GP Research

We are actively supporting 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.

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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.

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

What is Primary Care Research?

The CRN Primary Care speciality works in collaboration with researchers and primary care practitioners such as GPs’, 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?

There are various ways a patient can become involved in studies at Upton 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

All clinical research carried out at our surgeries is thoroughly checked 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 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.

Current Research studies

Does low-dose aspirin reduce the chance of a first heart attack or stroke in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD)?

This is a large-scale academic study, being led by the University of Southampton, to see whether or not patients with chronic kidney disease should take aspirin daily to prevent a first heart attack or stroke. It is recruiting patients from GP Practices across the UK.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common condition where the heart rhythm is irregular. Patients aged over 75 years, or those aged 65 with other health conditions usually receive blood thinning tablets to prevent blood clots. However, this may be too late to avoid dementia. A new class of blood thinning tablets are now widely used in the NHS which are more convenient for patients to take, with a lower risk of bleeding than older treatments. Using these drugs in younger patients could provide benefit, but this needs to be tested in a clinical trial.

The aim of this study is to find out whether these newer blood thinning tablets can prevent serious long-term complications if used earlier in patients with AF.
ENRICH brings together care home staff, residents and their families with researchers. It provides a toolkit of resources to help care homes make the most of research, and researches to set up and run studies effectively and collaboratively in care homes.
Asthma is the commonest long-term disease in children in the UK. It causes cough and difficulty breathing. The main treatment for asthma is a preventer inhaler, containing corticosteroids, which prevents irritation of the airways.

The ASYMPTOMATIC study aims to find out whether taking a preventer inhaler only when a child, with mild asthma, has symptoms is as effective as taking it every day.

The study will involve around 250 GP Practices in England and around 2000 children and young people with asthma.
There are plenty of studies showing that aminosalicylates (5-ASA or mesalazine) are very useful drugs in the treatment of Ulcerative colitis. Equally, there are plenty of studies showing that they are NOT useful in the treatment of Crohn’s disease. In fact, they are little more than a placebo in Crohn’s disease. To this effect, the British Society of Gastroenterology does not suggest using 5ASAs to treat CD. However, a large proportion of patients with Crohn’s disease are still prescribed 5ASAs, even after other medication (like azathioprine or biologics) has been added to help control their symptoms.

This clinical trial will aim to definitively prove that 5ASAs have no role in the management of CD, and it is indeed safe to stop these medications when CD is in remission (i.e. currently not flaring). The study aims to show that stopping or continuing 5ASAs will not have any effect on disease flares and complications related to CD. 
The OPTIMISE 2 trial will establish whether deprescribing common drugs that lower blood pressure is safe or effective n older people in the longer term (e year or more).

This is a follow-on study to the OPTIMISE trial and looking to enrol a larger cohort.
Diamond is a programme developed specifically for people with type 2 Diabetes to help them to achieve remission from diabetes. Remission means a person has normal or near normal blood glucose and does not need medicines for diabetes.

Being in remission will greatly improve the chances of avoiding long-term risks from diabetes to eyes, kidneys, heart and brain. It will also lower blood pressure and reduce the need for blood pressure medication.