It's OK to ask

OK to ask

Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, Gloucestershire Care Service and Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group are some of the many organisations around the country that are supporting “It’s OK to ask” – a campaign led by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to encourage patients to ask their family doctor, nurse or consultant about clinical research.

Clinical research is the way in which we gather evidence to improve treatments for patients.  Promoting, conducting and using clinical research to improve healthcare is one of the key principles of the NHS, and the new Constitution for NHS England contains a pledge to inform patients of research studies in which they may be eligible to participate.

In many cases doctors will approach patients and carers about taking part in research, but the NIHR also wants patients to feel that it’s OK to ask about it, to keep research at the top of the NHS England agenda.

In a recent consumer poll, less than 21% of patients and the public said that they would feel confident asking their doctor about research opportunities.

That’s why the NIHR, with our support, is promoting the fact that it’s OK to ask about clinical research.

If you have a medical condition and are undergoing treatment, you can join the campaign by asking your doctor, nurse or consultant about clinical research, and whether it might be right for you or someone you care for.

The NIHR would then like you to let them know that you took part by recording that you asked about research, along with what response you received and any other comments you want to make, on their campaign social media sites or by email or phone.

By measuring your responses to the “OK to ask” campaign the NIHR will be able to let clinicians know that patients are interested in research.  It will also help them to see where the response to patients who want to take part in research could be improved.

If you ask your doctor about clinical research, please support the campaign by telling the NIHR what happened in one of the following ways:

To show your support, we are asking you to take a picture of yourself with the “OK to ask” campaign badge and do one of the following:

  • post it on Facebook:            www.facebook.com/NIHRoktoask.
  • send a tweet via Twitter:     @OfficialNIHR with the hashtag #NIHRoktoask
  • send an Email to:                 oktoask@nihr.ac.uk  
  • Telephone:                            0300 311 99 66