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What is health and care research?

Health and care research seeks to find answers to questions. Health and care research seeks to find the best options for improving the health and care of all people. The answers that are found, are used to make decisions about changes and improvements to how patients receive care at Barnsley Hospital, and across the NHS as a whole.

A research nurse guides a patient through a document

Healthcare research is very varied. Examples of research include:

  • safety and effectiveness of medications
  • safety and effectiveness of a device, for example, a pacemaker
  • evaluating the impact of a health condition on quality of life
  • new methods for diagnosing health conditions
  • research into genes and environmental factors to determine their contribution to disease, for example; if a person smokes or not

The NIHR (National Institute for Health Research) provides a comprehensive list of answers to this and many more questions. Find out more information on the NIHR website.

Why be part of research?

Thousands of people every year take part in research and have a very positive experience. Find out why it's so important that we all think about being part of research.


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Who can take part in health research?

Different research requires different people to be involved depending upon the study. This may be:

  • a patient with a specific condition
  • a family member of a patient with a specific condition
  • or a person who does not have a specific condition, in order to compare and contrast individuals

In other words, anyone can be involved in research!

Research involves people of all ages and backgrounds, to help improve health and care for all. This short video will tell you more.

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What can I expect if I take part in research?

Every research study is different. You will always be given an opportunity to discuss with a healthcare professional, the research, verbally. You will always be provided with written information to help you understand what is involved and any possible risks.

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How do I get involved in research?

If you are interested in taking part in a research study you can:

  • ask a healthcare professional involved in your care - such as a doctor or nurse - if they have any suitable studies for your condition
  • follow us on X (Twitter) @barnsleyrd - we post research callouts here
  • send us an email to
  • Have a look at and search on the NIHR Be Part of Research website
  • complete our research registry form to be updated about research that is applicable to you

If you are interested in helping carry out research:

  • you don’t have to be taking part in a research study to get involved - it is important that it is not just healthcare professionals who decide what research should take place
  • to find our more on the type of activities you could get involved in, please visit the NIHR website for more information
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Different ways to take part

There are many different types of research:

  • some studies test new treatments or require samples
  • some may involve interviews or surveys
  • some research may require your one-off involvement, while others may have several follow ups over a period of time

Healthcare professionals will explain what’s involved in the study, before you decide if you want to take part. It’s always your choice whether to take part and you can change your mind at any time.

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