Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is supporting “It’s OK to ask” – a new campaign led by the National Institute for Health Research to encourage patients to ask their nurse or consultant about clinical research.
Clinical research is the way in which evidence is gathered to improve treatments for patients. In many cases doctors will approach patients and carers about taking part in research, but the campaign aims to empower patients to ask about it, to keep research at the top of the NHS England agenda.
John Goodacre, Director of the Cumbria and Lancashire Research Network, said:”In a recent poll, less than 21% of people said that they would feel confident about asking their doctor about opportunities to take part in research. That’s why we are supporting this campaign and promoting the fact that it’s OK to ask about research. If you have a medical condition and are undergoing treatment, we want to encourage you to ask your doctor, nurse or consultant about research, and whether it might be right for you or for someone you care for.”
This year’s International Clinical Trials Day will take place on 20 May. Staff from Lancashire Teaching Hospitals will have information stands at Royal Preston and Chorley and South Ribble hospitals, in the Minverva Health Centre in Preston and in some GP practices, all of which will promote the “It’s OK to ask” message and will enable patients to talk to staff about current opportunities to take part in research. During 2012/13, a total of 1,663 local patients were recruited onto the trust’s research studies covering a wide spectrum of conditions from diabetes, to children’s ear infections and early onset of labour, to name just a few.
Karen Partington, chief executive at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, said:” We are leading medical research programmes and participating in clinical trials that will lead to improved treatment and the development of new medicines, but we could not do so without the involvement of our patients. I would like to encourage patients to ask their nurses and doctors about our research programme, as it is only with their support that we can continue to lead improvements in healthcare through vital new research.”