If there are any other resources not included here that you think it would be helpful to include, please let us know: research@bradford.nhs.uk

This page is regularly reviewed to ensure all links are still active but please do contact us with any issues. 
Last reviewed 31/01/2023.


  • Practice staff should be aware of their responsibilities with regard to research, and be adequately trained to carry out the task(s) delegated to them. Practices continue to be responsible for their own patients’ care. Please note that some very simple studies (such as ones which require the practice to send a text message to patients inviting them to participate in a survey) may not require staff to complete any specific research-related training. 

  • Research-related training (such as Good Clinical Practice training [GCP] and Informed Consent training) is available via the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Learn website: https://learn.nihr.ac.uk. Staff will need to create a free account to access this training.

  • The Clinical Academic Training Hub (CATCH) shares information about general practice academic careers.

  • Regarding PCN responsibilities, the Network Contract Directed Enhanced Service (DES) Contract Specification 2020/21 outlines the following (5.3.2.) A PCN must ensure its Clinical Director has overall responsibility for the following key requirements: [g.] facilitating participation by practices that are members of the PCN in research studies and act as a link between the PCN and local primary care research networks and research institutions. You can access the full document online: NHS England » Network Contract Directed Enhanced Service (DES) Contract Specification 2020/21 – Primary Care Network Entitlements and Requirements

Introduction to Research Delivery in Primary Care:

  • This free 20-minute training session provides a basic overview of research delivery; it addresses some common concerns and includes a Q&A section.

  • It is intended for all practice staff who would be supporting research in some way, but who will not be receiving consent from patients. This would generally include practice managers, admin staff, receptionists, practice nurses and possibly others who will not be involved in the consent process.

  • This training is offered by West Yorkshire Research and Development. To arrange this for your practice, please email us: research@bradford.nhs.uk

  • If you feel there are any other research-related training needs not currently met, please feel free to contact us outlining your specific training needs and we will give consideration to what might be possible.

  • The term Expression of Interest (EOI) can refer to the information a practice receives about a study, as well as interest in a study as expressed by the practice. 

  • EOIs (usually in the form of an email) may be sent to a practice by West Yorkshire Research and Development, the local Clinical Research Network (CRN), or direct from a study team. 

  • An example of some of the information that may be included in an EOI can be found in our repository: Example EOI

  • We are putting together a guide about responding to EOIs and will share it here when it is ready.

  • Some GP practices have found it helpful to collaborate with other practices to carry out research. This could be a group of practices within the same Primary Care Network, for example.

  • Collaboration enables practices to share some resources, or have one practice take the lead in research for the group of practices (either for all research or in turns per study).

  • A group of practices may have one practice which has more research experience and this can be an effective way to allow other less experienced practices to become involved.

  • Since a group of practices have a greater combined patient list, they may be in a better position to be selected by research teams looking for new sites to deliver their study.

  • Some studies enable practices to operate as Patient Identification Centres (PICs) where one practice is the site where the research activity takes place, and the other practices simple identify potential participants from their patient lists.

  • Collaboration with other practices may also be useful if an application is being made for funding such as Primary Care Infrastructure Funding from the Clinical Research Network (CRN).

  • Funding may allow a group of practices to appoint a Research Administrator or Research Nurse to support and/or deliver research within the practices.

  • You may also wish to access the FutureNHS platform. FutureNHS is "a collaboration platform that empowers those working in health and social care to safely connect, share and learn across boundaries." FutureNHS is open to those working in or for health and social care: https://www.england.nhs.uk/futurenhs-platform/

  • Funding is available to support practices in getting involved in research.

  • The CRN has publicised a round of Infrastructure Funding which is intended to support practices and make sure they have the capacity to express interest in and set up studies.

  • This funding round closed in May 2021 but we will keep this page updated if further funding becomes available.

  • The CRN also provides the opportunity for practices to request support to deliver specific studies – this can be applied for via https://sites.google.com/nihr.ac.uk/art/submit-a-request

  • Most studies will offer some support for participating in some research activities, and in other cases some of the costs can be funded by the CRN. In these cases, studies should communicate with practices what funding is available and how the practice can obtain this funding.

  • To receive any payments from the CRN, a contract needs to be set up. Contact research@bradford.nhs.uk if you are not sure whether your practice needs a contract and whether it has a contract in place.

Promoting research

Notice board/screens

  • Practices may wish to share information about research opportunities via practice notice boards, or screens in reception.

  • If a study team has received Health Research Authority (HRA) approval then any poster or leaflet that they share with practices should have gained HRA/ethical approval before this is displayed in a practice.

  • There are free printed resources that practices can order through the National Institute for Health Research, related to e.g. Be Part of Research, Join Dementia Research. To do so practices should visit the NIHR online shop at www.nihrresources.uk.  A free user account will need to be created to place an order.

  • Practices can also access materials online that can be printed and shared, such as posters and leaflets. There are also slides available that can be shared via waiting room screens, and videos that are free to share on websites and social media. You can access these on the Be Part of Research website: https://bepartofresearch.nihr.ac.uk/promote-research/Resources/

Research Registries

  • Practices in Bradford District and Craven may wish to signpost to the City of Research website: www.cityofresearch.org

  • The City of Research website brings together research opportunities and resources from across the district.

  • Those interested in research taking place in Bradford District and Craven can sign up to the registry to express interest in hearing about local research opportunities. Information about studies open to recruitment is also shared on the City of Research website. 

