Other ways to get involved with research

Whether you are a patient, carer or simply a member of the east London community, we want you to be involved in our research so that we can make sure we are meeting the needs of our local community.

There are many ways you can help us with our research, from telling us if you don’t understand a question (you’d be surprised how helpful this is!) to making sure people are approached in the right way. You might be asked to help us make sure the research is reported in the right way or to join an advisory group. Whatever your role in helping with our research, you will be at the frontier of modern medicine helping us improve health both locally and across the world.

For more information on how to get involved, please see our introduction to Public Involvement in Healthcare Research

Current opportunities to get involved

1) Patient Research Champions

Do you have an interest in research and some free time to volunteer?

We have recently launched our Patient Research Champion role at Barts Health, where we are looking for patients/members of the public/service users/carers who are enthusiastic about health research and are willing to communicate that to other patients and public as well as healthcare professionals.

There is a range of ways that you can help across our five hospitals. Find out how to apply to be a Patient Research Champion.

2) Research transparency survey

What is research transparency and why is it important?

The UK has a thriving health and social care research environment. More and more of us are taking part in research and donations to medical research charities are on the rise. This research translates into better care for patients, as well as the wider economy. However, people who take part in research studies should have an opportunity to know about the findings, to value the contribution they have made and this is not always the case.

Transparency about what research is going on, and what its findings are, is important for patients and the public: 

  • patients and the public can see what research is taking place and access clear information about the results.
  • patients, service users and carers know about research that is relevant to them, giving them the opportunity to join studies.
  • health professionals, commissioners, researchers, policy makers and funders can use research findings to make informed decisions

Workshops will be taking place across the country to discuss the draft strategy during the consultation period (17 June - 6 September 2019). The London workshop has sold out but the HRA wants to hear your views about our different options for improving transparency performance across the research system and you can do this by taking their survey. 

Click here for more information on the research transparency strategy

Click here to take the survey 

3) Patient advisors needed!

The NIHR CLAHRC North Thames has two exciting roles available which offer the opportunity to work with world-class researchers in some of the UK’s most prestigious education institutions.

A new research study started in January 2019 and will run for three years. The aim of the study is to improve the quality of emergency care for patients with bowel cancer in order to save lives and improve outcomes. This will be done by identifying the processes of care that have the greatest impact on outcomes.

The NIHR CLAHRC NT are seeking the input and views of members of the public to guide them on how we carry out research and how they can disseminate the findings of the research to patients and the wider public. They would particularly welcome the involvement of people with bowel cancer or people who have undergone emergency major bowel surgery. Read more about this opportunity or email INVOLVE or phone 023 80651088 and quote NIHR CLAHRC North Thames.

4) A&E/Trauma patient groups

Our Accident and Emergency department have two patient groups that are always looking for new members to join.

1) Our A&E research team are looking for members of the public to join their Patient and Public Group. They meet quarterly to discuss current research and identify ways in which research can be effectively delivered in a busy A&E department. The team also ask members to look at proposed research and feedback any practical concerns or ideas they have. Find out how you can get involved with our A&E research team

2) Our Trauma team The Centre for Trauma Sciences (C4TS) is always looking for former trauma patients, carers and members of the public who are able to contribute to their research into the best ways to treat traumatic injury. Find out more about The Centre for Trauma Sciences

5) Pregnancy and childbirth research

The Katherine Twining Network researches topics around pregnancy and childbirth such as pre-term birth, pre-eclampsia, epilepsy in pregnancy, infertility, chronic pelvic pain, treatment options during caesarean section and nutrition in pregnancy. KT’s network always needs pregnant women and new mothers, as well as community advisers and other members of the community. For more information contact: ktnetwork@qmul.ac.uk

If you'd like to find other opportunities to get involved in health and social care research, please visit the People in Research website.

Patient and Public Involvement news

New interactive course for public contributors/reviewers

INVOLVE has launched an interactive course for new and experienced reviewers of health and social care research.

This free course covers reviewing in all contexts for NIHR research funding programmes, plus skills and activities required at different levels and stages of research. It is designed for:

  • Public contributors who have been asked to provide feedback on a research document or sit on committee that assess several research documents.
  • Public contributors who are new to reviewing and those who want to know more.

Read the Public Reviewing course modules


If you'd like to find other opportunities to get involved in health and social care research, please visit the People in Research website.

Payment for public involvement for those in receipt of welfare benefits

The INVOLVE information sheet for the public offers information about what to consider when offered paid involvement. This includes where to seek expert advice about how payment may affect your welfare benefits. It explains the context in which payment is offered and how public involvement in research is different from paid employment (especially important if you are receiving incapacity benefits) and also refers to sections of the Department of Work and Pensions staff guidance that addresses the regulations covering payment for ‘service user involvement’.

Featured research studies

Brains: Bio Repository of DNA in Stroke

Study aim: To establish a DNA repository of all haemorrhagic and ischaemic stroke patients of adult age over 18 years old, which occurred at any time.

Background: Stroke is a major health problem in this country and yet we know little about the genes (inherited factors) that influence it. We are trying to identify which genes may be responsible for stroke. We would be very grateful if you could kindly provide us with a small blood sample which can be taken from your arm, the method of which is the same as any other simple blood test you have had previously.

At Newham we are recruiting stroke patients and controls with South Asian background: Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and any other Asian background (African Asian, Kashmiri Other, Nepali, Sri Lankan Sinhalese, Sri Lankan Tamil, Sri Lankan, Other Asian).

Recruitment is ongoing. At the two Barts Health participating sites, (Newham and The Royal London), we have recruited 472 patients to BRAINS since 2012/13.

Contact for queries/ further information on eligibility criteria: premchand.daboo@bartshealth.nhs.uk or telephone: 020 7055 5836

A trial of group antenatal care: Pregnancy Circles

A team of researchers, together with midwives from Barts Health, are looking to improve antenatal care by moving from individual care provided by a midwife to group care where pregnant women form ‘Pregnancy Circles’. Women in Pregnancy Circles meet together throughout their pregnancies in a series of sessions facilitated by the same two midwives. Sessions involve information sharing, self-care activities (women are taught to check their own blood pressure and urine), and brief one-to-one sessions with one of the midwives for individual health checks. The aim is to improve women’s experience and outcomes of antenatal care.

 To understand if and how Pregnancy Circles may be better than usual individual care, a large and rigorous research study (an RCT) is planned. Around 1,500 pregnant women will asked to take part in either Pregnancy Circles or to continue with their usual care to compare experiences and health in themselves and their babies. The study has already been piloted at Barts Health NHS Trust and the full trial is planned to start across different NHS settings in early 2018. 

 If you are pregnant, you may be approached about the research study and we hope you will consider being involved. Find out more about Pregnancy Circles RCT and the wider REACH pregnancy programme.

 You can also contact the REACH team by email at reach@uel.ac.uk or call 020 8223 4797/4583