Improving healthcare through clinical trials

Published on 25 July, 2016

Every year, more than half a million people help the NHS improve healthcare and develop life-saving treatments by taking part in clinical trials.

Whether you are a patient or a healthy member of the public, there are many reasons why you might decide to take part.

Health professionals know a great deal about health, disease and medicines, but much is still unclear. Research helps answer these uncertainties, filling gaps in knowledge and changing the way we care for people.

Clinical trials are an essential part of medical research. They help develop better treatments, which improve healthcare for adults and children. This can save many lives and add to the quality of life.

You may be interested in joining a clinical trial to improve healthcare generally, or to support research in a particular field because you or someone close to you has a specific illness.

The UK Clinical Trials Gateway (UKCTG) helps give people the confidence to join clinical trials, by providing useful information about how trials work – while helping link them to researchers running trials they might be interested in.

The UKCTG site can help you:

• Learn more about what clinical trials are and why you might join one
• Find out what you need to know if you’re considering joining a trial
• Find out what happens when you’re on a trial
• Give your consent for researchers to contact you when a relevant trial is looking for people to take part
• Search UK clinical trials to find ones that are of interest to you by using the 'trial search' in the navigation bar

The UK Clinical Trials Gateway maintains a database and website.  The site will give you a clear understanding of what is involved if you participate in a clinical trial. You can also search this site in various ways to find trials relevant to you and contact researchers yourself.

To visit the UK Clinical Trials Gateway (UKCTG) go to