Tagged / Update

HRA announcement – Amendment Tool and Guidance now available

Please see below for a recent update from the Health Research Authority with regard to a new amendment tool and the online submission of amendments.

If you have any queries please email Suzy Wignall in Research Development & Support.


Online submission of amendments and a new amendment tool will go live across the UK on Tuesday 2 June 2020.

These new processes for handling amendments are part of our ongoing Research Systems programme to improve services for applicants.

  • The amendment tool is designed to simplify the amendment process for applicants and
  • The ability to submit amendments online means that applicants can track the submission history of amendments.

From 2 June, all applicants making an amendment to project-based research will need to complete the amendment tool and submit their amendment online. The tool replaces the Notification of Substantial Amendment (NoSA) and Non-Substantial Amendment forms. Amendments to Research Tissue Banks and Research Databases will also be submitted online from this date.

To help with these changes, we have now published:

For queries on how to complete the tool, questions on the results from the tool, once complete or how to submit your amendment online, please contact amendments@hra.nhs.uk

Amendment Tool

The new amendment tool should be used for all project-based research including amendments being made under the COVID-19 fast-track process, from 2 June. (Research Tissue Banks and Research Databases will continue to use the IRAS generated substantial amendment forms.)

The tool categorises the amendment and provides tailored guidance on how to submit. It will identify any review bodies the amendment needs to be sent to, based on the changes that are being made to the study. It also provides detailed information about the amendment to participating sites.

The Notice of Substantial Amendment/annex 2 form can be generated by completing the tool. This version of the form can then be submitted to the REC and the MHRA (as required) when making a substantial amendment to a trial.

The amendment tool is based in Excel, but in the longer term we plan to fully integrate the tool functionality into IRAS.

The introduction of the amendment tool may require changes to Sponsor’s quality system (e.g. SOPs, guidance documents and templates etc.). Organisations should do this in accordance with the new process in good time. Given the additional demands placed across the healthcare research systems at this time, the MHRA has confirmed that it will adopt a pragmatic approach during inspection.

Submitting amendments online

Once you have completed the amendment tool, you should follow the submission guidance provided in the submission guidance tab of the tool. If the amendment needs to be submitted, then the amendment tool, together with all the supporting documents, should be uploaded into a new part of IRAS and submitted using the online system.

For amendments to Research Tissue Banks and Research Databases the IRAS substantial amendment form should be submitted online in place of the amendment tool.

Applicants will need to set up a new login and password for the new part of IRAS. We are sharing a login process with NIHR systems for the new parts of IRAS that provide online booking, the Combined Ways of Working (CWoW) pilot, and this new amendment system. If you already have a login for any NIHR system or one of these new parts of IRAS you can use the same details. If you do not already have a login for those systems, you will need to set up a new login and password as guided by the system.

Once you have logged in, applications will need to input the IRAS ID for the study as well as some other information regarding the study and amendment, some of which will need to be copied directly from the tool itself. Applicants can upload documents including a pdf of the tool itself. The system will issue an email to confirm the amendment has been submitted.

Research in the NHS during the COVID-19 pandemic – HRA update

You may have seen an earlier blog post with regard to a halt on the review and approval of undergraduate and master’s clinical research projects. The HRA have released another update with regard to all other research and the state of play due to COVID-19.

To recognise the significant pressures on the NHS at this time, the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) announced that all new and existing studies supported through its Clinical Research Network would be paused to focus instead on COVID-19 research. You can read the full statement on the NIHR website.

The full HRA statement can be viewed here. If you have any queries mai in Research Development & Support.

Research Development & Support are also updating the following help page regularly for academics and researchers.

COVID-19 guidance for clinical researchers

The Health Research Authority have released guidance for clinical researchers, sponsors and sites with regard to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – please read this guidance if you are currently conducting your project or are in the planning stages/set-up of the study (so you are aware of the current situation).

This guidance is subject to change and will be updated as and when required by the HRA.

You can read the guidance in the link provided above, but for convenience, these are the most likely situations BU clinical researchers may face. Please ensure that in planning amendments that these do not create additional burden to NHS staff or resources.

Amendments to existing studies impacted by wider COVID-19 response 

  • Example – Where changes to administrative arrangements are required to reduce burden or physical contact with sites – for example, changes to monitoring arrangements.

How this should be handled – these are non-substantial amendments that do not require HRA/HCRW approval or NHS R&D agreement. Where the study involves the NHS, they will be marked by the sponsor as a category C amendment not requiring assessment, and sent directly to the sites. The site should implement the amendment on the date specified by the sponsor.

