Research

Royal College of General Practitioners
Lakenham Surgery is accredited by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) in order to participate in primary care research studies in liaison with the Primary Care Research Network of East England (PRCN). Being accredited (or research-ready) enables us to conduct high quality research, ensure that our practice is up-to-date and compliant with national standards for NHS research, and offers opportunities for a wider range of research studies to help improve the health and wellbeing of the nation.

What is primary care research?

Research is an everyday part of the work done in the NHS with the aim of finding better ways of looking after patients and keeping people healthy. This research helps to note patterns of health and disease in order to find the causes of disease and develop new treatments, and also helps instruct the way health and social care services are provided by the NHS. People being cared for in the NHS benefit from past research and will continue to benefit from research being carried out now and in the future. Healthcare professionals know a great deal about health, disease and medicines but research can find answers to the things which are still unknown, filling gaps in knowledge and changing the way that healthcare professionals work. This means patient treatment and care, and patients’ quality of life can be improved, and avoidable early deaths can be prevented.

Research can be undertaken in a number of different ways:

  • Completing a questionnaire
  • Requesting the use of your anonymised data
  • Taking part in an interview
  • Testing new treatments, therapies or devices
  • Experiencing new combinations of treatments

What is the Primary Care Research Network (PCRN)

The primary care research network is one of a family of National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) national research networks and is funded by the Department of Health. It aims to:

  • Improve patient care and speed up access to the best treatment and care.
  • Improve the co-ordination of research into priority areas by increasing the numbers of patients recruited into research studies.
  • Provide a wide range of support to the local research community.
  • Work alongside Lakenham Surgery to create opportunities for patients to be involved in research studies if they wish.
  • Support Lakenham Surgery to recruit and take part in clinical studies through their locally based research nurses and network co-ordinators.

Lakenham Surgery’s involvement in research

Lakenham Surgery will undertake a number of research studies each year, some based on anonymised data, some where patients are asked to complete questionnaires, and some where we will seek to recruit patients to the study for which their informed consent will be obtained. These studies will help to answer specific questions about health and healthcare – for example:

  • Whether new treatments or ways of organising services are effective and working well.
  • Whether these treatments or services are cost-effective, giving value for money.
  • How different health problems develop and progress over time, helping us to gain better understanding of these specific health problems.
  • The views of patients and health professionals about a particular treatment, intervention or service and how these might be improved.

Information about research studies being undertaken by the practice will be published here and, if patient participation is required, we may invite patients to volunteer to be recruited to the study.

Dr Ochuko Emore is the practice principal lead for research. Dr Emore has undertaken the required Good Clinical Practice (GCP) training which is updated every two years and he holds a current valid certificate.

Patient Participation – How you could take part in research

There are different ways that patients can become involved in studies which Lakenham Surgery is participating in:

  • A doctor or nurse may talk to you abut the study and ask whether you would consider taking part
  • You may be sent information through the post if it is felt you might be a suitable participant
  • You may read information on the website about a current study and wish to volunteer to take part by contacting the practice

Patients who express an interest in finding out more about a study will be asked for their permission to share their name and contact details with the study team. Some studies may require direct contact between participants and the team; others involve contact through a member of practice staff or with a Primary Care Research Network research nurse.

Important points to note about taking part in any research studies are:

  • Participation is entirely voluntary and you have the right to say ‘no’. Pressure will not be placed upon you to take part in research if you do not wish to and you do not have to provide a reason if you decide not to participate.
  • Your care and your relationship with your doctor or nurse will not be affected in any way if you decide you do not wish to take part in a research study.
  • You will always receive clear information about what taking part in a research study involves – you would be provided with a patient information sheet and, if you agree to take part, the study team would explain things in more details with the opportunity for you to ask questions.
  • Nobody from outside Lakenham Surgery will be given your contact details or have access to your medical records without your prior consent. If you do agree to take part in a study you would be asked to sign a consent form which will clearly state which parts of your notes (if any) may be looked at for the purpose of the research study.
  • You would not be asked to take part in a large number of studies. Most researchers are very specific about the criteria people need to meet in order to participate, which usually means that only a relatively small number of patients will be suitable for any one study.

Research Studies at Lakenham Surgery

Information will be published here about research studies being undertaken by this practice as it becomes available.

Past and Ongoing Studies

The research studies shown below are those this practice has been involved with, some of which are ongoing studies:

  • Norfolk Diabetes Prevention Study (NDPS)
  • Screening of Older Women for Prevention of Fracture (SCOOP) – osteoporosis study
  • Norfolk Arthritis Register Study (NOAR)
  • European Prospective Investigation into Cancer (EPIC)
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis Methotrexate Starters (RAMS)
  • Parents and Young Children under Extreme Stress (PYCES)
  • Understanding How Brain Injury Affects Development
  • Blueberries – a study looking at the health effects of blueberry anthocyanin antioxidant
  • Helicobacter Eradication Aspirin Trial (HEAT) – click for HEAT Data Protection Privacy Notice
  • Fun & Fit – a study to assess the uptake of physical activity when referred by a health professional
  • Study into Lean and Thin Subjects (STILTS 2)
  • Support Needs Approach for Patients with advanced COPD (SNAP2)
  • Study into the effects of bilberry fruit and black rice anthocyanin antioxidant on lipid status (Beri)
  • Families Reporting Every Step to Health (FRESH)
  • Evaluation of Patient Access to medical test result services in General Practice (ACCESS)
  • Improving Primary Care Service after stroke (IPCAS)
  • Mediterranean Diet, Exercise and Dementia Risk in UK Adults (MED-Ex UK)

New Studies

  • Reducing Asthma Attacks in Children using Exhaled Nitric Oxide (RAACENO)
  • Bisoprolol in COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) (BICS)
  • Aspirin to target arterial events in chronic kidney disease (ATTACK)
  • Towards an integrated self-monitoring solution for stroke/TIA (Transient Ischaemic Attacks) (TASMIN5S)
  • PRINCIPLE; Platform Randomised trial of INtervetions against COVID-19 In older people
  • CLIMB Study – Anonymous online survey to establish patient and public views on sharing identifiable health data for clinical purposes, and de-identified health data for research within the UK