May 17 2016 Posted: 09:37 IST

HRB Clinical Research Facility Galway, a joint venture between Galway University Hospitals, Saolta and NUI Galway launch clinical trials awareness campaign

The Health Research Board (HRB) Clinical Research Facility Galway (CRFG) is inviting local researchers, health and social care professionals and patients to highlight the ‘It’s OK To Ask’ campaign to celebrate International Clinical Trials Day, which takes place on Friday, 20 May.

The ‘It’s OK To Ask’ about clinical research message from the public awareness campaign aims to encourage patients, carers, and the public to ask healthcare professionals if there is a clinical trial study they might be suitable for.

The HRB CRFG is a joint venture between Galway University Hospitals (GUH), Saolta and NUI Galway, and has been in operation since March 2008. The HRB CRFG provides the infrastructure, physical space, facilities and expertise needed to optimally support biomedical research, and focuses on studies aimed at understanding a range of diseases and speedily translating the knowledge obtained through this research work into reimbursed, regulatory approved advances in patient care.

On the 20 May, 1747, James Lind, a naval surgeon initiated the first known clinical trial, and discovered that giving sailors fruit improved their scurvy. Lind’s trial provides a focal point to raise awareness of the importance of research to healthcare and highlights how partnerships between patients and healthcare practitioners are vital for high-quality, relevant research. Clinical trials have developed quite a bit since Lind's discovery and it is important to remember his work and acknowledge the need for research in healthcare.

People in Ireland have access to high quality clinical trials across a range of bioscience areas and primary care. The HRB CRFG brings together health and social care professionals, academics, industry, patients and members of the public. The work they undertake seeks to provide evidence on the best outcomes for patients, but also attracts major funding and economic investment into Ireland. It is essential that clinical research and trials are undertaken to question whether there may be better, safer and more effective ways of doing things within healthcare than how things are currently being done.

Supporting the awareness campaign, Professor Martin O’ Donnell, Director of the HRB CRFG, commented: “Clinical trials are crucial to identifying new and better approaches to prevent, treat and diagnose clinical conditions. Effective clinical research requires the collaborative partnership of patients and healthcare practitioners, in an effort to improve the future health of others.”

For further information contact Danielle Nicholson, Clinical Research Engagement Associate at HRB-CRFG on 091 493918 and crfg@nuigalway.ie or visit www.nuigalway.ie/hrbcrfg/

ENDS

Marketing and Communications Office

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