Date: 09 February 2017
Axbridge and Wedmore Medical Practice is one the top recruiters of people onto clinical research studies out of surgeries in the South West of England.
The achievement of Axbridge and Wedmore Medical Practice has been commended as the National Institute for Health Research celebrates the enrolment of the one millionth person through primary care onto a clinical study in England.
The team at Axbridge Surgery in Houlgate Way and Wedmore Surgery in St Medard Road has recruited 114 people to participate in clinical research studies already this financial year (Data cut January 2017).
This was the highest number of people recruited so far this financial year in Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group locality through their GP practice to research trials within the Clinical Research Network for the South West Peninsula from Somerset down to Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
Practice Research Lead Dr Ewart Jackson-Voyzey said: “As Doctors practising evidence-based medicine is important as it forms the basis of modern medical care. Medical research gives us this evidence and helps develop new treatments. Until 2008 patients registered at our practice were not offered the opportunity to contribute to the development of new medications, new uses for current medication or patient care, like therapies and dressings, as the practice was not involved in research. Our patients are now able to join in with research which in turn gives them a chance to contribute towards the progress of modern medicine.”
Dr Jackson-Voyzey added: “Many patients wish to contribute towards research and our experience is, as the outcomes of a study are unknown when the patient enters, that most patients do so for the benefit of others and for future care – they feel that they are doing something for ‘medicine’. We are pleased to be able to offer them the chance to take part. As an added benefit individuals are often more closely monitored on a study for their conditions than is usual. Since 2008 we have recruited over 1,000 patients to research studies and we are approaching 120 for this financial year.”
Axbridge and Wedmore Medical Practice is currently contributing to 13 studies approved by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the research arm of the NHS. The studies are looking at the development of new drugs and non-drug treatments such as computer-aided therapy for depression. Wedmore and Axbridge Health Fund provided some equipment in support of the research activity for which we are grateful.”
Practice patient Tony Avery said: “I appreciate having the opportunity to take part in a research trial looking at a drug treatment following a heart attack. I trust the judgement of my doctor who offered this to me and I am reassured from having additional check-up appointments over and above what I would have otherwise.”
Dr Paul McEleny, NIHR CRN Clinical Research Lead (Cluster 5) for the South West, said “The contribution that GP practice teams across the region have made to clinical research is very worthy of celebration because it gives patients access to the latest treatments and technologies available for a broad range of health conditions.
“In the South West 4,228 people have been recruited by over 150 research-active practices so far in 2016/17. This achievement is testimony to the hard work and commitment of practice staff and the trust and goodwill from our patients who agree to take part in the research studies as part of their care and treatment. It is a powerful partnership which benefits people on an individual basis as well as universal health benefits for future generations.”
NIHR National Director for Patients and the Public in Research, Simon Denegri said: “This is fantastic news. The nature of the health challenges facing the UK means that GPs, in partnership with patients and carers, have a crucial role to play in developing treatments of patient benefit. That over one million people have volunteered to participate in clinical studies is a mark of how successful this partnership has become. The NIHR hopes that many more people and their families will be encouraged by this to also come forward and help us do more life-saving work. Research cannot happen without them.”
Pictured: Dr Ewart Jackson-Voyzey (left) and patient participant Mr Tony Avery (right).
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