28 nurses, coordinators, clinical trials assistants and others represented 17 different sites from across the UK. Sites were split up across several tables so that experiences could be shared and learnt from. This meant that there was a great atmosphere within the room, with every group discussing the challenges that they had all faced and how they were working to overcome these challenges.
The Forum was intended to provide the staff who work on the UK TAVI Trial with an opportunity to meet their colleagues and peers, to discuss issues relating to the trial, and how we can all work to improve recruitment. The day started with a review of three case studies, each of which had been experienced by at least one of the sites. Each table discussed how they would have dealt with each case, and then the site in question presented the eventual outcome. Several of the attendees noted how useful they had found this session-and it highlighted how UK TAVI trial processes can vary from site to site. Surgical engagement and PI canvassing were seen to be key across all sites, and there were numerous discussions on how to improve such engagement at site level.
In the afternoon, there were several presentations which focused on tips to improve patient recruitment into surgical trials. Naomi Merritt- Trial Manager of the CSAW Trial, presented the Qualitative Recruitment Investigation (QRI) embedded within CSAW, and focused on exploring patient preference in clinical trials. Jo Cook- Lead Nurse on the ART Trial, also presented her experiences of working on a large cardiothoracic trial. Jo has also published some of her observations from ART in the British Journal of Cardiac Nursing, which was of interest to several of the nurses present who also wish to pursue their own publications.
We would like to thank everyone who attended the forum and made it such a success. In particular, we would like to thank the nurses who acted as facilitators for each group, all contributing attendees and our speakers.