Introducing the hallmarks of People-Centred Clinical Research

Last updated on 29 Oct 2023

Every day clinical research is being carried out on a specific illness, condition, treatment or therapy, the results of which could help save lives and improve the quality of care for thousands of people every year.

Lots of people already take part in clinical research studies, but there are many who have not had the opportunity or been able to benefit.

The People-Centred Clinical Research project aims to change this.

People centred clinical research social tile.jpg

The Health Research Authority has been working alongside members of the public, the University of Lincoln, and researchers to look at ways to improve how clinical research happens for the people taking part.

The project is part of the Recovery Resilience and Growth (RRG) programme, a partnership of organisations led by the Department of Health and Social Care, who are all working together to improve clinical research delivery across the UK.

In December 2022 a survey was carried out asking members of the public, researchers and NHS staff what mattered most to them when it came to taking part in research. Conversations were also held with individuals and groups.

More than 400 people responded to the survey and based on that feedback the People-Centred Clinical Research group identified three things that people said were important to them if they were given the opportunity to take part in clinical research:

  • trust – people trust the research and the research team
  • purpose – people feel the purpose is worthwhile
  • possibility – people find it possible to take part in it

With these three things in mind and combining all of the feedback we received, the People-Centred Clinical Research group has developed new principles and hallmarks of what good people-centred clinical research looks like.

These principles and hallmarks have been co-produced with members of the public and are intended to be used by researchers and organisations to make sure their research is conducted in good people-centred ways. They are also for participants to use to understand what good research practice looks like.

The principles and hallmarks of people-centred clinical research

Principles and hallmarks.PNG

These hallmarks have been grouped under three guiding principles:

Treating people well and with respect

Doing research that is meaningful

Making it possible for people to take part

Underpinning each of the guiding principles is using great communication.

We're calling on the research community to use these principles and hallmarks with members of the public, to see if the research they are planning and delivering is people-centred.

A range of resources explaining each of the principles and hallmarks have been developed by the People-Centred Clinical Research group and are available to download, alongside suggestions on how to use them.

There's also an infographic explaining what people-centred clinical research is.

Over the next few months further resources will be shared, including guidance and a more detailed report sharing the findings from the survey.

You can find out more about the People-Centred Clinical Research project in the best practice section of our website.

Back to news and updates