Your questions about research answered

We know you may have questions and be unsure about what it means to take part in a health research study.

Find answers to some frequently answered questions below or watch the short FAQ videos to hear questions from our research volunteers answered by health research experts.

Answers to your questions

What is research and specifically, what is health care research?

Research is about discovery and innovation and creating new knowledge, which is really important for the NHS. Research is also about answering questions and finding answers. Healthcare research is a way that we can find answers to questions to improve care for our patients including looking for better ways of saving lives, whether that’s betters drugs, vaccines or ways of treating patients.

Why do we do research in the NHS and why is it important?

Research is a part of everyday care for the NHS. Most NHS organisations have Research and Development (R&D) departments to find out how they can do better and what changes can be made to adapt to the current times. It’s really important for us to keep up to date with the latest treatments, drugs and vaccines and research allows this to happen.

What are the impacts of research?

Research has touched our lives in many different ways and particularly in medicine. Research has impacted everything we do and how we operate the NHS including the safety of hospitals and how we improve the quality of care we give to our patients.

The impact of research in healthcare is huge. Examples of impacts made from research include:

  • Finding new treatments for illnesses
  • Finding medicines for new diseases
  • Information that helps to improve our care and National policies/guidelines to ensure we are doing the best for our patients.

What is the City of Research – Research As One? And how can people volunteer?

In the Bradford, Airedale and Craven District, we have over 60,000 people taking part in research studies. That’s more than any other city in the world! The City of Research – Research as One lets us share research opportunities with our local population. The registry aims to offer everyone in the District with an opportunity to be involved in research. Interested volunteers just need to complete a short online form, letting us know what research they want to be involved in and how we can get in touch if there are new opportunities available. You can sign up to join here.

Who is involved in research and how can I get involved?

Anybody can be involved in research! You can be involved in research when you come to the hospital as an outpatient or an inpatient or when you see your GP. You can also get involved in our community research including Born in Bradford and CARE75. We want to encourage everyone to take part in research and you can do so by joining the City of Research – Research As One registry.

What support can I expect to receive as I may be out of my comfort zone?

It can always seem a little bit scary coming into research, particularly if you’re taking part in new drug or vaccine trials, but please be rest assured, you will be looked after by our research teams with great care throughout. When taking part in research, our research teams (this may include research nurses, midwives, clinical trials assistants and doctors) will discuss everything in the study and answer your questions before you take part.

Taking part in research is completely voluntary and you are welcome to withdraw at any point. We strongly believe that patients who take part in research studies during their care, receive better care and support.

Will my data be safe and confidential in a research study?

Data security is core to the NHS and critical for research. All your data is protected by strict governance rules and data protection. Our research teams will always confirm where your data is going to be stored before you take part in a study.

What is the time commitment, and what if I can’t attend all the time, can I not take part?

There are many different types of research. For one study, you may just need to complete a questionnaire and for another, you may just be approving the secure sharing of your health data throughout your care in the hospital. There are also more intensive clinical trials which would require hospital appointments and more time commitment. Our research teams will support you to make sure you can take part in the trial and or, find a study that works for you.