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Participating in a study

Patients are at the heart of what we do at King’s, including our research. You can help us with our research whether you are a patient, a carer or a member of the public. There are two ways you can get involved.

Take part in a clinical or other well-designed study

Doctors and scientists who set up research projects usually approach individual patients who have specific conditions and ask them to take part. These people are carefully chosen because they fit certain criteria such as type of disease, medical history, age, or gender.

The criteria may need to be very specific and can sometimes be quite narrow. This is necessary because clinical research measures changes that are very precise and has to be carefully controlled so research results are as clear and as informative as possible. So even though you may be interested in taking part in a trial or a well-designed study, if your details do not fit these narrow criteria you would not be eligible to take part.

Occasionally, researchers advertise for volunteers in the national press or through posters around the hospital and locally. If you want to volunteer for one of these studies, please get in touch with the doctors directly, using the contact details given in the advert.

Get actively involved with researchers and help shape their research

We are committed to the Department of Health’s national strategy, which puts patients at the centre of all NHS activity. This strategy highlights the importance of involving patients, carers and the public at all stages of the research process to ensure that what benefits patients is not based on the views of research professionals and clinicians alone.

This is where you come in, because we are keen to hear and learn from you. You can become a patient or a lay adviser to research teams and get actively involved in their work, giving your advice on the different stages of investigation and related activities. This might involve:

  • helping professional researchers decide topics for new research
  • giving feedback on plans for how to carry out a new study
  • helping to write patient information leaflets
  • helping shape how study results are communicated at the end of a study.

Arrangements for getting involved vary across research teams:

  • If you are a patient, you might be approached by your doctor.
  • You may see and respond to an advert in Inside King’s, our magazine for staff, patients, Members and the King’s community
  • If you are visiting the hospital you may see posters around the hospital requesting ‘PPI in Research’ volunteers, either for a specific study or for a clinical area where there are several studies. For example, a Parkinson’s research study by the Neurology Department or research into HIV by the Sexual Health Department.

Other ways of getting involved with research

Much of the research we do at King’s involves working with other NHS Trusts and universities, both nationally and internationally, so we may not be the base for the lead research team for a study involving users and lay advisors.

There are a number of separate groups linked to specific health conditions which support user involvement in research. These have information on local and national research that you may be able to get involved with. Here are some links to get you started: