Patients flock to hospital’s clinical trials

01 February 2013

QEHB has had an outstanding 2012 recruiting patients to take part in clinical trials which could save and change the lives of thousands of people.

Patients play a key role in helping researchers better understand medical conditions, whether that is just by providing blood samples for testing or by helping to trial new treatments.

Each hospital trust is given targets for the number of patients it is expected to recruit into studies, and of those with targets of more than 500 UHB is the best performing Trust in the Birmingham and Black Country Comprehensive Local Research Network.

From April 2012 to the end of November UHB had recruited 2,878 patients into non-commercial studies which are part of the National Institute for Health Research’s Clinical Research Network portfolio. This means the studies meet a particular set of criteria, and is the government’s way of measuring the performance of research institutions like QEHB.

The hospital recruited more than double the number of patients into these studies, compared with the next best recruiter, Heart of England Foundation Trust, which runs Good Hope and Heartlands hospitals. Apart from Heart of England, only two other trusts in this region recruited more than 1,000 patients.

The figures mean that the Trust is also on track to beat its target for the financial year, which ends in March.

Head of Research and Development Operations Joanne Plumb says the figures show the Trust is working well to engage with patients on research: “We have some world class researchers working here, but if we do not get the support of patients to volunteer then research is just not possible.

Joanne Plumb

Joanne Plumb

“Our research nurses in particular work very hard with patients to explain the benefits, both to the patient and the public in general, of taking part in research. The key message is that research is safe and beneficial,” she says.

“From seriously injured trauma patients who come though our Emergency Department to those with rare genetic disorders, and even those with relatively minor conditions or injuries can benefit from a huge range of research on offer for patients to participate in.

“These figures show just how hard, and how well, we’re working to engage with our patients to contribute to the overall effort to deliver the best in care here at QEHB.”