Simply, today’s research is tomorrow’s care. People being looked after in the NHS today benefit from research that has already taken place and will continue to benefit from research taking place today. The NHS has made huge progress in developing new treatments and medicines, but there is still much that is unknown. Research can answer questions, filling in the gaps in knowledge and changing the way Doctors and health professionals treat their patients. This means improved treatment and care for you and your family, not only today but in the future.
What is a clinical trial?
A clinical trial is a particular type of research that we run here at the Trust. A clinical trial simply tests one treatment against another. They are often carried out on large numbers of people before the results are considered reliable to be used to change practice.
Why is clinical research important?
Doctors, health professionals and patients need evidence from clinical trials to know which treatments work best. Without research evidence, there is a risk that people could be given treatments that have no benefit, that waste NHS resources and that might even be harmful.
Therefore, clinical research find out:
- if treatments are safe
- if treatments have any side effects
- if new treatments are better than current standard treatments.
Clinical research can help to:
- prevent illnesses by testing a vaccine
- detect or diagnose illnesses by testing a scan or blood test
- treat illnesses by testing a new medicine or device
- find out how best to help people with their illness
- help people control their illness or improve their quality of life by testing how a particular diet affects a condition.
Clinical Research follows a set of rules (called a protocol) to ensure that they are as safe as possible for the people taking part, that they measure the right things in the right way and that the results are correct. They go through robust checks before they can begin from the Health Research Authority (HRA), as well as from this hospital’s Research and Development Department.
Clinical research is designed to show whether new medicines work as planned. These results are sent to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA); which then decides whether to allow the company making the medicine to sell it.
Research studies are being undertaken every day within the NHS and are often managed by hospital Doctors and health professionals that may be looking after you.