Be Part of HSC Research in Northern Ireland21st May 2020
For the last few years, on International Clinical Trials Day (ICTD) (20 May), (the day that James Lind started the first clinical trial to treat the disease of scurvy amongst his ship’s crew through a diet oranges and lemons), HSC R&D Division, and our HSC partners, have been highlighting the importance of research through public awareness campaigns.
The ‘BePartofResearch’ Campaign, led by the National Institute of Health Research in England, aims to encourage patients, carers, public and staff to find out more about what research is taking place in Health and Social Care and the different ways they might get involved. This could be by sharing information about a study, participating in a study or helping to plan and design a study.
This year, as researchers from all over the world, including Northern Ireland, come together to look for new drugs, treatments, vaccines or surveillance techniques to help combat Covid-19, the role of research has become all the more vital. Not all research into COVID-19 is looking at treatments, others are studying the progress of COVID-19 so we can understand it better or looking at the effects of social distancing on the spread of coronavirus and on people’s well-being. All types of research are important in helping us to understand and beat COVID-19.
Recently, the CMOs jointly stated the importance of clinical trials and the urgent need for participants to be recruited to these studies both locally and nationally. In Northern Ireland, there are currently over 100 patients currently recruited on Covid-19 related trials. While so far the priority has been for people in hospital, intensive care units and higher risk patients in the community who are being cared for in relation to COVID-19 to have the opportunity to take part, there is now a call to look at the risk factors, transmission and prevalence of the COVID-19 virus.
At the same time, research into other illnesses remains important. While some of this has been put on hold due to researchers having to return to the front line, efforts are now being made across the UK to ensure that this work is restarted and continues.
You can find out more about research that is happening in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK and opportunities to take part by visiting https://www.bepartofresearch.nihr.ac.uk/
HSC R&D Division, Public Health Agency, has also joined with the Patient Client Council to develop a register of people interested in taking part in research in Northern Ireland.
To register please go to the following link: https://patientclientcouncil.hscni.net/get-involved/join-our-membership-scheme/