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International Clinical Trials Day 2018

PHA Helps Celebrate 'I am Research'

Each year the HSC R&D Division of the Public Health Agency, along with Health and Social Care (HSC) partners, celebrates the ‘I Am Research’ campaign to mark International Clinical Trials Day. This year the national campaign on 25 May is running in collaboration with additional celebrations around the NHS’s 70th birthday.

‘I Am Research’ aims to build awareness of health and care research and its benefits and celebrate how it has shaped, and is continuing to shape, the NHS/HSC and outcomes for patients. Patients, the public and health and social care research professionals will have a chance to shout about how fantastic research is and the positive impact it has on people’s lives. 

Every year, more than half a million people help the NHS to improve healthcare and develop life-saving treatments by taking part in health research.

This year the NHS is turning 70, the perfect opportunity to celebrate the role research plays in one of the nation’s most loved institutions. Since 2009, 90,000 HSC service users in Northern Ireland have helped improve healthcare and develop life-saving treatments by volunteering to take part in health and social care research. This research drives new and better treatments. We want to recognise both the contribution of colleagues in the NHS and get your help in driving new and better care for all our futures.

As part of the national NHS 70 celebrations, we’re asking people to get involved in research and help shape the next 70 years of the NHS. Help us to raise awareness about the campaign by downloading a copy of the ‘I Am Research’ leaflet and sending us a photo at your favourite Northern Irish landmark. Please send your photos and accompanying caption/article to and we will include it on our website. See some pictures below.



Margaret Grayson, Chair of the Northern Ireland Cancer Research           Thomas McKeown at the Belfast City Hall Spring Market. holding an "I Am 
Consumer Forum, and member of PIER as well as hosting an event          Research" leaflet.
in the Cancer Centre with Ruth Boyd, kicked off the landmark photos
at Belfast City Hall.
The key messages of the campaign for patients, carers and the public are:

●      give the NHS a present to celebrate its 70th birthday by getting involved in research;
●      ask your health and social care professionals about taking part in health research;
●      shape the next 70 years of research by getting involved with us, regardless of whether you want to participate in a study.
Three local people who have taken part in research outline below why they became involved and the huge benefits this has brought.
Aidan Kearney from Ballycastle highlights: “After being involved in a clinical trial, my life has changed massively, I am fitter, stronger and healthier than ever before in my life. Being involved has given me a far better quality of life. I used to worry about the future, but don’t now. The future is bright and I have hope, which I never had before. Research did not just change my life, it saved my life”.
Margaret Grayson from Belfast stated: “As I went through my surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, I realised that all these treatment decisions were based on research. As my way of giving back for my care and treatment, I have been partnering with researchers for eight years. It is exciting to be involved, in a small part, in helping to improve and develop treatments for other people diagnosed with cancer. I believe research is part of excellence in healthcare.”
Gordon Kennedy from Belfast outlined his participation: “Research is an exciting journey, with new technologies enabling new discoveries and insights to be made across a broad range of disciplines on an ongoing basis. As a lay person, it has been my privilege over the last 15 years to participate in some small way on that journey.”
To find out about healthcare research of interest to you, visit
To find out more about research in Northern Ireland and explore opportunities for public involvement in health and social care research locally visit
To register your interest in taking part in research in dementia visit
Remember ‘it’s OK to ask’ your doctor, nurse or healthcare professional about the research opportunities available to you.


Events to mark International Clinical Trials Day in Northern Ireland

The Northern Health and Social Care Trust (NHSCT) are supporting the International Clinical Trials Day which is officially on 20th May 2018 by raising awareness about the regional I am Research Campaign#  as part of our research culture.
Every year, thousands of people help improve healthcare and develop lifesaving treatments by taking part in Health and Social Care Research. The Northern Trust supports various types of clinical trials in different clinical areas.  This wouldn’t be possible without the help from our patients, staff, sponsors and stakeholders.

