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Research and Development at Luton and Dunstable University Hospital

What is Research?

“Research is essential in working out which treatments work better for patients” – (NHS National Institute for Health Research)

Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has an active Research / Clinical Trials Department at both Bedford and Luton & Dunstable hospital sites.

If you are a patient or carer, or perhaps a member of public with an interest, you can help research. You could become a participant in a clinical research study that may benefit many people. You could even help shape clinical research by becoming more actively involved and volunteering as a Public Research Champion – Research Champions | NIHR

You may be approached by your Consultant or a member of the Research Team with information on a clinical trial or research study. If you are asked whether you would like to participate in a study relevant to you, you will be provided with an ethically approved patient information sheet or leaflet. This will outline what participating in the study will involve. A member of the research team will go through this with you and ensure you understand the information so you can decide whether or not you would like to consent to participate. You can take your time to decide and talk it through with a relative or friend, or the study team, if you wish. You do not have to agree if you do not wish to and this will not affect your normal care.

Just like your normal hospital records, your research data with be treated with confidentiality. GDPR guidance can be viewed here.

Potential Benefits

Most research within the NHS does not result in financial gain for patients who participate, however, for many studies expenses (such as travel and parking costs) for attending additional research-related clinic visits are reimbursed.

Some patients report benefits such as enjoyment from the contribution they are making for future patients, increased knowledge of their conditions and the opportunity to be asked for their views and opinions.

Potential Burdens

If you decide that you do wish to participate in a study, this may involve tasks or procedures in addition to your standard care. These could be in the form of questionnaires, blood samples, medications or extra clinic visits.

A Research Ethics Committee (REC) will have reviewed the study before it was allowed to open to evaluate whether the potential burden to the patients taking part are considered to be acceptable given the benefits that could be gained from the research. However, research is always voluntary and you are free to decline to participate or withdraw from the study if you wish and your normal care will not be affected by your decision.

For Research, Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust comes under the auspices of the Clinical Research Network: East of England, to find out more about who they are CRN East of England (

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