A voluntary register for people in north west London who want to get involved in health research is celebrating hitting a major milestone this month.

The Discover Consent to Contact Research Register helps match health researchers with volunteers from the community, to find new and innovative ways to treat and manage illnesses. 

Anyone above the age of 18, who is registered with a GP in north west London, can join the register, and this month saw the 5,000th member sign up, just over a year since the register launched.

Programme Director Amanda Lucas said: “Reaching 5,000 members on the Discover consent to contact research register is a great milestone for us and will allow us to enable important research studies to improve healthcare for the population.

HRR UK ‘s investment as announced in September 2019 will create a safe and secure  access and analysis to health information to accelerate the development of new treatments.

“However, with a population of more than 2.6 million people in north west London, we want to use this momentum to encourage more and more people to join and help us make a difference.”

Often people who want to contribute to health research don’t know where to start or who to ask. Researchers have a similar problem – they want to improve healthcare, but sometimes can’t find people to participate in studies. 

Discover is a way to bridge this gap, bringing the public and researchers together through an ever-growing consent register. Through consenting to join the register, patients and the public are able to get involved with research studies that could contribute to a healthier future for everyone. 

When you register with Discover we match you with your data from primary and secondary, community, mental health and social care. All of this data is anonymised and stored securely. Should a researcher want to carry out a study with people of a certain age, or with a certain condition, then the Discover team can talk to people on the register who fit the criteria, and offer them the chance to take part.

Discover has a rigorous approval process, meaning that only studies that participants in trials can are always kept in the loop, with evaluations and feedback provided, allowing you to see exactly how you have helped contribute to life saving research. The register’s latest approved research project is looking at Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), also known as emphysema. Volunteers for this study will get the chance to be treated at the Royal Brompton Hospital, which is globally renowned for treating lung and heart disorders.

You do not have to have an existing condition or illness to join the Discover register – health research needs volunteers of all shapes and sizes – and once you have signed up there’s no obligation to take part in any specific research; you can say no at any time. If you’re interested in joining, simply visit registerfordiscover.co.uk

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