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Research FAQs

This page gives you answers to our most frequently asked questions about research studies and trials.

Frequently asked questions

  • Is taking part in research safe?

    When a study is designed every effort is made to reduce any risk to patients. This is also checked by an ethics committee.

    In the study of new treatments and investigations, the researchers may be aware of some side-effects, but there is also the possibility of unknown side-effects. It is important to bear in mind that all treatments and investigations have some degree of side-effects.

    We will carefully monitor your health during the study, and you should tell us about any illnesses or changes in your body that you notice.

  • What does taking part in research involve?

    Your involvement and the time required depends on what is being investigated. The research team should be able to provide you with details.

  • Will I get paid?

    This depends on the study. The research team should be able to provide you with details.

  • Who will see information about me?

    If you take part in a study, staff other than your doctors will need access to your medical records. Everyone who sees your records has to follow the hospital’s confidentiality guidelines.

    Sometimes the study is carried out at many hospitals and we need to share the information about how the study is progressing. If we do need to send out information to other researchers, your personal details will not be included to protect your confidentiality.

  • Will I be able to find out the research results?

    The researcher should tell you when the research is complete and the results are publicly available. We encourage our researchers to create a summary of results for participants – ask your research team about this if you are interested.

  • Who approves the study?

    All our studies are examined and approved by a research ethics committee. They look at everything that will take place in the study and how it will be done, with a focus on the interests of patients.

  • Do I have to decide to take part straight away?

    No, it is better to take the time to discuss the benefits and the risks with other healthcare professionals (such as your GP) or with relatives or friends before you decide. The researchers will also be available to discuss the study further.

Download our leaflet

Have your say about medical research (PDF 696Kb)