Research Nurses at St Mary’s Hospital have been recognised for their outstanding collaborative working on research to support the National Bowel Screening Programme.

Despite being the smallest team in the Wessex region, the Isle of Wight nurses managed to recruit the 2nd highest number of patients to the NICE FIT study, funded by NHS England, only just being pipped at the post by the largest research centre in Wessex.

The team worked together to deliver the study, supporting each other and colleagues across the Isle of Wight NHS Trust to recruit patients who had been referred by their GP to attend a surgical clinic at St Mary’s Hospital for further investigations.

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Joy Wilkins, Clinical Research Nurse, said:

“We are delighted with the response we’ve had and the support from our colleagues has been fantastic, especially from our Cancer Services team who have worked closely with us on this study to assist in recruiting as many people as possible. We couldn’t have done it alone and the award for collaborative working truly is an NHS team effort.”

The NICE FIT study is the largest study in England investigating whether FIT (faecal immunochemical test) can be used to help rule out bowel cancer and the possibility of not requiring a colonoscopy. The study aims to test a minimum of 5500 patients in London, and further patients across the UK to create a robust evidence base that patients, GPs and hospital doctors can use with confidence.

Patients recruited into the study were given a FIT test and asked to collect a stool sample at home which was then sent off to the Royal Marsden Hospital for analysis.

Joy Wilkins, added:

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“The FIT kit is a much easier and more accurate test for patients to do themselves, at home, and this research could lead to less people having to have invasive tests, such as Colonoscopies, so we are so grateful to all our patients that agreed to take part and trial the kit and be part of this important national research.”

Following their success with recruitment to the NICEFIT study, the team are now participating in the follow on study looking into how patient friendly the kits are to use. Alongside this, the team are also conducting research studies into breast screening, lung cancer, dementia, parkinson’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease and long term hodgkins lymphoma.

More information about research can be found at

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