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20 October 2023

Senior clinical research practitioner Nicky Barnes has been registered with the Academy for Healthcare Science (AHCS) – the first CRP of Frimley Health Foundation Trust to achieve the distinction.

Nicky Barnes - senior clinical research practitionerClinical research practitioners are responsible for conducting clinical trials, recruiting and screening patients, maintaining patient care and submitting findings upon completion of the trial. Throughout a study trial, they must ensure ethical and proper clinical practice.

The nationwide Accredited Register is for experienced CRPs who can demonstrate that they are working at practitioner level, defined as level 5 and above of the 9 level Skills for Health Career Framework.

The Academy says joining the register demonstrates a commitment to patient safety and raising the profile of healthcare science.

Nicky has worked in the Trust for 20 years, the last 15 in the research team, and was the first CRP in the Trust in 2018.

“I am thrilled to receive my registration as a clinical research practitioner across specialities, a recognition of what clinical research practitioners do within our role,” she said.

“This has taken quite some time to achieve, but I am proud to be part of the official register. The CRP is not recognised enough within the NHS and it’s great to highlight and be part of a community and spread the word.”

The AHCS was established as a joint initiative of UK health departments and the professional bodies across healthcare science. It aims to support and promote healthcare science, scientific and diagnostic services, and the staff working in them, along with supporting career development.

In February, Point of Care Testing Specialty lead Katy Heaney, was made an honorary fellow of the Academy, one of 20 honorary fellowships awarded to recognise outstanding contributions in a leadership role to healthcare science in the UK.

Katy, a Consultant Clinical Scientist, was nominated for her role with the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) during the rollout of Covid-19 rapid testing during the pandemic. She built relationships with manufacturers, NHSE/I, devolved authorities, scientific advisors and service providers to ensure that point of care diagnostics were rapidly deployed to emergency departments across the UK.