Sign up to help Health Research

Local people across Forth Valley are being encouraged to register their interest in health research.

A new campaign, which has been launched today, aims to boost awareness of the Scottish Health Research Register (SHARE), a confidential register run by NHS Scotland of people who are interested in participating in health research.

Joining the register is free,  only takes a few minutes and is open to you whether you are currently receiving healthcare treatment or not.  By signing up,  you agree to be invited to take part in future health research studies – at which stage it is completely up to you whether you choose to participate.

Simply by joining the SHARE register you are making a positive contribution. If your health profile is found to match that of a future research project, it could involve something as simple as filling out a questionnaire, providing a blood sample or taking part in a research trial to test the effectiveness of new drugs and treatments.

It is really easy to join; simply visit the SHARE website and enter your name, date of birth and postcode – no information on medical history is required.  You can also join by completing a form which can be found throughout our outpatient departments and your local library.

Allyson Bailey, NHS Forth Valley Research and Development Officer, explains how SHARE will help improve future healthcare. She said: “Medical research is vital to the development of new drugs and other new life saving treatments for use within the NHS. Finding suitable participants, however, can be difficult and sometimes results in studies being delayed. This new SHARE register aims to address this by raising awareness of health research and encouraging people to take part.

“The more people who join, the more we can help health research in Scotland.  So if you or your friends and family haven't signed up yet, please visit SHARE.   It only takes a minute and your involvement could make a real difference to the development of vital new treatments.”

More people are taking part in health research studies across Scotland with 2012/13 seeing an increase of 10 per cent from the previous year. The national advertising campaign aims to build on this to recruit up to one million people to SHARE.

Examples of the innovation which has come out of Scottish research include:

  • Creation of the UK‘s leading home-based cardiac rehabilitation programme which aids the recovery of more than 16,000 heart attack patients every year
  • Confirmation of the long term benefits of taking statins –a landmark study showed that those who took statins were less at risk of a non-fatal heart attack or death from coronary heart disease
  • A clinical trial to encourage dentists to apply fissure sealant to children’s teeth increased the use of this effective but underused prevention treatment and is now incorporated in the Dental contract.