A survey released today shows that 89% of people asked would be willing to take part in clinical research if they were diagnosed with a medical condition. The findings echo previous research by AMRC, with 95% of people saying it is important to them that the NHS carries out clinical research.
When we conducted a similar survey in 2011, 72% of people told us they would like their doctor to offer them opportunities to take part in research involving a new medicine or treatment. And 97% believed that it is important the NHS support research into new treatments.
In Our vision for research in the NHS, we call for all patients to be given the opportunity to take part in research if they wish. This new survey shows yet again that patients want these opportunities; but another NIHR study last year found that many hospitals, GP practices and clinics are not doing enough to provide these opportunities.
Commenting on the findings of today's survey, AMRC's chief executive, Aisling Burnand, said:
The NHS is a vital part of the UK's research ecosystem. If we are to continue to lead the world in medical research, it's so important the NHS remains an organisation open to research. That's why our vision calls for all patients to be given the opportunity to take part in research, for all NHS staff to see the importance of research, and that the NHS itself conducts high-quality research and adopts new treatments. This survey shows that the public are overwhelmingly behind these calls.
Today's survey also shows that although 77% of people are aware that clinical research happens in hospitals, they are less informed about opportunities to take part at their local GP practice. This is despite National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network (NIHR CRN) data showing that one in three GP practices is involved in some form of research and can offer opportunities to their patients who might be eligible to take part.
The survey was commissioned by the NIHR CRN, which has produced a useful infrographic showing the results.