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Positive patient response to research in NHS welcomed by surgeons

08 June 2011

New opinion polling being published today (Thursday 9th June) indicates overwhelming public support for the NHS to lead medical research and widespread willingness to personally participate in research projects. The poll, conducted by ipsosMORI for the Association of Medical Research Charities, Breast Cancer Campaign and British Heart Foundation, is warmly welcomed by the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS).

Surgical research into new techniques and practices is a vital part of improving results for patients. The UK has a strong heritage of developing new surgical ideas, but much more could be done to foster a research culture in NHS surgical departments across the country and make the UK a world leader. The RCS is shortly to publish a major report into how the situation could be improved.

Prof Norman Williams, President-Elect of RCS, said:

“It is a stirring endorsement of the founding principles of the NHS that patients don’t just care about their own treatment today – they want to see the NHS working to find the treatments of tomorrow for their children and grandchildren. Although surgeons have made significant contributions to this agenda over the years they need to respond even more to this overwhelming enthusiasm and willingness by the UK population to be active participants in clinical research studies and think about how they can contribute.”

Sue Woodward, Chair of the RCS Patient Liaison Group, said:

“This survey shows just how many patients would be open to participating in clinical trials for new treatments and demonstrates that there is huge untapped potential for the NHS to scale up its contribution to surgical innovation. While this shows the goodwill and enthusiasm is there, clinical studies for surgery are difficult to organise and patients need support throughout so more needs to be done on the clinical side to meet patient expectations.”

The results will be available from AMRC website

Notes to Editor:

  1. The Royal College of Surgeons of England is committed to enabling surgeons to achieve and maintain the highest standards of surgical practice and patient care. Registered charity number: 212808. For more information please visit www.rcseng.ac.uk.
  2. If you have any queries please contact:

Matthew Worrall – Email: mworrall@rcseng.ac.uk; T: 020 7869 6047

Elaine Towell – Email: etowell@rcseng.ac.uk; T: 020 7869 6045

Heather Casey - Email: hcasey@rcseng.ac.uk; T: 020 7869 6042

Out-of-hours: 07966 486 832