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Harrogate and District NHS Trust
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Research

Research at Harrogate and District Foundation Trust

As part of the NHS drive to improve knowledge about treatment and health some staff and patients at Harrogate Trust are involved in research. This is supported by the government through the NIHR Clinical Research Network and aims to ensure that all treatment given within the NHS is based on the best research evidence.  To achieve this it has invested in providing a research infrastructure with the aim of making sure that as many patients and staff who would like to take part in research have the opportunity to do so. Find out more about how the government aims to do this http://www.ukcrn.org.uk/index.html 

Here at the Trust some of the funding for research has been used to employ research staff who work with clinical teams to inform patients about opportunities to take part in research and support them when they do. For more information about taking part in a research project please click here

Before any research can take place at Harrogate various checks are carried out on behalf of the Trust by the Research and Development (R&D) Unit - also based at Harrogate District Hospital. This process ensures that any research project has all the necessary approvals to go ahead at the Trust.  The R&D Unit also provides advice and training for research staff.

One of the Top Trusts for Research

The number of new studies delivered in the NHS has increased, and the number of patients engaged in research activity has hit an all-time high. We are one of the top 100 performing Trusts committed to delivering clinical research to time and target. Visit the NIHR Clinical Research Network performance website to find out more about how Trusts are performing on research.

What is a clinical trial?

A clinical trial is a research study in human volunteers which is designed to answer specific health questions, for example to find out ways to treat, screen, diagnose or prevent disease.

Measurements and observations collected during the study can help provide information on whether a new treatment or procedure is safe, what the side effects are, and whether it is better than the current standard treatment. Clinical trials are the most reliable and best way of testing a new treatment or seeing whether one treatment works better than another and are needed to improve treatment and care for patients now and in the future.

The conduct of each trial is overseen by a group of experts who regularly review information about people who are taking part in the trial. All clinical trials are reviewed by an ethics committee, an independent group made up of experts and members of the public. They make sure that the dignity, rights and well-being of research participants are protected as well as helping to make sure that research is ethical and of potential benefit to participants, science and society. www.nres.npsa.nhs.uk.

Clinical trials are not the only way of finding out the best treatment or care. Researchers also conduct:

  •  surveys – which measure something in a group of individuals

  •  reviews – which summarise the results of several studies and      

  •  can be used to develop guidelines, decision and economic

  •  analyses

  •  qualitative research - which is useful for exploring issues such as why some people don’t take prescribed  medication

Most research is now designed and run in consultation with patients and members of the public. If you would like to be involved in thinking about what research might be done or contributing to the design of clinical trials please see the UKCRN public pages http://www.ukcrn.org.uk/index/patients.html or INVOLVE http://www.invo.org.uk/

We have many research staff working on different projects within the Trust. You can find details of these on speciality pages. For general information about research and clinical trials you can ring or e-mail Maggie Peat, Senior Research Nurse 01423 553267; maggie.peat@hdft.nhs.uk .