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One million patients have now taken part in research through their local GP practice in England, through the NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN). The CRN are celebrating this achievement by thanking all the participants across the 56% of local GP practices involved in research.

Dr Zishan Ali, a participant in the SPCR funded CANDID (Cancer Diagnosis Decision) study, spoke to the CRN about his involvement at the Wokingham practice. The Wokingham practice is situated in the town centre and has run several research studies over the past few years, led by Dr Ali. They have recruited more than 500 patients for this study.

What are the aims of the CANDID study?

“To work out which symptoms and examinations are the most effective in predicting lung and colon cancer

“It is done by patients filling out questionnaires about their symptoms and lifestyle with the option of providing blood and saliva samples as well.”

How successful have you been at meeting your aims and objectives?

“We have been very successful at recruiting to studies, especially the CANDID trial

“The setup we have at the practice helps to boost recruitment. Also, having several GPs, nurses and healthcare assistants GCP trained helps significantly too.”

How have your participants felt about taking part in research?

“Very positive as they feel they are helping medicine and healthcare progress. They also appreciate the close attention they get from the healthcare team.”

Have you learned anything so far which you think might help other practices taking on research? What’s the most valuable piece of information you’ve learned?

“You have to get involved and learn the ropes of how a trial works. Also, the clinicians involved need protected time to do so and this needs to be discussed with their fellow team members.”

What has been the most positive part of the research for you?

“Knowing that in years to come, as a practice, we will have helped and contributed to medical advances.”