Celebrating life-changing research: International Clinical Trials Awareness Day
The 20 May marks an important day for our partnership – Clinical Trials Awareness Day.
Clinical Trials Awareness Day is celebrated globally on the anniversary of the day when James Lind, a ship’s surgeon in the British Royal Navy, conducted what is widely considered to be the first randomised clinical trial. On May 20, 1774, James Lind looked to find possible cures for scurvy and in this trial, the remedial properties of lemons and oranges were discovered. Fast forward 248 years and clinical trials are common practice in health care; many clinical trials lead to the development of life-changing treatments and create a better quality of life for participants and people with developing conditions.
What is healthcare without research?
Since the first trial, International Clinical Trials Awareness Day has been recognised yearly to highlight the importance of clinical trials. The day helps to promote the latest research and recruit new volunteers for future studies. On Saturday 20 May the Evening Standard reported that ‘more than 246,000 Londoners take part in research in 2022’ so this day recognises the generosity of volunteers whose contributions have helped people to live better, manage a range of conditions and / or recover.
To list all the new health treatments and interventions which have been established over the last 248 years may seem like an impossible task, but without volunteers for clinical trials there would be no new developments, no new treatments and nothing more to add to the list.
King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (NHS FT) were keen to celebrate the day so they brought together volunteers, patients and staff for a special event with the theme #BePartofResearch. Research participants with Parkinson’s attended the event and helped to share the message, encouraging others to find out more about clinical trials. The Trust said, “We pride ourselves on developing new treatments and groundbreaking surgical techniques, to help improve patient care.” The NIHR also joined the event to give a guest presentation talking to staff and patients about the work they do.
The NIHR Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) is part of the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) and hosted by South London and Maudsley NHS FT in partnership with King's College London. The BRC bring together scientists, clinicians, allied health professionals, service users and carers from across South London and Maudsley NHS FT and King's College London. Staff members shared the nine new 2022-2027 research themes at a stall.
In 2022-3 Guy's and St Thomas’ NHS FT recruited 15,506 people into 2,295 research studies. The research team at Harefield Hospital celebrated with a stall. The team carries out pioneering and world-class research into heart and lung disease – click here to find out more.
In July 2023 the NHS will celebrate 75 years of service and joining in with the celebrations is the NIHR which is running the “Shape the Future” campaign and calling on staff and patients to consider how research can continue to improve patient outcomes. If you want to get involved in clinical trial research visit the NIHR website to find out how you can help “Shape the Future”.