Giving children a voice in clinical research

06 February 2013
On Saturday 02 February children were invited to the Addenbrooke's Clinical Research Centre (ACRC) to attend our very first Children's Non-Executive Board Meeting.

Children who have taken part in research studies came in to discuss ways of improving the experience of children on the unit.

Dr Carlo Acerini, Associate Director of ACRC, welcomed everybody and highlighted how important is to include children in clinical research. This helps to ensure that they receive appropriate, safe and effective treatment and care in the future.Children tried out some equipment in the unit

On the day, children were involved in different activities. They had a short presentation on the Children's Survey that had been undertaken over the previous two months and made recommendations about which new games and DVDs the unit should purchase next. They tried out some of the equipment in our metabolic research area and completed ticklists on their experiences.

12-year-old James Young, who attended the event, said: "I really enjoyed being here today- it was fun and entertaining. I think taking part in the research is is really important and can benefit my future and also help the others".

Pippa Bayfield, Operations and Business Manager, said: "It is essential to ensure children have a positive experience with us- this is part of our philosophy. There are massive life changing discoveries happening all the time here and we want children to be part of it."

Thirty paediatric research trials are currently ongoing within the Clinical Research Facility, covering different conditions and diseases including diabetes and peanut allergy. Studies can last from months to several years and involve participants from newborns to teenagers. There are various activities for children coming to the unit, such as PlayStation games and Xbox, as well as art and craft materials and board games.