Simon Denegri

Patients are part of the crew in health research, not passengers


Simon Denegri

Date: 17 May 2017

It’s a big week in research.

To mark International Clinical Trials Day on Saturday 20 May, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is promoting its I Am Research (#iamresearch) national campaign to raise awareness of the part played by patients, carers and the public in making research happen.

From today until well into early July, NIHR organisations together with local NHS hospitals and GP surgeries up and down the country will be holding more than 100 events to get the message out that patients are vital to research. By taking part in research, yes. But also by helping NIHR to identify research priorities in the future and designing better research. As I like to say in my talks: the world of research works better with patients as partners. Just ask Max, one of of our patients supporting the campaign.

If you are looking for a local event to support then you can find out more on the fabulous I Am Research campaign website which is rich in resources to support people and organisations who wish to make a noise about research this week. There you will also find out more about each of the different strands of I Am Research 2017 including:

  • The NIHR’s work in promoting the benefits of clinical research through social media, press and events
  • Signposting people to the UK Clinical Trials Gateway website – which enables people to find clinical studies of interest to them locally and nationally.
  • Promoting Theatre of Debate 2017 – this event will screen a short film People Are Messy, which explores clinical research from the perspective of a participant. There are ten screenings taking place around the country that will provide a focal point for local clinical research activity.
  • Highlighting the many different ways in which people can get involved in and contribute to research.

If you’ve only got 30 seconds this week you can still support the campaign on social media by signing up to our Thunderclap and make our collective voice heard. As I say, it only takes 30 seconds! And, if you do join in, please make sure you share and invite your friends and followers to do so too.

You can also support us by liking our Facebook page and perhaps posting your story in research if you have one.

This is the fifth year that the NIHR has run a campaign for International Clinical Trials Day. Our campaign over the past few years was focused on the ‘OK to Ask’ message encouraging patients to ask their doctor about taking part in clinical trials. For 2017 we wanted to still get this message out but also highlight the other ways people contribute to research, we wanted a campaign highlighting the fact that behind all research there is a personal story. Hence I Am Research.

International Clinical Trials Day is significant because it was the day James Lind started the first ever clinical study in 1747 to test the cause of scurvy in sailors. The rest is history as they say and science itself is often described as a voyage of discovery. If so, then why would you set off with half of the crew (patients and carers) and half the knowledge (patient and carer experience and insight) that’s available to you.

‘I Am Research.’ Join it. Support it. Shout it.

See to get involved.

*This article was originally published on Simon Denegri's blog.


Read more I am Research Blogs:


The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the NIHR, NHS or the Department of Health and Social Care.
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