Does this clinical trial include the use of a placebo? What does that mean?
As part of a clinical trial, placebos are administered to some volunteers. A placebo is essentially nothing; it is a harmless way to test how much of the response may be mental rather than physical. Instead of giving you a virus, we administer the placebo as part of a control subject test to compare against the administered virus.
Dependant on the trial you are taking part in, your placebo may vary. It means that, essentially, you will not receive the virus or drug, although you will still take part in the same trial. You will not be told if you are receiving the placebo (this is important to the trial). You will still be compensated the same, and your participation is just as important.
If you have any questions regarding a placebo or any other queries around our medical trials, then please get in touch with a member of the Flu Camp team.
How will I will benefit from joining this clinical trial?
Taking part in a clinical trial can have a wealth of benefits, and we know our volunteers sign up for all sorts of reasons. Our testimonials show just some of the motivations for people to sign up.
We run clinical trials because we are dedicated to finding a cure for viruses like the flu which unfortunately claim multiple lives every year. We have some #EverydayHeroes who join us because they too believe in the cause. However, we also have volunteers who have other motivations! FluCamp is a great time to get away from the world and focus. Whether studying, working, or taking a break from both, FluCamp gives volunteers the benefit of being cared for in every regard whilst having plenty of ‘me-time’.
FluCampers also choose to stay with us because they like to use the compensation reward towards travelling, a house move, or just for a financial boost.
We welcome all fit and healthy volunteers, and appreciate what they are doing to aid our work towards finding a cure!
Will I be able to visit my son/daughter during their stay?
You can attend your son or daughter’s screening with them, although you will not be allowed to enter the clinic for privacy reasons. You are, however, able to wait in reception.
All FluCamp trials are residential, and are conducted under quarantine. This means that you will not be able to visit any relatives who are taking part in a FluCamp clinical study during their stay. This is a strict rule as we need to ensure the safety of both our volunteers and others. The viruses we give are replications of those that are already out in the public domain, but nevertheless we would prefer not to spread them outside of FluCamp!
You are able to stay in touch with your son/daughter throughout their stay.
My son/daughter is going to FluCamp. Can I stay in touch with them during their stay?
We understand that parental concern around your son or daughter heading to FluCamp, even after they have left home, is nonetheless still a very valid issue. If you have kids who are considering coming to FluCamp, rest assured that you are still able to remain in constant contact with them.
Every room in FluCamp has full free Wi-Fi, and all volunteers can bring their laptop and mobile phone with them. Volunteers are able to make calls via the Wi-Fi and can Facetime, Facebook Message, Whatsapp or even text!
If you have any questions regarding your son or daughter’s stay at FluCamp then you are welcome to get in touch with us. You can contact us via Facebook, Twitter, or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The phone lines are busy. What can i do?
Unfortunately there will be occasions when all of our volunteer experience operatives will be on calls. If you have been on hold longer than five minutes please press 'one' on your telephone keypad where you can leave us a message. We will endeavour to call you back as soon as possible.
How many times can I take part in FluCamp studies?
You could potentially take part multiple times, however you can only participate in one study per year with us.
If you've taken part previously, and have completed quarantine over a year ago you can re-apply via email at email@example.com.
Who are FluCamp regulated by?
All of our work is conducted to the highest standards, and all medical trials are regulated by the NHS. That means that every trial has been reviewed and approved by external bodies as part of a quality management system.
FluCamp operates a single quality management system to ensure compliance with relevant regulations and guidelines, applicable to working in the clinical trial industry and handling data. These include Good Clinical Practice (GCP), Human Tissue Act and Data Protection - which are all regulated by external bodies. The performance and standards of our Clinical Teams are accountable to the same governing bodies as NHS staff e.g GMC for physicians.
All of our trials are conducted in line with regulations and we take the utmost care of our volunteers. If you have any questions with regards to Flu Camp trial regulators then please get in touch.
Does hVIVO and FluCamp conduct First in Human Phase 1 Clinical Trials?
No. hVIVO and FluCamp does not conduct any First in Human Phase 1 Clinical Trials.
Do you have Asthma Studies?
We currently do not have residential studies for asthma patients. Please keep in touch with us via our website and social media channels for future updates.
What are your office opening hours and contact details?
Our offices are open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. Our call centre is open 9am til 8pm Monday to Thursday (5pm Friday). If you’d like to get in touch you can call us on 0207 756 1414 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also ask us a question on Facebook
For volunteers that have participated in a clinical trial, out of hours contact information will be given in case of emergency.
Can I choose which trial I take part in?
We take great care in matching volunteers to an appropriate study. Once you’ve been invited to join FluCamp we’ll give you a detailed explanation of the trial we’ve allocated you to and then it’s up to you to decide whether to take part. Your choice does not impact on whether you would be eligible to take part in any future studies. Find out more about choosing which medical trial to take part in
What happens if I change my mind?
