Get involved: how you can make a difference

Getting involved in clinical and health research means you are directly contributing towards improving patient care, treatment and wellbeing.

For patients and the public

You can be involved by helping shape future research projects or participating in a research study. More infomation on how to get involved.

Research can also:           

  • provide access to new treatments
  • help determine new treatments
  • improve patient care in the future

This link provides information about taking part in a research study including:

  • Who can take part in research?
  • Why should I take part?
  • What kind of research can I take part in?
  • How can I find a study to take part in?

Anyone can take part in health research. Click on the links below for further information flyers:

Patient facing Research whats it all about.pdf [pdf] 543KB

Research getting starting card final.pdf [pdf] 1MB

If you are interested in learning more about getting involved in health research please contact us for further information.


For healthcare professionals

Everyone can take part in research in some way regardless of role and experience.

Research can:

  • develop your skills  
  • be an interesting and fulfilling experience
  • create new working partnerships  
  • provide opportunities to learn more about an illness or condition

Staff Research Collaborator 

We've recently launched this new role which is open to ANYONE who works in this Trust. You do NOT have to be clinically trained. 

If you would like to learn/get involved in something new, meet new people and help improve future treatments and care through the promotion of research/evidence based practise (BP) opportunities within your team/department, then this is for you! Please get in touch.

Library services

Along with access to 4 health libraries in Worcestershire, the library service team can help you access articles, books, core databases and provide literature searches on bespoke topics. 

All Library & Knowledge Services training modules have been linked with the Core Competences Training framework, reflecting the standards for each competency. They also offer 1:1 or group training on these.

For further information please visit: Worcestershire Health Libraries ( and

Are you research ready?

Please find below a selection of resources promoting reserach. These can be downloaded and printed and used in your work space. There are also links to patient facing information above:

Staff quick reference research guide.pdf [pdf] 757KB

Staff Research Q and A Final.pdf [pdf] 430KB

Research definitions.pdf [pdf] 486KB

Staff poster FINAL.pdf [pdf] 1MB (can be used in staff and patient facing areas)

These links offer further information about health research:

Please contact us for further information. Why not also access the Research intranet pages to find out more about our Research Competency Training Framework which details the training and support available to

What does health research look like?

What a study involves:

Health research can take a number of different forms including drug trials, genetic tests and talking therapies:

What might a study look like


Different types of research:

1. Service Evaluation

There are many different types of research which cover a range of activities. Some require working in a lab, whilst other types of study observe patterns of health and disease and/or develop new treatments or interventions. Some research may look at the effects of standard treatments, while other research may investigate whether new treatments offer any benefit or how the NHS can best organise and provide services.

  • Designed & conducted solely to define or judge current delivery of care
  • Designed to answer ‘what standard does this service achieve’?
  • Measures without reference to a standard
  • Usually involves analysis of existing data but could include simple interview or questionnaire data
  • No allocation to intervention or randomisation
  • Crucially it does not require NHS Research Ethics Committees review

2. Evidence-based practice is the “integration of best research evidence with clinical expertise and patient values.”Evidence based practise

  • It means that when health professionals make a treatment decision with their patient, they base it on their clinical expertise, the preferences of the patient, and the best available evidence.

3. Designed & conducted to produce information to inform delivery of best care Clinical Audit

  • Designed to answer ‘does this service reach a predetermined standard’?
  • Measures against a standard
  • Usually involves analysis of existing data but could include simple interview or questionnaire data
  • No allocation to intervention or randomisation 
  • Does not typically require NHS Research Ethics Committees review

4. Designed to derive generalisable new knowledge Clinical & Health Research

  • Designed to test a hypothesis
  • Addresses clearly defined questions, aims and objectives
  • Usually involves collecting data that are additional to those for routine care but may include data collected routinely. May involve treatments, samples or investigations additional to routine care
  • Crucially it does require NHS Research Ethics Committees review

There are 3 different types of clinical or health research:

The clinical trial/study

Compares the effects, both wanted and unwanted, of two or more treatments.

What do clinical studies within clinical and health research achieve?

Clinical trials help determine whether:

  • treatments are safe and effective
  • treatments have any side effects
  • new treatments are better than available standard treatments

How do clinical studies work?

Trials follow a set of rules, known as a protocol, to ensure that they are:

  • as safe as possible
  • that they measure the right things in the right way
  • that the results are meaningful

Why are clinical studies important?

Clinical trials help drive forward advancements and improvements in patient treatments, therapies and interventions.

Healthcare professionals and patients need evidence from clinical trials to know which treatments work best. Without this evidence, there is a risk that people could be given treatments that have no advantage, that waste NHS resources and that might even be harmful.

Observational research

Observational research uses data collected to develop a better understanding of:

  • rare and more common illnesses
  • the natural history of illness
  • the safety and cost-effectiveness of healthcare treatments and therapies used in daily clinical practice

Epidemiology research

Epidemiology is a special branch of research that looks at patterns of illness and disease in groups of people. It tries to identify the causes of illness.

Some epidemiology studies compare people who experience illness (cases) with people who do not (controls). Other studies look at a group of people (a cohort) over time to see what happens. Those who develop a condition and those who do not may then be compared. A third type of epidemiology study looks at patterns in populations and may find associations between environmental factors, such as diet, and disease.

The main challenge faced by epidemiology is that while studies often identify strong links, they do not prove that one thing has caused the other.

Epidemiology has nevertheless made some of the most important medical discoveries such as smoking as a cause of lung cancer. Although this seems obvious in today's world, this wasn't always as clear.