  • Example – Where changes are made to how or when patients are seen to avoid exposing patients or to reduce burden on clinical services – for example, changing site visits to phone calls or postal questionnaires.

How this should be handled – these are non-substantial amendments that do not require HRA/HCRW approval or NHS R&D agreement. The same procedure as the first example should be followed.

  • Example – Where a temporary halt needs to be placed on some or all of the study, or the duration of the study needs to be extended.

How this should be handled – these are non-substantial amendments that do not require HRA/HCRW approval or NHS R&D agreement. The same procedure as above should be followed.

  • Example – studies that need to be closed.

How this should be handled – for studies not involving provision of treatment to participants, a notification to the REC or study-wide review (for non-REC studies) should be provided, and an end of study report should subsequently be provided.
For any studies involving provision of treatment to participants, careful consideration should be given to post-study care. If this cannot be in line with the information provided in the participant-information sheet, a substantial amendment should be submitted.

To support sites in implementing the amendments it is important that:

  • The changes and local implications are made clear
  • Any changes to documentation are provided in tracked changes
  • In England and Wales All correspondence to sites should be copied to R&D/I department and the PI and delivery teams
  • Where indicated above, the sponsor should include the category and confirm that no assessment is required.

There may be some instances in which the site may raise issues or changes that need to be made. If they do, please inform the Sponsor as soon as possible.

What to do next

If you think that you may need to implement any changes or amendments to your study due to COVID-19 please get in touch with us as soon as possible. If you have any concerns or queries then please also get in touch to discuss these.

Health Research Authority email addresses are changing

All email addresses at the HRA are changing in the coming weeks and this change will be complete by March 2020.

HRA staff email addresses will be standardised as firstname.lastname@hra.nhs.uk. A full list of contact email addresses for the Research Ethics Committees is now available here.

If you use the HRA staff member’s @nhs.net email address to contact them after they have moved to their new email address, you will receive a response containing their new details but your email won’t be automatically forwarded.

If you are unsure which contact information to use for the individual or service you require, please contact the HRA mainline on 020 797 22545 or use their contact form.

Make sure to check your junk mail if you are expecting emails from the HRA or an NHS REC as they often are sent there instead. Please add them to your safe senders list if this is the case to make sure you don’t miss any important study emails!

IRAS Central Booking Service closure

Please note that the Central Booking Service (CBS; used to book in for review of “IRAS Form” applications and applications only requiring ethical review) will close at 4.30pm on Wednesday 18 December 2019 and will re-open at 9am on Thursday 2 January 2020.

If you need to book in your project for NHS REC review please take note of this Christmas closure.

Any queries please email Research Ethics.

Clinical Governance Standard Operation Procedures – now live

The Standard Operating Procedures relating to Clinical Governance at BU are now live and can be found on SharePoint.

A full list of documents and links to each are provided in this table, with a link also present on the Clinical Governance blog.

If you have any queries surrounding the information present within the SOPs, or cannot access the links, please email Research Ethics.

Remember – support is on offer at BU if you are thinking of introducing your research ideas into the NHS – email the Research Ethics mailbox, and take a look at the Clinical Governance blog.

Happy reading!

Update to HRA’s data transparency wording for Participant Information Sheets

Following the implementation of GDPR in May of this year, the Health Research Authority released transparency wording for use in Participant Information Sheets.

The recommended wording for data transparency has been updated following consultation with various stakeholders and public involvement and feedback on the initial published wording to provide a clearer more layered approach.

The user group developed a short summary text for the Participant Information Sheet which is supplemented by a generic leaflet. The text for both is now live on the HRA website.

What information should be used in my PI Sheet?

The HRA website section is here. Click on ‘Transparency wording for all sponsors’ – this will take you to this page which contains the information to be used.

To access the text to be used in preparing the leaflet to accompany your PI Sheet, click here. If you are on the HRA website section, the text appears once you click the heading ‘Template wording for generic information document’.

What does the revision in text mean for me?

  • If you have already updated your information sheets with the previous wording, you do not need to do anything.
  • The revised wording can be uses for new studies, but the HRA will accept the previous wording if you have already submitted your application or prepared your information sheet for submission.
  • If you do wish to change your wording to the new text, please email Research Ethics so that your participating sites can be contacted.

 

If you have any queries or concerns please email Research Ethics.

Setting up clinical research – the ‘Organisation Information Document’

If you are currently conducting research within the NHS or Health & Social Care (HSC), then please bear in mind the following update if you wish/plan to add new NHS/HSC research sites to your study.

