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The Big Front Door

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The big front door is the idea that A&E is the front door to the hospital, we see patients whose pathways will take them to other specialties. Identifying patients that may benefit from a certain research trial at this stage is of great benefit.

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In 2014 it was recognised that it would be of great benefit to develop a research service in the Emergency Departments of Leeds Teaching Hospitals. A service was developed that would deliver the right research, to the right patient at the right time. It was decided that our care model needed to be patient-centred,  accessible, collaborative and integrative.(1)

This Involved:

•A dedicated awareness of research and GCP

● Integrated research nurse with relevant skill set

● Committed clinician with an interest in research

• Research Link Nurses

• Research Triage


Research Triage

We wanted to introduce a triage service to ensure all patients had opportunities to be involved in the right research for them. In order to do this we ensures the this triage was performed by all ED Team, these patients we then referred to the ED research nurse and/ or other specialty research teams. We raised and continue to raise awareness of available studies to patients (this allows for early recognition of research within the patient's pathway). We created a research network, this saw the training of specific individuals to recruit to specific studies.(1)

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Research Link Nurses

Our research link nurses are clinical nurses that work within our A&E's, they spread information about our trials and are knowledgeable about them should any patients or staff have any questions. They are a brilliant asset.(1)


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If you want to find out more about the big front door please take a look at a poster presentation that was created by Laura Finch and Emily McDougal. You can view the poster (2) here.


(1) Finch, L. R and McDougal, E. Unlocking the big front door. Powerpoint presentation. Presented at the Nursing times awards; 2015; London.

(2) Finch, L. R and McDougal, E. Unlocking the big front door, Developing a Research Triage Service in the Emergency Department. Powerpoint presentation. Posted Presented at: the Nursing times awards; 2015; London, UK.

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