We are involved in many different types of research studies including:
- Clinical trials – studies that involve human volunteers and which are designed to answer specific health questions. This includes trials involving drugs and medical devices
- Research surveys – these studies will measure something in a group of individuals
- Research reviews – these studies summarise the results of several other studies and can be used to develop guidelines, care pathways etc
- Qualitative studies – these studies usually involve interviews with patients or focus groups and try to explore issues that relate to individuals.
Before any research studies are opened within the Trust there are a number of checks that are carried out by the research and development office to ensure that the studies have all of the necessary approvals in place, including ethical approval where necessary. The research and development office also provides advice and training for staff wishing to undertake their own research within the Trust.
Why we do research
As part of the NHS drive to improve knowledge about treatments our Trust is actively involved in around 100 clinical research studies at any given time and last year more than 500 patients were recruited to studies.
Clinical research is important in assisting us in answering questions such as:
- Does this treatment work?
- Which patients are at risk of developing certain conditions?
- How accurate is this diagnostic test/measurement?
- How can we improve our services so that we provide the best, high quality care to our patients?
Research has led to improved care and treatments for many conditions such as cancer, diabetes and stroke. The new knowledge that is generated from research studies helps us to understand health problems better and develop services that offer improvements to patients.
The NIHR mission is to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research. Find out what they do, the structure and priorities and learn more about the difference health and social care research makes to people’s lives.