Last week St George’s opened the doors of its Clinical Research Facility (CRF) to mark ‘International Clinical Trial Day’ (ICTD).

ICTD3Each year, ICTD is celebrated on or near 20 May to mark the day that James Lind started his famous trial in 1747 assessing the value of using lemons and oranges to treat scurvy amongst sailors.

The day aims to raise public awareness of clinical research both in terms of what it is aiming to achieve and also how patients, and healthy volunteers can get involved.

This year St George’s marked ICTD with tours of our CRF. Staff from the hospital and university worked together with volunteers to offer our members and the public a chance to see what happens behind the scenes of a clinical trial.

Our aim was to demystify clinical research and spread awareness amongst users of our healthcare services at St George’s.

ICTD2The tour gave visitors an opportunity to see how we assess smell as a diagnostic test for Parkinson’s disease and measure cognitive function during dementia studies. It also introduced them to the concept of ‘mindfulness’ and gave them a chance to quiz experts coordinating the Genome 100,000 project.

Over 80 people visited the CRF with many staying for more than two hours. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive with comments such as:

“This was absolutely brilliant. I admire so much the clinicians who explained complex subjects so brilliantly.”

“It was a privilege to have so much explained to us. Every one of the staff made things very clear. Please do this more often.”

It was clear to Jo Studham, CRF transition manager, that the open day was a huge success, “I have been involved in these sorts of events for seven years and I have to say this was the most vibrant and the best attended.

ICTD“I think these events are really important in order to convey the importance of clinical research to members of the public and patients. They provide an opportunity not just for us to showcase what we do now, but to explain the value of patient and public involvement in the work we do.

“This year we used the day to explain some of the expected activities that we do; next year I would like to repeat the interactive displays and would very much like to get some local school groups involved.”

If you’re a St George’s patient or a local Wandsworth resident who would like to hear more about the trials are taking place at St George’s you can contact our friendly clinical research facility team on or telephone 020 8725 3176.