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Medical Research


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 and Nurse Shirley Neave is our Research Nurse.  Both Dr Emore and Nurse Neave have undertaken the required Good Clinical Practice (GCP) training which is updated every two years and both hold current valid certificates.

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 OR
  • You may be sent information through the post if it is felt you might be a suitable participant OR
  • 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) 

Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) in Research

Information about how patients and members of the public can be involved in helping to influence the shape of research

Increasingly patients, carers and members of the public are contributing their perspectives to the way clinical research is designed, commissioned, managed and supported. Active involvement in clinical research is very different from being a participant in a study.

Members of your Practice Patient Group or others may be interested in how to get more involved

There are local groups you can sign post.

European Patient Ambassador Programme (EPAP)

EPAP has been developed to help patients and carers across Europe understand how healthcare research and guidelines work, how to get involved and engage in Advocacy and media activities at any level.

Research and patient experience short films - 4 useful resources for patients about taking part in a clinical study – being a research participant

Many patients voluntarily take part in research as ‘participants’ in clinical trials or other well designed studies. These trials aim to test how good beneficial treatments might be for people.

NIHR resources - patients speak about their experiences of being a participant in research

A number of short films can be found on the NIHR website. The video provides a personal insight into primary care research from the perspective of both the researcher and participant.


An award winning charity website allowing patients and the public to share experiences of health and illness and taking part in research studies.

NHS choices

Comprehensive information about research for patients and the public

Clinical trial participants: guinea pigs or informed volunteers?

The article, authored by a Guardian journalist, uses the patient’s perspective to address some of the common myths and misunderstandings about clinical research.

It explains how volunteers involved in clinical trials are not human guinea pigs, but patients taking an active role in their healthcare, aiming to improve the quality of life for others with similar health conditions.

Mind - England Your Neighbourhood Professionals. Just a Click Away! Home Chairs UK Ltd
Mind - England Your Neighbourhood Professionals. Just a Click Away! Home Chairs UK Ltd