First Paediatric Network Meeting

15 Aug 2017

With CRUK and CSO joining NIHR as funders, the ECMC Programme Office will for the first time provide full support for the Paediatric Network through the recent recruitment of a dedicated Paediatric Network Manager. July saw the first Programme Office supported meeting of the ECMC Paediatric Network, bringing together both location and scientific theme leads from the network, alongside representatives from the Programme Office and CRUK, to discuss how they will work together over the next five years.

The inaugural meeting covered topics such as establishing the appropriate governance, supporting further development of the strategy for the network, improving links with other relevant bodies and supporting good communications. The meeting opened with CRUK’s Dr Ian Walker (Director of Clinical, Populations and Early Detection Research) on governance and membership, and roles and responsibilities of the network and Programme Office. Dr Guy Makin, lead applicant for the Paediatric Network, reviewed the QQR plan and defined the objectives for the network going forwards. There was lively discussion and enlightening contributions from around the room throughout, with conversations running over into the lunch break.

A number of key attendees were asked to present during the afternoon. Professor Richard Gilbertson (Cambridge, theme lead) set out scientific opportunities whilst Dr Darren Hargraves (UCL/GOSH, theme lead) outlined some of the clinical and delivery challenges the network will face over the next few years. Dr Amos Burke presented on the NIHR CRN Cancer network infrastructure and highlighted that they have shared objectives with the ECMC network in terms of global reputation, a desire for improved feasibility and delivery, and identified ways in which they can work with the ECMC Programme Office. Dr Lynley Marshall (ICR) followed, discussing key engagements with international bodies and trials, such as the ITCC and eSMART. The meeting concluded with a brief discussion on communications and use of the new ECMC branding by the Programme Office.

Post-meeting comments showed real appreciation of the network “The ECMC is core to our projects to increase our early phase trial scope and activity”, with positive feedback on the first meeting “Very good introduction to the strategy for the new ECMC structure and function”.

With fruitful discussions and actions defined, we look forward to supporting the Paediatric Network to realise its objectives over the next five years!