Phlexglobal, the UK-based contract research organisation (CRO) that specialises in clinical trial administration services such as document management and ethics committee submissions, has extended its Task Force resourcing service from industry to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS).

The Phlexglobal Task Force was created in May 2007 to provide “a more flexible and cost-efficient approach to expert resource provision”, the company noted. More recently, Phlexglobal has recognised a need for these services within the NHS, formalising its commitment with an official launch at the joint Department of Health-Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) annual conference in Newcastle last May.

The Task Force is a team of industry- and NHS-trained professionals that can help to meet interim resourcing needs as and when required, and for anything from one day to six months.

Three levels of service are available: Task Force 1 offers specialist administrative support compliant with Good Clinical Practice (GCP) as well as UK and European regulations; Task Force 2 focuses on supplying experienced personnel who can ‘hit the ground running’, whether for site set-up or co-ordination; Task Force 3 deals with more specialist tasks such as quality assurance, monitoring, pharmacy and audit/inspection support.

Phlexglobal has “learnt over the years that the recruitment of experienced clinical professionals can be a difficult and daunting prospect and invariably the approval process to increase resource is often only identified and agreed weeks or months after the resource is really needed”, it comments. “These delays often result in existing teams being over-stretched, over-worked, fire-fighting or simply unable to cope with the day-to-day challenges that clinical obligations can bring.”

Over the last six months the Phlexglobal Task Force has helped to support a number of NHS Trusts in the South East of England and has conducted clinical monitoring assessments to assist with activities preceding and following inspections by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the CRO pointed out.

The team has supported pharmacy standard operating procedure reviews across Trusts and has provided suitably trained individuals and teams to help with other clinical trial-associated activities, it added. Last month Gareth Hayes, head of Phlexglobal’s training division, designed and delivered the first of many GCP training courses to a team of nurses within the NHS.

“The aim of the Task Force is to support Phlexglobal’s range of flexible resourcing services and it is proving to be a winning formula,” said chief executive officer Nicola Murgatroyd. “We secured a number of new contacts from the conference in May and have several projects now in the planning and set-up stage. This is a new and exciting market for us which I am confident we can continue to support effectively into the future.”