Mfon Sam, campaigning to raise awareness of research in BME communities

Raising awareness of research in black and minority ethnic communities

A research nurse is aiming to form a network to help raise awareness of clinical research among black and minority ethnic (BME) communities.
Mfon Sam, a Clinical Research Nurse at Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, hopes to create a network of colleagues across NIHR Clinical Research Network Greater Manchester (CRN GM) who share her passion for increasing research participation among non-white British people.
Recruitment statistics show that BME communities are less likely to take part in studies because of a variety of factors, including:
• Cultural factors, such as fear and stigma
• Lack of knowledge regarding clinical trials
• Mistrust of the medical system
By pulling together a network of advocates, Mfon hopes to address these issues in Greater Manchester, raising awareness, dispelling myths, and promoting the wealth of benefits associated with clinical research.
She would love to share ideas on how this can best be achieved and work collaboratively with staff at trusts across the region.
Mfon will carry out this work as part of the NIHR CRN Advanced Leadership Programme (ALP). She was one of six people accepted on to the ALP’s 2017/18 Greater Manchester cohort this summer.
Mfon said: “As a nurse working in clinical research on a daily basis, I see first-hand how patients from BME communities are generally not participating in studies.
“It is an issue I feel passionate about, not least because their under-enrolment reduces the breadth of research findings and represents a disparity in access to the high-quality healthcare that research brings.
“I would love to hear from other people working in research across Greater Manchester to discuss how we can make progress in this area and overcome the barriers.
“I already have some ideas of my own, but would love to share thoughts on creative ways to acceptably approach BME patients, who are under-represented in research locally and nationwide.”
If you have ideas to share, email Mfon. At Salford Royal, Gita Rana is supporting the project and would also like to hear from anyone who wants to be involved.