Hospital penguins help promote trials

Some of the members of the research team with the much-loved penguins at Worthing Hospital
Some of the members of the research team with the much-loved penguins at Worthing Hospital
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The much-loved penguins at Worthing Hospital are helping to explain some of the benefits of research during International Clinical Trials Week, which runs until Friday.

The metal sculptures, which have been specially decorated for the occasion, are participating in their very own fish experiment to help patients and visitors better understand the importance of clinical trials.

Dr George Findlay is medical director at Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Worthing and Southlands hospitals as well as St Richard’s Hospital 
in Chichester.

Dr Findlay said: “Clinical research is about improving care for patients and my colleagues working in our hospitals in Chichester, Worthing and Shoreham are committed to always making our services better.

“We have around 150 trials open at the moment and I would like to thank all our patients who are participating in research, many of whom are benefiting from the latest developments in clinical practice and helping to ensure patient care continues to improve and benefits others in the future.” During International Clinical Trials Week, the Trust’s research team is providing information for patients and visitors in the Penguin Foyer at Worthing Hospital and in the main entrance foyer at St Richard’s in Chichester.

Head of Research Dr Cate Bell said: “We wish to raise awareness and encourage more patients to be involved in research, as well as showcase what we do well at Western Sussex.

“We are recruiting into about 80 trials at the moment, the majority of which relate to improving the treatment of different types of cancers, but we are also conducting research in areas such as dermatology, stroke, paediatrics, repro-ductive health, car-diology, gastroenterology 
and diabetes.”

This year, the Trust is supporting the national “It’s OK to ask” campaign. Organised by the National Institute for Health Research, the aim is to encourage more patients being treated for a medical condition to ask about research opportunities that could be available.

The trust is also developing a new Research & Innovation Strategy and a related website which when launched will again help patients find out more about what clinical trials are available.

Anyone who would like more details should email research@wsht.nhs.uk, call 01903 200111 extension 84194 or visit the Penguin Foyer in Worthing Hospital.

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