Volunteers can choose to leave FluCamp at any time. If a volunteer is in the latter stages of a trial they may be asked to come back in for a follow-up visit, just so we can check that they are healthy and free from any side effects. If a volunteer has been given the flu or cold virus, we would strongly encourage them to stay in the quarantine unit with us until all their symptoms have disappeared – this helps us monitor the health of the volunteer and, although the viruses’ are replications of those out there in the public domain, we would rather not spread the virus outside of FluCamp.
Are there any likely side effects and should I be worried?
At screening, a blood sample may be required. This is a standard procedure which is unlikely to cause any problems, but on occasion it may be uncomfortable and there is a risk of minor bruising or phlebitis (inflammation of the vein). This is something that normally clears up itself with no further trouble. Our quarantine volunteers (the volunteers who have past two screening visits and who are invited to participate in the full trial) are given a diluted virus so it’s likely that they may experience some mild cold or flu like symptoms. We often then test a new medication that we would like to fight the virus. If we are testing a new medicine, volunteers may experience some side effects. However, before reaching FluCamp, the medication will have already been tested on humans and passed strict safety tests.
Are there any serious health issues that I should know about?
We understand that there may be some concerns when it comes to medical trials. However, we have a very rigorous screening programme here at FluCamp, which means we only accept volunteers who we believe are fit and healthy enough to take part. We conduct in-depth health checks and you will not be selected if we do not believe you are fully healthy.
This ensures volunteers who join a study are at minimal risk. The medication we use in our studies has already been tested on humans and passed the strict regulations required. The virus is only administered in small doses and you will be monitored throughout the trial by our expert team in a safe environment.
Do you pay for my travel?
We do contribute towards the costs volunteers incur when travelling to our clinics. For example, we will reimburse £20 (paid via BACS transfer) for any volunteer attending their first pre-screening appointment to give a blood sample. If you're eligible to attend the second stage of screening we do assist further (generally £50-£100).
I'd like to join FluCamp but I have holidays and exams coming up. Can I still take part?
We know there may be some times in the year when volunteers have other commitments that may clash with FluCamp dates. If you can give us as much notice as possible, we’ll try our best to schedule visits and studies for times that you are available.
Why is FluCamp residential?
Volunteers joining FluCamp for a clinical trial stay with us on a residential basis in one of our purpose built rooms. Because it’s so important that the data we collect (from things like blood and mucus samples) is ‘clean’, we closely monitor a volunteer’s environment to ensure they are free from any unwanted bacteria. For this reason, volunteers must stay in quarantine conditions for the whole study. Additionally for this reason, our staff wear masks to comply with infection control guidelines. Find out more about why Flucamp trials are residential
Can I be reconsidered for a trial?
If you are not suitable for a trial with us after your initial blood test, we may ask to keep your test on file so we can test it at a later date. We occasionally respin blood to find new candidates for our trials, or to ask volunteers to return for another trial.
We choose the volunteers who are best suited to the trial we are running, so even if you are not initially selected it may be that we get back in touch at a later date to offer you a place.
If you have already volunteered with us, this does not discount you from returning for another trial. We regularly get back in touch with volunteers to ask them to return.
If you have any questions about your blood being retested, or want to discuss whether it is possible to be reconsidered, then please get in touch with our call centre on 0207 756 1414.
Can a parent or guardian accompany me at my screening?
You can of course bring somebody with you if you like, however they are not permitted in the clinic for privacy reasons. They are welcome to sit in reception (which has a TV and magazines) on the ground floor whilst they wait.
Where are my blood results?
We screen you against a virus at first screening, to see if you have blood antibody levels in the range we require for our studies. Because this is a specialist test it can take 3-4 weeks to get the results back. Once we have your results we can then send you an email to let you know whether you are eligible or not to attend a second stage of screening. If you think that you have been waiting longer than four weeks please email us at email@example.com
and we can look into it for you.
After screening, will I definitely be offered a place at FluCamp?
After registering your interest for our volunteer panel, you are not making a commitment to go on a clinical trial. FluCamp cannot guarantee that you will be asked to participate in any study.
What tests are carried out during screening?
Screening usually involves a complete review of a volunteer’s medical history and the following procedures: Blood test, urine sample, height and weight, ECG (an electrocardiogram to listen to your heart's rhythm). Find out more about tests carried out during screening
What are the screening stages?
There are four screening stages:
1 - An online survey to learn about volunteer's overall health.
2 - A phone call from one of our team who will ask for detailed information about current and past health.
3 - Attendance at one of our clinics for a blood test and general check-up. This stage normally takes between one and two hours and is followed by a maximum wait of six weeks while we receive the results. If the results fit our criteria we’ll match the volunteer to one of our studies and then invite that volunteer in for a full medical.
Because volunteer safety is so important, we will only ever invite people to join FluCamp who have a low level of risk.
Why is screening important?
Screening is an important part of our volunteer selection process because as well as allowing us to ensure we are recruiting healthy volunteers, the process also means we can match volunteers to the study they are best suited to. Our initial screening stages are completed online and over the phone - we do this before asking volunteers to come in for a visit so we can rule out any reasons that they might be excluded from a trial as early as possible, for example because of their medical history.
