Taking part in research at UCLH 

  • Restarting research after the Covid-19 outbreak

    When the Covid-19 pandemic started, UCLH paused all trials unless they were related to Covid-19, or where treatment involved was essential for serious or life-threatening conditions. This meant the halted trials could no longer screen or recruit patients.

    1,350 trials out of 1,598 were paused.

    As the pandemic recedes, UCLH is restarting paused trials to ensure ground-breaking research continues and that all the input of patients into trials is not lost. If you were taking part in a trial we hope you will continue to take part once your trial re-opens.

    So far over 100 studies have been approved to restart – and more are restarting each week

    Trials are only approved to start again after a rigorous review looking at:

    • whether the different departments, such as imaging and pharmacy, have the capacity to support the trial without impacting on current patient care.
    • whether patients need any visits to the hospital which are not for standard patient care.
    • whether they are compatible with UCLH-wide safety measures – as outlined on the UCLH website

    This review is carried out by clinicians, managers and support services and includes patients on the panel.

    Is it safe to come in to the hospital?

    Researchers will only ask you to come in to the hospital if it is necessary to the requirements of the study, such as for scans or blood tests. If this is not necessary, the study will be continued by remote contact.

    If you need to come to the hospital, UCLH has a number of measures in place to keep all patients and staff safe, including social distancing, one way systems and hand hygiene measures.

    For the safety of all patients and staff, anyone coming to the hospital needs to wear a face covering (except where not possible for physical or mental health reasons).

    Read the full UCLH advice on coming to the hospital.

  • Should I volunteer to take part in a research trial?

    Many hundreds of people a year in the UK choose to take part in research. Some people choose to because they want to give something back and some want to help prevent and treat diseases in the future. Some do it so they can have access to new treatments.

    If you are thinking about taking part in research, it’s important to remember:

    • all research studies have a strict definition of which patients can take part. So even if you have the relevant disease, you may not be eligible.
    • you won’t necessarily get a new better treatment. Bear in mind that the study is being carried out to find if the new treatment is better than what is currently available. It may be the same or it may be worse.
    • However, some trials may monitor your condition more regularly than with standard care - ask a doctor or nurse what kind of monitoring is involved.

    Before you agree to take part in a trial staff will explain to you the risks and benefits of getting involved and what is involved, for example how often you need to come to hospital and what test you will need to undergo. You will also be given an information sheet to take away and read in your own time.

    If you decide not to take part in research, your care will not be affected. You can choose to withdraw from a trial and,  if you do, you will still receive the best treatment available.

 If you want to take part in a research trial: