Research Opportunities at Moorfields

Research is vital to the NHS and has a huge positive impact on clinical outcomes. Involvement in research can allow patients to play a more active role in their own healthcare, as an increased understanding of personalised clinical information enables them to fully participate in the management decisions and care-planning of their condition. It also enables patients to gain access to new treatments before they are widely available. A UKCRF network research awareness survey conducted at Moorfields in 2018 found a third of patients and relatives had no idea that they were a research active organisation; and 66% of patients and relatives said they have never been approached about taking part in research. The survey also found that 50% of staff did not believe their role supported health research, including communicating to patients about it. To address this need to improve the research awareness, the team at Moorfields developed ROAM; an online platform that allows patients, staff and members of the public to easily register their interest in research opportunities available at Moorfields Eye Hospital ( ROAM has over 1000 participants and the platform greatly increased the ease of recruitment to studies.  The ROAM team won the Clinical Research Nursing category of the Nursing Times awards in October 2021. The judges’ feedback was “This is a great initiative which will enable patients to access opportunities to participate in clinical research, thereby enhancing their care outcomes”.

The ROAM clinic app was launched on World Sight Day 2021. This app will allow Moorfields clinicians logged into the Electronic Health Records system, to view which studies are open for recruitment per disease area and to refer the patient to the research team for further follow-up. Patients are now being offered research as part of their treatment options, where applicable.

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