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Pictured: Ben Hood - CRUK Senior Nurse who has been shortlisted for RCNi Award

CRUK Senior Nurse shortlisted for RCNi award – ‘Excellence in Cancer Research’


CRUK senior nurse Ben Hood, who works in the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre at the Freeman Hospital’s Northern Centre for Cancer Care, has been named a finalist in this year’s RCNi Awards.

Ben has been shortlisted in the ‘Excellence in Cancer Research’ category, in recognition of his collaborative approach, working with patients taking part in early phase clinical trials, and in particular his role as lead for the centre’s Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) group – ‘Perspectives’. 

Ben was nominated by Professor Ruth Plummer, Director of the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre and Professor of Experimental Cancer Medicine at Newcastle Universitywho explains: “The cancer patients we see are referred for early phase clinical trials when their clinical team has explored all available standard treatments and there are no proven treatment options left. 

“Many need to travel a considerable distance at a very challenging time in their patient journey, to meet a new team and discuss what are often very complex trial options. This can be very daunting, and so the research team at the Newcastle CRUK Centre and Newcastle Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC) were keen to improve the patient’s journey pathway with the development of new information.

Professor Plummer adds: “A major PPI project was initiated and Ben accepted the challenge with great enthusiasm, overseeing the coordination of a wealth of new, multi-media resources, to meet each individual patient’s needs.”

Ben coordinated all the PPI discussion groups, drafted and proof read documents, prepared all materials for presentation and supported PPI members at a number of public events.

More recently Ben initiated a new patient leaflet evaluation process and also developed a website with video content. He is now leading on development of a phone app as the final phase of the project.

This research conducted during the process was presented at an international PPI conference which attracted considerable interest, and was awarded the research poster prize overall.

The huge success of the project has been instrumental to its secondary aim to raise awareness of early phase clinical research in the North East of England, enhancing public understanding and also potentially engaging greater numbers of patients in research.

Of his shortlisting Ben comments: “I felt honoured and proud to hear that Professor Ruth Plummer had nominated me for this award.

“Hopefully getting through to the final will highlight the brilliant work we do at the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre in Newcastle.  And most importantly, the amazing patients and public and patient involvement group in cancer research we have in the northeast, who made this project possible.”

Professor Plummer adds: “We’re extremely proud of Ben’s achievements and wish him all the very best at the ceremony in July.”

Find out more about the RCNi Awards at  

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