International Clinical Trials Day 2020

International Clinical Trials Day (ICTD) is celebrated every year on the 20 May to mark the anniversary of the first clinical trial by James Lind in 1747, which investigated the causes of scurvy on board the HMS Salisbury. In previous years, we’ve celebrated the day by hosting events and running activities to raise awareness of research amongst our patients and the public. This year, due to the coronavirus outbreak, we’re unable to celebrate ICTD in the same way, but research is important now more than ever before.  Barts Health NHS Trust is running several Urgent Public Health Studies, as well as many locally-led studies, all with the express aim of learning more about the virus and finding better ways to diagnose COVID-19 or find a vaccine and/ or treatments for the disease. 

Never has there been more hope placed on the clinical research industry and in recognition of this, we invite you to join us in our efforts to raise awareness of COVID-19 research on International Clinical Trials Day this year. 

Researchers celebrating ICTD 2019


How can you get involved this year? 

You could get in contact with us if you have an experience of taking part in COVID-19 research to share with us, or watch our videos on interventional and observational research studies (available in a variety of languages); join our efforts on social media to share messages about the importance COVID-19 research or start a conversation with your loved ones about how you'd feel about taking part in a COVID-10 research study, should you fall ill. 

Read more about celebrating International Clinical Trials Day virtually  

Find out how Barts Health have been supporting the COVID-19 research effort

Get involved in COVID-19 research at Barts Health

'The UK is home to incredible scientists and researchers who are all at the forefront of their field, and all united in their aim; protecting people’s lives from coronavirus.' - Sir Patrick Vallance, Chief Scientific Advisor

COVID-19 (also called novel coronavirus) is a new illness that can affect lungs and airways. As it is a new disease we need to find out as much as we can about it, as soon as possible. Research allows us to answer questions about COVID-19. By gathering information about a disease we can find ways of diagnosing it faster and better ways of looking after and treating people with the disease.

Why do we need research into COVID-19?

At present, there is no established treatment for COVID-19. But there is some early evidence that certain licensed drugs for other diseases could help in improving outcomes in COVID-19 patients. Hence these drugs are being used to treat some of the COVID-19 patients in some of these studies (called interventional studies). Other ‘observational’ studies don’t alter treatment but collect blood samples and information about the patient to learn more about COVID-19. Such studies have no added risk, do not bring immediate benefit now, but will help doctors and scientists to better understand COVID-19.

As COVID-19 is new and is causing so many problems, there is a national effort to learn about the virus and it’s treatment through research.

'The world faces an unprecedented challenge in our efforts to tackle the spread of COVID-19. It is vital we harness our research capabilities to the fullest extent to limit the outbreak and protect life.' - Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer and NIHR lead  

Taking part in COVID-19 clinical trials and studies 

If you are a patient presenting with COVID-19 symptoms at one of our hospitals, you may be approached with information about clinical trials and other studies we are running and we will invite you to consider taking part. To help you decide whether you want to take part, a member of staff will explain what the study or studies involve and answer any questions you might have. They will also give you patient information sheets (PIS) about the studies. You are under no obligation to say yes, and your standard care will not be affected if you decide not to take part.

In cases where a patient with COVID-19 symptoms, is unable to consent to take part in a study themselves, we will approach their next of kin to ask their opinion whether the patient would want to be involved or not. If you know already that taking part in COVID-19 research is something you would like to do, talk to your next of kin and share your views with them.

Find out which COVID-19 studies are currently open at Barts Health