Category / Research Ethics

Setting up NHS / HSC research in the UK– upcoming changes

The UK Local Information Pack

A ‘UK Local Information Pack‘ will be introduced on the 5 June 2019 to support the set-up of NHS / HSC research in the UK.

The ‘UK Local Information Pack’ is the set of documents that NHS / HSC organisations use to formally start preparing to deliver the study. You can find more information here, including what comprises the pack. All researchers wishing to set-up their study at an NHS/HSC site from 5 June, will need to be aware of this change.

The Organisation Information Document

Researchers and research teams may be aware of a document called the ‘Statement of Activities’ – this is essentially a document that allows the sponsor to make clear to the research site, what activities will be undertaken locally. The document can also act as the agreement between the sponsor and site. Researchers setting up their study before 5 June should continue to use this document.

From 5 June the Statement of Activities will be replaced by a document called the ‘Organisation Information Document‘. For non-commercially sponsored studies, that are not clinical trials or clinical investigations, the ‘Organisation Information Document’ should be used as the agreement between sponsor and participating NHS / HSC organisation.

A new delegation log template

Another feature of the UK Local Information Pack is the inclusion of a delegation log template, which is intended to be used at participating NHS / HSC organisations. This will allow NHS/HSC organisations to locally record who will be working on the study and who is authorised to undertake study tasks.

Schedule of Events or Schedule and Events Cost Attribution Tool (SoECAT)

For non-commercially sponsored studies studies an IRAS Schedule of Events or a SoECAT will be a part of the IRAS Form submission and is used in the UK Local Information Pack as a way of providing clarity to participating NHS / HSC organisations on the cost attributions associated with a study.

Further help and guidance

Guidance on the use of the UK Local Information Pack has now been published in the Site Specific page of IRAS Help to help applicants get ready for the change.

If you are making an IRAS Form submission or planning to set up research in an NHS / HSC organisation from 5 June 2019 please read the transition guidance so that you prepare the correct materials.

If you have any queries regarding any of the information provided above, or would like some guidance with regard to implementing your research in a healthcare setting – please get in touch with BU’s Research Ethics team.

You can also take a look at the Clinical Governance blog for documents, links and training opportunities.

Research in the NHS – HR Good Practice Resource Pack updated

Researchers from BU wishing to conduct their research within NHS premises will require the appropriate documentation. There is plenty of guidance available to guide researchers through these processes.

The Human Resources (HR) Good Practice Resource Pack has been reviewed and updated in light of the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which came into force in the UK on 25 May 2018.

The HR Good Practice Resource Pack describes the process for handling HR arrangements for researchers and provides a streamlined approach for confirming details of the pre-engagement checks they have undergone with the NHS.

Changes to the document include:

  1. Inclusion of a transparency notice, which informs and clarifies to the applicant the purpose of collecting their personal data, their rights relating to data processing, as well as fulfilling other GDPR transparency requirements.
  2. The data requested in the Research Passport application form has been minimised following discussion with Data Protection and Information Governance Officers and Human Resource experts.
  3. All references to the Data Protection Act 1998 have been updated to DPA 2018.

You can find all the updated documents here along with the RDS workflow here surrounding staffing and delegation.

Remember that there is guidance available at BU with regard to implementing your research in a healthcare setting. Take a look at the Clinical Governance blog for documents, links and training opportunities. You can also get in touch with BU’s Research Ethics team with any queries.

Understanding Creative Commons licences and copyright for your research outputs

Copyright and licensing are becoming more complex in the world of academic publishing.

Creative Commons licences are becoming increasingly more popular for Open Access works and are a requirement by several funding bodies. These licences allow authors to decide how their work (articles, conferences, monographs, data, artwork, for example) may be shared.

Many publishers, such as Elsevier, request a specific type of licence in their copyright paperwork (when a paper gets submitted), so it is important to be aware of the differences.

The good news is that your librarians can help. We have put together guidance on Creative Commons. In doubt, you can also contact your library team.

You might also like to have a look at these articles (1 and 2) about the complexities of copyright and self-archiving (i.e. submitting articles to BURO or other repositories). The author, Elizabeth Gadd, is an expert in this field. The conclusions from these studies are that most academics are happy to share their work and that copyright legislation and restrictions imposed by publishers are sometimes in excess of what researchers need.