Left to right - Claire McGoldrick, NICRN Stroke Clinical Trials Nurse, Frances Johnston, R&D manager NHSCT, Michael Matthews, NICRN Renal Clinical Trials Nurse, Dr Des Rooney, Director of Research NHSCT, Siobhan O Mullan, NICRN Cardiology Clinical Trials Nurse and Moyra McMaster, NICRN Diabetes Clinical Trials Nurse.


Cancer Trials Celebrated at the NI Cancer Centre

To celebrate International Clinical Trials Day (ICTD) members of NICTN, the NI Cancer Research Consumer Forum and Cancer Research UK Research Engagement Manager, provided clinical trial information in the NI Cancer Centre foyer, Belfast City Hospital, 18 May 2018.  Once again patients, visitors, researchers and funders showed unreserved support for clinical trials.  During the event the HSC R&D Division ‘I Am Research’ leaflet was distributed to promote the campaign.  The wide range of support in the NI Cancer Centre illustrated just part of the vast tapestry of involvement in clinical research and the patient pathway.  NICTN, patients and charities were joined by QUB researchers and an array of staff in the Cancer Centre including Oncologists, Nurses, Radiographers, Medical Physicists, Domestic Services and Medical and Nursing students. 








Laura Collins, longstanding member of PIER NI (Public Involvement Enhancing Research) co-hosted an information stand with Claire Fordyce of the PHA at a PCC membership event in Crumlin Road Gaol on Thursday 3 May, to help raise awareness of the benefits of HSC Research and promote opportunities for involvement in PIER.



Laura Collins.


There were also events to mark the date including at the Public Health Agency, Linenhall Street, Belfast with staff from HSC R&D Division.


Left to right - Dr Nicola Armstrong, Programme Manager, Dr Sorcha Finnegan, Programme Manager, Dr Janice Bailie, Assistant Director, Dr Julie McCarroll, Programme Manager, Dr Gail Johnston, Programme Manager and Lisa Hutchinson, Strand Administrator all from HSC R&D Division.


Information stand in Linenhall Street.


C-TRIC at the Western Health and Social Care Trust (WHSCT)

Staff at the WHSCT including Dr Aaron Peace, Director of R&D, WHSCT, Sally Doherty, R&D Manager, WHSCT.


Picture includes Geraldine Horrigan, UU, Sally Doherty, R&D Manager WHSCT, Prof Tony Bjourson, Director of Genomics, UU, Dr Aaron Peace, Director of R&D, WHSCT . 


Southern Health and Social Care Trust (SHSCT)


Left to right - Dr Peter Sharpe, Director of R&D SHSCT, Mrs Eileen Wright, PPI representative and co-chair of PIER and Miss Irene Knox, R&D Manager SHSCT.


Left to right - Mrs Judith Radcliff, Children's Research Nurse, Mrs Eileen Wright, PPI representative and co-chair of PIER and Mrs Kate Douglas, Stroke Research Nurse.

Left to right - Dr Peter Sharpe, Director of R&D SHSCT, Miss Irene Knox, R&D Manager SHSCT, Mrs Judith Radcliffe, Children's Research Nurse, Mrs Denise McFarland, Clinical Care Research Nurse, Dr Maurice O'Kane, Director of NI Clinical Research Network, Mrs Kate Douglas, Stroke Research Nurse and Mrs Jennifer McCormick, Cancer Research Nurse.

Left to right - Mrs Judith Radcliffe, Children's research Nurse, Mrs Denise McFarland, Critical Care Research Nurse, Dr Maurice O'Kane, Director NI Clinical Research Network, Dr Peter Sharpe, Director of R&D SHSCT, Mrs Kate Vernon-Kelly, Cardiology Research Nurse, Dr Paul Biagioni, Senior Manager, NICRN and Mrs Kate Douglas, Stroke Research Nurse.

Also pictured at other events promoting 'I Am Research'

Brendan O'Hara and Jackie Boylan from All Ireland Institute of Hospice & Palliative Care.

Paul Fusco, BHSCT and Wendy Thornton, PHA pictured at the Balmoral Show.