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UKCRC recognises clinical trials expertise at King's

The King’s Clinical Trials Unit (KCTU) has been awarded full Clinical Trials Unit registration by the UK Clinical Research Collaboration (UKCRC), in recognition of its expertise in centrally coordinating multicentre clinical trials, trial design, data management, and analysis.


The KCTU, part of King’s Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre, is one of only 46 trial units in the UK to have been awarded CTU registration this year. Formed as the result of a merger between the Mental Health and Neuroscience Clinical Trials Unit at the Institute of Psychiatry (IoP) at King’s and the King’s Musculoskeletal Trials Unit, the new unit is led by Professor Andrew Pickles (KCTU Non-clinical Director, Department for Biostatistics at the IoP) and Professor David Scott (KCTU Clinical Director, Department of Rheumatology at King’s School of Medicine). 


The UKCRC registration process is designed to improve the quality of available expertise to carry out clinical trials in the UK. The recognised units are specialist teams that bring together the expertise needed to undertake a clinical trial, including clinicians, statisticians, data managers and trial managers.


The KCTU collaborates with research teams throughout Europe to carry out clinical trials safely and to a high scientific standard, and offers a range of services to ensure the results are accurate and credible. Since 2011 the KCTU has expanded across all disease areas, providing services to medicinal, surgical, complex intervention and medical devices trials across the UK. 


Professor Sir Robert Lechler, Executive Director of King's Health Partners and Vice-Principal for Health at King's College London says: “I would like to congratulate the KCTU team as well as the Directors, Professor Andrew Pickles and Professor David Scott, and KCTU Manager Caroline Murphy for this outstanding achievement. To have been awarded full UKCRC registration for a second time running is a testament to the recent collaborative approach the KCTU has opted to take with study teams across King’s Health Partners, so as to ensure clinicians have access to the systems and professional support needed to run their trials effectively. Clinical trials are an area of great strategic importance to KHP and so we must continue to support and build on this success moving forward."


Professor Simon Lovestone, Director of Research at King’s Health Partners says: "I am delighted that we have been awarded registration for our outstanding CTU which brings together leading clinical trials teams across King's Health Partners. This is an essential step and really important for our continuing success in clinical trials." 


This is the second time that the KCTU has received this recognition since UKCRC registration began in 2007 and the first time it has been awarded since the merger of the two previously registered units. Registration as a Collaborative Group by the UKCRC also extends accreditation to the Medical Statistics group led by Professor Janet Peacock in the Division of Health and Social Care Research in the School of Medicine, enabling the KCTU to provide full support to trials across all disease areas. 


Caroline Murphy, Manager of the KCTU, says: “Being awarded UKCRC Registration for a second time is a notable accomplishment; the hard work and dedication of the CTU staff to creating quality systems over the past ten years is commendable and we look forward to an exciting future as we continue to expand.”


The registration process is a national scheme coordinated by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network Coordinating Centre on behalf of the UK Clinical Research Collaboration. 


For further information, please contact Seil Collins, Press Officer, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, email: or tel: 0207 848 5377