NIHR Valid Informed Consent training dates

Before agreeing to participate in your study, your participants should receive all the information they require in order to make an informed decision. Once they wish to participate, then an informed consent form should be completed and filed appropriately.
Although the process sounds complex, there are currently a great training opportunities to help familiarise yourself with the background to, and process of informed consent in clinical research.

The Wessex Clinical Research Network are hosting the following training sessions at University Hospital Southampton and Poole Hospital –

  • Wednesday 8th May, 8:30am – 12:30pm, Seminar Room, Level C, West Wing, NIHR WTCRF, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Tremona Road, Southampton, SO16 6YD;
  • Wednesday 8th May, 1:00pm – 5:00pm, Seminar Room, Level C, West Wing, NIHR WTCRF, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Tremona Road, Southampton, SO16 6YD;
  • Monday 20th May, 8:30am – 1:00pm, Seminar Room 3, Education Centre, Ground Floor, Poole Hospital NHS FT Longfleet Road, Poole, BH15 2JB.

If you’re interested in attending, get in touch with the Wessex CRN to book your place.

EDGE International Conference 2019 – CONNECTED

BU takes responsibility for a large number of NHS-based research projects, spanning a number of clinical areas. To better support BU’s position as Sponsor for these studies, last August the university adopted the EDGE system. This allows us to better collaborate with our NHS colleagues and to ensure our research data is held in a secure and central location. Currently the system is being piloted within the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences for a year.

Last week the EDGE International Conference took place at The Vox Conference Centre in Birmingham, hosted by Fergus Walsh, the BBC’s Medical Correspondent, and organised by the Clinical Informatics Research Unit at the University of Southampton.

Over the two days we heard from speakers from across various organisations during breakouts, workshops and meet & greet sessions. Topics ranged from how to get the best out of the system’s features, using EDGE to connect with colleagues, and use of the system to improve the recording of study data and procedures. Given our implementation of EDGE, and the rarity of use by Universities, BU’s Clinical Governance Advisor, Suzy Wignall was invited to present on how BU has integrated the system.

Across the two days we likewise had keynote sessions, including talks from colleagues in New Zealand and Belgium where the system has been implemented. We also heard from parents of children who have been given access to life-saving research projects, improving their quality of life and health conditions, substantially.

The full agenda can be found here, with EDGE’s twitter feed here, showing photos from the event, and numerous tweets by colleagues.

For any guidance regarding implementing your research in a healthcare setting, take a look at the Clinical Governance blog or get in touch with BU’s Research Ethics team with any queries.

Introduction to Good Clinical Practice – 15th May 2019

Are you interested in running your own research project within the NHS? Good Clinical Practice, or ‘GCP’, is a requirement for those wishing to work on clinical research projects in a healthcare setting.

GCP is the international ethical, scientific and practical standard to which all clinical research is conducted. By undertaking GCP, you’re able to demonstrate the rights, safety and wellbeing of your research participants are protected, and that the data collected are reliable.

The next GCP full day session is scheduled for Wednesday 15th January, at Bournemouth University, Lansdowne Campus (Bournemouth House) – 8:45am – 4:30pm.

The day will comprise of the following sessions:

  • Introduction to research and the GCP standards;
  • Preparing to deliver your study;
  • Identifying and recruiting participants – eligibility and informed consent;
  • Data collection and ongoing study delivery;
  • Safety reporting;
  • Study closure.

If you’re interested in booking a place, please contact Research Ethics.

Remember that support is on offer at BU if you are thinking of introducing your research ideas into the NHS – email the Research Ethics mailbox, and take a look at the Clinical Governance blog.

Health Research Authority public involvement guidance – third blog post

Involving patients and/or the public in your clinical research is a great way to ensure that your study is designed and set-up in a way that will be attractive to participants. By carrying out PPI (patient and public involvement) you can also ensure that your research will be of benefit, not only to individuals but also the wider population and healthcare in general.

In 2018 the Health Research Authority (HRA) released guidance to help applicants better identify where they have involved the public in their research applications, and the difference that it made to their studies.

In addition, in January of this year two HRA blog posts were advertised, following the journey of a Research Fellow at the University of Surrey, who conducted PPI for her research project. The first and second posts can be found on the HRA website alongside other news items.

