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 Supporting Research in Primary Care

Station House Surgery actively supports clinical research studies within primary care.

The NHS Constitution states that Research is a core function of the NHS. Clinical Research is a major driver of innovation and central to NHS practice for maintaining and developing high standards of patient care.

Ultimately, clinical research means patients get access to new treatments, interventions and medicines. Investment in research means better, more cost effective care for patients.

National Institute for Health Research

In 2006 the Department of Health set up The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to improve the health and wealth of the nation through Research.

The NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) was introduced to provide the infrastructure to the NHS to allow high quality research to be set up and delivered efficiently and effectively.

Station House Surgery is part of a network of local practices participating in research activities under the banner of CRN North West Coast.

To find out more about the work of the NIHR Clinical Research Network go to

What is Primary Care Research?

The CRN Primary Care speciality works in collaboration with researchers and primary care practitioners such as GP’s, practice nurses, pharmacists and dentists to promote the successful delivery of research studies in the NHS.  A wide range of research studies are supported which look at:

  • Promoting a healthier lifestyle

  • Disease diagnosis and prevention

  • Management of long-term illnesses such as diabetes or hypertension

  • Prevention of future ill-health

  • Treating common conditions such as tonsillitis or influenza               

 What are the Benefits of GP practices taking part in Research?

  • It offers patients access to new treatments
  • It brings new dimension to practice and added skills to those involved
  • It provides national gold standard training for research
  • It offers mentorship and support to those involved in research within practice

How can you help and take part at Station House Surgery?

There are many various ways a patient can become involved in studies at Station House Surgery:

  • A doctor or nurse may talk to you about a particular study and ask whether you would be interested in participating
  • You may be sent information through the post if we feel you may be a suitable participant
  • You may read information about a current study in the patient waiting room or on the surgery website and wish to take part by contacting your GP or the Research Nurse
  • Please note: the funding for our research activity is via the CRN so does not come out of the practice's own budget and therefore does not affect our patients' services

All clinical research carried out at Station House Surgery is thoroughly checked and approved by ethical committees thus ensuring it is appropriate and safe to perform

Your participation is entirely voluntary and can be withdrawn by yourself at any time without any explanation required.

You are under no obligation to participate in any research project.

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

You will always receive clear information about what taking part in a research study would involve. You will have the opportunity to ask questions and obtain further details about a study.

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 study. Nobody from outside this practice will be given your contact details or have access to your medical records without your prior consent.

Research Training

Good Clinical Practice for Research in Primary Care

A key requirement for anyone involved in the conduct of Clinical Research is Good Clinical Practice for Research (GCP) training.

Good Clinical Practice (GCP) is the international guideline and standard to which all NHS research is conducted.

Why do you need GCP training?

Everyone involved in the conduct of clinical research must have the necessary training and education in order to ensure they are competent to carry out their duties and responsibilities.

This is a requirement of the Research Governance Framework for Health and Social Care 2005. This policy covers all research within the NHS in England, and in law for those people working on clinical trials

The Principles of CGP states that: "Each individual involved in conducting a trial should be qualified by education, training, and experience to perform his or her respective task(s)" (2.8,E6 Guidelines for Good Clinical Practice)

GCP Trained Staff at Station House Surgery

Dr Kathryn Morgan (Research Lead)

Nurse Joanna Beldon (Research Nurse)

Current Research Studies


Depression is a common and disabling condition that is one of the leading causes of disability. Over 50 million people are prescribed anti-depressants every year in England and this figure is going up by 7% a year. We still do not know enough about whether patients with mild depression might benefit from anti-depressants and doctors are concerned that they might sometimes be prescribing them when they might not be needed.

The PANDA study is recruiting people with a range of symptoms, from quite mild to moderate depression, lasting from a few weeks to several years. This will help us to say more clearly when it is useful for GPs to prescribe anti-depressants. The PANDA study team are looking at how people taking an anti-depressant get better, compared to people taking a placebo tablet.