What is screening?
Before our volunteers join FluCamp, they need to meet a set of requirements laid out by our Doctors and the regulatory authorities – this process is called screening. During screening, we’ll ask some questions and complete a selection of tests and only then, if Doctors are satisfied with the results, will a volunteer be invited to join FluCamp. Find out more about what screening for medical trials is
Do you provide bedding, towels and toiletries?
Fresh bedding and towels are provided three times a week, however we can provide daily if requested. We ask volunteers to bring their own toiletries though, but if something is forgotten, we have a small supply of toiletries available. We don’t offer a laundry service, so please pack enough clothes for the duration of your stay.
What can I bring with me?
Volunteers can bring almost anything to make their room feel more like home. Our team need space to carry out their work, so there’s not enough room for big items like TVs or desktop computers, but most small things like laptops, iPads and guitars are very welcome. A quick call to us before a stay to check acceptable items would be recommended.
Do all the rooms have windows?
In our separate room facilities, not all of our rooms have windows. Generally we do allocate rooms on a first come first served basis, however there may be times when this isn't possible.
What are the rooms like?
We have individual rooms where volunteers stay for the duration of their trial. All the rooms are en suite, the same size and come with free Wi-Fi, Freeview TV and a PlayStation 3. We have a library of DVDs and PlayStation games and volunteers are welcome to bring in some things from home, such as an iPad. For a closer look at what your room would look like, visit either our asthmatics trials page
or our Cold and Flu trials page
, where the 'Your Room' section gives you a clear insight or you can visit our FluCamp Instagram page
What food and drink will I receive during my stay?
You’ll receive three meals a day as well as a variety of snacks. We have a choice of foods available, including vegetarian options and all our meat is Halal. Volunteers will always have water available and depending on which trial they join, decaffeinated tea and coffee is available to order as well. As hygiene and cleanliness are essential, we can’t allow volunteers to bring their own food or drink to FluCamp.
Can I interact with other volunteers during my stay?
All our studies are different, but in most cases there won’t be the opportunity for face to face interaction with other volunteers.
I’ve been invited to join FluCamp – does this mean I definitely have a place?
The first few days of a volunteer’s stay with us are an extension of their previous screening visits. This is because we want to make sure that nothing has changed and that volunteers are still fit and healthy. Not everyone passes this final screening phase (we can’t accept people with coughs and colds for example), so we do need to invite more people that we ultimately need. Everyone that passes the final screening process has the same chance of staying with us for the duration of a study. Sometimes people are unable to stay until the end, but depending on the reason, volunteers are welcome to come back to FluCamp another time. Those that do leave early will be entitled to compensation for the number of days they spend in the unit – details of this are outlined and provided in the Informed Consent Form, which volunteers will receive via email prior to their appointment.
Why does the compensation say 'up to' £3,750?
£3,750 is the maximum we will compensate an individual for a particular study, which is why we say 'up to'.
Compensation is based on the study length, and the number of visits requested during the study. So for instance a study lasting ten days will generally compensate less than one that lasts fourteen days. All volunteers are aware of the compensation amount for the study they are potentially eligible for before taking part.
Is my personal data secure?
The security & privacy of individuals private information is paramount to hVIVO/FluCamp. We are fully compliant with data protection laws both in the UK and the EU, regarding the collection, use and retention of your personal information.
Will I be taxed on my compensation?
Tax depends on each individual’s circumstances. Please refer to the HMRC guide here http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/eimanual/EIM71105.htm
. Please contact the HMRC directly if you have further questions or require any advice around tax on the compensation you receive from us.
Who can I speak to if I’ve got any questions about payment?
For any payment related queries, please contact us via email on firstname.lastname@example.org
How long will it take for me to be compensated?
Before volunteers agree to join FluCamp, we’ll let them know when and how much they’ll be paid. Payments are typically made after each screening visit and then in two further stages for volunteers who take part in a residential stay. The first of which is when the residential stay ends and the second is after the last follow-up visit to us (follow-up visits are normally 28 days after your residential stay ends).
Why don’t you invite asthmatics to your flu trials?
Flu can be more serious for people with asthma, even when their asthma condition is relatively mild. As volunteer safety is paramount for us, we only invite asthmatics to take part in our common cold trials and only when we are sure that they are suitable for them.
Would I be suitable?
This would depend on the result of your blood result at first screening. To register to take part you must be asthmatic and a regular user of your inhaler(s), aged 18-65, with a BMI between 18-39.9 and have no other underlying conditions. We would also need to know when you were diagnosed with asthma and who diagnosed you.
For further info please call us on 0207 756 1414, email us at email@example.com or register your details on the website and we can call you back.
Why do you have specific trials for asthma patients?
We still do not fully understand why a simple common cold virus can aggravate asthma symptoms in normally healthy adults. Our research aims to help us further understand these viruses so that one day we might be able to eliminate these symptoms altogether. This is why we recruit volunteers with asthma for specific common cold trial.