Get involved in our research

UCLH is famous for its world class research with thousands of studies happening at any one time and some 12,000 of our patients taking part in clinical trials.

This means UCLH is able to offer many patients the opportunity to take part in trials.

What kind of research does UCLH carry out?

Some of our research is experimental medicine, which looks at the causes of disease, how certain treatments work and whether they are safe. Some of our patients have been the first in the world to receive treatments.

We have research happening in most disease areas. For instance, studies looking at cancer treatments, neurology surgery, critical care, infection and stroke rehabilitation, to name but a few.

We also carry out clinical trials which test the effectiveness of new drugs in a large number of people. This will be to see if a new treatment really is better than current treatments.

Watch our video on different kinds of health research

Should I volunteer to take part in research?

Many thousands of people a year in the UK choose to take part in research. Some people choose to because they want to give something back and some want to help prevent and treat diseases in the future. Some do it so they can have access to new treatments.

If you are thinking about taking part in research, it’s important to remember:

  • all research studies have a strict definition of which patients can take part. So even if you have the relevant disease, you may not be eligible.
  • you won’t necessarily get a new better treatment. Bear in mind that the study is being carried out to find if the new treatment is better than what is currently available. It may be the same or it may be worse.
  • However, some trials may monitor your condition more regularly than with standard care - ask a doctor or nurse what kind of monitoring is involved.

Before you agree to take part in a trial staff will explain to you the risks and benefits of getting involved and what is involved, for example how often you need to come to hospital and what tests you will need to undergo. You will also be given an information sheet to take away and read in your own time.

If you decide not to take part in research, your care will not be affected. You can choose to withdraw from a trial and, if you do, you will still receive the best treatment available.