YNM2021: Welcoming NMGH – a blog by Joanne Shaw, Research Nurse Manager, Diabetes and Respiratory Team

Author:Joanne Shaw

Author: Joanne Shaw

Research Nurse Manager

Three North Manchester General Hospital (NMGH) nursing teams have  joined Research and Innovation (R&I) at MFT: Cancer, Diabetes and Respiratory and Infectious Diseases. In the second instalment of our three-part R&I blog series Joanne Shaw, Research Nurse Manager, introduces herself, her role and the NMGH Diabetes and Respiratory Research Team.

Hello, my name is Joanne Shaw and I am Research Nurse Manager at NMGH, responsible for the Diabetes and Respiratory Team. 

Joanne Shaw

Joanne Shaw

My team consists of two senior clinical research nurses, two clinical research practitioners and a clinical trials administrator. We are a very small team, but that by no means stops us from being successful in recruiting participants to and delivering our research studies.

Our team has a very successful track record, as year-on-year we have recruited hundreds of patients to research studies and received many award nominations from the NIHR Clinical Research Network Greater Manchester. We even received a nomination for a prestigious Nursing Times Award a couple of years ago, and it was a great honour be recognised for our achievement in establishing a high-risk cardiovascular research clinic. We have been winners and runners up for various awards during the last five years, and this is testament to our drive and determination to deliver vital research for the benefit of our patients.

We have achieved many UK ‘firsts’ within the team, including very recently to the Arcadia Trial, which is investigating a potential new therapy for people who have type I or type II diabetes and COVID-19. We also have a 100 per cent retention rate for patients taking part in all our clinical trials during the last eight years, which is something we’re really proud of.

The people who take part in our research at NMGH are always at the forefront of our minds, and we are acutely aware that taking part in research studies can shape and mould their personal experience of disease and illness, and that of our future patients. For example, participants in our double-blind diabetes studies have told me that the experience was beneficial to them – even if they eventually find out that they received the placebo rather than the trial intervention – as the information and education we provide as part of the research, and their engagement with the process, has helped them to better manage their condition.

We offer a range of opportunities for our patients to take part in clinical research; including Clinical Trials of Investigational Medicinal Products (CTIMPS) – which are drugs trials – as well as observational studies, real world studies and trials of medical devices. We also work closely with researchers to support the delivery of their studies and it’s hugely motivating to work with incredible Principal and Sub-Investigators, who share our motivation to deliver ‘gold standard’ research in the NHS. I believe this collaboration between research-active doctors and clinical research nurses results in the best possible service for our research participants.


I have a great passion for research and so do my team, and we are thrilled to be joining MFT to work collaboratively on clinical research studies across sites.


We are already in conversation with our new colleagues in the Wythenshawe Hospital Respiratory Team about collaborating on an MFT-sponsored study and we’re all really looking forward to delivering that.

Working in research during COVID-19

This year has been challenging to say the least for everyone working within the NHS, and for myself personally as a Research Nurse Manager, particularly as I was asked to redeploy as a team lead on our COVID-19 Urgent Public Health (UPH) studies. This provided me with challenges, but overall, I am hugely proud of what has been achieved by the NMGH Clinical Research Delivery Team as a whole. We set-up and delivered these vital COVID-19 studies rapidly and delivered them at pace, we overcame some internal obstacles that were faced and, most importantly, we always worked as a team. This experience has helped me develop professionally, and I have relished the opportunity to work alongside other Clinical Research Delivery and Non-Clinical Research Delivery colleagues from other teams, and to have offered support and guidance to wider clinical nursing colleagues.

This recent experience has reinforced my original motivations for wanting to become a nurse in the first place – to help people and make a difference.

I qualified as a nurse at the age of 21 and went straight into the acute setting of critical care here at NMGH. I loved my time there and the colleagues I worked with, they are brilliant, and have been again throughout this pandemic. Seven years ago, I was intrigued after seeing an advert for a clinical research nurse post opportunity in the field of diabetes. I have never looked back and continue to be inspired by the people who take part in our research studies and the colleagues I work with.

My goal is to ensure opportunities to take part in research at NMGH are made available to the widest audience possible and myself and my team are looking forward to collaborating with our new MFT colleagues, to learn from each other and share best practice.