The Birmingham Clinical Trials Unit (BCTU) is a leading national clinical trials unit (CTU) within the College of Medical and Dental Sciences at the University of Birmingham specialising in the design, conduct and analysis of definitive clinical trials and test evaluation studies. BCTU, under the Directorship of Prof Peter Brocklehurst, sits within the Institute of Applied Health Research.
BCTU was established in 1997, and has evolved into one of the largest CTUs in the UK, undertaking high quality late phase clinical trials, and diagnostic and test evaluation studies across a wide range of disease areas in both the primary and secondary care settings. BCTU now employs over 110 staff, coordinating approximately 60 studies (with a current research grant budget of circa £40 million).
As a UK Clinical Research Collaboration (UKCRC) registered CTU, the BCTU’s experience in co-ordinating multi-centre clinical trials, the presence of expert staff and robust quality assurance systems, and evidence of long-term viability of capacity for trial co-ordination is well recognised. The unit receives National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) CTU funding to support the unit in developing and supporting NIHR trials. Our aim is to help stimulate, develop, conduct, support, analyse and report high quality clinical research to generate more reliable evidence on causes and best treatment of a wide range of diseases. The Unit has a strong track record of coordinating cutting edge clinical trials from initiation through to completion. The BCTU’s principal function is to provide specialist input into all stages of academic clinical trial development from design to publication by collaborating with a large number of clinical investigators at a local, national and international level.
BCTU also hosts the Birmingham Surgical Trials Consortium (BiSTC), funded by the Royal College of Surgeons of England, which is one of the national Surgical CTUs. BiSTC combines the expertise of BCTU with the Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit (CRCTU), as well as their surgical collaborators. BiSTC provides support to surgeons in the region in the design of trials, their delivery, as well as providing training to surgical Chief Investigators and Principal Investigators of the future. Prof Peter Brocklehurst is also Co-Director of the NIHR Global Health Research Unit in Global Surgery, which is building sustainable clinical research capacity in low and middle income countries by running clinical trials and cohort studies, and supporting research training and education with the ultimate aim of improving surgical outcomes for patients around the world.