The opportunity to take part in clinical research studies sponsored by the life sciences industry increased for residents of Bath and North East Somerset (BaNES) in 2017-2018, according to the latest Research Activity League Table data from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).
By taking part in NHS healthcare studies sponsored by the life sciences industry – also known as ‘commercial’ studies – people are able to gain access to new and innovative types of care and treatments, while helping to answer important health questions.
The number of commercial trials offered by GP surgeries in BaNES increased by 75% in 2017-2018, testament to the hard work of research staff across the region. This means that patients have had greater opportunities to potentially receive cutting-edge treatment. Across the country, 34% of NHS trusts and 28% of CCG regions increased the number of commercial studies they supported during 2017-2018.
Dr Lisa Austin, Research Manager for Bath Research and Development, said:
“Commercial research brings many benefits, including new investment and prosperity to the region. But most importantly it offers new clinical treatments and technologies to patients with long term conditions. I am very keen to ensure that increasing numbers of patients have the opportunity to take part in clinical trials, in their own community, via their local GP.”
For research active GP surgeries, offering more commercial research opportunities can benefit the surgery in many ways, giving GP practices access to new treatments and funding to deliver health research which will provide evidence for future improved care for all patients.
Heart of Bath Medical Partnership has a dedicated Clinical Trials team at Oldfield Surgery that has been inviting patients to get involved in research for more than 25 years. The team undertakes both academic and commercial studies for a range of conditions such as diabetes, skin problems, depression, vaccinations and cancer self-care. The team recently won an award for recruiting the first patient in the world to a statin study called Da Vinci (sponsored by Amgen in collaboration with Imperial College, London).