Primary Care Networks (PCNs) and Practices

Health and Care Research

Some links on this page have been colour coded to make it easier to find the information you need:

Quick Read
Clinical level

Understanding clinical research

From the National Institutes of Health
This American website provides a good basic explanation of clinical research
The Basics The Basics | National Institutes of Health (NIH)

From Patient info

From Health Talk
Some videos explaining clinical trials
What are clinical trials, and why do we need them? Healthtalk

Directly helping with clinical research in the UK

There are two ways members of the public can directly help in research

  1. Taking part in a trial or study to test a new treatment or care option.
  2. Support research without taking part in a study – Being a member of the research team that works together to design and run the study (including being a research champion)

From the National Institute for Health and Care Research
Explains how to find a clinical trial or study to take part in.
“I want to take part in a research study” I want to take part in a research study | NIHR

The NHS explains
How do I take part in a clinical trial? Clinical trials – NHS

  • What happens in a clinical trial?
  • What should I know before I sign up?

From the National Institute for Health and Care Research
Explains how to get involved in research as part of the research team. This can include being a “research champion” or getting involved with studies by advising researchers on what to research and how, known as Patient and Public Involvement (PPI).
“What is public involvement in research?”   I want to help with research | NIHR

Some opportunities for you to help are included below

Search for all research opportunities

 The National Institute for Health and Care Research allows you to search for research you might want to take part in

From the UK Research and Innovation 
Provides a good summary of taking part in medical research Taking part in medical research – UKRI

Search national charities

Many national charities are involved in research. You can search for topics on this website and a number of the main charities which provide support for patients also have connections to research in that area. A couple of examples include

From Cancer Research UK
Cancer research Find a clinical trial | Cancer Research UK

From the British Heart foundation

Search national organisations

From Gov UK
Provide a list of of national and international organisations involved in research  Experimental medicine and clinical trials – GOV.UK

Search for local research opportunities

From the National Institute for Health and Care Research
Thames Valley Patients, Carers and the Public

From the Research & Innovation department at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust
How to get involved RESEARCH AIMS | Bhtresearch

From Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust
Research and innovation: Get involved Research and innovation: for patients and public | NHS Frimley Health Foundation Trust

Further local research opportunities

On occasions new local opportunities for research will be included on the local news page, see under

Indirectly helping with clinical research in the UK

As the NHS suggest
Your health records contain a type of data called confidential patient information. This data can be used to help with research and planning. Choose if data from your health records is shared for research and planning – Overview – NHS

You can directly help with clinical research as previously explained but you can also indirectly help by allowing information from your health record to be shared for help with research and planning.

How your health record data can be used is explained by NHS Digital
How data helps the NHS General Practice Data for Planning and Research (GPDPR) – NHS Digital

Make your choice

You can choose to stop your confidential patient information being used for research and planning. You can also make a choice for someone else like your children under the age of 13. How to make your choice is explained below:

Opt out

From the NHS
Make your choice about sharing data from your health records Make your choice about sharing data from your health records – NHS

Before making your choice there is further information which may help from the NHS
Choose if data from your health records is shared for research and planning Choose if data from your health records is shared for research and planning – NHS

Evidence based medicine

From Understanding Health Research
What is “Evidence-based medicine, practice and policy” Understanding Health Research · Evidence-based medicine, practice and policy

From Harvard Medical School
A light hearted explanation looking back in time and why evidence-based medicine will always be relevant
What’s the evidence for evidence-based medicine? – Harvard Health

From Health Knowledge
Research evidence in healthcare can be classified according to the level of quality, otherwise known as the hierarchy of evidence. So if you look at the original evidence behind any treatment the quality of the evidence will vary. This is explained further: Evidence based medicine and healthcare | Health Knowledge

Plain language summaries

From Cochrane
Search over 7000 plain language summaries of health evidence, which have been written for everyone to make them easier to understand Our evidence | Cochrane

Evidence based guidelines used by practice and hospital health care professionals

From the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)
Browse guidance by topic Conditions and diseases | Topic | NICE

The latest studies

From the National Institute for Health and Care Research
You can search conditions and the latest studies, however note that the information is provided directly by researchers and isn’t always easy to understand (though the NIHR are working to improve this).

Even after a medicine comes into regular use in the NHS after going through clinical trials you can contribute to the ongoing safety and understanding of any medication.

From Gov UK
Anyone can report a suspected problem (‘adverse incident’) with a medicine or medical device using the Yellow Card Scheme Report a problem with a medicine or medical device – GOV.UK


From Gov UK – The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency
As part of their function they approve “UK-based clinical trials and inspect them to ensure they comply with Good Clinical Practice standards.”

“The MHRA regulates medicines, including vaccines, supplied in the UK. Our activity spans the whole of a medicine’s lifecycle. We decide whether medicines should be granted licences (also known as Marketing Authorisations) and whether licences can be varied as information about the medicines develop. These decisions are based on safety, quality and effectiveness data submitted to us.”


From the Health Research Authority
“Our core purpose is to protect and promote the interests of patients and the public in health and social care research.”
What we do What we do – Health Research Authority


From the Medical Research Council (MRC)
“MRC funds research at the forefront of science to prevent illness, develop therapies and improve human health.” Medical Research Council (MRC) – UKRI

Other questions

Research trials and NHS funding

Excess treatment costs and post trial treatments are are not routinely funded.

This is explained further by Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West (BOB) integrated care board and SCW and NHS South, Central and West (NHS SCW), see under
Research Trial & NHS Funding | BOB ICB look under Buckinghamshire and type ” Research” into the search box to bring up the whole policy

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