People across Scotland are being encouraged to register their interest in health research.

A new campaign has been launched to boost awareness of the Scottish Health Research Register (SHARE), a confidential register run by NHSScotland of people who are interested in participating in health research.

By joining the register, which only takes a few minutes, participants agree to be invited to take part in future health research studies – at which stage it is completely up to them whether they choose to participate.

More people are taking part in health research studies across Scotland with 2012/13 seeing an increase of 10 per cent from the previous year. The national advertising campaign aims to build on this to recruit up to one million people to SHARE.

Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson said:

“Our NHS both in Falkirk and nationally is made better by research as it informs how we improve services and treatments and encourages a culture of using practice based on evidence.

“Research studies also give patients access to innovative medical advances and new treatments available in clinical trials.

“However research can only deliver these benefits if people willing to take part in the studies.

“That is why SHARE is so important as it makes it easier for people to get involved with research and identifies suitable people for each study so that researchers can recruit the right people.

“I hope that constituents in the Falkirk area will get behind it and help build on Scotland’s strong tradition of health research which has led to many medical breakthroughs for patients world-wide by completing the quick and straightforward registration process or to find out more about the register visit”