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Yorkshire and Humber sees record participation in health research during COVID-19 pandemic

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The number of participants signing up to take part in health and care research across Yorkshire and Humber has reached record highs according to figures published today by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

170,082 participants took part in NIHR-supported research delivered across the region from April 2020 to March 2021 - an increase of over 90,000 on the previous year’s participants (70,905).

It comes as the NIHR's annual national Participant in Research Experience Survey (PRES) of 2,487 NHS research participants in Yorkshire and Humber found 95% who took part in research would volunteer for another study (see notes to editors).

Today (20 May) is International Clinical Trials Day, which celebrates the contribution of clinical trials to healthcare.  The NIHR is supporting 97 nationally-prioritised COVID-19 studies in the UK that have so far involved more than one million participants.

Among those who took part was Jess, a Transformation Manager who participated in the Novavax study at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

On taking part in the study, Jess said: “I wanted to do something to make a difference alongside the thousands of others who will be called upon.”

“I [felt] well supported in the trial. It could have been quite clinical - everyone had masks on and was socially distanced - but staff were really jovial, it was a really warm, human experience.”

Amber O’Malley, Chief Operating Officer of the NIHR Clinical Research Network said: 

“NHS Trusts, GP practices and a range of other partners have worked exceptionally hard to engage and deliver research to the region's population, the outcome of which includes a number of successful vaccines and better treatments being rolled out across the country. 

“It has been an incredible collective achievement and we thank all the people of Yorkshire and Humber for playing their part. As we move out of the pandemic I would encourage people to continue to participate in research to ensure we bring new discoveries and improve health outcomes for the population we serve. “

Professor Alistair Hall, Clinical Director of the NIHR Clinical Research Network Yorkshire and Humber said:

"I am very, very proud of the citizens of Yorkshire and Humber for their willingness to partner in research that has done so much to help end the current global health, economic and social crisis. 

“Thank you to these noble individuals who have been true leaders in this regard. Also to the many who will volunteer to be part of research in the future."  

People are encouraged to find out more about taking part in research by visiting https://bepartofresearch.co.uk