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²gether’s Research Team is supporting International Clinical Trials Day and reminding people that it is “ok to ask” about clinical research.

International Clinical Trials Day takes place on Saturday 20 May, and marks the anniversary of the day in 1747 that James Lind started his famous trial on the deadly disease scurvy.

The day is organised by the Association of Clinical Research Professionals to help raise awareness of clinical trials and encourage people to get involved.

To encourage people to find out more about clinical research opportunities, our Research Team will be on the Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) information bus this Thursday 18 May, outside Marks & Spencer in Cheltenham High Street, from 10am-3pm.

Genevieve Riley, our Head of Research and Development explained: “We will have information about the types of trial that are available with the Trust, and explain to people how they can get involved.

“Clinical research plays a vital role in improving healthcare and developing treatments for illnesses, such as dementia. This research drives new and better treatments and, while there may not be a research study to suit everyone, there are also other ways people can be involved.”

²gether’s Research Team is based at the Fritchie Centre, in Cheltenham, which opened last year. The team works to support and deliver research opportunities for patients and carers across all mental health and learning disability services, both at the centre and in the community.

The Research Team is also supporting the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) “It’s ok to ask” campaign. Genevieve said: “The ‘it’s ok to ask’ campaign encourages patients to ask their doctors about clinical research.

“Doctors will often approach patients to let them know about research opportunities, but we believe that patients and carers should feel confident in asking about clinical research opportunities as well. They may want to ask about the latest research into conditions that affect them, their families and friends, or they want to know about opportunities to participate in future studies.

“As a Trust, we are always happy to discuss research and share information about opportunities, so please do ask the clinicians involved in your treatment.”

The Trust is supporting Join Dementia Research, which encourages people to register their interest in participating in dementia research. Find out more here: https://www.joindementiaresearch.nihr.ac.uk/

Details of other research opportunities and projects the Trust is involved in can be found here: ghc.nhs.uk/research.

The Research Team is also encouraging  more GP surgeries to become active in research through its primary and secondary care research partnership project.