Information for health and care professionals

Talk to your patients about research

Man and woman going over documentsThe NHS Constitution includes a pledge that everyone has the right to be informed of research studies they are eligible to participate in. Talking about research is one way to provide best care.

This site has been designed to show research opportunities for you and your patients. You can use it to find suitable studies or enable your patients to explore opportunities in their own time.

Only through research can we find ways to improve prevention, diagnosis, care and treatments. It can also help people living with a condition have a better quality of life.

Start the conversation

We know that 87% of participants on a NIHR supported study had a good experience of taking part (Patient Research Experience Survey 2017/2018).  Here are the common barriers to taking part and the facts to help start a conversation: 

  • Fear - There are different types of research, every study is different. For example, some studies test new treatments or therapies. Others may involve interviews or surveys.  You can search the site for different ways to take part ie focus groups.
  • Time - not all studies take up the same amount of time. 
  • Travel - not all studies involve travelling to a hospital or site. Some studies can be done at home and some online. 

Maria Catton recently took part in the ALPHA trial, a study recruiting patients with severe hand eczema. In this short clip she encourages GP's to have a conversation that inspires confidence that it's worthwhile to take part in research.

Video footage courtesy of the Alpha Trial

Eligibility and information

The research team will tell any participants what the study involves before the participant agrees to take part.  Participants can choose whether or not to take part in a study and can opt out at any time.   

Sharing study details

Print or download trial details screen Capture

Once you've found a study that's relevant, use the download button on the top right hand side to access a print-friendly version or you can email it to them directly from here. Look out for this symbol

Within the full study details, you can find more information such as who to contact, the exclusion/inclusion criteria and more details.  This will help decide whether they're suitable to take part. 

Important questions and further reading

Anyone wishing to participate in research will need to know some important information before making an informed decision.  These questions are a helpful start.  

How to take partwhat happens on a study and why take part can be viewed in their own time, after the appointment.

Confidentiality and handling patient data

Understanding Patient Data is a website developed because four in five people do not know how their health data is used.  It's aim is to explain how and why data can be used for care and research, what’s allowed and what’s not, and how your personal information is kept safe.

On the homepage you will find an animation which follows the journeys of a patients with cancer, dementia, asthma, diabetes and a heart attack. The animations show all the ways in which the information from these patients is used to improve care.

Other ways to take part

Not everyone can participate in a trial, but there are many other ways to help or shape research.