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NHS Health Research Authority (HRA)


Research involving the NHS, including patients, carers or data must gain ethical approval from the NHS Health Research Authority (HRA).  Application for HRA Approval/HRA REC is via the Integrated Research Application System (IRAS).  If you unsure whether your research requires HRA  Approval/NHS REC, the NHS have provided a useful decision tool which determines whether or not approval is required. The Dorset Research Consortium is available for support and guidance.

The Research Governance Framework for Health and Social Care (v2, 2005) states broad principles of good research governance in health and social care. Research which falls within the scope of the Research Governance Framework requires a research Sponsor. Formal confirmation of sponsorship must be obtained prior to an application for Host Organisation (e.g. NHS Trust, Social Care) or NHS REC approval. If the BU Resercher has an associated NHS contract, the NHS Trust or third party should be approached to take the role of Sponsor. In all other cases (including BU students/PGRs), BU will act as Sponsor; the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for obtaining approval for BU Sponsorship provides detail of this.

If applying for HRA/REC, there is an online guide available which provides instructions on the use of  Integrated Research Application System (IRAS).  This online tool guides you through the process of making an application and was developed by the Medical Research Council (MRC) Regulatory Support Centre and the Health Research Authority on behalf of the IRAS Partners.

NHS – RECORDS MANAGEMENT CODE OF PRACTICE FOR HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE 2016 – This Code of Practice sets out what people working with or in NHS organisations in England need to do to manage records correctly.

Appendix 3 of the CoP contains the detailed retention schedules.