South east London leading the way for patient research

People in south east London are benefiting from more participation in clinical research due to the excellent performance of local NHS organisations, according to new figures published today (Wednesday 2 August).

For the third year in a row moreNIHR clinical trials infographic_2017 patients and healthy volunteers participated in research at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust than at any other NHS trust in England. In 2016-17, just over 25,000 patients took part in clinical studies at the Trust and the number of patients and healthy volunteers participating in studies has more than doubled since 2014. 

King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust saw nearly 21,000 patients involved in clinical research during this period, the fourth highest amount in the country and a 40% increase on the number of people recruited last year.  The Trust’s largest study, which recruited nearly 8,500 patients, focused on the use of cell free DNA testing of maternal blood during the first three months of pregnancy.

South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust once again ran more research studies (89) than any another other mental health trust in the country. The Trust was also the country’s third highest performing mental health trust in terms of numbers of people recruited into studies. 

The three organisations are the NHS members of King’s Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre (AHSC), which brings together world-class research, education and clinical practice for the benefit of patients. As part of an AHSC, the trusts all benefit from a highly productive working relationship with their academic partner, King’s College London. 

Professor Sir Robert Lechler, Executive Director of King's Health Partners Academic Health Science Centre, says:

Investment in research leads to better and more cost-effective treatments which improves the quality of care for our patients and service users. We know that NHS organisations involved in clinical research achieve better health outcomes, so I am delighted to see all three of our trusts performing so well.

 Both patients and healthy volunteers are encouraged to talk to their healthcare professionals about participating in clinical research, as the latest figures show that a growing number of NHS sites and general practices are taking part in research. 

Alero Dabor, a cancer survivor and patient research advocate at Guy’s and St Thomas’ says:

Patients and members of the public are increasingly being seen less as just participants and more as partners in research and this can only be a good thing for everyone. 

The figures were released by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network alongside its annual Research Activity League Table, which details how much clinical research is happening, where, in what types of trusts, and the number of trial participants. 

Over the last five years, the NIHR has recruited more than 3.1 million participants into clinical research studies, enabling more patients to benefit from improved care.

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