• Lancashire Clinical Trials Unit (CTU)

The Lancashire Clinical Trials Unit (CTU) has been set up to manage health related trials for UCLan and external organisations. The Lancashire CTU team has accrued many years of experience in the skills required to develop, manage and analyse clinical trials with a growing specialisation in trials of complex interventions, in particular feasibility trials. The formulation of the Lancashire CTU structure was initiated in 2012 and we are currently supporting national and international trials.

The Lancashire CTU offers a quality assured service for the coordination and delivery of key services pertaining to robust clinical trials of complex interventions and other well designed studies.

We offer support in:

  • Trial design and developing collaborative applications to funders
  • Trial and site set-up and on-going management, including oversight monitoring
  • Randomisation
  • Data management (including form (CRF) design, data entry and data cleaning)
  • Statistical analysis and reporting

These services are underpinned by our robust quality assurance processes

We specialise in complex intervention trials in the topic areas of:

  • Stroke
  • Midwifery
  • Cancer
  • Musculoskeletal health
  • Public/population health
  • Mental health

Lancashire Clinical Trials Unit group photo

If you are interested in engaging with the Lancashire Clinical Trials Unit then please apply for our support using the Lancashire CTU request form as early as possible. The completed form should be emailed to lancashirectu@uclan.ac.uk


Expertise and Subject Areas

  • Trial design and development
  • Feasibility trials
  • Complex intervention trials
  • Trial management
  • Data management
  • Statistics
  • Trial Reporting
  • Research
  • Quality Assurance




Radford, Kate, Sutton, Chris J, Sach, Tracey, Holmes, Jain, Watkins, Caroline Leigh, Forshaw, Denise, Jones, Trevor, Hoffman, Karen O’Connor, Rory et al (2018) Early, specialist vocational rehabilitation to facilitate return to work after traumatic brain injury: the FRESH feasibility RCT. Health Technology Assessment, 22 (33). pp. 1-156. ISSN 1366-5278


Billot, Laurent, Woodward, Mark, Arima, Hisatomi, Hackett, Maree L, Muñoz Venturelli, Paula, Lavados, Pablo M, Brunser, Alejandro, Peng, Bin, Cui, Liying et al (2017) Statistical analysis plan for the Head Position in Stroke Trial (HeadPoST): An international cluster cross-over randomized trial. International Journal of Stroke, 12 (6). pp. 667-670. ISSN 1747-4930

Olavarría, Verónica V, Arima, Hisatomi, Anderson, Craig S, Brunser, Alejandro, Muñoz-Venturelli, Paula, Billot, Laurent and Lavados, Pablo M (2017) Statistical analysis plan of the head position in acute ischemic stroke trial pilot (HEADPOST pilot). International Journal of Stroke, 12 (2). pp. 211-215. ISSN 1747-4930

Anderson, C S, Arima, H, Lavados, P, Billot, L, Hackett, Maree, Olavvaria, VV, Munoz Venturelli, P, Brunser, A, Peng, B et al (2017) Cluster-Randomized, Crossover Trial of Head Positioning in Acute Stroke. The New England Journal of Medicine, 376 . pp. 2437-2447. ISSN 0028-4793

Prior Y, Sutton C, Cotterill S, Adams J, Camacho E, Arafin N, Firth J, O’Neill T, Hough Y, Jones W and Hammond A (2017) The effects of arthritis gloves on people with Rheumatoid Arthritis or Inflammatory Arthritis with hand pain: a study protocol for a multi-centre randomised controlled trial (the A-GLOVES trial). BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders; 18:224 DOI 10.1186/s12891-017-1583-4


French, Beverley, Thomas, Lois Helene, Mcadam, Joanna, Burton, Christoper, Forshaw, Denise, Booth, Joanne, Britt, David, Cheater, Francine, Roe, Brenda et al (2016) Implementing a Systematic Voiding Programme for Patients with Urinary Incontinence After Stroke. Qualitative Health Research, 26 (10). pp. 1393-1408. ISSN 1049-7323

Muñoz Venturelli, Paula, Robinson, Thompson, Lavados, Pablo M., Olavarría, Verónica V., Arima, Hisatomi, Billot, Laurent, Hackett, Maree, Lim, Joyce Y., Middleton, Sandy et al (2016) Regional variation in acute stroke care organisation. Journal of the Neurological Sciences, 371 . pp. 126-130. ISSN 0022510X Item availability may be restricted.

