Thousands of Stratford residents to be recruited for UK’s largest health research programme
Thousands of people living in Stratford are receiving invitations from the NHS to join the UK’s largest ever health research programme — which aims to better prevent, detect, and treat conditions such as dementia, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
Our Future Health is an ambitious collaboration between the public sector and leading UK health charities including: Action Against Age-related Macular Degeneration, Alzheimer’s Society, Asthma + Lung UK, Blood Cancer UK, Breast Cancer Now, British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Diabetes UK, Kidney Research UK, Pancreatic Cancer UK, Parkinson’s UK, Prostate Cancer UK, Royal Osteoporosis Society and Stroke Association.
The programme’s goal is to recruit 5 million volunteers over 18 years old across the country, collect information from them on their health and lifestyle, and create one of the most detailed pictures we’ve ever had of people’s health. Researchers will be able to use this information to discover more effective ways to prevent, detect and treat diseases.
Stratford is one of the first towns in the country where people will be able to take part in Our Future Health. From 16th November, thousands of people will be able to attend appointments over the next 6 months at 53 Stratford Broadway (E15 4BQ).
At their appointment, volunteers will have a blood sample taken, plus some physical measurements. They will also be offered information about their own health, including their blood pressure and cholesterol levels. In the future people who join the programme will also be given the option to receive feedback about their risk of certain diseases.
Across London, volunteers will also be able to attend appointments at a pop-up clinic in Croydon as well as Boots stores across the Capital — Kensington High Street, White City, Strand and Piccadilly Circus.
Working in collaboration with NHS DigiTrials, letters are being sent this week to around 86 thousand people over 18 living in Croydon and Stratford giving them the option to take part. Volunteers will give their consent to join the research programme and agree to provide secure access to their health records through a secure system, complete a questionnaire and book an appointment.
Mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz OBE said:
“Tackling health inequalities is one of Newham’s most significant challenges. Our borough is fortunate to have a very diverse population, with different ethnicities, cultures and backgrounds. Chronic conditions from diabetes to dementia have such a profound impact on our community and I welcome Our Future Health’s focus on preventing the harms caused by ensuring early detection and intervention. We all stand to benefit from this research having participants from a wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds and ethnicities, and I would urge all of our communities to get involved.”
Seren Hughes, age 27, has already joined Our Future Health, she said:
“I signed up to Our Future Health because I understand the importance of early prevention of disease.
“I was diagnosed with Stage 1 ovarian cancer when I was 19 years old. It was such a shock – I was in the first year of university at the time. In a way I was lucky: my doctors caught the cancer really early. If it had been left longer, the outcome could have been quite different. Due to what I’ve experienced with my own health, I want to be part of research, so that other people can benefit from new discoveries in healthcare.
“I found joining the programme to be great. By filling in the survey, you get a chance to reflect on your own health and wellbeing. My blood appointment was right around the corner, five minutes away from my home in Manchester. It was very easy – the two staff members who ran it were lovely.”
Dr Raghib Ali OBE, Chief Medical Officer of Our Future Health, said:
“We’re delighted that people in Stratford can now join Our Future Health. They have an opportunity to be part of something that could transform healthcare in the UK and we are so grateful for their support. Detecting and treating diseases early is a big challenge facing our country now and into the future – and people in Stratford can be part of the answer.”
Interviews with spokespeople and case studies available on request.
Notes to editors:
Appointments in Stratford will take place at 53 Stratford Broadway, London, E15 4BQ.
The delivery of Our Future Health appointments at this location will be supported by Acacium Group and Pharmacy2U. They will provide the workforce and facilities needed to create capacity for appointments for blood sample collection and physical measurements. They will not have access to the participant’s healthcare records or the main Our Future Health database which holds all participant data.
While the Greater London is one of the first regions to take part, there are plans to roll out to other regions in due course. If appointments aren’t yet available in an individual’s region, people can sign up to the newsletter to be notified when the roll-out of the programme will be arriving in their area.
Opt-out from receiving an invitation – People who have previously opted out of sharing health data for planning and research purposes, by submitting a National Data Opt-out, will not receive an invitation letter to join the programme via NHS Digital (who host the NHS DigiTrials service). People who do not want to receive an invitation letter from NHS Digital can opt out by completing the form on the NHS DigiTrials webpage.
About Our Future Health
Our Future Health is a collaboration between the public, private and charity sectors. It aims to be the UK’s largest health research programme, bringing people together to develop new ways to prevent, detect and treat disease.
Our Future Health is committed to the highest standards, policies and processes that protect participants’ confidentiality, whilst maximising the opportunity to help researchers to tackle serious diseases. Participants’ data will be de-identified and held securely in trusted research environments that meet strict security criteria. There will be a robust and transparent access process to ensure appropriate research access to Our Future Health data and samples for registered researchers. All researchers will be held to the same standards.
Our Future Health is a member of the UK Health Data Research Alliance, the independent alliance of leading healthcare and research organisations establishing best practice for the ethical use of UK health data for research at scale.
Our Future Health is a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales (number 12212468) and a charity registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales (charity number 1189681) and OSCR, Scottish Charity Regulator (charity number SC050917).
About NHS DigiTrials
NHS DigiTrials, hosted by NHS Digital, offers data services to support clinical trials. We help reduce the time, effort and cost of developing new drugs, treatments and services, bringing benefits to patients, the public and the NHS.