'Trial or error?' Are the right patients being chosen for the right trial?

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Recruiting patients into clinical trials is a lengthy and specialised process that requires prerequisite skills as a researcher, as well as to a professional duty of care (NMC 2004). This article explores some of the challenges in conducting clinical research from an organisational and management perspective and uses an example from clinical practice to illustrate this. Many issues confront researchers in the current climate of the NHS, including the length of time to gain ethical approval, difficulty in recruitment and patient selection as well as overcoming the study design for a specific protocol. For the purpose of this article, two particularly challenging barriers will be discussed and methods of overcoming these barriers for the future will be explored.

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