Doctors, nurses and scientists from all over Research and Development at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and King’s College London, once again came together to celebrate International Clinical Trials Day.
Celebrated all over the world, International Clinical Trials Day recognises the day in 1747 that James Lind, a ship’s surgeon aboard the HMS Salisbury, began his pioneering clinical trial into the causes of scurvy.
Our teams use the occasion to engage with our patients, members of the public and non-research staff in the exciting work we carry out.
In the Atrium at Guy’s Hospital the Translational Oncology and Urology Research teamed up with colleagues from the Physiotherapy team to highlight the importance of exercise as standard care for men with advanced prostate cancer. The Transplant, Renal and Urology (TRU) and Gastrointestinal Medicine & Surgery (GMS) showcased interactive activity studies comparing robotic surgery to normal surgery in patients with bladder cancer. We also had the Centre for Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine demonstrating their stem cell embroidery workshop.
In the Central Hall at St Thomas’ the School of Biomedical Engineering and Imaging Sciences had various activities including inviting people to “hunt the Radioactivity’ concealed in dummy body parts. The Department of Twin Research invited people to test their pain tolerance with the ice water challenge and the Lane Fox Respiratory Unit showed off the difference between an old fashioned Iron Lung machine and more modern non-invasive ventilation machines.
Research Nurses from the Evelina London Children’s Hospital also had a range of games and quizzes for both children and parents.
Both events were well attended and members of the public seemed impressed with the range of work taking place. Many weren’t aware that the hospital carried out research, and some volunteered to take part in upcoming trials.
Dr Marta Varela, a Research Associate from the School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences at King’s College London, said taking part in the day helped her to meet patients and find out more about their experiences.
“I really enjoyed the event. It was great to interact with patients and their families, and to find out directly how medical research has improved their lives. It was also very rewarding to see how members of the public quickly grasped the purpose of our research and asked very insightful questions.”
The National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), which aims to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research, runs the “I Am Research” campaign to give patients, the public and health and social care research professionals a chance to shout about how fantastic research is. This year, events have been happening round the country including a social media Thunderclap, which reached more than 2.3 million people. Visit the NIHR website to find out more about their I Am Research c ampaign and celebrations of the NHS’s 70th birthday. You can also follow #Iamresearch and #NHS70 on social media.
Patients and members of the public can find out more about getting involved in trials by asking their doctor, visiting Guy’s and St Thomas’ research pages, or by visiting the UK Clinical Trials Gateway, which provides useful information about how research is conducted and provides links to current and upcoming trials.