Patient research FAQs

When a study is designed, every effort is made to reduce any risk to patients. Before any clinical research can start, it is subject to thorough review from all applicable regulatory authorities and the NHS.

What are the risks?

In the study of new treatments and investigations, the researchers may be aware of some side effects, but there is also the possibility of unknown side effects. It is important to bear in mind that all treatments and investigations could potentially cause side effects.

We will carefully monitor your health during the study, and you should tell us about any illnesses or changes in your body that you notice.

Do I have to decide to take part straight away?

It is very rare that you will need to decide to take part straight away in a study. It is better to take the time to evaluate the benefits and risks of participating in the study before you decide. The research team will clearly explain these benefits and risks and will be available to discuss any queries you may have.  

If you are happy to get involved in a research study, you will need to give informed consent, to show that you understand what is being asked of you and to confirm you agree to take part. You should not give your consent if you are unclear about any aspect of the research.

What does taking part in research involve?

Your involvement and the time required depends on what is being investigated. The research team should be able to provide you with details.

Will I get paid?

Participation in studies is voluntary and any payment received is provided by the study sponsor and is study specific. Parking or travel expenses can sometimes be reimbursed, while less frequently payment for your time and refreshments while attending a research visit is provided by the study. The research team will be able to provide you with further details.

Will I be able to find out the research results?

The researcher will be able to tell you when the research is complete and the results are publicly available. However, we encourage our researchers to create a summary of results for participants – ask your research team about this if you are interested.

What if I have concerns about the research?

If you have any questions or concerns about the research, you should contact the following departments:

Who approves the study?

All our studies are reviewed and approved by the appropriate and applicable regulatory authorities. Research in the NHS is approved by the NHS Research Ethics Committee and the Health Research Authority, drug trials are usually approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MHRA).

Each NHS Trust has a research and development (R&D) department whose role it is to make sure all the correct approvals are in place. Anyone doing research within the NHS must have a letter of approval from their R&D department.