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For researchers

Research doctor

Is it research?

Research is often confused with service evaluation and audit. Generally service evaluation and audit do not require research ethics approval. The Health Research Authority (HRA) has devised online decision tools to help assist in deciding whether a project is research and if it requires favourable ethical opinion. These can be accessed below:

The defining research leaflet is available in their document library or directly here.

Following the use of the decision tools, it is advisable to contact The R&D department to confirm the decision.


Patient, carer and public involvement and engagement (PCPIE)

Patients and carers in the NHS want to undertake research and want to participate. We currently have an active patient and carer group supporting our researchers across the Trust with their design, methodology and ethics of research projects and critically assessing service redesign and sustainability of outcomes from research projects. We aim to encourage and support this group to become part of the research infrastructure to ensure appropriate patient public involvement is all our projects.


Getting R&D approval

This guidance is structured around the various stages of a research project:

  • Project planning
  • Gaining approval
  • Project implementation/data collection
  • Analysis of results
  • Dissemination of findings.

The Research Governance Framework for Health and Social Care specifies the duties and responsibilities of all individuals and organisations involved in research.