The HRA have just released the third blog post in which they talk to one of the lay Research Ethics Committee (REC) members who sat on the panel that reviewed the fellow’s study. The post explores the Committee member’s views on how public involvement benefited the research application. You can find it here.

Remember that support is on offer at BU if you are thinking of introducing your research ideas into the NHS, social care or healthcare institutions – email the Research Ethics mailbox, and take a look at the Clinical Governance blog.

NHS R&D Forum response to Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice consultation

The NHS R&D Forum Research Management Working Group have released their thoughts on how they feel that the Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice can be refined and improved, to reflect current needs.

‘The Research Management Working Group is a group of members of the NHS R&D Forum with a wealth of experience
and expertise in both managing and delivering research activity within NHS organisations.’

You can read the group’s response here. The consultation is now closed, however the current Code of Practice can be found here.

If you are planning to conduct research with human participants that lack the capacity to consent or who may eventually lack capacity to consent, then the research application must go to an ethics committee that is flagged to review Social Care research.

BU ethics panels are not authorised to undertake this review or issue approval, and so an application via the IRAS system must be made. Further information can be gained via the HRA website and by emailing Research Ethics.

REMINDER – Training opportunity: completing and submitting your IRAS application

Are you currently in the process of designing, setting up or planning your research study, and would like to extend your project into the NHS?

Yes? Then you may want to take advantage of this training opportunity.

Oliver Hopper (Research & Development Coordinator, Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospital) and Suzy Wignall (Clinical Governance Advisor, RDS)  will be running a training session on how to use, and complete your own application within the IRAS system.

IRAS (Integrated Research Application System) is the system used to gain approvals from the NHS Research Ethics Committee and Health Research Authority, before rolling out your study to NHS Trusts. To support this, the session will include the background to research ethics and the approvals required for NHS research.

The session will also be interactive, and so as participants, you will have the opportunity to go through the form itself and complete the sections, with guidance on what the reviewers are expecting to see in your answers, and tips on how to best use the system.

The training will take place in Studland House – Lansdowne Campus, room 102, this Thursday 28th March at 09:30am – 12:30pm.

Get in touch with Research Ethics if you would like to register your interest and book a place.

Training opportunity – completing and submitting your IRAS application

Are you currently in the process of designing, setting up or planning your research study, and would like to extend your project into the NHS?

Yes? Then you may want to take advantage of this training opportunity.

Oliver Hopper (Research & Development Coordinator, Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospital) and Suzy Wignall (Clinical Governance Advisor, RDS)  will be running a training session on how to use, and complete your own application within the IRAS system.

IRAS (Integrated Research Application System) is the system used to gain approvals from the NHS Research Ethics Committee and Health Research Authority, before rolling out your study to NHS Trusts. To support this, the session will include the background to research ethics and the approvals required for NHS research.

The session will also be interactive, and so as participants, you will have the opportunity to go through the form itself and complete the sections, with guidance on what the reviewers are expecting to see in your answers, and tips on how to best use the system.

The training will take place in Studland House – Lansdowne Campus, room 102 Thursday 28th March at 09:30am – 12:30pm.

Get in touch with Research Ethics if you would like to register your interest and book a place.

Clinical Research Transparency – Responsibilities

Researchers, sponsors and funders have responsibilities – that may be legal requirements or ethical and moral expectations within an accepted governance framework of best practice and standards – to participants in research, patients and the wider public and research communities.’

The HRA have recently released a page of useful links and guidance that encompasses areas such as ‘top tips for transparency’, making your research results public, and also registering your study.
Related to this, hopefully you will have seen a recent blog post regarding the HRA’s commitment to ensuring research transparency. This has been a hot topic lately, and the subject of a recent House of Commons Science and Technology Committee report.

Take a look at the HRA guidance here.

BU has access to the ClinicalTrials.gov system so get in touch if you would like access. This is a great opportunity to register your study and study results in the public domain. It is free to use.
Despite the name, the system may be used for other clinical research projects.

Informed consent training – sessions available

When conducting research with human participants, it is essential that participants are fully informed as to the details of the study and what is expected of them by participating.

Participants’ informed consent is imperative, and should be in place prior to any data collection activities.

Sarah Bell (Research Governance Advisor) and Suzy Wignall (Clinical Governance Advisor) will be running sessions on informed consent procedure, scheduled for Tuesday 26th March. These sessions are open to staff and postgraduate researchers conducting research/hoping to conduct research with human participants.

