Research involving the NHS
Research involving the NHS and COVID-19
24 March 2020
All NHS-related research activity involving recruitment of participants, face-to-face contact with patients/participants, and any in-person site visits related to research projects, were postponed with immediate effect for the foreseeable future until further notice, as of 16 March 2020.
There are very limited exemptions to this postponement in circumstances where:
- the interaction is deemed vital for patient safety purposes or in the patient’s best interests - in such cases, all due care must be taken to limit the chance of spreading COVID-19.
- the research pertains to COVID-19
If you wish to invoke either of these exemptions, you must contact firstname.lastname@example.org IMMEDIATELY to discuss further.
Please bear in mind that processing NHS approvals can take time, and that in the current situation, all staff, including administrative, are facing unprecedented demands. In normal circumstances we would advise leaving at least 2 months for the processing of NHS approvals. We are aware that an expedited NHS ethical approval process is in place for COVID-19 studies, but we are as yet unaware of the turnaround time. Any projects wishing to invoke an exemption must place no additional burden onto the NHS at any level, and must take into account the significant health and safety considerations for researchers, patients and NHS staff.
Guidance relating to NHS ethical approval is being revised in light of the current situation. Please refer to the alert box above.
The University encourages researchers to consider undertaking research involving the NHS.
General guidance on obtaining NHS ethical approval
Approvals must be obtained first and then ratified by a School ethics committee. Get in contact with email@example.com to check whether you will need any NHS approvals and, if so, which approvals you will need and how to obtain them. Get in contact as early as possible as acquiring NHS approvals may take months. When applying for NHS ethical approval, researchers are still required to use the University's template documents.