Please see this link for an article (and link to the paper in Health Expectations) about findings from the SAFER Trial about why people decide not to take part in screening for atrial fibrillation. A huge thank you to our SAFER participants that contributed to this piece of work.
The SAFER programme of research, investigating screening to detect atrial fibrillation, was awarded a funding extension by the National Institute for Health and Care Research in 2023.
SAFER will now be funded to March 2028. The extension was necessary because of delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the limited capacity of primary care to deliver patient care in 2020 and 2021. The SAFER team have taken the opportunity to revise the power calculation for the trial, in light of the results from the StrokeStop trial in Sweden. SAFER is now aiming to recruit 82,000 participants and is well on track to complete recruitment by autumn 2023.
We now have a page on the trial website of a map showing the location of participating GP practices. Please note that it is only possible to join the trial via an invitation from a participating GP practice.
Please see this link for a press release (and link to the paper in BMJ Open) about findings from the SAFER Study about why people take part in screening for atrial fibrillation. A huge thank you to our SAFER participants that contributed to this piece of work – the first of many.
We are delighted to report that our colleagues in Australia have secured funding to run the SAFER Trial in Australia. The SAFER-AUS Trial will run in 36 GP practices and will provide additional data to the UK Trial. Follow this link to see a news piece from Australian TV announcing the funding award and to read more about the trial in Australia https://www.phpc.cam.ac.uk/pcu/safer-trial-to-launch-in-australia-to-prevent-disabling-strokes/
Please see the Cambridge Primary Care Unit’s main website for full details :
We are excited to announce that we are starting the SAFER pilot trial. Following the successful feasibility studies we are now expanding the pilot trial into 4 regions across England: East Anglia, North West coast, East Midlands and the South West. Practices in these areas are joining the trial and will be sending invitations to eligible patients soon.
Screening for AF will be managed entirely by post with support by telephone. Patients will not need to attend their GP practice to be screened.
If patients who have been invited to take part have any questions please get in touch with the trial team. We are working mostly from home but the trial phone number is diverted to our mobile phones, and you can also contact us by email.
We are delighted to have started the new ‘remote delivery of screening’ feasibility study. Our three practices (in Thetford, Suffolk and Royston) have invited eligible patients, and screening for AF is about to start.
Patients requesting AF screening will not need to attend their GP practice to be screened – the process is managed entirely by post with support by telephone.
Thank you so much to the practice teams and patients involved so far – your support and involvement is greatly appreciated. If patients who have been invited have any questions please get in touch with the study team. We are working mostly from home but the study phone number is diverted to our mobile phones, and you can also contact us by email.
Since we paused the start of the pilot trial back in March as COVID-19 struck we have been working on adapting the AF screening intervention for remote delivery at home. This will mean that patients do not have to attend their GP practice to be screened, and is the most sensible way to continue the research programme in the current public health environment. We will test AF screening at home in a second feasibility study, starting as soon as we have regulatory approval. See the aims and objectives and screening process pages to read more.
Over the past few months research and healthcare provision across the NHS has been having to adapt. Our colleague and GP Dr Rakesh Modi has captured this unique period of reflection and adaptation beautifully in his blog which you can read here.
It will come as no surprise that we (like so many research studies and trials) have halted recruitment. Having successfully completed the feasibility study, we were in the process of recruiting practices to the next stage (the internal pilot trial) when the coronavirus pandemic hit. We are keeping a close eye on developments and will look to re-start practice (and patient) recruitment as soon as it is possible and safe to do so. In the meantime the trial team are supporting COVID-19 front line and research activities where possible, as well as making sure we are fully prepared to start the trial when we are able to. Please contact us if you have any queries.