For our August meeting we had a very interesting talk from Sandra Toth, a Diabetes Research Nurse from Gloucester Royal Hospital (GRH).
Sandra explained that the research at GRH is clinical research which is the study of new treatments involving humans, ranging from a new drug or vaccine to education and self management programmes. Clinical trials and studies test whether particular treatments are safe and how well they work.
The studies can be of relative short duration or can go over several years. They can also be part of international research programmes that can involve thousands of volunteers.
Currently one of the studies being held at Gloucester is “Natural History Study of the Development of Type 1 Diabetes” (shortened to Natural History Study). This is looking into the risk of those with a close relative who has Type 1, developing the condition. This involves the taking of a blood sample to be tested for autoantibodies, which are markers that show if your immune system is turned on.
If the blood test is negative, then no further action is taken, but if positive then a further blood test is taken. If this shows you are at an increased risk, you will be asked to join the study and have one or two blood tests a year for the length of the study.
Sandra did stress that taking part in any study is completely voluptuary and no pressure is put on people to take part, also that volunteers can withdraw from a study at any time without giving a reason.
To find out more information of what studies are be undertaken at GRH, contact Sandra on 0300 4225478. On a national scale, more information can be found from the Clinical Research Network – Diabetes
In addition for this meeting Neil Penny from the Clinical Commissioning Group came along. Neil is managing a project around self-management for people with long-term conditions, who would like to seek the experiences of group members.
He spent about 30 minutes asking for feedback on various issues of diabetes care, covering GP surgeries, what other support is available, how prescriptions are handled and advice from pharmacists. Neil was very pleased with the responses he received and will add them into his overall study.