Wokingham hospital

Thames Valley and South Midlands' contribution to research participants reaching one million

Date: 08 February 2017 to 01 January 2019

One million patients have now taken part in research through their local GP practice in England, through the NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN).

We are proud of our contribution, here in the Thames Valley and South Midlands area, with 56% of our local GP Practices involved with research. To celebrate our success, we have contacted two local people to tell us a bit more about research.


Hear from…


Gordon Moultrie 

Gordon is a research participant and Patient Research Ambassador. As a member of the NIHR CRN’s Partnership Group, he represents the public voice for research. He has helped bring research studies to his local Health Centre in Chipping Norton.

How do you feel about your local Health Centre offering patients the opportunity to take part in research?

“Marvellous! What’s not to feel good about a primary healthcare unit exercising its role as the first stop in clinical research on behalf of its patients? This will arguably become one of the cornerstone components of future healthcare services in this country

“It’s time to positively address the needs of patients now. Research can help. So let’s ‘strike out’ confidently for the future healthcare needs of our communities

“The Chipping Norton team is aiming to achieve exactly that.”

You helped set up a patient Diabetes interest group at the Health Centre in 2016. How is that going? What have you achieved so far?

“As part of community outreach work, I have been working with Jenny Gregory, specialist and lead Diabetes nurse at the Chipping Norton Health Centre, to involve as many local people affected by diabetes as we are able to muster, including creating a Facebook page  

“We will also be looking at the latest developments in management and treatment with Diabetes UK and hearing from local people about their experiences and suggestions for coping with Diabetes

“If we have lessened the burden on diabetes patients and on NHS services that will have been a good start for us.”

What recent research discovery most excites you?

“I think of the high-profile work on cancer treatment; the astonishing work on vision by the team at the JR eye unit; the outstanding work on developing new treatments for new-born babies and children at the JR and, at the other end of the age spectrum, on dementia

“Most exciting thing about it all for me is, probably the role of the researcher and what they are able to deliver.”


Dr Zishan Ali

Wokingham practice is situated in the town centre and has run several research studies over the past few years, led by Dr Ali. Their most significant contribution has been to the CANDID (Cancer Diagnosis Decision) study, for which they have recruited more than 500 patients.

What are the aims of the CANDID study?

“To work out which symptoms and examinations are the most effective in predicting lung and colon cancer

“It is done by patients filling out questionnaires about their symptoms and lifestyle with the option of providing blood and saliva samples as well.”

How successful have you been at meeting your aims and objectives?

“We have been very successful at recruiting to studies, especially the CANDID trial

“The setup we have at the practice helps to boost recruitment. Also, having several GPs, nurses and healthcare assistants GCP trained helps significantly too.”

How have your participants felt about taking part in research?

“Very positive as they feel they are helping medicine and healthcare progress. They also appreciate the close attention they get from the healthcare team.”

Have you learned anything so far which you think might help other practices taking on research? What’s the most valuable piece of information you’ve learned?

“You have to get involved and learn the ropes of how a trial works. Also, the clinicians involved need protected time to do so and this needs to be discussed with their fellow team members.”

What has been the most positive part of the research for you?

“Knowing that in years to come, as a practice, we will have helped and contributed to medical advances.”

  • Summary:
    At the NIHR Clinical Research Network, the number of patients who have taken part in research through their local GP has just reached one million in England. As 56% of local GP Practices in the Thames Valley and South Midlands area are now involved with research, we are very proud of the contribution we have made.
  • Include on homepage (one at a time):
  • Areas of the site this news is applicable to:
    • Research
    • Get involved
  • LCRN:
    Thames Valley and South Midlands
  • Year of publication:
  • Specialty:
    • Primary Care
    • Cancer
    • Diabetes
  • News filter:
    • News
    • Research and Impact
    • Patients and Public
    • NIHR in your area

You may also be interested in