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Patients and the Public

Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust takes part in a wide range of clinical research. On this page we explain a little about clinical research at the Trust and how you can take part.  If you would like more information about clinical or health research, you can find more on the NHS Health Research Authority website.

Clinical Research

Clinical research covers many areas and is undertaken to provide professionals with new knowledge and understanding about conditions and their treatment. In hospital it is common to see research being undertaken, especially in relation to how effective medications or treatments are, and the benefits that these have for patients.

Research carried out at Mid Cheshire Hospitals is often part of regional or national research programmes. These are often referred to as multi-centre studies. Multi-centre studies allow professionals to study much larger numbers of patients, which is more likely to provide strong results and evidence.

Click Research Examples to find details of a few projects that Mid Cheshire Hospitals has helped on in recent years.

Taking Part in Research

Research within a hospital setting tends to be carried out for patients with specific conditions. For research to take place, a rigorous process of ethical approval is undertaken, to make sure that research projects are safe. Organisations have to provide patients with information about the study, for example what to expect in their treatment and how long the study will be carried out for.

If Mid Cheshire Hospitals has enrolled on a research programme that matches a condition that you are being treated for then a member of the medical, nursing or research team may approach you to discuss taking part in the research programme.  You will be offered information and details about how the research is being carried out and given time to think over whether or not you would like to take part.  This is entirely voluntary and if you would prefer not to take part your normal treatment plan will not be affected in any way. If you choose to take part in a study then you will be asked for written consent.  The results of research activity and any future publication of the results are kept anonymous.

Click to read more about taking part in research.

Research Study Outcomes

Unfortunately for the people taking part in research, there is no guarantee that they will personally benefit.  In some cases where an alternative drug or procedure is being tested, there is the possibility that you would benefit.  However, in others, the research is simply aimed at gaining a better understanding of, for example, the effect and side-effects of the drug.  We usually find that patients are willing to take part as they can see the wider benefit to the country as a whole from development of better cures for all sorts of disorders. 

Click to read some patient stories following participation in clinical research.

Clinical Audit

Working alongside the Research and Development team is the Clinical Audit Department.  This has nothing to do with financial accounts or with the experiences people have in hospital.  It is the careful measurement of the effectiveness and value of the clinical work carried out at Mid Cheshire Hospitals and helps to aid quality improvement.

Clinical audit also plays a valuable and vital part in the training of new doctors.

Clinical audits are sometimes required by national bodies such as the Department of Health and in other cases they may be started by someone at Mid Cheshire Hospitals wanting to find out more about the effectiveness of a particular procedure.  In either case, the Clinical Audit department keeps track of audits in progress throughout the year and reports to the Trust Board on the success of the audit programme.

More Information

If you want to know more about research or clinical audit, there are some leaflets available and also links to some national websites which will tell you more (click for Useful Links).

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