Good morning. There is one week to go before International Clinical Trials Day on 20 May. NIHR’s ‘Ok to ask’ campaign is off to a flying start with 150 hospitals already signed-up to take part. Remember, you can find out more details on the ‘Ok to ask’ website.
A number of Clinical Commissioning Groups and Healthwatch organisations have been in touch to ask: ‘what can we do?’ Well, I hope they will join forces and support their local research networks or NHS Trusts in events they already have planned would seem an excellent idea.
But there is another important way in which you can mark International Clinical Trials Day and help improve the opportunities for patients to take part in clinical research. All NHS organisations have new duties to promote and advance research under the Health and Social Care Act 2012. Many have only just begun to grapple with what this means and how to fulfil them. That’s understandable given the major changes that have just happened.
So, how about making sure there is a 15 minute item on the agenda for your next CCG or Healthwatch meeting entitled ‘Improving patient choice in research.’ Don’t even worry about having a paper written for it. Why not just have a roundtable discussion about what this means for the Board and how it might take things forward with other partners including patients and the public.
A next step might then be to have a paper written setting out a strategy. By putting it on the agenda you will be beginning to set the future agenda for research in your area. Think of it as research’s 15 minutes of fame but with reprints for years to come…..