Patients urged to ask GP about clinical trials

Patients in England will be encouraged to ask their GP about taking part in clinical trials as part of a campaign to boost the numbers benefiting from medical research.

Less than a fifth of patients said they would ask their GP about taking part in research (Photo: PhotoDisc)
Less than a fifth of patients said they would ask their GP about taking part in research (Photo: PhotoDisc)

The campaign, called 'It's OK to ask', aims to increase the numbers of patients asking their doctor about participating in trials for new treatments for their condition.

A poll by organisers the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) found that less than a fifth of patients would feel confident asking their doctor about taking part in a research study.

Despite over 595,000 people taking part in clinical research in England last year, many others may be missing out on beneficial treatments.

Simon Denegri from the NIHR said: 'We want patients to know that research is happening in the NHS, have access to information about local opportunities, and feel empowered to speak to their doctors about the possibilities.

'This campaign is about getting that conversation going, and letting patients know that they don’t have to wait to be approached by their doctor or nurse.'

The campaign comes just after a survey from medical charities found three quarters of GPs said time pressures had prevented them getting involved in clinical research.

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