Patients, clinicians, researchers and members of the public came together at Guy’s and St Thomas’ to mark International Clinical Trials Day on Friday 20 May.

Celebrated around the world each year, International Clinical Trials Day commemorates the date in 1747 on which James Lind started his famous trial on the deadly disease scurvy while serving as ship’s surgeon on HMS Salisbury.

Representatives from the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and King’s College London, King’s Health Partners, the NIHR Clinical Research Network, and Evelina London Children’s hospitals, were on hand to talk with visitors about the important role that research plays in improving care for patients.

As well as a wealth of information about our research platforms and clinical trials, there were also a number of interactive science demonstrations which were designed to help members of the public better understand how clinical trials work.

View pictures from the day and find out more about the work of our Public Engagement team on their Research Roadshow Facebook page

Pictures from the day

ICTD Photo Collage

  • Top left: Abedayo Adebiyi, a patient at Guy’s, and his daughter Abimbola Williams took part in our Jaffa cake mock clinical trial (see below).
  • Top right: Alex (4-year-old Batman) and Sam Short (6) with their mum Jenn at the Evelina London party. Sam has achondroplasia (also known as dwarfism) and is taking part in a clinical trial at Evelina London Children’s Hospital.
  • Bottom left: Ava Wood is entertained at a special party for trial volunteers at Evelina London Children’s Hospital. Six-year-old Ava is a volunteer on the ADAPT study which is searching for a new treatment for severe eczema in children.
  • Bottom right: Retired Dietician Marianne Vennegoor speaking to Hannah Mason, Senior Clinical Research Associate from King’s Health Partners Clinical Trials Office, about the clinical trials taking place at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.

Surprising results

One of the most popular activities on the day harnessed the power of Jaffa cakes in a mock clinical trial which aimed to provide an accessible way for researchers to talk to members of the public about how clinical trials work.

Visitors to the stand were taken through an eligibility questionnaire before being asked to rate (out of 10) the taste of a market-leading brand of Jaffa cake, versus the taste of a supermarket’s own brand. To remove bias, the trial was ‘double blinded’ so neither the researchers nor the participants knew which biscuit was which.

In a surprising result, 55 percent of trial participants gave the supermarket’s own brand biscuit a higher score for quality of taste than the market-leading brand. 35 percent had a preference for the brand biscuit and 10 percent rated them on par.

Research leaders

Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust is one of the country’s leading NHS research organisations ranked in the top three trusts for research by the National Institute for Health Research’s annual league tables, last published during 2014, with 422 studies.

The Biomedical Research Centre at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College London undertakes pioneering scientific and clinical research with the ultimate goal of translating advances in biomedical research into benefits for patients. These studies, which bring together principal investigators, clinicians, patients, healthy volunteers and industry to collectively shape the future of healthcare and improve patient outcomes.