Participant FAQs

General

When you register with us the recruitment team will check whether or not you are eligible for our current studies, if you are eligible you will receive an email from us providing you with more information about the study and instructing you on what happens next. We often have a high volume of interest for studies and so it can take a couple of days for us to get back to you. If you have not heard from us after a few days, and are not sure if whether you are eligible and would like to talk to someone, or have some questions for our recruitment team, please get in touch by calling our Freephone number 0800 269 847 or emailing us at crc-recruitment@surrey.ac.uk.

You must be at least 18 years old to be able to take part in a clinical trial at Surrey CRC. The majority of our studies require healthy participants; having a previous medical condition or an existing medical condition does not automatically exclude you from being able to take part but it is important to note that studies will have criteria relating to medical conditions that may mean that you are not able to take part. It is advisable that you are registered with a GP as many studies require a medical history report, and without one you will not be able to take part. Exclusion criteria vary between studies, and so if you are unsure whether or not you are eligible to take part, please check the study page on our website or contact our recruitment team who will be happy to answer any questions.

Each study will have different study restrictions, these may include dietary restrictions or total sleep time restrictions for sleep studies. If you are not able to keep to these restrictions, you will not be able to take part in the study. We will inform you of these restrictions in the study information we send to you and again at your screening appointment.

During the study, if you are prescribed any new medications (including creams, ointments, inhalers) or if you purchase any non-prescription medications (including herbal remedies), for example from the pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop, you must report the name of the drug(s)/herbal preparation(s), the dose, and the dates and duration of treatment at your next visit to Surrey CRC. You may be withdrawn from the study if you take any non-permitted medication.  Also, if you visit the dentist and receive medication for this, you may be withdrawn from the study.

Clinical trials are important because they are designed to improve health and quality of life for patients and can advance medical knowledge and patient care. They are able to show us: If a new treatment is safe to use in humans?  If the treatment works? If the treatment does work, is it better than the treatment that is currently being used and are there fewer side effects? Without clinical trials we are not able to know whether a treatment is safe and effective, putting patients at risk.

Decaffeinated hot drinks/ water and biscuits are provided at your study appointments unless prohibited at certain times due to study restrictions. Meals and drinks are only provided for residential stays. For longer outpatient appointments you are allowed to bring food with you, so long as it does not have a strong odour. Please be aware that there is no facility to heat your food.

Please let us know if your contact details have changed, you can call the recruitment team on 0800 269 847 or send the team an email at crc-recruitment@surrey.ac.uk

If you no longer want to be contacted about future studies and wish to be removed from our database please email crc-recruitment@surrey.ac.uk or write to us at Surrey Clinical Research Centre, University of Surrey, Egerton Road, Guildford, GU2 7XP. If you have previously been a participant in one of our studies, the law requires us to keep your information for 25 years as we may need to contact you about your participation in the study, however we will be able to remove you from our mailing list and you will not be contacted about other studies.

You will need to bring different items to different appointments. To your screening appointment you must bring your National Insurance number and your passport as a form of identification.  If you are a non-EU citizen you must hold a valid visa to work in the United Kingdom and should bring this with you to your visit. You must also bring your doctors contact details, including telephone and fax number, as they will be informed that you are taking part in a study with us. You should also bring your bank account information with you.

If you are enrolled onto a study you will be informed if there are any study specific items that you will need to bring with you, such as a sleep diary or food log. You must bring these with you to your study appointments.

You may bring mobile phones, laptops, mp3 players and reading material with you. When you are not performing study procedures, the clinical staff will advise you whether you are permitted to read, watch television, play games, or use computers (with internet access).  If you are taking part in a study that includes a residential stay, when you go to bed your mobile phones, laptops, watches and music devices such as iPods will be collected and securely stored.  Please ensure that any electrical devices that you bring with you are fully charged as you will not be able to charge them during your stay.

On admission to the unit for your residential stay, your bags will be checked and any items not permitted will be placed in storage and returned when you are discharged from the unit.

This varies between studies and the length of the appointment will change depending on which visit you are attending and for which study. Appointments are usually on a weekday. Information about appointments for individual studies can be provided to you by the recruitment team by calling 0800 269 847 or emailing crc-recruitment@surrey.ac.uk.