  • There is also the opportunity to search for studies taking place nationally by visiting the National Institute for Health Research website: https://bepartofresearch.nihr.ac.uk/taking-part/uk-research-registries

Join Dementia Research

  • Join Dementia Research (JDR) is a service that gives people an opportunity to register interest in taking part in dementia research and to be matched to suitable studies. This makes research opportunities more accessible and also gives researchers more support when recruiting to studies. JDR connects people with an interest in participating in dementia research with researchers.

  • There is a JDR toolkit for healthcare professionals who wish to find out more about how this can be supported, which includes free resources that can be downloaded or ordered and used to raise awareness of JDR within practices (e.g. leaflets, posters): https://nhs.joindementiaresearch.nihr.ac.uk/

  • Join Dementia Research was developed by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) in partnership with Alzheimer Scotland, Alzheimer's Research UK and the Alzheimer's Society.

  • Visit the Join Dementia Research website for more resources and information: www.joindementiaresearch.nihr.ac.uk

File system

Below we have provided a suggested file structure that practices may wish to consider adapting and/or using to manage their internal files when participating in research:

Research Ready
  • The Research Ready scheme was created to help practices – although it isn’t a requirement for participating in research, it may help to support practices in their research activities.

  • Research Ready accreditation from the RCGP provides information, guidance and support to research-active GPs.

  • The cost is £100 per year (or £250 for three years).

  • You will need to nominate a member of staff to act as the named research lead.

  • Visit How we support your research (rcgp.org.uk) to sign up or for more details.

General Practice Guide
  • GP practices often have questions about participating in research, especially if this is something they have not done before. We have put together a series of guides which may answer some of a practice’s questions and provide a reference for them to use when undertaking a research project. We are always happy to address any specific questions that practices may encounter during the course of a research study.

  • More in-depth General Practice Research Guides are now available on our website: https://www.westyorksrd.nhs.uk/general-practice-research-guides

Privacy Notice
Data and Surveillance

The following are all ways that allow practices to be involved in research, often without having to do anything directly – these involve allowing the organisation to extract information from the practice patient record system, usually anonymised or pseudonymised, to support or feed into research studies. More information is available on the below links:

  • CPRD - Collection of de-identified information from patient record system – after joining, the practice doesn’t need to do anything else. Researchers apply to use the de-identified data in their projects which are ethically reviewed and approved. The practice receives patient safety, prescribing and quality improvement reports from practice data. The practice can be invited to participate in studies which can involve extra income for the practice.

  • Qresearch - Another anonymised database for EMIS practices only. Only de-identified data are extracted and accessed by approved researchers only within a secure environment. Practices authorise the QResearch module in the EMIS system. The data are held at the University of Oxford. Visit https://www.qresearch.org/information/information-for-practices/ to find out how to take part.

  • RCGP - Pseudonymised data are collected from the patient record system (usually extracted overnight) to contribute to public health and other research activity. There is the option to sign up to research projects as well. A dashboard is available to practices.

  • uMed - uMed is a technology platform that automates the process of building prospective research registries. Healthcare providers receive research collaboration requests that cover relevant study information. Once approved by the practice, participants are engaged with via text or call and offered the opportunity to take part in a study. Healthcare providers have full oversight over each study and the associated patient engagement and can continue to monitor throughout. uMed is GDPR & HIPAA compliant.

  • OPC - Optimum Patient Care (OPC) provides a range of services to general practices, including data extraction. General practices collaborating with OPC contribute anonymised data to the OPC Research Database (OPCRD) - this is utilised to support scientific research in an attempt to better understand chronic diseases (particularly Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) with the aim of improving health outcomes.

Tips from other practices
  • In the attached presentation Dr Fran Adams, a GP in York, shares useful information about the development of a research cluster in her local area. This presentation includes lots of points you may find it useful to consider, alongside advice to help you to develop research capacity within your own area: Building a Cluster

  • We regularly work with practices to support the development of research knowledge, capacity and capability across West Yorkshire. You can read the following blog post by practice manager Nick Gwatkin of Blackburn Road Medical Centre in Batley to find out more. In this post Nick reflects upon the work his practice has done to open up research opportunities in Kirklees, written with an aim to provide advice and ideas to other practices that are hoping to become more research active: Increasing our primary care research activity – a Practice Manager’s perspective

  • Dr Sara Humphrey is a GP who champions and is involved in research in Bradford. In this series of videos Dr Humphrey shares insight into her wealth of experience carrying out research in general practices, highlighting barriers, opportunities and other considerations:

Why should GPs be involved in research?

What support is available?

How do patients benefit from participating in research?

  • Practices can read more about research opportunities in Bradford by visiting the Bradford City of Research website, which lists some of the research opportunities that are open in the area and showcases advice given by research experts and champions: https://cityofresearch.org/our-research-champions/

  • Professor Robbie Foy is a GP in Leeds, and Clinical Professor of Primary Care at the University of Leeds; in this video he outlines how quality improvement can make a real difference to patient care, and highlights the purpose of the following implementation guide, which offers practical, evidence-based advice on how to implement evidence-based care in general practice: https://www.westyorksrd.nhs.uk/implementation

How can quality improvement make a real difference to patient care?

This video was originally recorded as part of NHS Leeds CCG TARGET: https://www.leedsccg.nhs.uk/target-leeds/

You may also wish to read this General Medical Council (GMC) guide on good practice in research and consent to research.

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