28th Sep 2020


Research - Studies and News

Research Study Summaries

This page gives details of all the research projects Park Surgery has recruited for over the years and those still actively recruiting.As research findings and their implications are made available by the study teams they will be added here, so if you've been involved in a particular study you can check back here later on to see updated information regarding 'your' study. Studies are listed alphabetically by acronym.


This study aimed to find out what symptoms, measurements and characteristics can be used to predict which patients with a cough and suspected lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) go on to develop complications, i.e. pneumonia severe enough to require hospitalisation. Over 30,000 patients in total were recruited from across the country.

Study completed enrolment in Spring 2013.



The aim of the study is to find out the most effective treatment for chronic hand eczema, and will compare the drug Alitretinoin with the usual treatment of UVA phototherapy/drug treatment with Psoralen. It is recruiting at East Surrey Hospital (ESH), Redhill. GP practices are supporting recruitment by displaying copies of the study poster (so patients can contact the study team directly). In addition to displaying posters, patients with severe hand eczema can be referred to ESH.

For further information, please click: here.

Recruitment ongoing.



Intrauterine contraception (IUC) is safe, long-lasting and highly effective.  Despite this, there is a low level of usage for contraception and this study was designed to investigate barriers for patients and clinicians.  Patients reported fears about the risk of the method and dislike of a device in the womb.  The long-acting nature of the method also made it unattractive to some users.  For practitioners, organisational barriers were reported as presenting a challenge in terms of practice premises, staff time and training to fit.  Recommendations:  Better and more relevent information about IUC which addresses the concerns of users is required for patients. Increased levels of training among those not trained to fit could increase recommendations of IUC as a suitable contraception method.  Improved access to training for clinicians in also needed to increase pool of fitters and make IUC more easily available in General Practice.

For further information, please click: here.

Recruitment complete.



This study seeks to work out which of the symptoms and examination findings are the most effective in predicting lung or colon cancer. It aims to recruit a total of 20'000 patients who consult their GP - half with lung symptoms and the other half with low bowel symptoms.

Projected benefits:

  • Earlier diagnosis and treatment
  • Less investigation of low risk patients
  • More efficient use of both primary and secondary care resources

For further information, please click: here.

Recruiting until September 2017.



Caring for Carers

This Study aims to establish whether Positive Written Disclosure (PWD – a type of writing therapy) improves the wellbeing of caregivers of people with psychosis.

For further information, please click: here.

Recruitment complete.


Child-Parent Screening Study: Familial Hypercholesterolaemia

This study looked at the feasibility of screening for familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH), an inherited condition that affects around 1 to 2 in every 250 people in the UK. It can cause abnormally high cholesterol levels. It doesn't usually cause any noticeable symptoms, but people with FH aged between 20 and 40 are 100 times more likely to have a heart attack than other people their age.

UK researchers tested 10,095 one-year-olds to explore the feasibility of screening for FH. They tested the toddlers at the same time they had routine vaccinations at the age of one. Researchers found 28 children with FH. The parents of children with FH were then also tested. The study found not all children with an FH mutation had high cholesterol, however, and some with high cholesterol did not have a known FH mutation. This means FH mutation testing alone would not be a useful screening test, so the researchers suggest testing cholesterol levels first. The approach used in the study does have the added benefit of identifying parents with FH who didn't realise the condition ran in their family. Once FH is diagnosed, it is relatively straightforward to treat through making lifestyle changes and taking drugs known to reduce cholesterol, mainly statins. This research will help inform the UK's National Screening Committee when considering whether the benefits of screening for FH outweigh the harms.

See BBC news article: here.

NHS Choices website summary of the study: here.



This study involved NHS staff completing a survey in their own time. Data gathered will be used to develop a new questionnaire measure of compassion towards other people and compassion towards the self.

Recruitment complete.