Appointment dates and times are fixed. We understand that occasionally circumstances change meaning you are not able to make an appointment, if this occurs please get in touch with us as soon as you can so that we can make arrangements. Please be aware that in some cases if you are not able to attend appointments you may no longer be able to remain on a study.

You must not take part in too many studies because it may be detrimental to your health. Normally you must have a gap of three months between clinical trials. For this reason, we and other units like ours in the UK keep a database of healthy volunteers and record when they take part in studies. You will be registered on this TOPS (“The Over volunteering Prevention System”) database with your National Insurance (NI) number (if you are a UK citizen), your passport number and country of origin (if you are not a UK citizen) and the date of your last dose of study drug. If you withdraw from the study before you receive any study drug, the database will show that you never received a dose. Only Surrey Clinical Research Centre staff and other medicines research units access the information in the database and only with your consent. We may call other units, or they may call us, to check your details. Details will be kept in the database for two years and will then be removed.

All clinical trials have different exclusion criteria, if you have an existing medical condition you may be eligible for one study and not another depending on what the condition is. The final decision of your eligibility is made by the study physician based on the study criteria and your medical history.

Unfortunately we do not have the room to accommodate guests at your appointments. However please free to discuss with the Recruitment or Clinical teams to see if any exceptions can be made.

If you are running late it is important that you contact the research centre as soon as you are able. Please provide us with an estimated time of arrival if possible, you can call the recruitment team on 0800 269 847 or the nurse station on 01483 689792. It may be the case that you will need to wait to be seen by a member of our clinical team and in some circumstances we may have to rearrange the appointment to another day.

The recruitment office is open Monday to Thursday between 8am and 5.30pm and Friday 8am – 5pm. You can contact us by freephone number 0800 269 847 or by email at crc-recruitment@surrey.ac.uk.

For participants who are currently enrolled on a study, if you have an emergency medical query you are able to speak with a member of the clinical team 24hr a day by ringing the numbers provided to you at screening. All other queries should be addressed to the recruitment team during office hours.

It is up to you to decide to join the study. You are free to withdraw at any time, without giving a reason. This would not affect the standard of care you receive. You should only volunteer if you have the time to complete the whole study. If you decide to withdraw and have taken a study medication you will be asked to return to see the research team for a final follow-up visit.

Yes. We have free Wi-Fi access, via the cloud, throughout our research unit.

Any information about you during the course of the study will be kept strictly confidential. Study information will be stored securely and safely at the Surrey Clinical Research Centre. Access to your personal records and data collected is restricted to the study team and your GP although some parts of your data and records may be looked at by authorised persons from the company sponsoring and/or the company organising the research. All research is subject to inspection and audit. Some of your medical records, including your name and address, might be looked at by authorised people for this purpose.

Yes.  Your details will be held in complete confidence in accordance with the Data Protection Act (1998) and we will follow an ethical and legal practice, outlined as follows:

Any information about you during the course of the study will be kept strictly confidential. Study information will be stored securely and safely at the Surrey Clinical Research Centre. When you are recruited to the study, you will be given a unique reference number (study number). This number will be used to identify your data instead of your name or personal information. Your data will be kept for 25 years in a secure area at the Surrey Clinical Research Centre or at a secure off-site archiving facility and will be destroyed after this time. All personal information and data collected will be handled to good clinical practice standards.

In accordance with the Data Protection Act (1998), access to your personal records and data collected is restricted to the study team and your GP although some parts of your data and records may be looked at by authorised persons from the company sponsoring and/or the company organising the research. Information may be shared with your GP and the Royal Surrey County Hospital in the event that you become unwell while in the study and require treatment. Laboratory samples, such as blood samples, will be sent to a third party laboratory engaged to assist on the study. These samples will be labelled with your study number, your initials and your date of birth but will not show any other information that could be used to identify you such as your name or address. All research is subject to inspection and audit. Some of your medical records, including your name and address, might be looked at by authorised people for this purpose.

You have a right of access to a copy of your personal data. Should you wish to make a request, please contact the Centre for further details. Please be aware that there will normally be a charge for this service.

