The Trial Recruitment Working Group is identifying the most effective and efficient strategies for recruitment to trials, with methodology studies inside and outside the Hubs. It facilitates networking and collaborative research across the Hubs to improve trial recruitment, and collaborates with the UKCRC Registered CTU Network to implement, evaluate and use recruitment interventions across clinical trials in the UK and beyond. 

Future objectives

The collaboration between this Working Group and the CTUs will continue, with trial recruitment identified as the top priority for methodology research by the CTU Directors in a survey led by the North West Hub. The Group is reviewing difficulties that arise in trial recruitment from trial approvals through to trial completion on time and to cost, and generating momentum to make the on-going evaluation of new methods a routine activity. The Working Group’s projects will help with the understanding of the recruitment process, address recruiter and other trial staff training issues, develop feasibility and pilot studies, build on innovative qualitative methods to study various aspects of recruitment, evaluate the use of health informatics approaches, improve access to ‘hard to reach’ patients, and develop a core outcome set for future methodological studies of patient centeredness and effectiveness in trial recruitment.

There will be continued promotion of the MRC Systematic Techniques for Assisting Recruitment to Trials (MRC START) model across the UK, and use of the START website  as a repository for trial recruitment interventions and related protocols, encouraging wider adoption of these by trial teams and standardisation across the trial portfolio.

There are three sub-groups within the Recruitment Working Group:

  • Training site staff
  • Communication with patients
  • Incentives

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