Clara Lanatà got involved in research by accident.
At Barts Hospital for some tests, she bumped into someone she knew who worked at the trust, who asked her if she’d ever taken part in research.
When the answer was ‘no’, Clara was told she could get involved in the Barts BioResource – and all she needed to have was a blood test.
“I’m always looking to contribute to the world in a positive way, so when I saw this opportunity I thought ‘why not?’”, explains Clara, an advanced learning mentor who lives near Canning Town, east London.
The purpose of the Barts BioResource is to establish a repository of generic consented patients clinically managed by Cardiac Services at Barts Health NHS Trust. In addition to this, the consent may include the donation of human blood, saliva, urine, and tissue donation (for example, arteries, veins and heart tissue) for the purpose of establishing a biobank of medical data and samples for use in cardiac disease research.
Over 23,000 patients have consented to participate in the Barts BioResource project since its inception.
Clara said: “The nurses explained everything to me and gave me all the information to read. It was a very relaxed experience and I really knew what it was all about.”
It was Clara’s first experience of taking part in research, but it may not be her last. “I would get involved in research again if it was helpful,” she added.
Maudrian Burton, NIHR 70@70 Senior Nurse Research Leader and Senior Research Manager at Barts Health NHS Trust, said: “Research participants help clinicians to answer unanswered questions.
“It’s great to have someone like Clara who can speak positively about her research experience because it means it’s more personalised and it lowers some barriers to people taking part in research. It also helps to bust some of the myths some people may associate with research.”
CRN North Thames is raising awareness of cardiology and cardiovascular disease research during its #IHeartResearch campaign during Valentine’s week, 10-14 February.
To find out more about research opportunities near you, visit the Be Part of Research website.