By Allyson Arnold, Chief Operating Officer, BHF Clinical Research Collaborative

Published: 3 July 2019

An exciting new initiative has recently been launched to promote and support excellence in UK Cardiovascular Clinical Research.  The British Heart Foundation Clinical Research Collaborative (BHF CRC) will play a vital role in engaging and enthusing all researchers throughout the UK to plan protocols of the highest quality.  As a truly collaborative and inclusive network with the British Cardiovascular Society (BCS) and all of the cardiovascular societies across the UK, the BHF CRC will seek to build on and extend the work that has already been established with the cardiovascular clinical community.

The BHF CRC will provide the much-needed opportunity for teams to come together to identify and prioritise the most important research questions and enable greater integration within the clinical community. It will provide logistical and financial support 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. A big part of this will be to also provide practical support in terms of an online infrastructure for sharing project ideas, research planning and in later years to facilitate training for clinicians who want to engage in research.  

Launched at the BCS Annual Conference in June, this new initiative received much attention and interest from professionals across all cardiovascular disciplines. Plans are already underway with the first set of meetings due to take place in the autumn. 

To improve and save the lives of those with heart and circulatory diseases, 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 in an environment where it can develop and thrive.  The BHF CRC will help to draw out key issues for the clinical cardiovascular community, pick out the big questions and align those with the best expertise to answer them.

We hope that through education and development support offered through this initiative, more clinicians will become involved in research as part of the fabric of their existence. 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 the development of high-quality research-driven evidence that will inform clinical practice. 

Although funded by the BHF and based at 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. 

For more information on this project and how we can support you, please contact Allyson Arnold, BHF CRC Chief Operating Officer on [email protected] or Prof Rod Stables, BHF CRC Clinical Lead, [email protected].