Chris Butler wins RCGP Paper of the year

An international research team led by Trinity Professorial Fellow Chris Butler have won the Royal College of General Practitioners Research Paper of the Year Award.

The research, with colleagues from Cardiff University, King’s College, London and from universities in Norway, Spain and the Netherlands, finds that a simple finger prick blood test can reduce antibiotic use in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The research was funded by the National Institute for Health Research. The importance of patient and public contributors is recognised as key to the success of the study.

Commenting on the award, Professor Butler noted the importance of the public contributors to the success of the project, in particular the late Margaret Barnard. He said: ‘Margaret made a wonderful contribution to the study, but sadly died from lung cancer during the course of the trial so was not alive to see the results or share in the recognition that this award brings. We want to recognise not only her contribution as an individual, but the importance of PPI in the design and delivery of high-quality, clinically facing, primary care research.’

Published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the ‘PACE’ study demonstrated that using a c-reactive protein (CRP) finger-prick blood test resulted in 20% fewer people using antibiotics for COPD flare-ups. There were no negative effects on patient recovery and wellbeing during the first two weeks following GP consultation. The research shows that safely reducing the use of antibiotics in this way may help in the battle against antibiotic resistance. The study was supported by Oxford University’s Primary Care Clinical Trials Unit.

The RCGP Research Paper of the Year award is presented each year across six categories to recognise an individual or group of researchers who have undertaken and published an exceptional piece of research relating to general practice or primary care. The award was announced on 22 October by the college at an online event; Professor Butler and colleagues have donated the prize money to the British Lung Foundation in memory of Margaret Barnard.

Posted: 23 October 2020

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