CONTACT - Low dose colchicine or naproxen treatment for acute gout

Gout is the most prevalent inflammatory arthritis. It is largely managed in primary care but with varying treatment regimens. Treatment is most frequently with Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) or oral colchicine. Oral colchicine has been used to treat acute gout for many years although high-doses can cause intolerable gastrointestinal side-effects. Low-dose colchicine is thought to be as effective and better-tolerated and is now recommended. This study primarily aims to compare the effectiveness of low-dose colchicine and naproxen for reducing pain in adults consulting their GP with acute gout. The trial will also look at side-effects, cost-effectiveness, adherence to treatment and time taken to reduce pain.

Recruitment complete.




Safety surveillance of the influenza vaccine (QLAIV) fluenz tetra in children and adolescents during the early 2015/2016 influenza season in England. Practices took part by giving information to patients during the flu season.

Recruitment complete.



The Global Anticoagulant Registry in the FIELD-Atrial Fibrillation (GARFIELD-AF Registry) is a pioneering real-world prospective registry - one of the largest in the field of non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AF). With an enrolment of 57,262 patients, GARFIELD-AF aims to enhance understanding of stroke prevention in patients with non-valvular AF worldwide and help in defining future treatment strategies that may eventually influence patient outcomes.

For further information, click: here.

Recruitment complete.


GETTING DOWN TO COPING - Online self-management after treatment for prostate cancer: a feasibility study

The study represents a four week, online, self-management intervention for men experiencing distress related to disease and treatment side-effects of prostate cancer. A film called Getting Down to Coping®was made to be shown to participants in a self-management programme which is being tested by the University of Surrey team in a randomised controlled trial. The programme teaches men practical, physical and cognitive ways to help them cope with the urinary symptoms they experience after radiotherapy treatment for prostate cancer. Seven men speak candidly and helpfully in the film about their personal stories and coping realities.

To view the video, please click: here.

Recruitment complete.


GP Conversations

This study is designed to understand better the conversations between patients and their GPs. Researchers from the University of Surrey, University of Cambridge and University College London are interested in how patients describe and talk to their GP about new symptoms, and how doctors draw out further information about patients' symptoms in consultations. This study may help to improve conversations between patients and their GPs. This could lead to illnesses being diagnosed and treated more quickly.

Recruitment complete.



H. pylori are spiral-shaped bacteria that grow in the digestive tract and have a tendency to attack the stomach lining. The HEAT trial aims to find out whether eradication of H.pylori will prevent ulcer bleeding, in patients taking low-dose aspirin. Participants attend one screening clinic at the practice and H.pylori-positive patients receive one week's worth of eradication medication or matched placebo.

For further information, please click: here.

Also see: for the latest NIHR news story (Nov 2017).

Recruitment complete.



For further information, please click: here.

Recruitment ongoing.



This study will provide valuable information to help the NHS make decisions about what type of lifestyle interventions to provide to people with mental health problems in the future. To obtain this information this study aims to recruit 2000 people who have received help for mental health problems.

Using a brief and simple survey method and a large group of people with mental health problems, the study team aim to measure a number of health related behaviours and health risk factors. With an additional aim to judge the willingness of people with mental health issues to modify these risk factors (such as interest in giving up or quitting smoking; interest in doing more exercise or improving diet).

Professor Simon Gilbody who is a Consultant Psychiatrist and a researcher at the University of York is leading the study.

Eligible patients have been invited to participate by letter from the surgery.



Stress experienced by NHS staff can have many negative consequences to them as individuals, to their patients and to the healthcare sector more broadly. At an individual level, health care staff may experience reduced self-esteem, fatigue, poor job-satisfaction and burnout. In turn, this can negatively impact patients via a reduced quality of patient care and prolonged recovery for patients and stress, anxiety and depression are significant causes of sickness absence among NHS staff. As such, it is considered very important to provide evidence-based interventions to support the wellbeing of NHS staff. The purpose of the present study is therefore to investigate the effectiveness of two existing interventions in improving wellbeing and reducing psychological distress among NHS staff.

Recruitment ongoing (NHS staff only).



The PRIMIT study covers the development and clinical trial of a website designed to reduce transmission of cold and flu viruses in households. The website can be used during normal seasonal flu and in the event of pandemic flu.

The website has four weekly sessions which encourage users to plan and learn how to use simple techniques to avoid catching and passing on viruses. Findings from the pilot phase showed highly significant increases for both intention to perform and the actual behaviour of the main technique, at both the one and three month follow-ups.

Results to date: 16,908 participants were followed up. The intervention reduced transmission of respiratory tract infections both to and from the index person.

Conclusions: In non-pandemic years an effective internet intervention designed to increase hand-washing could have an important impact in reducing infection transmission. Paper published in Lancet.

For further information, please click: here.

Recruitment complete.



The study is called PRINCIPLE. It is run by the University of Oxford, and is funded by the UK government as a national priority study. The study aims to find treatments that reduce hospital admission and speed recovery for people with symptoms of COVID-19. People included in the study must be aged over 65, or aged 50-64 with underlying health conditions. They will either receive usual care, or usual care plus a study drug. All study drugs are widely used to treat other conditions and have been assessed as being safe for use in this study. As many people as possible who join the study will also be tested for COVID-19.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 (a new or worsening continuous cough and/or a high temperature), and have had them for less than 15 days, you may be able to take part in this study.

For more information about the study and signing up, please visit the study website

If you have any questions, or do not have internet access, please call the PRINCIPLE study team on 0800 138 0880.

We are pleased to be supporting this important research, as we urgently need to find effective, early treatments for COVID-19 that can be used in the community.

So, please make contact if you have symptoms of COVID-19 and are aged over 65, or aged 50-64 with underlying health conditions!



Researchers at the University of Southampton have made a website which supports people who have had breast cancer, bowel cancer or prostate cancer, or people on active surveillance (people monitoring prostate cancer symptoms). There is advice on improving physical health and help with feelings of tiredness, worry or stress and concerns about cancer. The current project aims to evaluate the website for improving quality of life in cancer survivors.

Eligible patients have been invited to participate by letter from the surgery.



Safety Monitoring of Flu Vaccination 2017/2018

Surveillance of Side-Effects from this year's Seasonal Influenza Vaccine - Patients were asked to report any suspected adverse reactions following routine flu vaccination as part of the monitoring carried out at GP practices annually by the company supplying the vaccine. Report cards were given out to Park patients vaccinated early in the season and they were asked to call a Freephone number to report as necessary. Rates of side effects being reported will be compared with those reported last year. The aim of this data collection is to rapidly identify and evaluate any potential new safety concern each influenza season to mitigate risks before the peak period of seasonal immunisation.

Results reported by the study team for the entire UK study: A total of 14 (1.4%) vaccinees reported at least 1 suspected adverse reaction following vaccination. The overall reporting rate of adverse reaction was 4.0%. The reporting rates were lower than those reported in the previous year. The safety analysis of suspected adverse reactions did not identify any reporting pattern by type, frequency or severity.

Overall, this safety study did not suggest any clinically significant change in what is known or expected.

Recruitment complete.



This study looked at methods of treating chronic sinus infections. The study recruited patients with recurrent or chronic sinusitis and patients were randomised to one of the following four treatment options:

  • nasal irrigation,
  • steam inhalation,
  • a combination of both
  • or normal treatment

Results to date:

  • No effect of steam; Irrigation helped: 10 point clinically important improvement.
  • 44.1% irrigation vs. 36.6% no irrigation; Fewer patients used over-the-counter medication (59% vs. 68%); Patient confidence improved around self-management of condition.

Conclusions: Advice to use steam inhalation for chronic or recurrent sinus symptoms in primary care was not effective. A similar strategy to use nasal irrigation was less effective than prior evidence suggested, but it provided some symptomatic benefit.

For further information, please click: here.

Recruitment complete.


StartRight - Getting the right classification and treatment from diagnosis of Diabetes

A leading diabetes consultant at Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust Dr. Benjamin Field and his team are studying patients who have been recently diagnosed with diabetes to find out whether early testing of blood samples can help to improve diabetes treatment. Recruitment is restricted to patients aged 18-50 who have been diagnosed within the previous 12 months. This study aims to achieve more accurate early classification of diabetes and identification of which patients will rapidly require insulin treatment.

Recruitment ongoing.



This is an observational study which aims to recruit a substantial cohort of thin people (2000) to identify genes that contribute to thinness and may provide further insights into the regulation of body weight and obesity resistance. This may inform rational preventative and therapeutic strategies for weight disorders.

Recruitment complete.




Supporting self-management of low back pain with an internet intervention in primary care: A randomised controlled trial of clinical and cost-effectiveness. SupportBack is an internet intervention developed by Southampton and Keele Universities. It provides reassurance, advice (sleep, mood, work, medication and flare-ups) and support to self-tailor a 6-week physical activity programme. SupportBack 2 tests whether supplementing this intervention with support via telephone calls from a physiotherapist helps further.

Objective: To determine the clinical and cost effectiveness of unsupported and supported internet intervention for Low Back Pain

Primary outcome: Reduced Low Back Pain-related disability
Secondary Outcomes:pain, health care costs, confidence in ability to manage pain, pain-related fear

Patient identification:If you contact the surgery with low back pain symptoms, you may be provided with information about this study through the post. If you decide to participate, you are invited to contact the study team through the details provided.

Recruitment ongoing.


The University of Sussex study team are trying to establish what the best medication is for the management of agitation and/or aggression in people living with dementia. It is quite common for people who suffer from dementia to have such symptoms and they can cause problems. These symptoms are associated with lower quality of life. Symptoms of agitation comprise restlessness, pacing, shouting and verbal or physical aggression. Symptoms are difficult for the person with dementia and for their family and carers. There is a wide choice of medicines available to treat symptoms of agitation, but it is not clear which treatments are best in people who have dementia.

If you or someone you care for is eligible for this study, your GP may discuss participation with you.

Recruitment complete.



The study aims to find out if antihypertensive therapy taken in the evening has improved cardiovascular outcomes compared with more conventional morning dosing. Patients took part by signing up online.

For further information, please click: here.

Recruitment complete.


VACCept Survey Study

This study aims to find out what women know about Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and what they feel about HPV vaccination. If you are between 30-45 years old and attending the surgery for a routine smear, you may be asked to participate. Despite cervical smear testing, cervical cancer still affects a significant number of women. High-risk HPV viruses cause nearly all cervical cancer and vaccines are available which work best if given prior to any sexual activity. In the UK, girls aged 12-13 can be vaccinated in school. Older women cannot get the vaccine on the NHS. Some countries offer the vaccine to older women as it may protect if the woman is not already been exposed. However, not all women offered the vaccine choose to have it and reasons around this choice may enable the set-up of a clinical trial offering HPV vaccination to women attending for cervical screening in the UK.

Recruitment complete.



Patient Research Experience Survey

If you have taken part in clinical research we would appreciate your feedback. Please can you complete an anonymous questionnaire about your experience so we can improve our service. Please fill in our survey online via

International Clinical Trials Day - 20th May

Park Surgery celebrates and has a stall in surgery entrance to raise awareness about research in the NHS.  Come and join in!  Information available about what participating could mean.  Register your interest with reception if you feel inspired to take part and play a role in projects directly or by championing research work in general.

IAmResearch will take you to the NHS National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Twitter feed around this campaign.

Park Surgery Highly Commended in Research Awards

In the recent NIHR Partnership Awards, Park Surgery was highly commended in the category of 'Best contribution to commercial research'. This was given for our success in recruiting for the Flu Safety Surveillance Study during Autumn/Winter 2017.  Our certificate is proudly on display in the first floor waiting room.  See the whole story of the research awards here

(February 2018)