This study is investigating whether adding allopurinol, up to 600mg daily, to the medication of patients with Ischaemic Heart Disease (IHD) will reduce their risk of having a stroke, heart attack or of dying due to cardiovascular disease.

IHD is a common problem in the UK, involving narrowing or partial blockage of the blood vessels to the heart. It can result in chest pain (angina) or even heart attack (myocardial infarction). Allopurinol is the drug that is being tested in this study. It is licensed in the UK for the prevention of gout. It is not currently licensed for use to treat IHD, although many patients with IHD will have taken it for gout.

For further information please click on the following link:


This study is looking at whether it is better for patients to take blood pressure medications in the morning or evening. The study is organized by the British Hypertension Society. Patients who may have been eligible have been posted information about the study. A useful website is available for more information: 


This study is looking at high blood pressure management. The aim of this study is to evaluate the management of hypertension in primary care using self-monitored blood pressure, with or without tele monitoring compared to standard care.


This study is looking at gastrointestinal illness and ways to improve the investigation and detection of gastrointestinal illness. Patients reporting gastrointestinal symptoms may be approached to take part in the study. This will involve being given a stool sample pack and consent form.  For further information please click on the following link:



Whilst the majority of women experience good mental health during their pregnancies, up to 20 per cent could experience depression during pregnancy or within a year of giving birth. This condition, known as perinatal depression, can have considerable short- and long-term negative consequences for the mother and her child. There are a number of validated surveys to help clinicians to identify those women who may be at increased risk of depression, so that they can receive appropriate support. Two of such validated surveys are the Whooley questions and the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale.

In this study the study team want to assess the feasibility of delivering the Whooley questions and the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale in the waiting area of antenatal clinics using tablet computers (in this case, an iPad Air tablet). We also want to assess if the delivery of these validated surveys via tablet computers affects the quality of the data we collect. This is an important step before we are able to assess the feasibility of incorporating routine depression screening into antenatal care.

This study is currently being set up at the surgery and has yet to start recruitment.


‘Join dementia research’ is a national service that offers you the chance to register your interest in taking part in dementia research, find suitable studies in your area, and let researchers know that you might be interested in taking part in their research.

People with dementia, their carers and anyone interested in participating in dementia research can register on to the service either online, ( by post or via a telephone helpline provided by the charity partners.

Please see the patient notice boards in the waiting rooms for information and postal application forms. Alternatively please click on the link below to register your interest:

Studies recently completed:


The purpose of this study is to test a questionnaire that will ask people about the impact of any long- term condition on their lives. The questionnaire has been developed after talking to people with long- term conditions, health professionals and researchers. If the questionnaire is found to be acceptable to people with long-term conditions, it may be used within the NHS and local authorities to monitor and improve different services (health, community and social care services). We recruited 85 patients to this study.

Noisy Knees Study

Assessing noises emitted from osteoarthritic knees on standing and sitting (we recruited 10 patients)

Candid (cancer diagnosis decision rules)

This study is about finding what symptoms and examinations are best for predicting lung and bowel cancer (we recruited 2 patients)

HEAT Helicobacter Eradication Aspirin Trial

This study is looking at Helicobacter Pylori (bacteria present in the stomach) treatment with antibiotics to reduce the risk of internal ulcers bleeding (for those patients who are on aspirin) (we recruited 28 patients)

We are very grateful to any of our patients that have taken part in these studies in the past and would encourage patients to become involved in the future!


Comprehensive information about research for patients and the public can be found by accessing the links below:

The National Institute for Health Research- Clinical Research Network:

North West Coast CRN:

National institute for Health and Research: CRN: Primary Care specialty

Get in touch with INVOLVE, a national group supporting public involvement in research:

People in Research. This site has a searchable database of involvement opportunities:

For more general information on patient participation at practice level, please look at


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