Clinical Trials and Research

Department of Health written question – answered on 26th May 2016.

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Photo of Derek Thomas Derek Thomas Conservative, St Ives

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to ensure all patients have the opportunity to participate in clinical trials and research.

Photo of George Freeman George Freeman The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The NHS Constitution includes the following pledge: “The NHS commits to inform you of research studies in which you may be eligible to participate”. The Department, via the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), has a number of initiatives to deliver on the pledge, including the UK Clinical Trials Gateway ( which is a public website where patients, carers and clinicians can find out about clinical studies current studies underway.

The NIHR runs an annual national campaign called ‘Ok to ask’, to encourage the public to ask their clinician about research participation; more specifically, in 2014, the NIHR launched Join Dementia Research to encourage 100,000 people to volunteer to participate in dementia research by 2020; finally, through the NIHR Clinical Research Networks, last year 618,000 patients were recruited by NHS Providers into clinical trials.

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