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Health Research Festival

Date: 02 March 2024
Time: 11:00 to 14:00
Location: Blackburn

A health research festival for all the family will give people in Blackburn the chance to learn about and get involved in health and care research which can shape the future of the NHS. 

Everyone is welcome at the free-to-attend event which is being held inside Blackburn Central Library on Saturday 2 March. 

The drop-in event will be open between 11am and 2pm, with fun, games and exhibitions running throughout. 

The festival is the fifth to be organised by Clinical Research Network Greater Manchester, part of the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). The festivals have been visiting towns around the region and this one is coming to Blackburn, in collaboration with East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust. 

Throughout the event, there will be the opportunity to access free health checks, and take part in a number of research studies seeking to improve health outcomes for people living in the North West. 

Studies at the festival are straightforward for the community to participate in during their visit. For example, attendees from the Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities can provide a saliva sample to be part of the Genes and Health study; parents can consent to their child having a finger stick blood test to check if they are at risk of developing Type 1 diabetes as part of the ELSA study; and pregnant women can get involved in the RELAX study, a new online programme looking at reducing anxiety in expectant mothers. Others will simply ask attendees for their opinions. 

People will also have the chance to sign-up to hear about upcoming opportunities to be part of research taking place in East Lancashire to help discover new ways to prevent, diagnose and manage illnesses. 

The festival will feature health and care services from across the borough. These will include Blackburn with Darwen Healthwatch, One Voice Blackburn, and a group of community ‘research champions’ who have been working with local physiotherapists to provide a community voice on healthcare provision and how barriers to engagement can be overcome.