Today is International Clinical Trials Day and an opportunity to recognise and say thank you to the people carrying out, supporting and volunteering in clinical trials.
Clinical trials are an essential part of medical research and patient care. Between April 2020 and April 2021, 1,707 people joined clinical trials at the Trust that were supported by more than 100 members of staff.
The hospital played a full role in the national programme of Covid-19 research. More than 1,200 participants (patients and staff) took part in Covid-19 research studies. This research played a crucial role in furthering the understanding of this disease and led to the early identification and approval of treatments.
Like in all hospitals, many trials not investigating Covid-19 had to be paused when the pandemic hit. But staff worked hard to keep open essential , potentially life-changing non-Covid studies, particularly in oncology; enabling around 500 patients to join these studies.
Our Director of Research, Aftab Ala, said: “A huge, heartfelt thank you to everyone who has carried out, supported and volunteered in clinical trials at Royal Surrey.
“ This year brought into sharp focus the critical role of clinical research in helping to understand and combat disease. Like in many other areas of the hospital, it also brought unforeseen pressures on research staff, all of whom have been incredible and adapted their work to meet the needs of the pandemic.
“Together we have launched Covid-19 studies, many of which were classified as urgent public health, that have contributed to new therapies for some of the sickest Covid patients as well as increasing knowledge of the disease. We have also made significant strides in our ongoing partnership with University of Surrey and delivering the first Covid-19 Vaccine study in our role as the Surrey hub for Covid-19 vaccine research. All this has been achieved while keeping open as many as possible non-Covid, potentially life-changing trials.
“This year’s achievements have only been possible because of the dedication of our researchers, the Research and Development team and the support of colleagues around the hospital in areas such as HR and infection control, to name a few. And, of course, the volunteers who have agreed to be part of clinical trials.
“Royal Surrey is hugely grateful for your vital support. Research is the only way to advance patient care and we couldn't do it without you. It is thanks to the hard work of NHS staff, research participants and the incredible feats of science that we now have Covid treatments and vaccines. These have undoubtedly saved thousands of lives and are the reason that we are able to, cautiously, make our way back to normality.”
Find out more about how Royal Surrey has supported Covid-19 research in our website article ‘One year on: a look at Covid-19 research taking place at Royal Surrey’ .