We will be running two sessions on this day –

Talbot Campus (P425, Poole House) – 09:30am – 11:00am
Lansdowne Campus (B242, Bournemouth House) – 2:00pm – 3:30pm

If you are interested in attending one of the above sessions, please email Research Ethics.

Training opportunity – completing and submitting your IRAS application

Are you currently in the process of designing, setting up or planning your research study, and would like to extend your project into the NHS?

Yes? Then you may want to take advantage of this training opportunity.

Oliver Hopper (Research & Development Coordinator, Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospital) and Suzy Wignall (Clinical Governance Advisor, RDS)  will be running a training session on how to use, and complete your own application within the IRAS system.

IRAS (Integrated Research Application System) is the system used to gain approvals from the NHS Research Ethics Committee and Health Research Authority, before rolling out your study to NHS Trusts. To support this, the session will include the background to research ethics and the approvals required for NHS research.

The session will also be interactive, and so as participants, you will have the opportunity to go through the form itself and complete the sections, with guidance on what the reviewers are expecting to see in your answers, and tips on how to best use the system.

The training will take place in Studland House – Lansdowne Campus, room 102 Thursday 28th March at 09:30am – 12:30pm.

Get in touch with Research Ethics if you would like to register your interest and book a place.

Informed consent training – sessions available

When conducting research with human participants, it is essential that participants are fully informed as to the details of the study and what is expected of them by participating.

Participants’ informed consent is imperative, and should be in place prior to any data collection activities.

Sarah Bell (Research Governance Advisor) and Suzy Wignall (Clinical Governance Advisor) will be running sessions on informed consent procedure, scheduled for Tuesday 26th March. These sessions are open to staff and postgraduate researchers conducting research/hoping to conduct research with human participants.

We will be running two sessions on this day –

Talbot Campus (P425, Poole House) – 09:30am – 11:00am
Lansdowne Campus (B242, Bournemouth House) – 2:00pm – 3:30pm

If you are interested in attending one of the above sessions, please email Research Ethics.

HRA help guides – data and technology

An updated Code of Conduct for the application of data-driven technologies in the NHS was published on Tuesday of this week – the code ‘sets out what the NHS expects from companies who are developing new technologies for the health system, and what they can expect in return.

In order to assist applicants and researchers, the HRA have created new pages that set out the approvals process for data-driven technology research.

The section incorporates two pages of support –

The help pages will be added to the Clinical Governance section of the blog, for ease of access.

Research transparency – HRA response to the Science and Technology Committee

The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee released a report last year on clinical trials transparency, as it was evident that a nearly half of clinical trials fail to publish their results. In their report, the committee made a number of recommendations to the Health Research Authority in order to rectify the situation.

At the time the HRA issued a response but today have published a further statement which sets out their commitment to research transparency. This is especially pertinent given the article published simultaneously in BMJ Open, which details the numbers of clinical trials that are publicly registered, compared with those that have received favourable opinion (approval) from a UK NHS research ethics committee.

BU has access to the ClinicalTrials.gov system so get in touch if you would like access. This is a great opportunity to register your study and study results in the public domain. It is free to register your study.
Despite the name, the system may be used for other clinical research projects.

Training opportunity – completing and submitting your IRAS application

Are you currently in the process of designing, setting up or planning your research study, and would like to extend your project into the NHS?

Yes? Then you may want to take advantage of this training opportunity.

Oliver Hopper (Research & Development Coordinator, Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospital) and Suzy Wignall (Clinical Governance Advisor, RDS)  will be running a training session on how to use, and complete your own application within the IRAS system.

IRAS (Integrated Research Application System) is the system used to gain approvals from the NHS Research Ethics Committee and Health Research Authority, before rolling out your study to NHS Trusts. To support this, the session will include the background to research ethics and the approvals required for NHS research.

The session will also be interactive, and so as participants, you will have the opportunity to go through the form itself and complete the sections, with guidance on what the reviewers are expecting to see in your answers, and tips on how to best use the system.

The training will take place in Studland House – Lansdowne Campus, room 102 Thursday 28th March at 09:30am – 12:30pm.

Get in touch with Research Ethics if you would like to register your interest and book a place.