Public invited to clinical research open day

Published: 3 May 2016

Local residents will have an opportunity to learn more about clinical research in the NHS on Friday 20 May 2016 when Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust’s Clinical Research department opens its doors to the public.

Held annually in conjunction with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the open day is a chance for local people and staff to meet the Trust’s clinical research team, find out more about who can take part in clinical trials at Torbay Hospital, and why these trials are so important.

Research is conducted across a range of diseases and conditions at the Hospital’s specially equipped Jubilee Research Unit, which opened in 2012. Currently there are approximately 250 studies carried out at the Trust (including stroke, cancer and dermatology) with 150 studies still needing more recruits. The Trust recruited over 1,500 patients into trials during 2015/16.

This year’s open day is being held in the Horizon Centre at Torbay Hospital between 11.30am and 3pm – there is no need to book, people can just turn up on the day for part or all of the event. From 11.30am to 1pm, visitors can explore the various information display stands and take part in a fun chocolate trial. There will then be a buffet lunch from 1pm followed by welcome speeches and short presentations from four of the Trust’s research patients.

Mairead McAlinden, Chief Executive of Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust said: “Clinical trials are a key research tool for advancing medical knowledge and patient care. Although clinical research is thriving in the NHS, most patients are unaware of local opportunities unless they are approached to take part in a particular study by their own doctor or nurse.

“We really want to give patients the confidence to raise the subject of clinical research themselves. My message to anyone who may be interested is that it’s ok to ask so please feel free to contact our Research and Development team on 01803 656635 or via email.”

The open day is planned to coincide with the annual International Clinical Trials Day which commemorates the first ever clinical trial. That trial, conducted by Scottish physician James Lind in 1747, resulted in the discovery of citrus fruit as a cure for the deadly disease scurvy.