Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs about research and development

What is clinical research?
Clinical research determines the safety and effectiveness of treatments (therapies and medications), devices and diagnostic procedures that are intended for human use. The results are used to improve prevention, treatment, diagnosis or relieving the symptoms of a disease.

If I ask for information do I have to take part?
Not at all. If you are interested in research and request information you are not obliged to take part. Our team are here to help you make the best decision about taking part for you and there is no pressure to go through with anything. You can also discuss taking part in the study with any other healthcare professionals you have contact with. You also do not have to make a decision immediately. If you need time to think about it or to talk to your family, friends or doctor this is fine.

What if I’m not eligible for any studies at the moment?
If you are interested in taking part in research, but we are not currently running any studies that you are interested in, or are eligible for, you can sign up to our research register so that we can contact you about future projects. Please get in touch with the team if you would like to be on the register.

Can I stop taking part during the research study?
You can withdraw from the study at any time if you do not want to continue participating. Although we would like people to take part in research we do not want anyone to feel pressured into continuing with something they do not want to.

What will I be expected to do?
You may have the opportunity to take part in a range of studies. Some of these may involve you filling in a questionnaire about your life or the care you receive. Others may be trying out an exciting new treatment which would involve more of your time. With any study, our staff make it as easy and convenient as possible for you to take part.

Is it safe?
Some research studies require no intervention so there is minimal or no risk involved. However, clinical trials that investigate new treatments may involve some risks. A lot of work is done before the study begins and you are monitored closely during the trial to minimise any risk.

All studies have to go through appropriate checks and have insurance before they begin. During a study you are monitored so that any side effects can be picked up quickly and dealt with accordingly. If it becomes apparent at any point that the treatment is not effective, or appears unsafe, the trial will stop and the doctors conducting it will ensure you are given the best possible treatment. If known side effects occur that you cannot tolerate you can also withdraw from the study at any point without it effecting your care.

Where do the studies take place?
Depending on the type of study, you may be asked to come into one of our specialist units at the Abraham Cowley Unit in Chertsey or Farnham Road Hospital in Guildford. For most studies our staff can visit you at home at a time convenient to you. For some questionnaire studies, you can receive these at home or complete them over the phone.

How will it affect my care?
Taking part in a research study should have no effect on the care you receive normally. Research is an extra service provided by our Trust and most studies run alongside your normal care. If you are taking part in a research study of a new treatment, your current treatment may need to be modified. However, this will be carefully discussed with clinicians to ensure it is the best option for you.

Who will have access to my records?

Your doctors and care team will have access to your records and will always be informed if you are taking part in a research study. Fully trained staff in the research and study teams will also have access to your information. Everyone who has access to these records will act in accordance with the Data Protection Act and Information Governance. All hard copy records are stored safely and securely.

Can I take part in more than one study?
Yes you can. Some studies do request that while you are taking part in their study that you do not take part in another as it may affect the results. However this isn’t the case for most and if this is the case you can always take part in another study when the one you are currently doing is finished.

Will I find out the results of the study?
Most study results are published by the company or organisation conducting the research. You can normally request a copy of the results when you sign up to take part.

Will I be paid?
For most studies in the NHS, participants are not paid, however, this is not always the case. If the study you are taking part in involves you travelling, etc then most expenses can be reimbursed. Please ask the research team about this before taking part in a study.

What if I sign up then decide I don’t want to take part in any research?
Your details can be removed from our register at any time. The same goes for if you were taking part in the study, you can withdraw at any time without any questions asked. If you would like to tell us why you don’t want to take part we greatly welcome the feedback as it may help us in the future.