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Number of South Tyneside people taking part in NHS clinical trials soars

South Tyneside District Hospital
South Tyneside District Hospital

South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust has seen the North East’s biggest rise in patients taking part in clinical research - with figures more than doubling since last year.

The latest NIHR Research Activity League Table is published today by the National Institute for Health Research and the Clinical Research Network (CRN) - the research arm of the NHS.

South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust Chief Executive Ken Bremner.

South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust Chief Executive Ken Bremner.

Trusts and Clinical Commissioning Group regions across the North East have seen a surge in the number of people participating in research trials with a total of 42,450 people getting involved in 1,630 programmes - a rise of 23% from last year.

South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust is the region’s most improved for patient participation with figures more than doubling in a year from 536 to 1,367 , an increase of 155%.

Margaret Gregg, 77, of East Boldon, had a successful operation at South Tyneside District Hospital for bowel cancer and is currently in two trials – one involving exercise and the other medication.

Mrs Gregg said: “I feel research is the way forward: without it you’re never going to discover new things and that’s particularly important in medicine which is why I am very happy to be involved in trials.”

Margaret Gregg, of East Boldon.

Margaret Gregg, of East Boldon.

Colin Rees, South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust’s clinical director of research, said: “Research improves the quality of patient care and provides answers to important questions on the best care we should give patients.

“We are delighted to see such a significant rise in trust research as we look to make research central to all of our work.

“We would like to thank all of our patients who have participated in research and congratulate our fantastic multi award-winning research team. We look forward to leading and delivering even better practice-changing research in the coming years.”

South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust chief executive, Ken Bremner, said: “This is a wonderful achievement by our research team.

“Only a decade ago, our research was limited to a small number of fields of medicine but it now covers a wide range of clinical specialities, which has led to involvement in a large number of clinical research trials.

“Involvement in high quality research is vitally important if we are going to improve care and achieve better outcomes for patients now and for future generations.”

Dr Jonathan Sheffield OBE, chief Executive Officer of the NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) said: “Health research is the key to finding new and innovative cures, treatments and care for patients.

“Evidence also shows research active organisations consistently deliver better outcomes to all patients they treat, not just those involved in health research trials.”