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Group photo of all the CTU members

On Wednesday April 19, the team at the Clinical Trials Unit gathered at Keble College’s HB Allen Centre for the annual away day. It was an excellent opportunity to gather, exchange ideas, and discuss the future of the CTU, both in regard to its place in Oxford, but also within the wider research and primary care communities. 


Prof Chris Butler opened the day with a talk on the future of clinical trials and the need to continually innovate to keep with the changing times. A recurring theme throughout many of the presentations and discussions was the increasingly important role of technology in clinical trials  with the use of virtual and decentralised trials, wearables, and mobile health applications. Another important thread was the role of the participant in clinical trials and the importance of widening access to primary care research by improving the participant experience and making trials more accessible and inclusive. 


Jem Chalk presented on systems and technology we are using now and might in the future: “We've got to catch up, we've got to be somewhere different from today. Challenges in primary care research get bigger, more complex, and more challenging all the time. We've got to stay in the race.”


Kathryn Ungerer, who presented on the Leadership Learning Pathway, noted that it was very apparent that Trinity Term’s theme of ‘Getting Things Done’ resonated with many in the room: “My talk reflected on what leadership meant and how it could apply to many in the department and that the Leadership Learning Pathway is open to all.”


Activities in the afternoon provided a chance for members of the CTU to get to know each other better. Over sculptures created from newspaper, smartie races, and uncannily accurate portraits of Prof Butler (crafted out of condiments), much hilarity was had alongside ruminations on the future of the CTU.


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