The Health Research Authority (HRA) is responsible for protecting patients from unethical research, whilst enabling patients to benefit from participating in research. HRA have taken active steps to listen to public and patient perspectives on health research to ensure their views are considered when developing new approaches.
HRA, with support from Sciencewise, ran a public dialogue from January to July 2013. The dialogue explored public and patient perspectives on the benefits and risks of clinical trials, the ethical issues that might arise and the procedures necessary to protect individuals.
Over the seven months eight workshops with 60 public participants were held in four locations across England (Bristol, London, Manchester and Newcastle). In addition, eight workshops were held with 68 patients and carers and a survey was conducted with 1,295 respondents.
The dialogue delivery contractor was Ipsos MORI and the project was evaluated by Cardiff University.
The results of this public dialogue were presented by HRA to the House of Commons Select Committee on Science and Technology inquiry on clinical trials in July 2013. The Select Committee report referred directly to the evidence from the dialogue.