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To mark International Clinical Trials Day, staff from NHS Fife's Research & Development (R&D) Department will be hosting an information event on May 19th at Victoria Hospital.

The event, which will be held beside the main entrance, will explain how research is improving medical care and opportunities for people to take part in research locally.

International Clinical Trials Day celebrates the anniversary of the very first clinical trial, held in 1747 by James Lind, who discovered that citrus fruits such as limes could cure scurvy in sailors. 

Since then, clinical trials have led to curative treatments for diseases such as tuberculosis, and increasingly effective treatments for strokes and heart attacks.  There have also been important advances in the treatment of breast, bowel, leukaemia and prostate cancers.

Finding new and better treatments for illness depends on research and NHS Fife's Research & Development Department is committed to helping researchers undertake trials. The success of these studies, however, depends on the goodwill of members of the public, who volunteer to participate in our research.

NHS Fife is currently running 231 different research studies, throughout our hospitals and from our new Clinical Research Facility, in which more than 6800 patients have taken part. 

There is a wide range of ongoing studies, from improving muscle strength in older people, to investigating treatments for diabetes, dementia, cancer, heart, lung and skin disease.

It has never been easier to get involved in research – you can contact the Research & Development Department on 01383 623623 ext 20955 or sign up on-line through SHARE, the Scottish Health Research Register ( where you can register to be informed about research and pick the sort of trials that you would like researchers to contact you about.                           

So far 162,000 people have signed up to SHARE (with over 27,000 from Fife).  In addition to agreeing to be contacted for research, the majority have also given permission to allow their left over blood from routine hospital or GP tests to be used for anonymised genetic research.

Professor Alex Baldacchino, NHS Fife Research & Development Director, added “When individuals participate in research such as clinical trials they are contributing to making the NHS that we are all so proud of a better and more responsive place to improve people’s mental and physical health.  International Clinical Trials Day is a way for everyone in Fife to get involved, and see how we are working together to improve treatment and diagnosis for the future generations.”