The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Clinical Research Network | 2012 | Source: The Guardian
Volunteers involved with clinical trials are not human guinea pigs, but patients taking an active role in their healthcare, aiming to improve the quality of life for others with health conditions.
John Whipps was leading an active life and successful career as a professor at a UK university when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. He took six months off work to come to terms with his diagnosis, but he soon spiralled into a severe depression. “I was a complete workaholic and I couldn’t really see how I was ever going to stop work. I felt like I couldn’t go on. I couldn’t face doing anything at all,” he said.
But treatment and therapy along with support from health professionals and his family helped him to turn his life around. He took early retirement, started new hobbies and learnt more about his condition.
“All of the treatments and support I receive depended on research that had been done in the past and I wanted to give something back to help others like myself,” explained John, who is one of the hundreds of thousands of NHS patients who volunteer take part in clinical research studies every year.