Information for Patients and the Public

Why should I take part in research?

Hospitals which offer patients the chance to get involved in research studies and clinical trials are generally those that provide the latest and best available treatment.

If you are a patient at QEHB, you may be invited to take part in a study or trial. You could play a role in improving our understanding of how the human body works, of disease and injury, and of the way we treat those conditions. It is entirely up to you whether or not you wish to get involved and if you decide not to participate, it will not affect your treatment in any way.

Because our clinicians are involved in research they are closely engaged with the very latest developments in their field, and in some cases they can access drugs or treatments which are not generally available to the rest of the NHS.

Research varies from simple questionnaires to measure your wellbeing to observational trials which might involve a few extra blood samples or even the trials of cutting edge of drug therapies. Britain is renowned for the safety of its research, and the country is a leader in developing man’s understanding of a huge range of clinical conditions.

These research studies and clinical trials rely on volunteers. Some involve healthy members of the public, while others involve patients taking part in a trial during their care and treatment.

Taking part in research

 If you are asked to take part in a research project this may involve:

  • Being in a clinical trial and testing a new way of diagnosing, preventing or treating a disease
  • Filling out a questionnaire
  • Giving samples of blood, skin or other tissue
  • Taking part in a focus group with other patients, carers or members of the public
  • Being interviewed by a researcher to get your views or experiences.

Whatever research you take part in you should always be given a patient information sheet and a consent form. The patient information sheet tells you about the research, what it involves, how much time it is likely to take and any of the risks and benefits of taking part. You should always be given time to read this and discuss it – you may want to talk about it with your family or your GP for example. If you don’t understand any of the information on the sheet then ask for an explanation, you should always make sure that you only say yes if you are sure that you understand what the research will involve.
Taking part in research can be a very positive experience. However you should remember:

  • Taking part is voluntary. If you say yes and change your mind later that is okay.
  • If you don’t want to take part then this will not affect your routine healthcare.
  • Information you give as part of the study that might be traceable back to you should not be passed on to anyone outside the research team without your permission.
  • You are entitled to know what the results of the research are.

The National Electronic Library for Health have produced some excellent information for the public on taking part in clinical trials. 

Click here to visit the National Electronic Library for Health website


Donating to QEHB Charities

The QEHB charity provides research grants to staff working at the Queen Elizabeth and Selly Oak hospitals into any field of medicine carried out at the hospitals.
In 2009-10 the charity funded over £1.5 million of research projects into subjects as varied as cancer, transplants, intensive care medicine, heart disease and many more.
If you would like to donate to QEHB please click here to their website