August 2020

Running successful virtual meetings: An example from PRIME Parkinson

PRIME study logo

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s disease. The number of people affected by PD is growing globally, and it is estimated to have more than doubled from 2.5 million people in 1990 to 6.1 million in 2016.  Not only does PD reduce life expectancy, but it negatively impacts on quality of life and is associated with an increased frequency of hospital admissions.

PRIME Parkinson (@pdPrime) is a £10 million programme of research designed to innovate care in people with Parkinson’s, and is led by Dr Emily Henderson at Bristol Medical School. The research assesses a new integrated care model designed specifically for people with Parkinson’s disease, and is being run in Bath, UK and Nijmegen, Netherlands.

The UK and Dutch Teams, along with the funder, meet in person biannually to discuss the progress of PRIME-Parkinson. This year Dutch colleagues were due to travel to Bristol, but the meeting was instead moved online for the first time and took place on 9th March 2020. The virtual meeting ran smoothly, objectives were met, and the research programme continues to move successfully forwards. The accompanying photo shows the UK team gathered at the University of Bristol whilst Dutch colleagues, and representatives from the funding body, can be seen on the screen behind.

Five members of the study team smiling at camera

PRIME Parkinson is one of a portfolio of studies in older adults which are ongoing in The Ageing and Movement Group at Bristol Medical School. Other studies include the Chief-PD trial (@chiefpd2) that seeks to evaluate whether cognitive enhancement with a drug called rivastigmine prevents falls, and an educational workstream that innovates teaching methods in geriatric medicine.

PRIME Parkinson Programme Manager: Dr Fiona Lithander, @FionaLithander

PRIME Parkinson is funded by the Gatsby Foundation



NIHR CTU Support Funding – Supporting efficient/innovative delivery of NIHR research

The Bristol Trials Centre (BTC) have successfully been awarded NIHR funding for projects aiming to improve the delivery of clinical trials. One of these projects will be run from the Bristol Royal Infirmary (BRI) Hub.

Development of an electronic trial management system – Lead applicant Dr Lucy Culliford

Funding has been awarded to develop a generic electronic trial management system which will be available to other Clinical Trial Units (CTUs).

The system will incorporate:

  • the trial master site file
  • investigator site files
  • delegation log, and
  • functionality to streamline central coordination of studies.

The intention is that the system will be suitable for use in all studies, including clinical trials of investigational medicinal products and device trials, and made available at minimal cost.

Accessibility will be a key focus with the system being web-based and optimised for use on tablets and phones.

The aim is to have the system ready in the next 12 months for CTUs to manage studies and interactions with sites.