Rise in the number of Sunderland patients taking part in clinical trials

More people in Sunderland are taking part in pioneering clinical research studies than ever before, new figures show.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 18 July, 2018, 06:00
Sunderland Royal Hospital.

The 2017/18 NIHR Research Activity League Table is published today by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network (CRN).

It highlights the extent of NHS research taking place in England and the number of participants being recruited into studies.

Trusts and CCG regions across the North East have seen a surge in the number of people participating in research trials with a total of 42,450 people getting involved in 1,630 clinical studies - a rise of 23% from last year.

And City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust recruited a total of 2,502 participants to clinical trials, up 9% on the previous year, with the number of studies increasing from 127 to 140.

Trust chief executive Ken Bremner said: “This is a wonderful achievement by our research team.

“Only a decade ago, our research was limited to a small number of fields of medicine but it now covers a wide range of clinical specialities, which has led to involvement in a large number of clinical research trials.

City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Trust Chief Executive Ken Bremner.

“Involvement in high quality research is vitally important if we are going to improve care and achieve better outcomes for patients now and for future generations.”

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Professor Stephen Robson, Clinical Director at NIHR Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria (CRN NENC), said: “It’s fantastic to see all the region’s trusts and CCG’s being research active this year.

“There are lots of research opportunities available to patients across the North East and North Cumbria who are keen to take part in studies.

“We would encourage anyone who has an interest to speak to their GP, hospital doctor or nurse.”

The number of NHS organisations offering patients the chance to participate in life sciences industry research rose across England - with 34% of NHS trusts and 28% of CCG regions increasing the number of commercial studies they supported.

Primary care research is also highlighted as part of the report, listing the extent of research activity happening in communities across the country.

Dr Jonathan Sheffield OBE, chief executive officer of the NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) said: “By taking part in life sciences industry studies, patients are participating in new and innovative forms of treatment which will provide evidence for future improved care for all patients.

“The knowledge gained could provide the evidence to license new treatments in the NHS securing healthy lives for future generations.

“Partnerships between the NHS and the life sciences industry bring a range of benefits to the healthcare sector - giving trusts access to new treatments and funding for health research, while also boosting the wider economy each year through the development of cutting edge medical innovations.”