What is research and why is it important?
Research is about finding new information and new treatments, which helps us find better ways of providing care for you.
This new information improves patient care.That is why continued research is needed to further improve the care we provide you in the hospital and at home.
There are a number of ways in which you can get involved in the research carried out at London North West Healthcare NHS Trust. For example:
- Join our Patient Public Involvement Forum
- Help the researchers to design better studies and research by giving them your opinions at different stages of the research proposal
- Help the researchers design patient information sheets that are clear and helpful to patients and research participants.
How can you help?
Research can be carried out on healthy volunteers or patients who may have a particular disease or ailment. If you would like to take part in any research project or programme, you should discuss this with your treating doctor or GP. They may be able to advise you on the current programme of studies taking place at the Trust.
Do I have to say “Yes”?
No. You are free to decide whether to take part in the study.
What if I say “No”?
If you decide not to take part in the research study, it will not affect the care you are receiving now or the
care you will receive in the future at London North West Healthcare NHS Trust.
Do I have to decide to take part at once?
If you are unsure whether you want to take part or not, ask the researcher for some time to decide. Feel free to discuss the study with your relatives or next of kin and remember that once you've made your decision, to inform the research team.
How will the research help me?
Most research is carried out with the patients whilst they are undergoing other treatment at the Trust.
In other cases participants who are not in the care of London North West Healthcare NHS Trust and are healthy may be asked to take part in a study. In either case the researchers will inform you how the research will benefit you or others in the future.
Even if the research might not help you, you may decide it is worth taking part because it might help others in the future.
Who will ask me to take part in the research?
A doctor, a nurse or an authorised independent researcher may ask you during your clinic visit. The person may be someone you have already met during your care. If an independent researcher approaches you be sure to check with the person caring for you that they can approach you.
What will being involved in a study involve?
The researcher will explain the study to you in detail. You will be given an information sheet explaining the study and what you need to do to take part. This will also help you to decide whether you would like to take part. The information sheet should have the name of the study at the top, information about the study, what is involved and who you should contact in case you have any questions.
NB: Some research is done in an emergency situation. If this happens then you will be told about the benefits and risks. You will also be given time to think and ask questions before you decide to take part.
Do I have to sign a consent form?
If you decide to take part in the study you will be asked to sign a consent form giving permission to be part of the study.
What does London North West Healthcare NHS Trust have in place to ensure that research is necessary and that the patients and participants taking part in research are protected?
Before any research is given permission to start the Research and Development department reviews the research to ensure all the local and national guidelines have been followed. The study also has to be approved by an independent committee appointed by the National Research Ethics Service called the Research Ethics Committee. The committee’s job is to ensure that research is ethical, well designed and protects those who are taking part.
Can I change my mind?
You are free to change your mind at any time even if you have already signed the consent form. You do not have to give a reason why you have changed your mind and your decision will not affect your current or future care at any of our hospitals.
For more information, contact the R&D department.
For an independent advice on taking part in research please contact our Patient Advisory Liaison Services (PALS) on 020 8869 5188.