Many of our patients take part in research studies that look to assess new treatments, devices or techniques against current standards of care – these studies identify the best ways of looking after patients and keeping people healthy.
We currently have research studies running at University Hospital Sussex on a variety of topics and in 2020/2021 were able to offer new opportunities for over 5,360 of our patients to be part of NHS research, a 34% increase in the last five years. Teams across the organisation are working to improve care and outcomes by supporting research across all our hospitals sites.
It is important to be aware that research involving patients requires national research ethics authorisation to ensure the rights, safety, dignity and well-being of research participants. Other regulatory bodies may also be involved in authorising studies, for example if a research study involves testing a medicine then the medicines and healthcare products regulatory agency will review and approve the research also.
If you are invited to take part in a study or trial whilst under the care of us, it is entirely up to you whether or not you would like to get involved. If you decide not to participate, your NHS treatment will not be affected and you will continue to be looked after like any other patient.
Why take part in research ?
If you are involved in a research study it could help you feel more informed and in control of your healthcare. Being a participant in a clinical research study often means that you can be among the first to benefit from the very latest treatments and your health condition will be monitored more closely than normal.
Whilst not all research studies will be of ‘direct’ benefit to the participants involved in the study, research findings will be used to develop better ways to treat others with the same condition and may contribute to improving the health of society more widely.
There is evidence that for some conditions, patients involved with clinical trials have better long-term outcomes. The health of every study participant is closely monitored throughout a clinical trial and any changes, whether or not they are linked to the treatment being given, may be picked up and acted upon earlier than if you were not in a trial.
The reasons people take part vary, but people often say that taking part in a clinical trial or research study is a positive and rewarding experience. Participants involved in a study related to a medical condition they have often feel as though they are more knowledgeable and are taking a more active role in their healthcare as a result.
For more detailed information, please read our frequently asked questions about taking part in research.
How can I find out more?
If you are interested in taking part in research you can find out more by visiting National Institute for Health and Care Research.
What studies are we running?
We are an active partner of the NIHR Clinical Research Network: Kent, Surrey and Sussex (CRN:KSS), encouraging UK Clinical Research Network (UKCRN) portfolio trials into the hospital.
Many of the research studies which we run feature on the NIHR page #BePartOfResearch which provides easy to understand information about clinical research trials running in the UK, and gives access to a range of information about these trials.
It is our ambition that every patient should be offered the opportunity to participate in research. To take part in a research study within our hospitals please speak to your healthcare professional during your next visit.