Research and Innovation

A key part of ensuring high quality healthcare is continually evaluating and developing the way we deliver our services. This means finding innovative approaches, systems, medicines and technologies which enable more cost effective services and better outcomes for patients.

We develop innovations by engaging with a wide range of individuals from a number of professional backgrounds, such as health providers, clinicians, third sector organisations, digital app developers and pharmaceutical industry professionals.

The CCGs aim to promote and assist with healthcare research as much as possible. It is through research, conducted through organisations such as the National Institute for Health Research, that we develop better treatments, as well as improve diagnosis, prevention, care and quality of life for everyone.

But this vital, life-saving research is only possible thanks to more than 870,000 people, of all ages, who took part in research last year. However, the more people who take part, the faster we can make improvements to health and care.

There are a number of benefits to health research:

  • The development of new medical treatments and cures would not happen without health research and the active role of research volunteers.
  • Patients involved often get access to advanced drugs and treatments that are not available in other healthcare settings.
  • People involved in healthcare research are better informed about the quality of services, driving innovation.
  • Patients involved in research often get a lot out of their involvement - they are helping others who many benefit from the research, and often form lasting friendships with others involved in the study.
  • Research can bring economic benefit to healthcare organisations by attracting research grants and further investment.


For more information, you can visit Be Part of Research  - an online service which helps people understand what research is, what taking part might involve, as well as helping people find studies and volunteer to take part. 

 Additionally, you can visit these helpful FAQS:


Current research opportunities


Join Dementia Research:

Dementia is one of the biggest challenges we face today. The number of people with Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, and other types of dementia is set to double over the next 30 years. 

Research offers hope. It is only through research that we can understand what causes the disease, develop effective treatments, improve care and hopefully one day find a cure. 

But for research to progress we need more people to take part in more studies.



One of the difficulties researchers face today is recruiting participants for their studies. At the same time, many people are looking for studies to contribute to and take part in, but don't know where to find out about them.

This is why the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) in partnership with Alzheimer Scotland, Alzheimer's Research UK and Alzheimer's Society have developed 'Join Dementia Research', a new service which allows people to register their interest in participating in dementia research and be matched to suitable studies.

Visit Join Dementia Research to learn more. 



OK to Ask:

It  is “OK to Ask” about research opportunities.

OK to Ask aims to encourage more patients or carers to ask about research opportunities that could be available to them or their loved ones, if they have a medical condition that they are receiving treatment for. 



A recent survey conducted by the NIHR Clinical Research Network showed that 95% of people surveyed said it was important to them that the NHS carries out clinical research but less than 21% said they would feel very confident about asking their doctor about research opportunities.

Visit Ok to Ask for more information.



The NIHR BioResource:

The NIHR BioResource helps researchers understand more about the links between genes, the environment, health and disease.



Bioresource is a panel of thousands of volunteers, with and without health problems, who are willing to be approached to participate in research.

If you decide to join you will donate a blood or saliva sample, so your DNA can be extracted.

You will be asked to complete a healthcare questionnaire, a consent form and to grant access to your medical and healthcare records.

Your sample will be matched to suitable studies and you will be invited to a maximum of four studies per year.

You can choose whether or not to take part in these.