Clinical trials are strictly regulated, to ensure they are ethical and safe. With any clinical trial, there is a small risk that the treatment could harm you or cause side effects that are unpleasant or not expected. Every effort is taken to mitigate these risks. There are several stages that the trial must go through before it is given approval to take place. These are as follows:

Experts who are not involved in the trial must review the science on which the research is based.

An independent research ethics committee, made up of medical experts and lay-people must review the study and associated documents. They must review the science on which the research is based. They are responsible for looking after participant rights, safety, dignity and well-being. They make sure that the participant has all the information they need to be able to make an informed judgement whether to take part or not. This committee is able to stop the trial at any time if there is any concern about participant welfare. The study is not allowed to be altered without informing the ethics committee.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) conducts site inspections and audits the sites where trials take place, ensuring that trials conducted comply with good clinical practise guidelines. It also makes sure that any serious side effects are reported.

Trials are monitored as the study progresses by a team of data monitors. They are able to see if a treatment is causing harm, and are able to stop a trial is needed.

Clinical trials are carried out under the strict supervision of qualified doctors and nurses. You will be carefully monitored so that any changes in your health – whether or not they are related to the study treatment – can be dealt with immediately. Before any participant can take part in a clinical trial, the clinical team will ensure that you are suitable to take part. You are given a medical examination, which includes having your blood pressure taken and an ECG, which makes sure your heart is working properly.

You must demonstrate that you are aware of the benefits, inconveniences and risks associated with taking part in a study and that you understand the study procedures as they apply to you.

If you have a concern about any aspect of this study, you should ask to speak to the study physicians who will do their best to answer your questions. If you remain unhappy and wish to complain formally, you can do this by calling the centre and speaking to a member of staff, or writing to the Head of Operations and Quality Systems at Surrey CRC.

Surrey Clinical Research Centre, is located across the A3, close to the Surrey Sports Park and the Royal Surrey County Hospital. Our address is:

SURREY CLINICAL RESEARCH CENTRE (SURREY CRC), EGERTON ROAD, GUILDFORD, SURREY, GU2 7XP

Please note new traffic lights replace the previous Hospital and CRC entrance roundabout that may still show up on Sat Navs and old maps.

Car Parking: Free car parking is available at Surrey CRC for visitors, immediately outside the building. Please go to reception to collect a parking permit.

By Train: Guildford is on the main line between London Waterloo and Portsmouth. Half-hourly train services run from Guildford to Waterloo, with journey times of 40 minutes. For further information, call National Rail Enquiries on 08457 484950.

Bus from the train station: Leave Guildford station by footbridge at rear exit, (signposted to the University and Cathedral) and cross the main road to the bus stop.

Directions from the bus stop: Take any bus that stops at Tesco’s superstore, or to the Surrey Sports Park. The journey will take about 5 minutes. Alight opposite the superstore and walk away from the large roundabout towards the Hospital and Research Park. The Surrey CRC is only a minute’s walk from the bus stop. Turn left at the Traffic Lights signposted The Surrey Sports Park and Surrey CRC, Richard Meyes Road, and after a short walk you will see the Centre on the right, a red brick building.  (If you are on a bus to the Surrey Sports Park it will pass the Surrey CRC you will need to get off at the Nursery bus stop and walk back towards the main road entrance, the Surrey CRC building will be on your left). 

ARRIVA buses operate a regular 36 and 37 bus service, which currently provides a 20 minute frequent link during the main part of the day to the Surrey Sports Park, please ask to be dropped off by the Nursery bus stop. Other services 3, 4, 5, 26, 27, run approximately every ten minutes during the day. Please ask to be dropped off at the Tesco’s bus stop. Traveline: on 0870 608 2608.

By Coach: National Express coach number SH030 runs services to and from the Egerton Road/Tesco stop (a short walk from the Surrey CRC). For further information, call 08705 808080.

By Car: Guildford is 30 miles south-west of London, on the A3 London-Portsmouth road. If approaching from London or the M25 (Junction 10), remain on the bypass (A3) until you reach the exit signed to the Cathedral and University. At the roundabout take the third exit signposted Royal Surrey County Hospital and University, Manor Park. Simply follow the signs to the Royal Surrey County Hospital for approximately a mile, and approach Surrey Sports Park on the left.  Keep to the inside lane and take the first exit on your left at the new traffic lights, road signs indicating the Surrey Sports Park.  The Surrey Clinical Research Centre (CRC) is the first red brick building on your right; to park your car you will need to continue a few yards, at a large hedge turn right following the one way system and immediately turn left and first right which will bring you into the Surrey CRC car park.

