Research, development and innovation

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Want to be part of research?

If you've found your way to this page then you may well be thinking about taking part in a research programme. Great news! This is your first step in helping shape the future of medicine. There are lots of things to consider when you're making the decision to be involved in a research study and this page will answer a few questions and hopefully guide you through some of the initial information you'll need.

What's involved?

The level of involvement and time it will require from you will depend on what's being investigated. The research team will be able to give you more detail - some trials will revolve around the completion of surveys whereas others may be more physically demanding.

What are the benefits?

Many of our patients who have taken part in research have found it to be a positive and rewarding process.

There is evidence that for some conditions, patients involved with clinical trials have better long term outcomes and may also get earlier access to new drugs.

Your health will be closely monitored throughout a clinical trial. Any changes in your health, whether or not they are related to the treatment you are having, are frequently picked up and acted upon earlier than if you were not in a trial. However, some people find that the extra attention makes them worry more about their condition.

Taking part in a trial may mean that you:

  • Will be helping others by supporting the identification of new, more effective treatments.
  • Will have more contact with medical staff than you normally would.
  • Will have more opportunities to learn about your medical condition (helping you manage it better long term).
  • Feel you are taking a more active role in your healthcare.

Why are clinical trials important?

Clinical trials are the most reliable way of testing new treatments or interventions. Potential new treatments might not always be better, and could even be worse than the existing ones. Only by rigorous testing is it possible to ascertain which ones are the safest and most effective which in turn allows continuous improvement in the quality of the care patients receive.

Who approves the study?

Each study goes through a rigorous process whereby it is 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 whilst drug trials are usually approved by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority (MHRA). 

What do I do if I think I'm eligible?

You might prefer to speak to your clinician in the first instance but you can also contact the Research and Development team on 01483 688 660 or rsc-tr.ResearchAndDevelopment@nhs.net for more information.

How do I find out what trials are happening now?

The Royal Surrey County Hospital is active in a number of research areas. To find out what studies are currently open across these departments please speak to your clinical team about the research that is available to you.

During your consultation, your clinician will inform you about the trials that are happening now.

It is possible that the Royal Surrey County Hospital may not run the trial for which you are suitable. With your permission, your clinician would then refer you to another hospital. However, to participate in any study you have to fulfil a list of specific requirements.

Taking part in a research programme isn't the only way you can directly help the Trust's research work. If you've taken part in a trial before or have an understanding of the world of healthcare research then you could be perfect to act as a Patient Research Ambassador (PRA). The role of the PRA is to promote health research from the point of view of someone who has taken part in or has knowledge of research to patients, the public and  healthcare professionals. Patient Research Ambassadors are passionate about promoting the importance of research and are keen to speak to members of the public as well as future and current patients to share information about ongoing research projects and ways to get involved. They ensure that feedback is shared and patients' voices are heard. If you think thisis a role which would suit you then we'd love to hear from you on 01483 688 660 or rsc-tr.ResearchAndDevelopment@nhs.net.

Royal Surrey Charity