Patient participation is at the heart of all research studies.

Taking part in a research project 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.

Information and consent

If you choose to take part in a clinical trial, you should always make sure you are given a patient information sheet and a consent form from the clinical team.

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.

If you don’t understand any of the information on the sheet, you can ask for an explanation.

You should only ever 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. Even if you say ‘yes’ at first, you can change your mind later. You don’t have to tell us why.
  • If you don’t want to take part, this will not affect your routine healthcare.
  • Information you give as part of the study that might be traceable back to you will 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 Institute of Health Research (NIHR) has created the NHS Evidence website. This site contains excellent information for members of the public about taking part in clinical trials:

Get in touch

If you are interested in taking part in research, please contact us at