If approaching on the A322 or A323 from Bagshot or Aldershot, at the A3 roundabout take the exit signed to Portsmouth and then turn off the A3 at the first exit (signed to the Cathedral and University). At the roundabout take the third exit signposted Royal Surrey County Hospital and University, Manor Park. Simply follow the signs to the Royal Surrey County Hospital for approximately a mile and approach Surrey Sports Park on the left. Keep to the inside lane and take the first exit on your left at the new traffic lights, road signs indicating the Surrey Sports Park.  The Surrey Clinical Research Centre (CRC) is the first red brick building on your right; to park your car you will need to continue a few yards, at a large hedge turn right following the one way system and immediately turn left and first right which will bring you into the Surrey CRC car park.

If entering Guildford from Horsham (A281) or Godalming (A3100), leave the central gyratory system at the exit signed for Farnham (A31). After approximately 200 yards, at the mini-roundabout, take the first turning right into Guildford Park Road and continue along Madrid Road and The Chase for a mile. At the next roundabout, take the first exit and follow the signs to the Royal Surrey County Hospital for approximately a mile. Keep to the inside lane and take the first exit on your left at the new traffic lights, road signs indicating the Surrey Sports Park. The Surrey Clinical Research Centre (CRC) is the first red brick building on your right; to park your car you will need to continue a few yards, at a large hedge turn right following the one way system and immediately turn left and first right which will bring you into the Surrey CRC car park.

Payment

If you have any questions about payments please contact our recruitment team by calling 0800 269 847 or by emailing crc-recruitment@surrey.ac.uk.

Travel expenses are study dependent. Typically, you will be reimbursed for reasonable travelling expenses incurred to and from the clinic for most studies. Your expenses will be dependent on how far you have travelled and is calculated on a zone by zone basis. This reimbursement will be in addition to the inconvenience allowance received for participating in the study. Please check with the recruitment team by calling 0800 269 847 or emailing crc-recruitment@surrey.ac.uk if you have any questions.

The compensation amount you will receive is study dependent. The compensation amount is set by the study sponsor and is determined by several factors, including the number and length of study visits, and the type and number of procedures you will complete. The amount of compensation is approved by an independent research ethics committee as part of trial set-up. Please speak with the recruitment team by calling 0800 269 847 or emailing crc-recruitment@surrey.ac.uk if you have any questions relating to study payments.

You will be paid via BACS transfer into the account you nominated at your screening visit. You will normally receive your travel expenses within two weeks of your study appointment. Final study compensation payments will be raised after you have completed your study visits and all your results have been received.

If you receive benefits, please check with your benefits office as the payments you receive may affect your benefit payments.

The payment you receive may be liable to income tax, depending on your personal circumstances. We abide by the HMRC guidelines relating to payment of trial participants. Any expenses paid to you by Surrey CRC for your involvement in a study will not be subject to tax or National Insurance contribution. Sums that exceed the expenses (study payments) may be subject to tax depending on how much income you are receiving. The payments should be declared to the Inland Revenue under self-assessment. Please be aware that declaring the payment as income is the responsibility of the trial participant and is not the responsibility of Surrey CRC.

Please visit the GOV.UK website for more information.

Sleep

You will attend the centre at 17.00pm. You will need to avoid alcohol and caffeinated products for at least 48 hours prior to this visit. When you arrive you will be asked how you have been feeling since your previous visit and if you have taken any medications.  You will be asked to provide a urine sample, to test for drugs of abuse and nicotine use, and to perform an alcohol breath test.  You will then have electrodes (wires) applied to your scalp and your face (using a water soluble paste) to record the electrical activity of your brain while you are sleeping. We will also attach electrodes and sensors to your body to measure breathing, heart rate and leg movements. This method of recording while you sleep is called polysomnography (PSG). The results from this screening visit will show if you have a sleep disorder and, depending on the findings, you may or may not continue in the trial.

