Guy’s and St Thomas’ had more research studies open for patients to join in 2018/19 than any other NHS Trust in England, according to figures released today (2 July).
In 2018-19, the Trust supported 567 studies, an increase of 6.4% on the 2017-18 figures.
The Trust also recruited 19,522 patients to research studies in 2018-19, putting it in the top ten in the country for the number of patients taking part in research. The figure is up 2.4% compared to the 19,063 patients recruited in 2017-18.
The figures were published by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the nation’s largest funder of health and care research. Its mission is to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research.
Every year, Clinical Research Network (CRN) publishes the NIHR Research Activity League Table. This table provides a picture of research activity across all NHS Trusts and CCG regions in England.
Dr Ian Abbs, Chief Medical Officer at Guy’s and St Thomas’, said: “Clinical research is core to our work at Guy’s and St Thomas’. By remaining at the forefront of research, we aim to ensure that our patients receive the best possible care.
“Our place at the top of the league table for the number of open studies is a testament to the work of our staff, including our clinical teams who lead and recruit to studies, and our experts supporting them behind the scenes.
“We owe a huge thanks to our patients who take part in research. They generously volunteer their time for the benefit of others, and without them none of our research would be possible.”
Eilidh Ho, 33 from Clerkenwell, enrolled her newborn son, Finlay into the SOFTER trial at Guy’s and St Thomas’. The study is testing whether using water softeners from birth will help reduce the risk of a child developing eczema.
Eilidh found out about the trial after attending antenatal classes at Guy’s and St Thomas’. Eilidh said: “I was instantly interested in taking part. My nephews suffered from eczema as babies so I was already aware of it and interested myself to see if there was a difference using water softeners.”
She continued: “It was easy to sign up and within a month I had met with a research nurse at an appointment and had all the information regarding what the trial fully involved.
“I would 100% encourage people to take part in research. You get great care and attention throughout the study and a trial is something that will hopefully benefit a lot of people in the long run and we’ve found it a privilege to take part.”
Guy’s and St Thomas’ is part of King’s Health Partners, an Academic Health Sciences Centre which brings together world-class research, education and clinical practice for the benefit of patients. Trusts from across King’s Health Partners also performed well in the league table.
A total of 870,250 participants took part in NIHR CRN supported clinical research studies in 2018/19 – the highest number on record and an increase of over 140,000 since last year.
Dr Jonathan Sheffield, Chief Executive Officer of the NIHR Clinical Research Network said: “Congratulations to Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust for topping this year’s League Table. The Trust is recruiting to a breadth of interventional studies, ensuring that patients are able to access new treatments from across a range of conditions. I would like to extend my thanks to the tremendous effort made by their staff to ensure that research is a top priority as part of providing quality patient care.”
Guy’s and St Thomas’ is part of the NIHR CRN South London, which provides the infrastructure that allows high-quality clinical research to take place in the NHS across south London.
Professor Andrew Shennan OBE, Co-Clinical Director of NIHR CRN South London and consultant obstetrician at Guy’s and St Thomas’ said: “These excellent results demonstrate how research is continuing to thrive throughout south London and I am particularly proud to note that Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust tops the league table having run the most studies in the country in 2018-19.
“Nearly all our sites have seen a substantial increase in activity, being delivered more efficiently, across the portfolio. This is a fantastic achievement and I’d like to say thank you to all researchers in the NHS and community sites for their hard work in continuing to grow the research portfolio.
“Research is vital as it is the only way we can develop better treatments and care, as well as to improve overall diagnosis and prevention for our patients.”