Eldridge, SM, Chan, CL, Campbell, MJ, Bond, CM, Hopewell, S, Thabane, L and Lancaster, GA (2016) CONSORT 2010 Statement: extension to randomised pilot and feasibility trials [on behalf of the PAFS consensus group*]. British Medical Journal (BMJ) (355). ISSN 0959-8138

Dey P, Callaghan  M, Cook  N, Sephton  R, Sutton  C, Hough  E, James  J, Saqib  R, Selfe  J (2016) A questionnaire to identify patellofemoral pain in the community: an exploration of measurement properties. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders; 17:237 DOI: 10.1186/s12891-016-1097-5 View publication

Selfe J, Janssen J, Callaghan M, Witvrouw E, Sutton C J, Richards J, Stokes M, Martin D, Dixon J, Hogarth R, Baltzopoulos B, Ritchie E, Arden N and Dey M P (2016) Are there three main subgroups within the patellofemoral pain population? A detailed characterisation study of 127 patients to help develop targeted Intervention (TIPPs). British Journal of Sports Medicine. ISSN 0306-3674.  In Press. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2015-094792 View publication

Tyler E, Lobban F, Sutton C, Depp C, Johnson S, Laidlaw K, Jones SH. Feasibility randomised controlled trial of Recovery-focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Older Adults with bipolar disorder (RfCBT-OA): study protocol. BMJ Open 2016; 6:e010590. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2015-010590 View publication

Beaver K, Williamson S, Sutton C, Hollingworth W, Gardner A, Allton B, Abdel-Aty M, Blackwood K, Burns S, Curwen D, Ghani R, Keating P, Murray S, Tomlinson A, Walker B, Willett M, Wood N, Martin-Hirsch P (2016) Comparing hospital and telephone follow-up for patients treated for stage–I endometrial cancer (ENDCAT trial): a randomised, multicentre, non-inferiority trial. British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology DOI: 10.1111/1471-0528.14000. View publication


Thomas LH, French B, Sutton CJ, Forshaw D, Leathley MJ, Burton CR, Roe B, Cheater FM, Booth J, McColl E, Walker A, Brittain K, Whiteley G, Rodgers H, Barrett J and Watkins CL. (2015) Identifying Continence OptioNs after Stroke (ICONS): an evidence synthesis, case study and exploratory cluster randomised controlled trial of the introduction of a systematic voiding programme for patients with urinary incontinence after stroke in secondary care. Programme Grants Appl Res, 3 (1) View publication

Muñoz-Venturelli P, Arima H, Lavados P, Brunser A, Peng B, Cui L, Song L, Billot L, Boaden E, Hackett M.L, Heritier S, Jan S, Middleton S, Olavarría V.V, Lim J Y, Lindley R.I, Heeley E, Robinson T, Pontes-Neto O, Natsagdorj L, Lin R-T, Watkins C, Anderson C S, and for the HeadPoST Collaborative Investigators (2015). Head Position in Stroke Trial (HeadPoST) – sitting-up vs lying-flat positioning of patients with acute stroke: study protocol for a cluster randomised controlled trial. Trials, 16, 256. View publication

Radford, Kathryn A, Phillips, Julie, Jones, Trevor, Gibson, Ali, Sutton, Chris J, Watkins, Caroline Leigh, Sach, Tracey, Duley, Lelia, Walker, Marian, Drummond, Avril, Hoffman, Karen, O'Connor, Rory, Forshaw, Denise and Shakespeare, David (2015) Facilitating return to work through early specialist health-based interventions (FRESH): protocol for a feasibility randomised controlled trial. Pilot and Feasibility Studies, 1, 24. View publication

