complex process and registered CTUs have the expertise to design, co-ordinate and analyse trials in partnership with other units to ensure they are run in line with appropriate standards and regulations.

To apply for UK Clinical Research Collaboration (UKCRC) registration, the unit had to demonstrate it could run joint trials and other studies and take overall responsibility for the design, conduct, data management, publicity and analysis of research. The unit's work was also reviewed by an international panel.

The Bristol unit was one of 14 across the country to win provisional registration status from the UKCRC. Twenty-six units gained full registration.

The unit was among those judged to be developing the expertise for full registration but which did not yet meet all criteria for infrastructure, resources and experience.

Dr Chris Rogers, who led the unit's successful bid for provisional registration, said: "We are delighted that the high standard of research being carried out at the Bristol Heart Institute has been recognised by the UKCRC.

"The provisional registration is a hallmark of the quality of our work. We are on course to achieve full registration when the unit is next reviewed in 18 months' time."

For further information, please contact the University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust press office on 0117 342 3751.