Staff and researchers celebrated the healthcare advances made possible by clinical research at Epsom and St Helier Hospitals for this year’s International Clinical Trials Day.

The day marks Scottish physician James Lind holding the world’s first clinical trial on board the HMS Salisbury in 1747.

He noted while experimenting with remedies for 12 men with scurvy that the sailors given citrus fruits recovered better than the others.

This year, Epsom and St Helier staff ran stands and activities in the St Helier Hospital Renal Department, St Helier and Epsom Obstetrics and Gynaecology departments and the South West London Elective Orthopaedic Centre at Epsom Hospital.

Every year, more than half a million people help the NHS to improve healthcare and develop life-saving treatments by taking part in research.

Anita Abena-Amoako, 35, from Wallington is one such person.

In 2011, she had an acute episode of chronic kidney disease, during which she had to spend three months on a dialysis machine, and now visits St Helier Hospital to dialyse three times a week.

She is now taking part in the clinical study Radar that aims to build a database of renal data from patients around the country so rare renal diseases can be identified and new ways to improve treatments can be trialled.

Anita said: “This data is needed to be able to move forward and do research and without it you can’t do the research. Knowing that I’m helping and contributing in that way is a good feeling.

“I imagine that this will improve my treatment in the future, but if not me then there are other people coming through and it will be able to assist them with their treatment and whatever they’re going through.”