Lawson Road Surgery is an active member of the local research community. We are engaged in many research studies which are always bound by strict ethical and governance rules. No patient identifiable information is ever disclosed without your informed explicit consent.

What is primary care research?

People use research to try and find the cause of diseases and to find better treatments and services for those diseases and improve patient care.

Patients may be asked to take part in research in different formats:

  • Completing a questionnaire.
  • Requesting the use of anonymised data.
  • Taking part in an interview.
  • Testing new treatments, therapies or devices.
  • Experiencing new combinations of treatments.

What is the Clinical Research Network East of England?

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network (CRN) Eastern is one of 15 CRN’s that cover England. Each CRN provides a wide range of support to the local research community covering 30 different specialities, one of which is Primary Care. Our practice participate in research activity and works closely with CRN Eastern creating more opportunities for patients to be involved in research should they wish.

By building on and extending partnerships with university academics and the NHS, research collaboration across the East of England is further strengthened.

CRN Eastern also helps our practice by supporting us to recruit and take part in clinical studies through their locally based research nurses and network coordinators.

What is the National Institute for Health Research?

The mission of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the research arm of the NHS, is to maintain a health research system in which the NHS supports outstanding individuals, working in world class facilities, conducting leading edge research focused on the needs of patients and the public.

The NIHR is funded by the Department of Health.

Practice setup

We have been accredited by RCGP as ‘Research Ready’. To become research ready the practice has completed an online self-accreditation questionnaire which covers the minimum requirements of the Research Governance Framework for Health and Social Care, Department of Health (2005). The accreditation has been developed by the Royal College of General Practitioners in conjunction with the NIHR and the PCRN.

Benefits of being ‘Research Ready’:

  • Enables our practice to reflect on our ability and capacity to conduct high quality research.
  • Provides assurance for study sponsors, governance staff and patients that our practice is up to date and compliant with the national standards for NHS research.
  • Provides the practice with awareness of how it can minimise any potential risks involved for our practice, practice staff and study participants.
  • Access to a research ready file which provides a useful reference for the research team and also for the induction and training of new staff in our practice who will be participating in its research activities.
  • Opportunities to be involved in a wider range of research studies.

GCP trained staff

Dr Alice Shiner – Lead research GP
Denise Samkin – Practice Nurse
Debbie Shelsher – Administrator

Practice involvement in research

Research studies help to answer specific questions about health and health care.

For example:

  • Whether new treatments or ways of organising services are effective (do they work?).
  • Whether those treatments or services are cost effective (do they give value for money?).
  • How different health problems develop and progress over time – to help gain a better understanding of that health problem.
  • The views of patients and health professionals about a particular treatment, intervention or service and how they might be improved.
  • The results of research studies can be of interest to patients and useful to health professionals and managers in the NHS in helping to decide what treatments and services to provide in the future.

Studies we have participated in

  • BEST3 – A study researching a new way to investigate patients with heartburn in primary care.
  • 3C’s – A study investigating the treatment and outcomes of adults presenting with cough.
  • ATTACK – A study examining whether taking aspirin reduces the risk of heart attack or stroke in patients with chronic kidney disease.

Current studies

The main study we are currently participating in is the PRINCIPLE trial. This aims to find treatments that reduce hospital admission and improve symptoms for people with COVID-19. You could be eligible to join if you are either aged 50 to 64 with a pre-existing illness or you are aged 65 and above, and you have had these symptoms for fewer than 15 days:

  • New continuous cough or high temperature or a loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell
  • Or have a positive test for SARS-Co-V2 infection with COVID-19 symptoms in the past 14 days
  • Find out more by visiting

Patient participation and how to take part

There are different ways patients can become involved in studies our practice is participating in:

  • A doctor or nurse may talk to you about the study and ask whether you would consider taking part.
  • You will be sent information through the post if we feel that you might be a suitable participant.
  • You may read information on the website about a correct study and wish to take part by contacting the practice.

Patients who express an interest in finding out more about a study will be asked for their permission to share their name and contact details with the study team. Some studies require direct contact between participants and the team, others involve contact through a member of practice staff or with a primary care research network research nurse.

Participation in research is entirely voluntary and you have the right to say ‘no’. Nobody will put pressure on you to take part in research if you do not wish to. You do not have to give us a reason if you decide not to.

  • Your care and your relationship with your doctor or nurse will not be affected in any way if you decide not to take part in a research study.
  • You will always receive clear information about what taking part in a research study would involve. The practice will usually provide you with a patient information sheet; then, if you agree to take part, the study team will explain the study to you in more detail and you will have the opportunity to ask questions about it.
  • Nobody from outside this practice will be given your contact details or have access to your medical records without your consent. If you do agree to take part in a study, you will be asked to sign a consent form – this will clearly state which parts of your notes (if any) may be looked at for the purposes of the research.
  • You will not be asked to take part in a large number of studies. Most researchers are very specific about the criteria that people need to meet in order to enter their study. Usually this means that only a relatively small number of patients at the practice will be suitable for any one study.

Your data

We comply with the GDPR requirements.

People in our care team may look at your health records to check whether you are suitable to take part in a research study, before asking you whether you are interested or sending you a letter on behalf of the researcher.