GP Research

Supporting Research in Primary Care

Research is essential in working out which treatments work best for patients and Burnley Group Practice 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.

In 2006, the Department of Health set up a National Institute for Health Research to create a world-class health system within the NHS, and the Clinical Research Network is part of this wider organisation.  Burnley Group Practice is part of a network of local practices participating in research activities under the Clinical Research Network.

To find out more about the work of the NIHR Clinical Research Network go to CRN North West Coast (

What is Primary Care Research?

The Clinical Research Network 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 wider 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 and 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 a new dimension to practice and added skills to those involved
  • It provides national gold standard training for research

How can you help and take part?

There are many various ways a patient can become involved in studies:

  • 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.

Please note: The funding for our research activity is via the Clinical Research Network so it does not come out of the Practice’s own budget and therefore doesn’t affect our patient’s services.

All clinical research carried out 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 an 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 notes without your prior consent

National Data Opt Out

The national data opt-out was introduced on 25 May 2018, enabling patients to opt out from the use of their data for research or planning purposes, in line with the recommendations of the National Data Guardian.

Patients can view or change their national data opt-out choice at any time by using the online service at or by clicking on “Your Health” in the NHS App, and selecting “Choose if data from your health records is shared for research and planning”.