Research in the NHS has benefits to both patients and the service. Fostering research and innovation can improve patient safety, develop better services and save money.
Before any research can take place in the NHS, it is important to ensure that the research undertaken and supported in Wales is done so properly and sensitively; respecting the rights, dignity, safety and wellbeing of patients and clients. The Research Governance Framework for Health and Social Care in Wales (2009) identifies the responsibilities that fall to research sponsors, funders, researchers, employing organisations, care organisations, care professionals and participants. Each has a part to play in ensuring that any research undertaken in the area of health and social care meet these standards.
Health care organisations' duty of quality includes research governance. They should ensure that their patients, service users and carers, and care professionals are provided with information about any research which may have a direct impact on their care, their experience of care, or their work in the organisation. They should ensure that activities are presented as research, only if they are managed as research within the Research Governance Framework.
For any research study covered by the Research Governance Framework, it is for the sponsor to be satisfied that clear agreements are reached, documented and carried out, providing for proper initiation, management, monitoring and financing. NHS organisations can if arrangements are in place act as sponsors.
More information about research governance requirements for organisations and sponsors can be found in section 8.0 and 10.0 of the Research Governance Framework Second Edition.