One year on: Discover goes from strength to strength!

Amanda_LucasJust over a year ago we launched Discover, a new register of people living in North West London interested in getting involved with health research opportunities relevant to them. By joining the register, patients and the public are able to get involved with research studies that could contribute to a healthier future for everyone. Discover, which is also linked to the WSIC database, also offers a range of services to researchers including retrospective and real world studies, as well as the opportunity to assess whether their studies are feasible to carry out in North West London.

Programme Director Amanda Lucas discusses the fantastic progress made by the Discover team over the past year….

It’s now just over a year since ICHP launched Discover back in February 2018, and I’m excited to share with you the progress we’ve made since then.

A key highlight has been our recruitment of more than 3,000 patients across North West London to our Discover register. We have recently brought on board a team of three fantastic patient recruiters – Jason, Tasneem and Eden – who are now actively recruiting patients in hospital out-patient clinics, primary care and at community events, and we are confident the register will continue to grow exponentially over the next 12 months. We are also particularly grateful for our Trust and primary care colleagues who have been supporting us to recruit patients in their areas, and we look forward to building on these partnerships over the next year.

Furthermore, 15 research projects have now been approved by our Discover Research Access Group (DRAG) to use the WSIC database for North West London. This is one of the most powerful data sets in the UK, containing coded data from primary care, secondary care, community, mental health and social care. Studies currently underway are looking at the burden of illness, health resource utilisation, treatment pathways and drug usage, with the aim to improve treatment for patients with ulcerative colitis, alcoholic liver disease, breast cancer, urology, arrythmias and other conditions. We’re extremely proud that Discover is helping to facilitate research in these vital areas and, underpinned by our consent to contact register of more than 3,000 patients, we hope to be soon providing more opportunities for people to get involved with health research that directly impacts on their day to day lives.

We are also continuing to build our strategic and collaborative approach to research, so that we can ensure we are helping to facilitate research that best serves both the NHS and the needs of our population. In particular, we are currently working with charities, the voluntary sector, community groups and industry to look at how we can work together to co-design research which addresses immediate healthcare priorities in North West London. And we are also undertaking an insights gathering exercise with healthcare professionals, patients and the public across North West London to help us design our approach to public engagement, to help ensure our work continues to be as open and publicly transparent as possible.

The next few months will bring yet more crucial developments to our programme, and I’m looking forward to all the opportunities they will bring for North West London.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me on if you would like to find out more about Discover.