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Could you take part in a clinical trial?

20 May 2013

Health Care

Patients at Southend University Hospital are being asked to consider taking part in clinical trials being run by doctors and nurses.

Monday May 20 is International Clinical Trials Day and at Southend sees the launch of a new video for patients aimed at encouraging them to ask their hospital doctor if they can participate in an appropriate trial.

The video will be on the hospital website and will be sent via email link to the hospital's 3,000-plus staff. All hospital outpatient appointment letters will soon also include similar information.

The man spearheading the drive is Prof Bhaskar Dasgupta. The consultant rheumatologist and clinical director of research and development at the hospital said: "Research is at the very heart of the NHS.

"It contributes to better patient care, it enables us to attract even more higher-quality clinicians to come and work here.

"Patients may not benefit directly from taking part in trials. But for many, they have the reassurance of having one-to-one care and access to scans, blood tests, regular check-ups and so on.

 "Their participation is never wasted and patients know they will be helping out future generations."

The video features four patients who have taken part in trials for a variety of conditions, as well as interviews with clinicians and research nurses involved in their care, some of whom are pictured.

SouthendHospitalhas an excellent reputation for research. Last October, for example, it won a £3,000 cash prize - the Constance Thornton Fellowship 2012 - for the work it's been doing to improve treatment for patients with stiff and painful shoulder joints.

Its stroke unit regularly wins accolades for the work it is doing to minimise the devastating effects of the condition, and is one of the best recruiting hospitals in the country for stroke trials.

Want to find out more? Please call research and development manager Dr Craig Mackerness on 01702 385089,