More people in Hartlepool and East Durham are taking part in pioneering clinical research trials than ever before, new figures show.
The 2017/18 Research Activity League Table is published today by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network (CRN).
The table highlights the extent of NHS research taking place in England, and the number of participants being recruited into studies.
Trusts and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) 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.
North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust saw one of the biggest increases in the region, with participation figures almost doubling from 839 to 1,619.
Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust also increased participation levels to 1,320 people compared to 1,079 last year, a rise of 22%.
And County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust saw an increase in studies from 92 to 97 studies, with participation figures jumping from 1,361 to 2,031.
Beth Pickering, research and development facilitator at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted at the number of patients we have recruited over the last year – it has been one of our most successful years on record.
“It’s testament to the commitment and dedication our research and development team across the trust have shown.
“Thank you to everyone involved, as well as to patients who have volunteered to take part. Research trials are our way of making improvements so that we are able to give the very best care to patients.”
Professor Stephen Robson, Clinical Director at NIHR Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria (CRN NENC), said: “There are lots of research opportunities available to patients across the North East and North Cumbria who are keen to take part in studies.
“We would encourage anyone who has an interest to speak to their GP, hospital doctor or nurse.”
Dr Jonathan Sheffield OBE, chief executive officer of the NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) 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 provide the evidence to license new treatments in the NHS securing healthy lives for future generations.
“Partnerships between the NHS and the life sciences industry bring a range of benefits to the healthcare sector - giving trusts access to new treatments and funding for health research, while also boosting the wider economy each year through the development of cutting edge medical innovations.