MORE people across Kent, Surrey and Sussex are being given access to new and better treatments through taking part in clinical research.
The latest figures from the National Institute for Health Research 36,143 patients and healthy volunteers took part in a range of health research studies across the south-east of England in 2017/18.
This was the highest number on record and covered all the region’s NHS trusts and clinical commissioning groups, which buy treatments.
Dr Kate Jones, the area’s chief operating officer for National Institute for Health Research clinical research network, said: “I am delighted to see such progress with our endeavour to offer equitable access for patients to high quality research, delivered by expert teams in our region.
“The hard work and dedication of the professionals working with patients, clients and their loved ones to offer cutting edge treatments and technology is commendable and makes a real difference to patients and the care they receive.”
Both patients and healthy volunteers are encouraged to talk to their healthcare practitioners about taking part in clinical research.
The latest league table published by the network also shows the extent of commercial research activity being supported by the national institute in the trusts and commissioning groups.
In 2017/18, the network for Kent, Surrey and Sussex had the second highest commercial research activity in England with a best-ever number of 161 studies.
Dr Jonathan Sheffield, the network’s chief executive, said: “By taking part in life sciences industry studies, patients are participating in new and innovative forms of treatment which will provide evidence for future improved care for all patients.”
The knowledge gained could lead to new NHS treatments.