A new mobile hub for health research is set to open at the Tesco supermarket car park on Station Road, Harrow.
In total, five new mobile hub locations, all based in supermarket car parks, are now open for appointments to join the UK’s largest health research programme – in Wolverhampton, Wigan, Keighley, Harrow and Havering.
The hubs are operated by Our Future Health which aims to transform the prevention, detection and treatment of conditions such as dementia, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and stroke. With up to five million volunteers right across the UK, the goal is to create one of the most detailed pictures ever of people’s health.
Working in collaboration with NHS DigiTrials, the programme is sending invitation letters to people over 18 who live in these areas.
Anyone over the age of 18 can join by signing up online, completing a questionnaire, providing a blood sample and allowing Our Future Health to securely link to their health records.
At their appointment, as well as having a blood sample and some physical measurements taken, volunteers will be offered information about their own health, including their blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
In the future, people who join the programme will be given the option to receive feedback about their risk of diseases and also the opportunity to take part in cutting-edge research studies.
Seren Hughes, age 27, from Manchester has already joined Our Future Health. She said: “I signed up to Our Future Health because I understand the importance of early prevention of disease.
“I was diagnosed with Stage 1 ovarian cancer when I was 19 years old. It was such a shock – I was in the first year of university at the time. In a way I was lucky: my doctors caught the cancer really early. If it had been left longer, the outcome could have been quite different. Due to what I’ve experienced with my own health, I want to be part of research, so that other people can benefit from new discoveries in healthcare.
“I found joining the programme to be great. By filling in the survey, you get a chance to reflect on your own health and wellbeing. My blood appointment was right around the corner, five minutes away from my home in Manchester. It was very easy – the two staff members who ran it were lovely.
“Just by doing this simple thing you can be part of something that’s really important.”
Dr Raghib Ali OBE, Chief Medical Officer at Our Future Health, said: “This launch is a great moment for Our Future Health, making it more accessible than ever for people to take part in research. By making it easy to take part we hope to have a vast, diverse cohort of volunteers who can help us make discoveries that can benefit everyone.”
New locations will be announced on the Our Future Health website and social media channels.