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10 October 2019: PCTU annual conference programme released! Current Developments in Cluster Randomised Trials and Stepped Wedge Design

We are delighted to announce that the full programme for PCTU's annual conference Current Developments in Cluster Randomised Trials and Stepped Wedge Design has now been released.

Click here to download the full programme find out more about what will be happening across the two day conference taking place between 12 and 13 November 2019: 

Programme: Current Developments in Cluster Randomised Trials and Stepped Wedge Design - 12-13 November 2019 [PDF 628KB]

You can also visit the conference website to find out more about what to expect on the day and book your place. 

Please contact the PCTU Courses and Events team on with any questions and we look forward to welcoming everyone to this year's exciting event. 


19 September 2019: New PCTU supported CTIMP exploring the use of cladribine to halt deterioration in people with advanced multiple sclerosis: #CHARIOT-MS

Work has begun on an exciting new PCTU supported CTIMP study exploring the safety and effectiveness of a drug called cladribine.

Lead by Chief Investigator Dr Klaus Schmierer and a team of expert co-applicants, #CHARIOT-MS will explore the role of the drug in preserving or improving upper limb performance in people with advanced multiple sclerosis (MS).

#CHARIOT-MS will be one of the first studies to explore disease modifying treatments for people experiencing disability associated with advanced MS. Whilst major strides have been made in the treatment of early MS, the study team identified an evident need for more effective treatments for people with progressive MS who are largely or entirely dependent on a wheelchair to mobilise.

Working closely with people with advanced MS and the larger MS community, the trial team established that maintaining upper limb function is an important priority for people who have lost mobility in their lower limbs as a result of their MS.

This will be the first study to use upper limb function as the primary indicator of the effectiveness of the treatment. 

#CHARIOT-MS will use the 9-Hole Peg Test, part of the standard assessment for monitoring arm and hand function in MS and clinical trials. 

Recruitment for this multi-site trial will take place across 20 neuroscience centres across the UK. #CHARIOT-MS will be managed centrally by the PCTU.


We look forward to the launch of this important and exciting study.

Visit the Barts MS Blog to find out more about the study and the important work being carried out in this area.


18 September 2019: PCTU Data Security and Protection (DSP) Toolkit submission – Standards met!

The Data Security and Protection Toolkit replaced the Information Governance in April 2018, providing a self-assessment tool that enables organisations to measure their performance against the ten data security standards that arose from the National Data Guardian for Health and Care’s 2016 Review of Data Security, Consent and Opt-Outs.

As the PCTU is an organisation that has access to NHS patient data, we complete the toolkit to provide assurance that we practice good data security and that all data, in particular personal, confidential data is handled appropriately, securely and lawfully.

The PCTU achieved an overall, ‘standards met’ for the DSPT submission in March 2019. This confirms that evidence was provided to fulfil all of the mandatory requirements set out by the toolkit.

You can view the published outcome via the Data Security and Protection Toolkit website here: PCTU organisational outcome 2018-19

An action plan for next year’s submission is currently being drafted which aims to build on the evidence provided for last year’s submission and to gather evidence to support newly introduced requirements, including compliance with NHS data opt-outs, a policy on data quality and guidance for delivering Data Protection Impact Assessments.


8 August 2019 - Regstration now open! Current Developments in Cluster Randomised Trials and Stepped Wedge Design

Registration is now open for the PCTU's annual 2-day conference, Current Developments in Cluster Randomised Trials and Stepped Wedge Design which will take place on 12 and 13 November 2019.

The conference will consist of a series of short talks, poster presentations and discussions and workshops about new perspectives for the design, the analysis and the reporting of cluster and stepped wedge designs.

Click here to download the conference flyer: Current Developments November 2019 Flyer [PDF 1,077KB]

Visit the conference website to find out more and to book your place now.


14 July 2019: July Trial Management Forum - Join us!

The PCTU's next monthly Trial Management Forum will take place on Thursday 18 July 2019 with an exciting guest speaker from the NIHR's Clinical Research Network Study Support Service.Join us from 3.00 pm to 4.00 pm to find out all you need to know about completing your trial's Schedule of Events Cost Attribution Tool (SOECAT) and obtaining funding for Excess Treatment Costs (ETCs).Visit our Trial Management Forum pages to read about previous events and what to expect.


2 July 2019: Research findings published: Short-term increase in step-count leads to long term health benefits

The outcomes of a PCTU supported study have now been published.  The research aimed to evaluate the long-term health outcomes of the 12-week walking programme introduced to participants in the 2011-2013 PACE-UP and PACE-Lift studies.  This 4-year follow up used routine primary care date to calculate new health events for the study participants in the intervening years to establish the long-term trial outcomes.

The findings have now been published in PLOS: Medicine.

You can read more about the study and its findings on the QMUL News site.


18 June 2019: Registration now open! Introduction to Trials within Cohorts

Registration is now open for the PCTU's annual course, Introduction to Trials within Cohorts (TwiCs) which takes place on 9th September 2019.

Lead by Clare Relton and Petter Viksveen, this one day course will provide delegtes wth an understanding of the key features of the TwiCs approach to pragmatic clinical trials.

Visit the course website to find out more and to book your place now. 


16 January 2019: BBC news report on the PCTU's CHILL study

BBC news has reported on PCTU's current study CHILL which is exploring whether reducing air pollution from traffic improves lunch growth and respiratory health in primary school children.

The news segment appeared on BBC News at Six and BBC News at Ten and reported: "A new study with 3,000 primary school children in London and Luton will see if new initiatives to reduce air pollution, such as London’s new Ultra Low Emission Zone, can provide health benefits. Children are especially vulnerable to damage caused by air pollution, which can stunt lung growth and affect other organs".

Watch the BBC News report by visiting their website: Clean air: Do low emission schemes improve children's lungs?

Find out more about CHILL by visiting the dedicated study site: CHILL (Children's Health in London and Luton)


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