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FAQs

If you access our services, you may be offered the opportunity to take part in research. For those who don't know much about research you may have questions. You may find our frequently asked questions helpful but if you can't find the answer you are looking for, please get in touch with us on dpn-tr.research@nhs.net and we will be happy to answer questions or respond to any concerns you may have. You can also find more information about how your information may be used on the NHS Health Research Authority website.

  • What is clinical research
    • Clinical research determines the safety and effectiveness of treatments (therapies and medications), devices and diagnostic procedures that are intended for human use. The results are used to improve prevention, treatment, diagnosis or relieving the symptoms of a disease.
  • What if I’m not eligible for studies currently running?
    • If you are interested in taking part in research, but we are not currently running any studies that you are interested in, or are eligible for, you can get in touch with the team who will contact you about future projects.
  • How long does research take?
    • Some research can involve one meeting and questionnaire or it can be ongoing over several years. Many clinical trials involving drugs need to run for at least a few months to collect enough information. You will always be advised about the timescale of a study and the number of visits. You will also be told whether they need to be in a clinical setting, such as a hospital, or at your home to help inform your decision to participate. We try to make it as easy and convenient for you as possible. 
  • What happens to the information collected about me?
    • All your information is treated confidentially and we must adhere to the Data Protection Act, hospital information governance and the NHS Research Authority rules. For some studies data may be anonymised. If it is not, you will be told but it will only be accessible to the appropriate members of the research team working on the study.
  • If I am contacted about research, how do I know the contact is legitimate?
    • At Devon Partnership Trust we operate on an ‘opt out’ system with regards to contacting you about research that might be relevant to you. This means that if you have been seen by DPT services you may be contacted about research happening in the Trust. 
    • In the UK, the research partner of the NHS is the National Institute of Health and Social Care Research (NIHR). Only members of the research team at DPT working on studies supported by NIHR will be able to contact you. 
    • Researchers will never ask you for money or passwords. Always be alert to the risks of clicking on links or attachments. You can learn more about how to protect yourself from scam emails on the Action Fraud website
  • Can I stop taking part during the study?
    • If you do not want to continue participating you can withdraw from any study at any time without giving a reason and it won’t affect your medical or legal rights. Whilst we are keen to offer the opportunity to engage in research, we wouldn’t want anyone to feel pressured to continue if they didn’t want to. 
    • If you withdraw from a study our researchers will ask if it is okay for us to contact you in again about future projects that might be relevant to you. This is also completely up to you. If you would like to tell us why you don’t want to take part, we greatly welcome the feedback as it may help us in the future.
  • How safe is research?
    • Some research studies require no intervention so there is minimal or no risk involved. However, clinical trials that investigate new treatments may involve some risks. A lot of work is done before the study begins and you are monitored closely during the trial to minimise any risk. Where a study involves interventional treatment or medication it is also reviewed and approved by the NHS Health Research Authority. This ensures that the studies which we conduct adhere to the strict code of medical ethics and have a minimal risk to participants.  During a study you are monitored so that any side effects can be picked up quickly and dealt with accordingly. If it becomes apparent at any point that the treatment is not effective, or appears unsafe, the trial will stop and the doctors conducting it will ensure you are given the best possible treatment. 
  • How will participating in a study affect my care?
    • Taking part in a research study should have no effect on the care you receive normally. Research is an extra service provided by our Trust and most studies run alongside your normal care. If you are taking part in a research study of a new treatment/intervention, your usual care may need to be modified. However, this will be carefully discussed to ensure it is the best option for you. There would be careful consideration and discussion in relation to this. 
  • How do I know if the research was successful?
    • At the end of study, we hope to share the findings with you. If the study has improved your recovery or healthcare, it may be possible to continue with it. You can see the full list of study outcomes available to us here.
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