NHS Forth Valley research increases sevenfold

More than 200 studies and trials took place in the health board last year

Wednesday 15th May 2019

The number of clinical studies and trials taking place in NHS Forth Valley has increased sevenfold in the last 15 years, the health board has announced.

Research trials at the board have increased dramatically from 32 in 2004 to 210 in 2018, covering conditions including diabetes, Crohn’s, Alzheimer’s and frozen shoulder.

The organisation’s research and development officer, Allyson Bailey, explained: “Every new medicine and treatment starts with volunteers taking part in clinical trials and studies.

“We owe our high standards of medical care to the clinicians, scientists, academics and stakeholders who design, develop and carry out research, the participants willing to take part and the diverse teams who analyse the results.

“Even when researchers do not reach the outcomes they might have expected, the results can still help improve treatment, care and our understanding a wide range of conditions.”

A recent study saw NHS Forth Valley and a London hospital explore the relationship between diet and disease in more than 170 people living with Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis.

Questions in the year-long trial revolved around what the types of food participants could eat, portion sizes, whether they had to change their diet after diagnosis and what they now had to avoid, and the effects of their illness on mood and anxiety levels.

Experts from Forth Valley also took part in a pioneering diabetes study, led by the universities of Glasgow and Newcastle, that found weight loss could out type 2 diabetes into remission.

In results described as “amazing”, two thirds of those who lost ten kilos or more were in remission two years on.