Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Tomorrow, Saturday 20 May, is Clinical Trials Day, an excellent opportunity to reflect on the immense value that trials hold in advancing medical knowledge and improving healthcare outcomes. Trials such as those run out of the PC-CTU are the cornerstone of scientific progress, enabling researchers to test new treatments, therapies, and interventions in a controlled environment.

Every May, Clinical Trials Day is observed worldwide to commemorate the significant historical event initiated by James Lind, a British Royal Navy ship's surgeon. On May 20, 1774, Lind conducted what is widely regarded as the inaugural randomised clinical trial, seeking to investigate the effects of various treatments on scurvy among sailors. Clinical Trials Day serves as a reminder of the pivotal role that Lind's trial played in shaping the foundation of modern clinical research and the remarkable progress that has been made since then. This year, the theme for Clinical Trials Day is ‘Together We Can’. 

The Primary Health Care Clinical Trials Unit at the University of Oxford is the world's leading centre for primary care clinical trials. We are dedicated to advancing the field of primary care research by conducting high-quality, innovative clinical trials that aim to improve the health and wellbeing of patients and communities.

Emily Bongard, Head of Operations for the CTU, said: “The theme for clinical trials day this year is befitting for the team at the PC-CTU. Together we have set-up and delivered two high-profile COVID-19 trials in PRINCIPLE and PANORAMIC through very challenging times and under immense pressure. We are at a stage now where we can look back and reflect on what an amazing achievement this has been and how every member of the CTU has had to dip deep to help deliver not only these trials but other ongoing trials within the unit.” 

She added: “Together we can support each other across trials, within trials and in all areas of trial delivery making a formidable team. Together we have learnt how to embrace and improve diversity, equity, inclusion, and access in our clinical trial research and we endeavour to continue progressing in these critical areas. We hope that our reputation, enthusiasm, willingness to learn and evolve and our commitment to clinical trial research encourages not only our own team members to do the best job they can and progress in their clinical trial careers but inspire the next generation of clinical trial professionals.” 

Read on to learn more about a few trials currently open to recruitment: 

OPTIMISE 2: Optimising Treatment for Mild Hypertension in Older People at Risk of Adverse Events

OPTIMISE2 is a Primary Care based, open-label, randomised controlled trial. OPTIMISE2 follows on from the OPTiMISE Study, the largest trial of blood pressure drug deprescribing to date, where we recruited 569 participants to 12-week follow-up.

In OPTIMISE2 we will recruit a larger population and follow them up for one year. It will also be possible to deprescribe more than one medication where  appropriate.



DURATION: Impact of duration of antibiotic therapy on effectiveness, safety and selection of antibiotic resistance in adult women with urinary tract infections (UTI): a randomised controlled trial.

DURATION UTI is a phase IV open-label, parallel-group, multi-arm “durations” randomised trial with two sub-trials 1) cystitis and 2) pyelonephritis.

There is little evidence to help clinicians decide how many days of antibiotic treatment are required.

This research aims to find the shortest antibiotic treatment duration needed to treat UTIs in women, and also look at the impact of each antibiotic and treatment duration on antibiotic resistance.


TOUCAN: Platform for UTI Diagnostic Evaluation

TOUCAN is a Prospective Platform Observational Cohort Diagnostic Performance Evaluation, funded by National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR).

To avoid UTIs becoming antibiotic-resistant we need to make sure only those patients who have bacterial infections receive antibiotics. To do this we need a good test for bacterial infection, but current tests for UTIs are either too slow or inaccurate.

In this study we aim to solve this problem by showing it is possible to evaluate multiple UTI rapid tests in parallel at GP surgeries. The study will compare results from several of these new tests to the standard tests for UTI.


FOUND - Finding Obstructive Sleep Apnoea using a Novel Device

FOUND is a Primary Care based, multi-centre, pragmatic, randomised controlled trial.

With the support of the Coventry and Warwickshire CCG/ICS and the associated sleep service at UHCW NHS Trust, we aim to test the feasibility of moving the testing for OSA into a GP setting using the AcuPebble device and to trial a targeted OSA case finding programme.


RESTED: Randomised Evaluation of Sleep Treatment to Ease Depression 

The RESTED Trial is an Individually randomised, parallel group, randomised controlled trial (RCT) of Sleep Restriction therapy plus treatment as usual against treatment as usual.

Depression is a very common and impairing condition. Current treatments can be effective, but more than one-third of people do not benefit from these treatments. There are reasons to think that poor sleep is an important contributor to depression, and that if sleep could be improved, depression would improve too. Previous research has shown that we can improve sleep quality using a behavioural treatment called ‘sleep restriction therapy’. We want to find out whether using this treatment to improve sleep will also improve depression and, if so, how it works.



To learn more about the PC-CTU Clinical Trials portfolio, click here.


Contact our communications team

Opinions expressed are those of the authors and not of Oxford University. Readers' comments will be moderated - see our guidelines for further information.