Trials4patients Richmond Pharmacology volunteer recruitment

Participating in a cure

Over the last six weeks we have featured a series of articles relating to clinical trials and their importance in helping to treat sick people. We have focused on the role trials play in the development of new medicines, volunteers' consent, safety and well-being. This week's feature highlights the trial experience from the volunteers' perspective.

“Every volunteer at Richmond Pharmacology will have a very similar experience, but each study does have its own specific requirements which dictate their precise routine. This is because different medicines need different types of research. To ensure the study results are meaningful, we set a very carefully controlled clinical routine for our volunteers. The daily components this will impact include food, rest times, study duration and clinical procedures,” explained Victoria Blades, Head of Clinical Project Management at Richmond Pharmacology Ltd.

[Photo of facilities in a ward at Richmond Pharmacology] At Richmond Pharmacology volunteers are provided with a study schedule on admission into our unit to ensure they are fully informed of their requirements; each day the volunteer spends with us is planned down to the minute with regards to the clinical procedures and meals. Of course there's also plenty of free time as well, when the volunteers are able to relax and enjoy the facilities we provide. Each unit has a relaxing day room equipped with plenty of comfortable seating, a wide-screen television, cable, DVD player, video player and games console. If staying in bed is more appealing the volunteers are able to use one of the portable televisions and videos available in the wards. We have a selection of board games, DVDs, videos and a library of Japanese and English books all at the volunteers' disposal.

“We also provide English lessons for any of our Japanese volunteers that wish to brush up on their language skills whilst staying in our unit, and we have plenty of willing staff to practice on,” commented Victoria Blades.

Communication to friends and family outside the unit is made possible by the volunteers' dedicated internet room or by payphone, and to keep volunteers abreast of current affairs we arrange a selection of newspapers to be delivered to the unit on a daily basis.

[Photo of a volunteer at Richmond Pharmacology] Richmond Pharmacology wants all their volunteers to enjoy their entire study experience. A highly trained and experienced clinical team ensures all the volunteers are in the safest possible environment and they provide the volunteers with their own facilities away from the ward where they can relax during their free-time.

“We also listen to our volunteers and ask them what they want, as part of our plan for continuous improvement we have implemented a volunteer satisfaction questionnaire to provide us with feedback on their study experience and we have placed a volunteer suggestion box in all our units. We feel we have the right balance between clinical and volunteers requirements. Obviously we need to deliver a standard of study that ensures scientific accuracy and validity. We also recognize the importance of the comfort of our volunteers during their stay. In fact many of our volunteers come back to participate in future studies and take advantage of our recommend a friend scheme,” concluded Victoria Blades.

For any Japanese trial participant that has been recommended to Richmond Pharmacology by a friend, the recommender receives £250. More details can be found on the trials4japanese website.

Richmond Pharmacology conduct clinical trials including healthy volunteers and patients to give sick people a chance for a cure. Clinical trials are an essential and regulated part of developing new medicines and therapies. If you would like any further information on clinical trials or are interested, Richmond Pharmacology can be contacted on 08000 27 37 47 or visit www.trials4japanese.co.uk or www.trials4us.co.uk.

Originally published in Journey magazine.