Nottingham hospitals see increase in clinical trial participation

The number of participants in clinical trials held in Nottingham hospitals increased almost twofold between 2015/2016 and 2016/2017.


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The numbers behind the increase

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has published statistics showing a record recruitment of 10,003 individuals at the Nottingham University Hospitals (NUH) NHS trust in 2016/17. This is almost double the 2015/16 figure, when 5,549 individuals were recruited.

The NHS trust manages the Nottingham City Hospital and the Queen’s Medical Centre. It undertook 403 studies in 2016/17, with patients participating in clinical trials as part of their treatment and with no financial incentive. There is also a trend towards increased participation in trials undertaken by the NHS Nottingham City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). The CCG has been leading the way in engaging GP surgeries, of which 80 per cent are now on board, and over 500 patients were recruited in this manner in 2016-2017.

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The innovation fuelling the research

The deputy director of research and innovation, Dr Maria Koufali, commented on the improved model of management as being a key reason for the successful boost to clinical research at NUH. The new NIHR Biomedical Research Centre and Clinical Research Facility was the result of a £26m investment, which the trust hopes will help to continue its successful medical breakthroughs and innovative strategies. By 2021, it aims to provide each patient at Nottingham University Hospitals with the chance to participate in clinical research, should they wish to do so.

Other methods of reliable patient recruitment through extensive databases are available, such as the patient recruitment services offered by clinical research organisations such as

2016/2017 saw a marked increase in research activity at 65 per cent of NHS trusts and 26 per cent of CCG regions, enabling 665,000 individuals to participate and potentially benefit from greater care and treatment.

The benefit to participants

The University of Nottingham’s Occupational Therapy in Homecare Reablement study enabled 60-year-old Stuart Belshaw to participate after chronic renal failure led to the amputation of his left leg. Following the study, Mr Belshaw found himself more confident, positive, and requiring less assistance when it came to personal hygiene routines. Various other success stories indicate the potential benefit to patients of undergoing trials, which lead to new diagnostic approaches and treatments.