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NHS and related studies

Research on NHS patients

Researchers proposing to carry out research involving NHS patients, their records or NHS staff (including colleagues) will need, in addition to the approval of this Committee, the approval of an NHS Research Ethics Committee.

The co-ordinator of the South Central - Berkshire (formerly Berkshire) Local Research Ethics Committee is:
Ms Rae Granville,
South West REC Centre,
Level 3, Block B
Lewins Mead
Bristol, BS1 2NT
Tel: 0117 3421389; e-mail:

Mental Capacity Act 2005

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 came into force in April 2007 and makes it unlawful to carry out "intrusive research" on anyone who lacks capacity to consent unless it has the approval of a designated NHS Research Ethics Committee. "Intrusive research" is defined as any research which would require consent; and the National Research Ethics Service (NRES) takes a very broad view of this. Accordingly, any research in the University of Reading on human subjects who lack capacity to consent must be referred to the Berkshire Research Ethics Committee.

The National Research Ethics Service website provides comprehensive guidance on making an application under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and provides relevant links.

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