Clinical trials activity report for England highlights progress but much work still to be done

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) CRN CC has today published its clinical research activity report for the final quarter of 2011/12.  Some of the data and a good summary of what they mean is also available on The Guardian website. Last year was the first that this sort of information was made widely available.  So... Continue Reading →

There is no point to the javelin

It has come to this.  The world's top tennis players rush their shots to beat an 11pm curfew.  Bruce and Sir Paul are turned-off mid-performance.  And they don't use real javelins in schools. Looking across the the athletics field at my sons' school sports day, I spied a clutch of children competing in the javelin.  Except this... Continue Reading →

The NHS Commissioning Board Draft Mandate and patients in health research

The Shard went up (officially).  And the NHS Commissioning Board Draft Mandate came down from on high.  All on the same day.  Add the odd torrential downpour with its associated misery and these could be Biblical times. I have come to the conclusion that it is my fate to be locked away somewhere remote and with an intermittent... Continue Reading →

PLoS ONE study – I’d go further: poor quality information undermines rights of clinical trial participants

On my recent visit to Newcastle, my afternoon was spent talking to, and answering questions from, the public about research.  Clinical trials featured heavily.  The most common theme was their frustration over the poor quality information given to trial participants before, during and after a trial had finished. The journal, PloS ONE, has today published a... Continue Reading →

DH and charities reach acoRD over medical research costs

Divvying up the costs of conducting research in the NHS funded by medical research charities is an intricate business.   Who pays for that research nurse, their time in administering the extra treatment required in a clinical trial, the procedures and equipment needed as part of its conduct, the oversight and governance needed to ensure that things are done... Continue Reading →

“I thought, if nothing else comes out of this, I might be of service to other people” – ‘The Big C,’ NPR and clinical trials talk

Image via WikipediaTo begin with, this blog was going to be about the portrayal of clinical trials in popular drama,  inspired by the current US show 'The Big C.' The latest episode runs on More4 tonight at 10pm.  If you haven't seen it, then I strongly recommend a viewing. It is well-written, honest - to the point of sassy at... Continue Reading →

Michael J Fox? Hugh Grant? Thom Yorke? Who’s next to enter ‘clinical trials get me into it?’

Great launch last night for healthtalkonline's new clinical trials modules in which parents and young people talk about their experiences, warts and all. I think the next module in the offing is on 'Biobanking' with quite a few more in development. It is a strange but true and rather brilliant fact that the actor Hugh... Continue Reading →

BMJ talks tough on clinical trial data and the public interest

The BMJ publishes several papers today looking at the harm being done to research, patient care and the public interest by the incomplete disclosure or withholding of clinical trial data.  Click here for the BMJ's editorial  written by Dr Richard Lehman from Oxford University and the journal's clinical epidemiology editor Dr Elizabeth Loder.  An example of the... Continue Reading →

How’s your NHS Trust doing in the research league tables? Is Leeds the Man City of NHS Research? Does Bridgewater deserve the hairdrier treatment?

So NIHR CRN CC/The Guardian have today published a league table of how each NHS Trust is performing in research as defined by the number of research studies and the number of patients taking part.  I believe this is the first time such a table has been compiled and a thoroughly good thing it is... Continue Reading →

In defence of the clinical trial patient: a health research ombudsman?

Over a half a million members of the British public took part in clinical trials through the NIHR Clinical Trials Research Networks in 2010, a 24% increase on the year before.  Those are the Government's figures, not mine. Last week's 'life sciences' announcement included a range of measures to increase patient recruitment to trials.  These include... Continue Reading →

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