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North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust - 70 years of the NHS


Home > News > Clinical research - 5000 volunteers and counting

Clinical research - 5000 volunteers and counting

Posted on Monday 29th April 2013
Leon Jonker

Leon Jonker

North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust has recruited its 5,000th patient into clinical research studies since official recording began in 2008.

All patients who consent to take part in nationally recognised research studies in NHS Trusts in England are recorded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

The Trust started modestly a few years back with a few hundred patients, but in the last three years an annual average of over 1,000 patients have been recruited into these NIHR National Portfolio studies.

Research and Development Manager Leon Jonker said: “This has been achieved through enthusiasm by clinical teams and support departments, consultants being willing to be local leads for national and international studies, and the capable delivery by the researcher practitioners in the R&D Department.

“Last but not least, we have found that patients in North Cumbria – be it the hospital in Carlisle or Whitehaven – are generally very willing to contribute to clinical research.

“Virtually all different departments have recruited patients over the years, including oncology, stroke, cardiology, gastroenterology, dermatology and women’s health.”

Ophthalmology is the latest department to take part in new research, with a study entitled ‘Genetics of Strabismus’, organised by Harvard University and the University of Leicester.

Clinical research gives a better understanding of illnesses, helps to improve current treatments and introduce new treatments, and find out how to best help people cope with their illness.

A leaflet produced by the Trust’s R&D Department, explaining why clinical trials are so important, what they involve and why patients might want to take part, is available in departments across both hospitals.

Patients interested in participating in clinical research should discuss this with the clinician treating them in the first instance.