Hospitals launch campaign to get more people to Take Part and Be Involved in clinical research

Monday, 10 October 2011

A campaign to get more people to take part in research projects is launched today.
Each year 7,000 patients take part in clinical research projects at North Bristol NHS Trust leading to breakthroughs in the understanding and treatment of diseases and health conditions.
The Take Part Be Involved campaign hopes to encourage more people to sign up for clinical studies or to be involved in a research panel.
Research studies can involve a wide range of topics from changes in routines or diet to trialling a new medicine or course of treatment or even undergoing new forms of surgery.
Some studies simply involve patients and carers telling us about their  experiences to help shape future research studies.
Nicola Coe, deputy director of research at North Bristol NHS Trust, said: “Research is vital in helping us to discover more about diseases and how to treat them.
“North Bristol NHS Trust is at the forefront of medical research but we could not do this without the patients who offer their time in helping us to further our understanding.
“There are more than 400 research projects taking place at Southmead and Frenchay hospitals from researchers who monitor how patients feel to pioneering, life-changing surgery.
“Take Part Be Involved is about making patients more aware of their importance in advancing our knowledge and improving the future of healthcare.
“Patients can take a look at the research we do at www.nbt.nhs.uk/takepart or ask the clinical team treating them if they are suitable to be part of a research study, or if they could be involved in a research panel.”
Case study: Kidney transplant trial - REPAIR
Sonia Hilder, 58, and her husband Trevor, 60, took part in a research trial to look at ways to reduce potential damage to the kidney during a transplant.
Mrs Hilder suffered from a genetic kidney disease that had left her with just 15% kidney function.
After a series of tests to ensure the couple were a match, Mr Hilder donated his kidney to his wife in a transplant carried out at Southmead Hospital in February this year.
They both agreed to take part in the REPAIR trial after being asked by the research team for renal services.
The study involved a simple non-invasive procedure of inflating a blood pressure cuff over the arm of the donor and the recipient for short periods before their operation.
It will determine whether temporarily reducing  the oxygenation of muscle will stimulate the body’s own natural protective mechanisms and reduce damage to the kidney during transplantation.
The trial is still ongoing and due to end in December 2012.
Mr Hilder said: “It was not much to ask, to simply have a cuff on your arm for a few minutes, so it seemed a small thing to do but could have big benefits. 
“A small inexpensive procedure like that could help to improve the prospects of many more patients who have to have a transplant, which is why it is so important to help with research if you can.
“The transplant has been tremendously successful and we have both been doing really well.”
Find out more about clinical trials.