Being a Research Practice and Medical Research 

Westbury on Trym is an NHS Research Active practice. We are an NIHR (National Institute of Health Research) level 2 research practice which means that we undertake several NHS research studies each year. We work with a number of universities on ways to improve the NHS and are currently working on studies led by the Universities of Bristol, Oxford and Cambridge and Southampton.

We also lead a local collaboration of research practices (Affinity Research Collaboration), where we work closely with three other GP Practices (Greenway, Fallodon Way and Monks Park.)

As a research practice, we are also part of studies that involve anonymised data being shared and this data is used to inform the Department of Health eg re flu epidemics, prescribing information etc. This helps us to constantly monitor the quality of our work and keep up to date.


So, what does all this mean for patients?  

You may be offered services by us which are part of a medical trial, sometimes this involves new types of medication or new therapies, sometimes both. Services might be offered which involve you meeting with a researcher or involve some more detailed work with one of our own clinical staff. You might be asked to complete questionnaires or to give your opinion to researchers during interviews.

Your participation in research is voluntary and not taking part will not affect your care in any way – it is entirely up to you how much you want to get involved.  

We take your personal data very seriously and adhere to the latest data protection guidelines.

We are currently recruiting for two very important national trials in relation to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

This study is exploring treatments for the COVID-19 infection (coronavirus).  So far, there are no treatments that have been proven in clinical trials to be effective in treating COVID-19 infection. 

It is essential that we identify treatments that help to reduce the progression of the disease and therefore the need for hospital admission. This trial aims to evaluate potential treatments as they are identified.  If you are eligible for this study your GP will tell you during your telephone consultation.  Alternatively, you may have received a text message from us.  If you have symptoms of COVID-19, are aged 65 or over, OR are aged 50-64 and have an existing health condition, you may be eligible to join the study.  If you would like to discuss this please contact us. 

Please see here for full details of this study.


Serological Surveillance

Some of our patients are still coming in for essential blood tests (with GP approval).  During their appointment, they may be asked if they are willing to provide at an additional sample to provide information about background population immunity to COVID-19. The patient will not be made aware of the outcome of the sample they provide and the study is not testing for the COVID-19 infection.  Understanding of antiobody response to COVID-19 is in its early stages and we are still learning how COVID-19 spreads and its effects on humans.  Analysing the blood samples will help us to better understand the virus.

If you would like to know more about COVID-19 research and how you can contribute, please visit the 'Be Part of Research' site here, which is run by the National Institute for Health Research.