Isle residents told it’s okay to ask about clinical trials

New Year pharmacy times.
New Year pharmacy times.

Did you know that more than 1,000 local people took part in clinical research last year aimed at developing new ground-breaking treatments?

Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust has a 15-strong research team working across all three hospitals in Scunthorpe, Grimsby and Goole which aims to bring cutting-edge treatment to the area.

The team is marking this year’s international clinical trials day, which is celebrated around the world on or near May 20, by taking part in the National Institute of Health Research’s (NIHR) Ok to ask campaign.

The Trust’s research nurses aim to raise awareness about clinical trials and will be holding information stands outside the M&S cafe in Grimsby hospital and in the outpatients department at Scunthorpe hospital on C floor between 9am and 4pm on Wednesday May 20.

In 2015 more than 1,300 people took part in National Institute of Health Research trials at the Trust as part of one of 87 studies. Trials are currently taking place in the following areas: oncology, haematology, stroke, diabetes, gastrointestinal, obstetrics, dermatology, rheumatology, paediatrics, cardiology, gynaecology and neurology.

Debrah Bates, head of research and professional development at the Trust, said: “We take part in clinical research as it helps improve healthcare by finding out which treatments work best for patients. It also gives patients the opportunity to access new, cutting-edge and innovative treatments and therapies which may not be offered through routine care. Today’s research is tomorrow’s treatment.”

Studies are often used to compare current treatments with potentially better ones, so the NHS can keep improving the care it offers. Key to this is patients becoming involved and taking part in trials.

Debrah added: “In many cases doctors will tell patients about research but we also need patients to ask about it themselves when they come into our hospitals. We find those patients who do take part often feel they are taking an active part in their health care and are helping others, by identifying new treatments.”

As part of the ‘Ok to ask’ campaign, patients who are undergoing treatment are being encouraged to ask their family doctor, nurse or consultant about clinical research, and whether it might be right for them.

Debra said: “We are hoping patients, members of the public and staff will pop to one of our information stands to find out a bit more about the research being undertaken by the Trust.

“It is thanks to our patients taking part in clinical trials that we are learning more all the time about how to deal with a whole range of medical conditions. It allows people to make some real breakthroughs that improve thousands of lives.”

She added: “Research and innovation is at the heart of what we do. We are constantly striving to ensure our patients get the highest quality care available.”

If anyone would like further information about clinical research at the Trust then please ring (01724) 290410.