Research can take many forms and there are lots of different ways you could take part. You might be asked to help to investigate a new drug or treatment, to help look at an existing treatment in a new way, to complete a questionnaire or to take part in an interview to collect information about how you feel about an NHS service or your experience of treatment. A lot of people like taking part in health research and value the contribution they can make to medical science.
As well as being a participant in a research study you can also get involved in other ways:
Consulting on studies - It is important that researchers do research with patients, rather than 'to', 'for' or 'about' them.
Reading and sharing findings - It's also really important that findings of a research study are made available, enabling patients to be able to see when research has led to an outcome which could help the NHS to utilise the best, most cost-effective treatments. All clinical trials which take place in the EU (these are research studies testing a treatment) have to be registered so that information about them is publicly available. Anybody can access information about the study (although they are not allowed to access information about patients taking part or any personal data).
Getting involved - If you have an idea that you think should be the focus of a research study, or that you think should be highlighted to researchers as an area they could look at, you could feed this into possible future studies.