The OK to ask campaign for this year has officially launched with the aim of encouraging more patients or carers to ask about research opportunities that could be available to them or their loved ones.
Clinical research is thriving in the NHS with more than 600,000 patients taking part in clinical research studies in 2013/14.
We also know that it’s mostly through a clinician-led approach that patients are recruited into studies and that research overall has a low visibility in the NHS.
We would like this to change and to ensure that patients are more aware that research takes place in all settings of the NHS.
A recent survey conducted by the NIHR Clinical Research Network showed that 95 per cent of people surveyed said it was important to them that the NHS carries out clinical research.
But less than 21 per cent said they would feel very confident about asking their doctor about research opportunities.
The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is holding a series of OK to ask hours on Twitter using the #oktoaskhour in the run up to International Clinical Trials day on May 20.
These will be focused on some of its largest research specialty areas and will take place on Wednesday evening from 8pm to 9pm each week.
Expert guest panellists, which will include a research active consultant, a research nurse, a charity representative and a patient, will be available each week to answer any research related questions people ask of them.
Dementias and neurodegeneration (Wednesday 6 May, 8-9pm)
Mental health (Wednesday 13 May, 8-9pm)