Lawyers Support Local Health Research

Members of staff from leading Devon law firm Stones Solicitors LLP have taken part in the Exeter 10,000 project, run by the Peninsula Clinical Research Facility (CRF) part of the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry (PCMD) . 

The project aims to compile a research register of 10,000 individuals from the Exeter and East Devon area. This will enable researchers at PCMD to investigate common diseases such as diabetes and help improve diagnosis, treatment and prevention.  

Research nurses set up a clinic at the firm’s offices in Southernhay, Exeter, and collected blood and urine samples and carried out a basic health assessment on a number of willing volunteers.  The samples and information collected will be used to support a wide range of medical research based at the Peninsula Medical School. 

The total number recruited to the Exeter 10,000 project is now over 4,000 since it was launched last year. Said Dr. Gillian Baker, manager at the Peninsula CRF, said: “The response from Stones’ employees to participate in the Exeter 10,000 project was fantastic.  They have helped local researchers achieve their mission, which is to advance the healthcare of tomorrow.”

She added: “We hope that more businesses in Exeter will take Stones’ lead and help us reach our objective of 10,000 volunteers.”

Frank Cook, from the firm’s Private Client Team and who persuaded his colleagues to take part, added: “The whole process takes very little time yet makes such a vital contribution to local medical research. We would encourage other firms in the city and beyond to take part.”

Diabetes is an incurable and progressive condition characterised by too much glucose in the blood. It currently affects 2.8 million people in the UK (affecting one in eight people in Devon) rising to 4.6 million affected by 2030, the cost to care for diabetes patients in the NHS was 10 per cent of its entire annual budget in 2010 

Peninsula Foundation’s DIRECT project supports vital diabetes research to improve the understanding and management of this condition.  The charity makes donations to PCMD and to the MacLeod Diabetes and Endocrine Centre in Exeter.

It has provided the Peninsula CRF with a mobile clinic which is used for outreach activities such as collecting for the Exeter 10,000 project. More recently it has supported a diabetes awareness program at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital. The ThinkGlucose campaign hopes to improve the diabetes inpatient experience, reduce their length of stay and release more clinician time to treat the increasing numbers of people with diabetes.

The Peninsula Foundation’s DIRECT diabetes project funds research initiatives that can be swiftly integrated into the health service, improving the healthcare of diabetes patients in the region and beyond.  For further information and to view the charity’s newsletters please visit www.peninsulafoundation.org.uk/DIRECT.php.

More information about how individuals and businesses can get involved with the Exeter 10,000 project is available by logging on at www.peninsulacrf.org.

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