Date: 02 July 2019
There were more commercial clinical research studies supported by GPs in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) than anywhere else in England during 2018-2019.
According to the latest data released by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), GPs in BNSSG offered patients and the public the opportunity to take part in 13 studies that were sponsored by the life sciences industry last year.
Commercial research studies are those designed by the life-sciences industry designed to determine the safety and effectiveness of new treatments they are developing.
For the public accessing healthcare, research brings a greater opportunity to access new and innovative types of care and treatments, while helping researchers answer important health questions.
Dr Sam Davies, GP at West Walk Surgery, Yate, said: "We have thoroughly enjoyed working on research studies over the years, and have been delighted to see the benefits patients can experience from being on treatments that would not have otherwise been available to them outside of a research study. Our patients often give us glowing feedback about their involvement in the studies, and appreciate the extra scrutiny of their medical condition that they receive being part of a research trial, which is hugely rewarding for us as clinicians."
Wiltshire and Bath and North East Somerset also appeared in the top ten of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) regions supporting and recruiting to commercial studies.
Overall, there has been a 73% increase in the number of research participants across all studies in the West of England region.
Across the country, 25% of NHS trusts and 17% of CCG regions increased the number of commercial studies they supported during 2018-2019.
Dr Kyla Thomas, Clinical Director of NIHR Clinical Research Network West of England, said:
“More than 37,380 people across the West participated in research last year, a 73% increase from the year before, meaning that more people are being offered the opportunity to take part. Evidence clearly shows that research active NHS partners have better patient outcomes. With research increasingly expanding into social care and primary care, the outlook is very encouraging.
“The results are a great achievement for all involved, and highlight the growing commitment to research from the NHS and patients.”
Rachel Avery, Research Governance Officer for BNSSG CCG, said:"We are pleased to see this great achievement by our local GPs increasing the opportunity for our patients to participate in high quality clinical trials.”
Jonathan Sheffield, Chief Executive Officer of the NIHR Clinical Research Network says:
“It’s been a fantastic year for health and care research across England, with 100% of trusts supporting research studies, providing patients with more opportunities than ever before to take part in vital research which improves future treatment and care.
"There’s a growing body of evidence which suggests that research-active hospitals have lower mortality rates, and better patient outcomes, so the NIHR Clinical Research Network will continue to work closely with the NHS organisations to ensure that research continues to be offered to people as part of quality patient care.
"The number of patients taking part in research this year is a significant step towards meeting the NHS Long Term Plan, of one million people being registered as interested in taking part in research by 2024. I would like to thank all those hard working NHS staff who are supporting the delivery of research in addition to their clinical duties, as we could not achieve these results without you.”
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