Research Practice

The point of research

gp_and_bookThe Buntingford Medical Centre has recently become accredited as a research practice to enable to us to take part in research.


Research is what helps the medical and scientific communities to find answers to question. For example, is one statin as good as another at preventing strokes, or is this new drug as good at treating breast cancer or as safe as the existing drugs. This sort of work is going on all over the world all the time, and is the way that we end up with better medical care here in Hertfordshire.

How is this done?

We work as part of the Primary Care Research Network for the east of England. The PCRN, works with universities and the NHS, promoting research, and offering support with specialist nurses and coordinators.


This is all overseen by the NIHR, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The NIHR is the research arm of the NHS and is funded by the Department of Health.

How does this affect you?

There are different ways that patients can become involved in studies our practice is participating in.

  • A doctor or nurse may talk to you about the study and ask whether you would consider taking part.
  • You may be sent information through the post if we feel that you might be a suitable participant.
  • You may read information on the website about a current study and wish 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 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.

How does it work?

Participation in research is entirely voluntary and you have the right to say ‘No’.  Nobody will put pressure on you to take part in research if you do not wish to.  You do not have to give us a reason if you decide not to take part.

Your care and your relationship with your doctor or nurse will not be affected in any way if you decide not to take part in a research study.

You will always receive clear information about what taking part in a research study would involve.  The practice will usually provide you with a patient information sheet; then, if you agree to take part, the study team will explain the study to you in more detail and you will have the opportunity to ask questions about it.

Nobody from outside this practice 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 will be asked to sign a consent form – this will clearly state which parts of your notes (if any) may be looked at for the purposes of the research.

You will not be asked to take part in a large number of studies.  Most researchers are very specific about the criteria that people need to meet in order to enter their study.  Usually this means that only a relatively small number of patients at the practice will be suitable for any one study

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