Ophthalmology clinical research activity on the increase in the UK

Posted on: Thursday 22 November 2018

Ophthalmology research in the NHS has grown and become more accessible to patients over the last eight years, according to a newly published report in the journal Eye. This is encouraging news for Retina UK as we work towards our aim of anyone living with inherited retinal disease being able to take part in research studies if they wish to do so.

The report focuses on clinical studies within the National Institute of Health Research Clinical Research Network, a body that provides the infrastructure for high quality research projects, whether they be funded by charities like Retina UK or even industry, to take place with the support of NHS facilities and staff.

Over eight years between April 2010 and March 2018, 137,377 participants were recruited to ophthalmology studies in the Clinical Research Network, with 41% of these enrolling people with retinal diseases. Recruitment grew steadily over this time and the ultimate goal of this trend is to embed research into everyday clinical care, so that research participation opportunities can be routinely offered at ophthalmology appointments where appropriate.

Any increase in ophthalmology research is to be welcomed but there is still much to do. Thanks to our committed supporters, we have invested over £16 million in cutting edge research since the charity was founded in 1976 and your ongoing generosity will enable us to continue to search for effective treatments.

“Here at Retina UK we are keen to make the most of this momentum by facilitating connections between the research community and people living with inherited retinal disease” said Kate Arkell, Research Development Manager at Retina UK. “We will publicise opportunities to take part in research wherever possible and ensure that researchers have the opportunity to share news of their progress with our community.”

Read more about the studies we are currently funding at https://retinauk.org.uk/research/research-we-fund/ .