As of 5th June, the set-up procedure for clinical research projects involving NHS or HSC organisations changed (see blog post) –

  • If you applying for HRA/NHS REC approval you will be required to follow the new procedure using the Organisation Information Document (OID), as referenced in the above post;
  • If you are already conducting a study with HRA/NHS REC approval, in NHS/HSC organisations, and wish to involve new sites, then please be aware that the OID should be used, even if existing sites were set-up using the previous document, the Statement of Activities.

Further help and guidance

Guidance on the use of the new UK Local Information Pack has now been published in the Site Specific page of IRAS Help to help applicants with the change.

If you have any queries regarding any of the information provided above, information in the referenced blog post, or would like some guidance with regard to implementing your research in a healthcare setting – please get in touch with BU’s Research Ethics team.

You can also take a look at the Clinical Governance blog for documents, links and training opportunities.

Setting up NHS / HSC research in the UK– changes from TODAY

The new ‘UK Local Information Pack‘  has been introduced today, 5th June to support the set-up of NHS / HSC research in the UK.

The ‘UK Local Information Pack’ is the set of documents that NHS / HSC organisations use to formally start preparing to deliver the study. You can find more information here, including what comprises the pack. All researchers wishing to set-up their study at an NHS/HSC site from today, 5th June, need to be aware of this change.

The Organisation Information Document

Researchers and research teams may be aware of a document called the ‘Statement of Activities’ – this is essentially a document that allows the sponsor to make clear to the research site, what activities will be undertaken locally. The document can also act as the agreement between the sponsor and site.

From today the Statement of Activities has been replaced by a document called the ‘Organisation Information Document‘. For non-commercially sponsored studies, that are not clinical trials or clinical investigations, the ‘Organisation Information Document’ should be used as the agreement between sponsor and participating NHS / HSC organisation.

A new delegation log template

Another feature of the new UK Local Information Pack is the inclusion of a delegation log template, which is intended to be used at participating NHS / HSC organisations. This will allow NHS/HSC organisations to locally record who will be working on the study and who is authorised to undertake study tasks. The delegation log can be found here and should be used for studies submitted for approvals from today.

Schedule of Events or Schedule and Events Cost Attribution Tool (SoECAT)

For non-commercially sponsored studies studies an IRAS Schedule of Events or a SoECAT will be a part of the IRAS Form submission and is used in the UK Local Information Pack as a way of providing clarity to participating NHS / HSC organisations on the cost attributions associated with a study.

Further help and guidance

Guidance on the use of the new UK Local Information Pack has now been published in the Site Specific page of IRAS Help to help applicants get ready for the change.

If you are making an IRAS Form submission or planning to set up research in an NHS / HSC organisation from today, 5th June 2019 please read the transition guidance so that you prepare the correct materials.

If you have any queries regarding any of the information provided above, or would like some guidance with regard to implementing your research in a healthcare setting – please get in touch with BU’s Research Ethics team.

You can also take a look at the Clinical Governance blog for documents, links and training opportunities.

Knowledge Exchange and Impact Team Summer Sucesses

Over the past month or two the Knowledge Exchange and Impact Team (KEIT) have had quite a few successes we’re #BUProud of so we thought we’d share them.

Firstly we’re delighted that HEIF5+1 has been extended to HEIF5+1+1 and that there will be a further 12 projects funded until August 2017  – to find out more take a look at Jayne’s post about it here

In case you haven’t spotted it Rachel has also been working hard with the PR team to do some comms around our Olympic themed research. This content was shared internally, externally & on social media and had some good engagement which led to Bryce Dyer and Osman Ahmed being interviewed on Wave 105 & Tim Rees being featured in the Independent.

DS593-ResearchOLmpics (3)

She’s also been working with Alex Wardrop to have her research on how to improve access to higher education featured in Times Higher.

Thanks to Charlene’s hard work the Student Project Bank is almost up and running! We will be launching to students in October and are planning a pilot event for September/October – more information to follow soon!

I’ve also been working hard with Genna to finish the wash up report for Festival of Learning and we’re pleased to say that event with less events we still had over 4,500 visits over the course of 5 days compared to 5,000 over a week with an additional 50 activities in 2015.  We’re already planning madly for next year when we’ll be running FoL from 8-12th July, mark the date in your diary and start thinking of your event ideas!

We’re also hugely proud to announce we’ve launched our impact toolkit aiming at supporting the academic community to develop and record impactful research.  This is available here on the blog and contains helpful tips and examples of case studies.  There is also a handy mini-guide available in a printed format floating around the campus or available from anyone in the team.

Finally we’re very pleased to greet our two newest members of the team, Joanna Pawlik and Hannah Jones who will be working as the Event Coordinator/ Student Engagement Coordinator (respectively) for the next 12 months.