Embracing Diversity: The PANORAMIC Trial's Commitment to Inclusivity
The PANORAMIC trial, under the guidance of Professor Mahendra G Patel OBE, has made groundbreaking strides in embracing diversity and inclusivity, especially during the challenging times of the pandemic.
This section highlights some selected key moments and initiatives that significantly broadened participation in COVID-19 research, laying a foundation for a more inclusive approach in future trials and healthcare.
A Groundbreaking Moment with BAPS Neasden Temple
One remarkable instance was when the BAPS Neasden Temple, reaching out to its 200,000 followers across the UK, dramatically increased traffic to the trial website. This single announcement tripled website visits, maintaining heightened engagement for six weeks, showcasing the power of community outreach.
Innovative community outreach programme involving student advocates: University of Bolton
On Christmas Eve 2022, in a unique event, Mahendra presented to the Tanzanian High Commissioner, along with the Nigerian doctors Association across Great Britain and the Tanzanian UK Healthcare Diaspora Association. This effort aimed to address traditionally low recruitment from black ethnic minority backgrounds, reflecting the trial's commitment to reaching diverse communities. .
International Outreach on Christmas Eve
On Christmas Eve 2022 at a Christmas banquet in London, Mahendra presented in the presence of the Tanzanian High Commissioner UK, along with the Tanzanian UK Healthcare Diaspora Association (TUHEDA). This effort aimed to address traditionally low recruitment from black ethnic minority backgrounds, reflecting the trial's commitment to reaching diverse communities.
Combining Faith with medical science
Collaborating with the British Islamic Medical Association and the Muslim Council of Britain was a huge step in helping to dispel some of the doubts within the UK Muslim community around joining clinical trials due to people’s religious and cultural beliefs. Mahendra co-designed a poster quoting the holy Quran detailing that engagement in research is an act of humanity. This was then promoted by religious leaders in mosques UK-wide and was the first of its kind at scale.
Celebrity Involvement: Mr Motivator's Contribution
The support from TV celebrities like Mr Motivator was another highlight. He created a motivational video along with seven posters, one for each day of the week, to appeal to a wide audience, particularly targeting black ethnic minority groups. His voluntary contribution significantly helped boost the trial's visibility and reach.
Pharmacy Network’s Nationwide Impact
The UK-wide pharmacy network including the regulatory body for Pharmacy, the General Pharmaceutical Council, played a crucial role in raising awareness of the trials across all four nations, especially in areas of high deprivation and underserved communities. Their support, amidst workforce pressures and high demand, was unprecedented and crucial in expanding the trial's reach.
Pioneering Inclusion and Diversity Strategy
The early-stage publication of an inclusion and diversity strategy in the Lancet for PANORAMIC’s sister trial, PRINCIPLE, was a significant achievement. It received national and international attention with some of its work involving community outreach being presented at the United Nations New York (2022), setting a new standard for clinical trials.
NIHR Recognition and Professional Development
The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) recognised the success of the inclusive and diverse recruitment strategies in the PRINCIPLE and PANORAMIC trials. These strategies have become part of ongoing learning and professional development, marking a pivotal change in the approach to clinical trials.
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