As monitoring showed, many patients came across an "information wall" when searching for information about clinical testing.
A Mystery Shopping program was implemented by the National Institute for Clinical Health Research to observe 82 hospitals.
Mystery Shoppers explored the main areas of customer contact (reception desks, information services, message boards, and hospitals' websites) to assess whether clinical testing could be easily found and accessed by local patients.
The results are the following:
In 91% of cases the locations provided no information on clinical testing opportunities within the reach of patients (message boards, reception desk, receiving room).
In only 34% of cases were the clinical testing opportunities announced on the website.
In 46% of cases receptionists told Mystery Shoppers that there was no clinical testing in the location or could not explain how to participate in the tests.
Clinical testing is necessary to discover the most efficient treatment and medicines to further advance medical science. This Mystery Shopping program was conducted to check NHS fulfillment in providing clinical testing information.