Pioneering clinical research and advances in medicine were discussed and celebrated at a public event at Hinchingbrooke Hospital last week.

An International Clinical Trials Day, hosted by the hospital's research and development team, was organised to raise awareness about the importance of healthcare research.

Members of the public and staff were given the chance to find out about innovative research currently being carried out at the Huntingdon hospital. There was also an opportunity to see equipment being used in current trials and meet the hospital's new patient research ambassadors. During the first three quarters of 2014/15 the research and development team conducted 77 studies, more than doubling the amount they undertook during 2013/14, with another 52 studies planned for the final quarter.

Professor Rupert Bourne, a consultant eye surgeon and head of research at the hospital told The Hunts Post how

valuable research was to Hinchingbrooke.

"At Hinchingbrooke we are committed to providing high quality, innovative, patient-facing studies that can benefit our local community and the wider healthcare sector," he said.

Visitors were able to access the hospital's ophthalmology research room, which features the ground-breaking Casia machine used for research into glaucoma. The machine measures the angles of the eye and feeds back a 3D image for the clinician to view.

"The International Clinical Trials Day provides us with a chance to highlight the vital links between the public and healthcare providers and showcase the importance of good quality research by allowing the public to see what happens behind the scenes and how they can help," added Prof Bourne.

International Clinical Trials Day is celebrated annually on May 20, to mark the day James Lind launched his trial on the disease scurvy. He concluded that eating oranges and lemons was key to avoiding it, so staff dressed as fruit as a reminder of his findings.