International Clinical Trials Day is celebrated around the world on or near the 20 May each year, to commemorate the day that James Lind started his famous trial on the deadly disease scurvy back in 1747. Members of Lind’s crew were suffering from Scurvy, which is a disease that causes swollen, bleeding gums and previously healed wounds to open. Lind created a trial where he divided the sailors into different groups and gave them specific items to eat and drink. The group that had been given oranges and lemons had practically recovered in just five days, leading to his theory that citrus fruit – vitamin C – cured the disease.
Clinical trials have developed a great deal since Lind's discovery, but today we remember his work and the importance of research in healthcare. It provides a focal point to raise awareness of the importance of research to health care, and highlights how partnerships between patients and healthcare practitioners are vital to high-quality, relevant research.
On International Clinical Trials Day, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) promotes its "OK to ask" campaign to encourage patients and the public to ask medical professionals such as their doctor or nurse, about clinical research and opportunities to take part.
Clinical research is thriving in the NHS with more than 600,000 patients taking part in clinical research studies in 2013/14. It is known that it is mostly through a clinician-led approach that these patients are recruited into research studies, and that research overall has a low visibility in the NHS. We want this to change and to ensure that patients are more aware that research takes place in all settings of the NHS. The “OK to ask” campaign is designed to help this.
Beaumont Leys 23 May 2015
This year we are bringing International Clinical Trials Day to you! This Saturday, we will be at Beaumont Shopping Centre to talk about all the research at Leicester’s Hospitals and the many different ways that you can be involved. Come and visit us at the stand. We look forward to meeting you!
Read more about the OK to Ask campaign here: