Research Governance Approval – Primary Care
In our case, the person who coordinated our research governance approval in primary care sat within the North of England Commissioning Support Unit but this has now been transferred as part of the new Health Research Authority Approval process (see link below). The application for this is once again done through IRAS. In our case, both general practices and community pharmacies are all considered under the same umbrella as individual ‘sites’ however community pharmacies aren’t pre-populated in the IRAS form so these had to be entered in the ‘other’ section.
Because research governance is all about making sure that the research can take place on the sites that have been identified, this is where our employment status became important. I have an honorary contract with NHS Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group, which was the organisation where GPs and patients would be recruited. However, if this had not been the case I would have had to applied for a research passport. This can potentially be a further delay in research approvals where researchers wish to conduct research in the NHS but are employed outside of the NHS.
In primary care, the governance sign off was very straightforward. Again, because all of the documentation had been prepared for the NHS Ethics process and had been signed off this was quite quick and took less than 2 weeks after receiving NHS Ethical Approval.