Clinical research is thriving in the NHS. Nevertheless, research has relatively low visibility and most patients are unaware of local opportunities unless they are approached to take part in a particular study by their doctor or nurse. We want patients to have both the information and the confidence to raise the subject of clinical research themselves if they wish, without having to rely on the first approach coming from a clinician.
• 95% of people said it was important to them that the NHS carries out clinical research
• Only 6% of those questioned said the public are well-informed about clinical research in the NHS
• Less than 21% said they would feel very confident about asking their doctor about research opportunities
Objectives of OK to Ask
• Encourage and empower more patients to ask about research opportunities that could be available to them if they have a medical condition they are receiving treatment for.
• Remind all healthcare professionals – from consultants and doctors to nurses, midwives and carers, whether research-active or not – to be research-aware and to support research activity.
The ‘Open Day’ activities at Chapel Allerton Hospital showcasing the research within the different departments affiliated with the BRC were extended in 2016 to involve staff and volunteers from all over Chapel Allerton Hospital
This included Research Nurses, Doctors, Radiographers, Sonographers, Podiatrists, Biomedical Scientists, Medical Physicists and Post Doc students from the University of Leeds as well as numerous members of the Patient and Public Involvement group.
• Tours of the Gait Lab with demonstrations by the Biomedical scientists and research podiatrists of the computer software used to measure the gait for research studies
• MRI Tours of the research specific 3 Tesla MRI in the research centre by senior MRI radiographers explaining the MRI scanning process and the MRI images from current musculoskeletal research projects that use MRI on the IMac and scanner computer
• Ultrasound demonstrations by the senior Musculoskeletal Research Ultrasonographer showing ultrasound techniques using the Voluson-I Laptop ultrasound scanner
• Demonstrations of the Biodex machine to show how data is collected and what it can be used to show
• Physiotherapy class by staff member in therapy department
• Tai Chi Beginners Session by Tai Chi trainer and core PPI group member
• Interactive stalls by the different departments including rheumatology, dermatology, therapy, clinical genetics, radiology and joint replacement
Prior to the OK to Ask Open Day a PPI outreach day took place in Leeds Market where the PPI representatives and managers from the BRC and the Clinical Research Facilities in Oncology and Cardiovascular research met members of the public to raise awareness of current research work, The OK to Ask campaign and the opportunities to be involved in research.
Please give thanks to all involved in today’s event. It was an exceptional event and a pleasure to attend. I fully agree with the sentiments expressed regarding the NIHR and hope that such efforts as today with bring about more awareness and further participation.