Patients urged to ask about clinical trials

Posted on in Research

Patients who want to find out more about taking part in clinical trials are invited to meet the research and development team at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust tomorrow.

Ok to Ask 2015

The research and development team will be in The James Cook University Hospital main restaurant on Wednesday 20 May 2015 from 12pm to 1pm to raise awareness for International Clinical Trials Day 2015.

Last year more than 2,500 patients took part in around 200 different trials at the trust including:

  • Exploring the potential benefits of exercise prior to major surgery
  • Comparing keyhole surgery to conventional surgery for heart patients requiring aortic valve replacements
  • Trialling a pioneering electrotherapy treatment designed to strengthen pelvic floor muscles and help women beat incontinence
  • A national observational study to assess the long-term effects and safety of biologic treatments for psoriasis.
  • A trial to determine whether a steroid treatment could reduce long term kidney failure in patients with a certain type of kidney diseaseResearch nurses

Julie Rowbotham, research and development manager said: “Research at South Tees continues to grow year on year – there are very few areas now where we do not have clinical trials.

“Last year we had more than 2,500 patients taking part in clinical trials to help us learn more about how to treat a wide range of medical conditions.

“International Clinical Trials Day is the one day of the year where there is global focus on participation in clinical trials however at South Tees we focus on trials 52 weeks of the year.  The message we wish to get across is ‘It’s OK to Ask’.

“If you are interested in participating in clinical trials please do not hesitate to contact research and development for further advice or speak to your consultant or nurse.”

Research teams at the trust are always looking for volunteers to take part in various studies. To find out more visit our Research and development webpages.

Clinical trials – a patient’s perspective…

Keith Taylor, 65, an educational consultant from of Bishop Auckland has just signed up for his third clinical trial – a study to help prevent future complications in coronary heart disease. He has previously taken part in a cholesterol study and also supported research into the effect of low doses of radiation on surgeons’ eyes. Here he shares his experiences in his own words…

“There are many reasons why trials are undertaken and my lack of medical knowledge means that I am blissfully unaware of many of them.

Keith Taylor

Keith Taylor

What I do know is that without such trials taking place the likelihood of me still being around would be statistically lowered. Other people have previously taken part in such trials and have therefore enabled me to live a better quality life than I would have done otherwise.

So, I have more tablets to take, I rattle a little more each morning! It is a pain taking extra tablets every day but I know that it is for a good reason and one that I can subscribe to.

I have to regularly travel a 60 mile round trip to The James Cook University Hospital. I am not keen on the traffic through Middlesbrough but get a lovely welcome when I get there! I can also discuss any issues or problems that I perceive with my own health and seek advice and support whilst I am there. There’s a bonus!

I was immensely grateful to the staff for their explanation of why the trial was taking place and possible outcomes of the research. Making it real and important is a vital ingredient of managing the process. Putting it into perspective was a spur to being committed to supporting the trial.

I haven’t found the trial a major issue but it is certain that you have to take it seriously in order that the results from the trial are valid. I, therefore, do my utmost to stick to the regime suggested and log any variations.

It can cause some additional issues with holidays and variations to daily schedules but these can be catered for with preparation and planning. Again, you need to be determined to ensure that the results obtained from the trial are not affected by negligence on your part. It is difficult but problems are not normally insurmountable.

I am semi-retired and therefore do not find the involvement in a clinical trial particularly difficult. I can see that there could be more issues were I working full time.

This is the third trial that I have been involved with and all have been interesting and worthwhile. I look forward to one every five years for the next 30 years or so…but maybe that’s optimistic!”