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Edinburgh nurse recognised for A&E research work

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An accident and emergency nurse from Edinburgh has been chosen as the Scottish clinical research nurse of the year for 2015.

The award is given each year by the Scottish Research Nurse and Co-ordinators Network, which was established 10 years ago to support the education and development of clinical research nurses in Scotland, of which there are now more than 600.

The winner this year was Judy Coyle, a clinical research nurse who has been working on trials at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh for the past seven years.

She was nominated by two people for her work in setting up and developing the Emergency Medicine Research Group Edinburgh (EMERGE) team, which is based in the infirmary’s A&E.

Ms Coyle received her award at the network’s 2015 conference in Edinburgh on 30 October, which was attended by more than 140 clinical research nurses from across Scotland.

It was presented by Gail Woodburn, senior nurse for research and innovation at Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and chair of the FRoNT group that provides support for clinical research nurse managers around the UK.


Judy Coyle’s award nominations

Judy has worked in clinical research for almost 20 years and joined the Emergency Department (ED) at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh in 2008 as a founding member of the Emergency Medicine Research Group Edinburgh (EMERGE). Since then the group has grown from five to now more than 30 members; Judy has been at the forefront of this expansion and development. She led many of the early studies, including SNAP, which was published in The Lancet. These early studies were challenging, the research team was small, the ED clinical staff fairly inexperienced in research and the ED was busy. The success of EMERGE has meant that research is now an integral part of patient care making research easier than in the tougher early days. Judy is now a team lead in our fast growing and dynamic team. She mentors, inducts and supports less experienced members of the group with amazing patience and enthusiasm and is one of the reasons for the amazing atmosphere, enthusiasm and drive that exist in the group.

Judy has excellent oversight of the whole research process and is invaluable when setting up new studies. She has an Eagle-eye (her nickname in the research office!) for detail and is always identifying areas in prospective study protocols and research paperwork that need further thought. Judy was instrumental in putting together an EMERGE data protection SOP, one of the first of its kind, which allows the group some research governance autonomy and Judy is driving forwards her current project, BIOBANK EMERGE, with enthusiasm and efficiency. Given her long service to clinical research in Scotland and amazing mentoring, support and leadership, I feel she would be the perfect recipient of the SRNCN research nurse of the year.


Judy has worked as a research nurse for 20 years – she is a co-founder of the Emergency Medicine Research Group Edinburgh (EMERGE) having worked in the group since 2007. Back then, Judy worked with one other research nurse – whereas today, we have 12 research nurses within the team. Judy was the sole research nurse, coordinating and trial managing a large CTIMP multi centre trial. This required a huge amount of organization, and being the only research nurse involved, Judy went beyond the call of duty to help with enrolment to the study – by sometimes being on call 24 hours a day – on occasions she was known to be in the department at 2am, to help and offer advice to medical staff.

As the EMERGE team has grown, Judy is our mentor and role model, of what a good research nurse should be, her patience, wisdom and attention to detail is invaluable. Judy’s knowledge of research is vast, she has made EMERGE what it is today – a thriving group of researchers working on multiple trials and studies, from audits, quality control to big multi centre studies and commercial clinical trials – she knows it all and is our guide and we feel very lucky to work with her.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • My sister Jo Brown was transferred to RIE 210 Abdominal XR/CT scan diagnosed: Large Mass arising from Pelvis adhered with 'Small Bowel' informed XR was 'Normal'? Judy Coyle's needs to educate 'Medical Staff' RIE and A&E it is unlawful to withhold investigation's, Patients health and safety is paramount.

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