You will be served with a light evening meal and breakfast. You will be able to leave the CRC the next morning after you have woken up (approx. 07.00-07.30am) and had your electrodes removed.

The sleep rooms are set at a recommended temperature for sleeping and may feel colder than you are used, so you will need to bring with you: a warm dressing gown & slippers, front opening pyjamas (easier to wear with the PSG electrodes) and toiletry items. You will also need to bring with you your actiwatch log and sleep diaries, and continue to wear your actiwatch while you are at the centre.

You will be reimbursed for your PSG, the payment is split into a day payment and night payment, however the payment amount may differ from study to study. You may not get reimbursement if you do not keep to the study regulations, such as not keeping to your set sleep or diet schedule.

The Actiwatch measures movement and records continuously to monitor your sleep- wake pattern. The data is downloaded and reviewed each time you are admitted for a study visit. You will be given and instruction sheet at your screening appointment. It is important that you maintain your regular sleep/wake pattern, and follow the instructions provided.

You wear an Actiwatch as you would a wristwatch, on the wrist of your non-dominant hand (i.e. the one you don’t write with). The webbing strap can be pierced at any point according to your personal fit.

The Actiwatch must be worn continuously; it is essential that you do not remove it when you go to bed.

Although the Actiwatch is showerproof please remove it when washing-up and showering and if you are going swimming or taking a bath. Remember to attach the Actiwatch immediately afterwards. Please remember to record these activities in the log provided to you

The Actiwatch has a button which marks the data at the time it is pressed. To press the button, press in the circle on the top of the Actiwatch, you will hear a click.

Press the button at night when you are in bed and turning the lights out to go to sleep. Press the button when you wake up in the morning to start getting up.

The sleep facilities include:

  • 12 individual bedrooms which are sound attenuated, light controlled and temperature regulated
  • Emergency and Attendant call system for each bedroom
  • 2-way intercom in each bedroom
  • Infrared CCTV monitoring with privacy controls
  • Ability to isolate living areas from external time cues
  • 6 bedrooms are fitted with ‘through-the-portal’ sampling which enables continuous blood sampling through the night without disturbance.
  • 12 bedded ward

Yes unless specified in the study information that you can’t. After some study visits you may not be able to drive home if you have been subjected to sleep deprivation and light, you will be fully informed of this at screening.

No. We recruit healthy participants with no sleep problems, unless specified as a patient study.

We cannot have any participants with current or history of sleep problems.

Screening

Screening is a check to see whether you meet the requirements for a study and are eligible to take part. First a member of the recruitment team will go through a telephone medical health questionnaire as an initial check to see if you are eligible to take part. If you successfully pass this stage you will be invited to attend a screening appointment at our centre.

When you attend the centre you will first chat to our clinical team and study doctors who will answer any questions you may have and ensure you are fully informed about the study you have registered for. If you consent to take part you will complete the screening appointment. Each screening is specific to the study so the procedures carried out will vary. However for example, for most studies these procedures include having your height, weight and vital signs measured, completing a medical history questionnaire, having a blood sample taken for safety, undergoing a physical examination and completing a variety of study specific questionnaires.

The appointment length varies between studies but most are around 3-4 hours. You will be told before you attend how long it is expected to last however please be aware appointments may be longer during busy periods.

For most studies we do not offer participants a place on the study at screening as we have to review all the results and some may take a few days to come back.

If on the day we find something that means you are not suitable for the study we will tell you there and then. Otherwise, a member of our clinical team or recruitment team will inform you as soon as possible as to whether you have successfully made it onto the study once all of the results are back. This can sometimes take a couple of weeks.

If you successfully make it onto and complete a study, the screening payment is usually included within the final study payment. If you are unsuccessful at screening we usually offer payment however this is at the discretion of the study’s Principal Investigator, ie we usually do not give payment if you get a positive result on a drugs of abuse test or your results show you omitted to tell us something important that would have excluded you earlier on.

For most studies we require you to be registered with a GP and if the study requires us to get a medical history report you will most likely have to have been registered for at least 6 months. Each study has different requirements and our recruitment team will be able to advise you if you have any questions.

Unfortunately we do not allow people attending the centre to bring guests as we do not have the room or facilities.

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