Research team recruits 12,500 patients to clinical trials

Members of the Research and Development Team at the Clinical Research Centre at Blackpool Victoria Hospital

Michelle Stephens (centre, in pink) with members of the Research and Development Team at the Clinical Research Centre at Blackpool Victoria Hospital

An amazing 12,500 patients have taken part in clinical trials at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The Trust is thanking participants as it prepares to mark International Clinical Trials Day on May 20 at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

Michelle Stephens, Head of the Research and Development Department at the Trust, said: “Every month we record the numbers of patients who have taken part in our clinical trials – we’ve had more than 12,500 since 2008 – 12,658 to be precise!

“It’s a big number and a fantastic achievement. Everyone has worked incredibly hard to achieve this.

“The biggest part of our success is the willingness of our patients to join our studies and to make a difference to others.

“We would like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to them for wanting to help. We are very grateful to them.”

Doctors, nurses, midwives and whole host of clinical staff talk to patients about the possibility of taking part in clinical trials within the Trust.

Michelle said: “The staff talk to patients about studies that might be suitable for them and their condition.

“That is how most patients get involved. Patients can also request to take part in trials and members of the public can volunteer to be involved in research by sitting on our Research and Carer Patient panel too.

“Patients join studies for a range of different reasons. The theme running through why patients are taking part in a study is that they are making a difference;  they are giving something back to society.”

Research nurses have an important role within the team

Research nurses have an important role within the team

Michelle said she is very proud of the work that the Trust does to promote research.

“She added: “Being research active as a Trust not only gives patients an opportunity to try new medicines, but we also have the opportunity to work in partnership with universities, NHS organisations and commercial organisations.

“We have the opportunity to trial new medicines at reduced costs. We also have access to the results of studies long before they are published.

“The advantage of this is that we can change our practices for our patients much quicker than we could if we had to wait for the results to be published in the health journals. That can be two to three years down the line.

“We have large teams of research staff supporting multiple studies so we can offer trials to a wider patient population.

“Our staff always go above and beyond for our patients.”

Research studies take place in many of the Trust’s departments including Women and Children, Oncology, Cardiovascular, Stroke, Diabetes, Gastroenterology, Microbiology, Emergency Medicine, Critical Care, Haematology, Oncology, Respiratory, Orthopaedics and many more specialities.

The theme of this year’s International Clinical Trials Day on May 20 is ‘It’s ok to ask’. Members of the public will be encouraged to ask their health professionals about taking part in clinical trials.

Members of the public, the media and patients are all welcome to meet the Research and Development team and members of the Patient and Carer Research Panel at Blackpool Victoria Hospital in Friday, May 20, during the International Clinical Trials Day celebration.

Visit the mezzanine level the main reception at Blackpool Victoria Hospital between 11.30am and 2.00pm to meet the team and find out more. The Clinical Research Centre will also be open for members of the public and patients to come and look around during these times.

For further information about International Clinical Trials Day go to


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