Taking part in research
North Essex Partnership is a research active Trust. Our main research aims are to support studies with the potential to improve understanding of Dementias and Mental Health conditions and to improve care and treatments.
As a service user of the Trust, or a carer or relative, you may be approached by a Trust member of staff about a research study that is relevant to you. All studies are reviewed by an independent Research Ethics Committee, national regulatory bodies and the Trust’s R&D office. This is to ensure all studies meet stringent scientific and ethical standards so that service users, health care professionals and the public can have confidence in NHS research and benefit from research findings.
What does participation involve?
If you are asked if you would like to take part in a study, you will be provided an ethically approved information sheet, which will detail what the study involves. A member of a research team will go through this with you to make sure you have a full understanding of the study before you decide if you would like to give your consent to participate. For most studies, you will have some time to think about whether this would be right for you, and it may help to discuss this with a friend or relative. The participant information sheet will have contact details for the study research team and you can raise any queries you might have with them.
If you decide to take part in research, you may be asked to be involved in activities that are additional to standard care. Examples might include completing questionnaires, donating blood samples, taking medication or visiting a clinic for extra scans or examinations.
When deciding whether a research study can be ethically approved, research ethics committees look at what burden the study might involve to participants, and consider if that burden is acceptable when weighed against the benefits that could be gained from participation. Whatever the level of involvement, taking part in research is always voluntary and participants are able to withdraw at any time, without giving a reason and without affecting your normal treatment.
The potential benefits
Research within the NHS does not result in financial gain for participating patients, although expenses such as travel costs to extra clinic visits related to research are often reimbursed.
Taking part in research gives an opportunity to contribute towards improving understanding of conditions and for testing of treatments when it is not known which is best. Though there is some evidence that people taking part in research tend to have better outcomes than they might otherwise, the major benefit will be for others who in the future may experience improved treatment and care as a result of research findings.
All participants involved in NHS research are entitled to be informed of the results of the study once it has been completed.