Coming to the CRF

Somers Clinical Research Facility play toys

Here at the Somers Clinical Research Facility (CRF) we have a dedicated team of Children’s Research Nurses that care for children and their families when they are taking part in a clinical study. Hear from some of our patients about their experiences taking part in research and visiting the Somers CRF:

Read Kamal's story

Read Sam's Story

Read Joe's story

What to expect when you visit the CRF

The CRF is a day care facility, with six single rooms and one treatment room our rooms are light and airy and we aim to make our families visits as comfortable as possible.

As well as our dedicated team of nurses we have a team of data managers, laboratory technicians and administrators who help us to keep things running smoothly in the CRF. We have patients of all ages up to 16 coming from all over the country (and sometimes the world) to take part in the studies we facilitate in the CRF.

We have all sorts of clinical studies taking place in the CRF from phase 1 which looks at drug side effects and calculates what the right dose might be, to phase 3 which test medicines in larger groups of people who are ill, and compare a new medicine against an existing treatment or a placebo to see if it works better in practice and if it has important side effects. This means that we can be giving a drug for the first time to the first person in the world or we can be giving a licensed drug to patients to treat a condition that it is not normally used for. Some of our other studies are very simple and the research team want to see how a disease affects a patient as they grow and develop, these types of studies are especially important for the study of rare diseases .

Before you take part in a clinical study you need to read an information sheet that tells you all about what is going to happen while you are on the study. Once you have done this we can go through the consent process with you and your family, and as long as you all agree to take part in the study we will ask you to sign an assent form and your mum or dad to sign a consent form.

Kamal playing in CRF

Once you agree to take part the research can begin! Depending on what your study requires we will book you in for visits to the CRF where you may need anything from a simple height and weight to a more complex administration of clinical study medication. Our team of nurses will look after you from start to finish.

Taking part in research is an important way that you can help others learn about disease and help shape the way we care for people with all sorts of diseases and illnesses in the future.

Play in the CRF

The play specialist’s role is to support patients and families through their time in the Clinical Research Facility. They work closely with nurses, psychologists, doctors, physiotherapists and many more people within the team to help ensure that patients and families have the most positive experience possible.

Play specialists use play to help children and young people prepare for procedures, and work with them to develop coping strategies for medical procedures. Play is also used to help children feel relaxed as well as have an enjoyable time doing activities, such as games, arts and crafts, iPads or stories.

Chloe - Play Specialist Somers CRF

When you come to the CRF, our play specialist will meet you and your family, and talk through any anxieties you may have, as well as finding out what kind of things you enjoy, so when you are in the CRF you are supported through any worries  - we  try and make the visits are as enjoyable as can be.