Chesworth, Brigit, Leathley, Michael John, Thomas, Lois Helene, Sutton, Chris J, Forshaw, Denise and Watkins, Caroline Leigh (2015) Assessing fidelity to treatment delivery in the ICONS (Identifying Continence OptioNs after Stroke) cluster randomised feasibility trial. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 15, 68. ISSN 1471-2288 View publication

The AVERT Trial Collaboration group. Efficacy and safety of very early mobilisation within 24 h of stroke onset (AVERT): a randomised controlled trial (2015) The Lancet 2015; 386(9988):46-55 View publication


Lois H Thomas, Caroline L Watkins, Beverley French, Christopher Sutton, Denise Forshaw, Francine Cheater, Brenda Roe, Michael J Leathley, Christopher Burton, Elaine McColl and Jo Booth for The ICONS Project Team and the ICONS Patient, Public and Carer Involvement Groups (2011) Study protocol: ICONS: Identifying continence options after stroke: A randomised trial. Trials 12: 131. View publication

Events and News


June 2017
Study settles debate over head position following stroke

21 March 2017
CRN Support for Trials Seminar, Adelphi Building

30 March 2017
Lancashire CTU training day, Legacy Hotel


22 November 2016
Lancashire CTU training day Adelphi Building, University of Central Lancashire

14 September 2016
Good Clinical Practice (GCP) Training

12 July 2016The Health and wellbeing Research Methodology and Implementation (HeRMI) seminar, 12th July 2016 "Trial Site selection: Engaging clinical staff in complex interventions" by Denise Forshaw, Principal Clinical Trials Manager.


15 February 2015
Lancashire CTU training day, Westleigh Conference Centre, University of Central Lancashire


September 2014
Role of emergency care staff in managing acute stroke

18 June 2014
Stroke nurses to take part in global trial of patient positioning policies. (Nursing Standard)

16 June 2014
University hosts county’s new clinical trials unit

12 June 2014
UCLan launches Lancashire’s first Clinical Trials Unit

12 June 2014
Lancashire Clinical Trials Unit Launch Event



Prof Dame Caroline Watkins (Director)
Dr Gordon Prescott (Associate Director)

Trial Management

Denise Forshaw (Principal Clinical Trials Manager)
Shakil Patel (Clinical Trials Manager)
Emma Neil (Associate Clinical Trials Manager)
John Heney (Associate Clinical Trials Manager)
Anthony Anyon (Associate Clinical Trials Manager)
Alexandra Haig (Senior Clinical Trials Assistant)
Ruksana Isaji (Senior Clinical Trials Assistant)
Alison Gibbon (Trials Assistant)

Trial Design and Statistical Analysis

Svetlana Tishkovskaya (Lecturer in Health Statistics)
Naseerah Akooji (Senior Statistical Research Assistant)
Dr Miland Joshi (Lecturer in Health Statistics)
Chris Brown (Statistical Research Assistant)
Mollie Payne (Statistical Research Assistant)
Anna France (Statistical Research Associate)

Information Systems and Data Management

Joe Robinson (Senior Information Systems Developer)
Glenn Holt (Senior Clinical IS Assistant)
Gavin Olorenshaw (Information Systems Assistant)
Amy Ismay (Senior Data Co-ordinator)
Alison Hadley (Data Co-ordinator)
Carole Bruce (Data Co-ordinator)
Moira Wilkinson (Clinical Trials Clerical Assistant)
Molly Cronshaw (Trials Clerical Assistant)


Quality Assurance

George Georgiou (Quality Assurance and Training Manager)


Dr Hayley Tyrer (Business and Operations Manager) 

Helen Oates
Helen joined the Lancashire Clinical Trials Unit in February 2018 as Assistant Business and Operations Manager. Helen has worked at UCLan for over 11 years primarily in Finance supporting the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, School of Nursing and School of Community Health & Midwifery

Simone Finley (Senior Associate Research Officer)
Simone provides senior administrative support to the Lancashire Clinical Trials Unit. Simone has worked in administration for 16 years and has a vast amount of knowledge in this area including developing and delivering administrative processes, support in recruitment of staff, data entry, data extraction, conference organisation, monitoring funding and producing reports and supervision of clerical staff.


Current projects

Completed Projects