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Research - General Information

Clinical Research at Park Surgery

This is the general information page - for specifics for individual studies including updates and conclusions when available - click here

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is the research arm of the NHS.  The NIHR funds health and care research and translates discoveries into practical products, treatments, devices and procedures.  They ensure the NHS is able to support the research of other funders to encourage broader investment in, and economic growth from, health research.  They work with charities and the life sciences industry to help patients gain earlier access to breakthrough treatments and they train and develop researchers to keep the nation at the forefront of international research.    

For more information about the NIHR. Please Click Here

Findings from research studies help all GPs, nurses and other health professionals provide the most appropriate and up-to-date care.  Park Surgery is pleased to be part of the National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network (NIHR CRN) for Kent, Surrey and Sussex.  This means we are part of a network of General Practices who host medical research on a regular basis.  Patients registered with this practice have an opportunity to help shape the future of health care by taking part in research projects.

This link will take you to the specific NIHR web pages for Kent, Surrey and Sussex. Please Click Here

They regularly produce a newsletter whose recent edition featured a piece about Dr Elizabeth Fisher (Research Lead for Park Surgery) and the research work going on here. Please Click Here

Aims of Research within General Practice

Studies cover a wide range of topics and may include:

  • Promoting healthier lifestyles
  • Disease diagnosis and prevention
  • Management of long-term illnesses such as diabetes or hypertension
  • Prevention of future ill health
  • Treating common conditions such as tonsillitis or influenza

How can you help and take part?

There is a campaign running on social media at the moment (19.12.17) around patient and staff experiences of research within the NHS - please follow the links to access this information on Twitter or Facebook.

Previous research participants from Kent, Surrey and Sussex have stated that helping other people was a significant reason which drove them to take part.  It’s clear that patients know that the treatments we have today are as a result of people taking part in research in the past. 

As a member of the Research Network, we will from time to time invite patients to take part in research studies.  You will always receive clear information about what taking part in any research study would involve.  You will have the opportunity to ask questions and obtain further details about the study with no obligation to take part.  Participation in any research project is entirely voluntary and you can withdraw at any time throughout any study. Declining or withdrawing from any study will not affect your medical care in any way.  

There are various ways a patient can become involved in studies at Park Surgery and requirements vary from study to study.

  • You may be asked by a member of the Practice to consider taking part in a particular research project; Your participation could involve:
    • Filling in a questionnaire
    • Talking to a researcher about your views/symptoms
    • Letting the researcher look at your medical notes
    • Trying a new treatment, therapy or device
    • Experiencing new combinations or timings of treatments
    • Providing samples for testing (blood, urine, breath etc.)
  • You may be sent information through the post if we feel you may be a suitable participant.
  • You may read information about a current study in the patient waiting room or on the surgery website and wish to take part. 

If you do agree to take part in a study, you will be asked to sign a consent form.  This will clearly state which part of your notes (if any) may be looked at for the purposes of the research study.  Nobody from outside this practice will be given your contact details or have access to your medical records without your prior consent.  Everyone who has access to your records, or any of your details for research, is bound by a strict code of conduct to keep your data confidential.  Where possible, all data collected from you for research purposes will be coded with a number rather than your name.

You will not be asked to take part in a large number of studies; Most researchers are very specific about the criteria that that people need to meet in order to enter their study.  Usually this means that only a small number of our patients will be suitable for any one study.

Please also access the UK Clinical Trial Gateway for further details on NIHR portfolio studies
(Please Click Here) or call the Clinical Research Network on 01273 641417.

What is it like to participate in research?

Patient experience survey carried out by the Clinical Research Network from Kent, Surrey and Sussex in 2015 showed that:

  • 96% thought research should be considered a normal part of NHS care.
  • The vast majority of participants had a very satisfying experience, from their intial introduction to the research to completing the study.
  • 98% found staff friendly and helpful.
  • Participants felt well valued and supported with easy access to staff.
  • Participants felt well informed about the study with time given to consider and make informed choices.
  • Most people would be happy to take part in a study in the future and/or recommend to others.

Safety considerations

Before a research project starts, it is looked at by various organisations to make sure it is OK for you to take part.  These include an NHS Research Committee and the NHS organisation responsible for your care.  They make sure any risks have been looked at, that the study is of value to patients and the NHS, and that it respects the rights, safety and wellbeing of those taking part.

They also review projects regularly after they have started to make sure they continue to be safe.

Disease Surveillance Program


Read here to find out more.

Award-Winning Research Team at Park Surgery

We have been accredited by the Royal College of General Practitioners as ‘Research Ready’. This means we are prepared to participate in the high quality research studies that the NIHR CRN offers.

In 2016, we were awarded Highly Commended in national research awards run by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network and the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP). For their website with all the details, Please Click Here

In addition, we were the highest recruiter nationally for the Garfield Heart Study and among the highest for the CANDID research project (see the Research Studies tab for specific details of all our projects).

This photo shows some of the Research Team at Park including Dr Elizabeth Fisher (Research Lead, front row in the middle), other GPs, nurses and administrative staff.  Many other staff not shown are also actively participating.

There is a key requirement for staff members involved in clinical research to have undertaken Good Clinical  Practice (GCP) training to ensure they are qualified to deliver research within the General Practice setting.  GCP training provides the standard and guidelines to which all research is conducted.  All staff involved in the recruitment of patients to research studies possess up-to-date GCP certification.

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