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Research and Development - Stepping Hill Hospital

Contact Information

Research, Development and Innovation Department:

Team Tel:  0161 419 5893

Email: research.development@stockport.nhs.uk

How to find us

There are many different clinical research studies running across the hospital. Our research nurses/ practitioners, research and innovation office and supporting administration team are based on the Stepping Hill Hospital site.

Available at

Research, Development and Innovation Department, Ward C2, Stepping Hill Hospital, Poplar Grove, Stockport, SK2 7JE.


About Our Service

Welcome to the Research, Development and Innovation service. Research is the cornerstone of first-class healthcare and is essential to help us understand which treatments and therapies work best for patients.

The Research, Development and Innovation service is responsible for the infrastructure and governance relating to the Trust’s research portfolio. Our team of research nurses, practitioners and administrators support a number of experienced clinicians and other healthcare professionals to recruit participants into clinical trials and other research studies, across many medical specialties. They provide on-going support to participants throughout their involvement in a research study.

The Research, Development and Innovation Department provides governance and regulatory advice, and issues capacity and capability confirmation for research projects to take place in the Trust.

Our work is supported by dedicated staff in pharmacy, laboratories and radiology.

If you are visiting the hospital as a patient, relative or carer, or are a member of staff, you may be approached by one of our team to take part in a research study.

Our Performance

The Government wishes to see a dramatic and sustained improvement in the performance of providers of NHS services in initiating and delivering clinical research. The aim is to increase the number of patients who have the opportunity to participate in research and to enhance the nation’s attractiveness as a host for research.

The Government’s Plan for Growth, published in March 2011, announced the transformation of incentives at local level for efficiency in initiation and delivery of research. The NIHR has enforced the transparency commitment for this exercise. Providers of NHS services are now required to publish outcomes for the initiation of clinical trials and delivery to time and to target for commercial clinical trials.

Our latest performance reports can be seen by clicking the link below:


Our Expertise

Our main areas of research are: Ageing, Anaesthetics and Critical Care; Cancer; Cardiology; Children (Paediatrics); Ear, Nose and Throat; Gastroenterology; Health Services Delivery; Hepatology; Infectious Disease (including COVID-19 studies); Musculoskeletal (Orthopaedics and Rheumatology); Ophthalmology; Renal Disorders; Reproductive Health (Including Maternity); Respiratory Medicine; Stroke; Surgery; Vaccine Research.

The Research, Development and Innovation Department is happy to share our full list of research projects actively recruiting, including sponsor details should our participants wish to access further transparency information provided by sponsors. Please email research.development@stockport.nhs.uk for a current list. 

We are always looking at the possibility of conducting research in new areas. We also provide education to the staff and students we work alongside.

Important Announcements.

Coronavirus Clinical Characterisation Consortium: CCP-UK Patient Data Notification (v0.2, 5th May 2022) - Information below has been produced by the University of Liverpool (study sponsor) on behalf of all participating hospitals in the UK.

The purpose of this document is to inform our participants about how their data is used in our study.

What is CCP-UK?
The CCP-UK (Clinical Characterisation Protocol – United Kingdom) is a study that collects information about infectious diseases and potential exposures of public health importance quickly and efficiently in response to potential public health crises. The study was activated in January 2020 in response to the emergence of what was then called Wuhan Flu, which led to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since being activated, we have recruited over 300,000 patients to the data collection aspect of our study. CCPUK is the largest study of its kind answering questions about COVID-19 in the world. We have also been activated for UK cases of Ebola, Monkeypox, Lassa Fever, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and for Children with severe Hepatitis.

What data do we collect?
Research nurses and medical students at hospitals across the UK recruited people who tested positive for COVID-19. The research nurses and medical students recorded information on patients’ hospital stay, such as whether they had any underlying conditions, what medicine they were given and what the result of their hospital stay was (discharged well, discharged disabled or death).

The research team then input this information into our study database. Each patient is
given a unique participant ID. No names are stored on the database and individuals cannot be directly identified.

Participants’ date of birth, NHS number and postcode are also recorded on the database. This information is hugely important for the study, which is why we cannot leave it out for confidentiality purposes. Date of birth is important to allow us to analyse the impact of age on COVID-19 outcomes. NHS numbers are important as these let us link to other NHS databases to obtain further information, such as which of our participants received a particular drug to treat COVID-19, or who has received a COVID-19 vaccine. Postcodes are important to allow us to analyse the impact of deprivation factors, such as living in a poorer area, on COVID-19 outcomes. Without these key pieces of information, we wouldn’t be able to complete most of the analysis that we have done and would not have been able to have the same positive impact on
the UK’s COVID response.

Why are we allowed to collect this data without consent?
In March 2020, in order to boost the UK’s response to COVID-19, the Department of Health and Social Care served the NHS with a COPI (Control of Patient Information Regulations 2002) Notice, requiring them to share confidential patient information without consent for specific purposes. These specific purposes included research
on COVID-19. Because of the COPI Notice, our study has been collecting data from patients admitted to hospital in the UK with COVID-19 without getting their permission first. After expiry of the COPI Notice on 30th June 2022, the study will continue collecting data without consent under Section 251 Regulation 5 of the National Health Service Act 2006 with support from the Confidentiality Advisory Group (CAG reference: 21/CAG/0125).

Being able to collect this data without obtaining permission has been very important in
enabling our study to achieve what we have done. Many of the people admitted with COVID-19 were too sick to give consent themselves and because of COVID-19 precautions, they were not accompanied by relatives who could speak for them. Because we were not required to obtain consent from each of our participants, we have been able to recruit many more participants than usual and we were able to include the sickest patients who are often missed from studies like ours. We have also been able to work very quickly. Because of this, our data has been able to capture what is happening with COVID around the UK in near real-time. This allowed us to provide the health policy teams and doctors in the NHS with the most up-to-date information to guide the health response throughout the pandemic.

What has the study achieved?
Because we have been able to collect and analyse this data quickly and efficiently, we have been able to achieve a lot through our study.

We provide reports to SAGE and NERVTAG weekly. These are the committees that provide advice to health and social care policy makers for the UK COVID- 19 response.

We have been able to identify several risk factors in the UK population that are strongly associated with poor outcomes in COVID-19, including the impact of obesity, respiratory conditions and different outcomes between ethnic groups.

We have been able to provide data supporting identification of high-risk groups for COVID-19 vaccination which meant they were given priority and this saved lives.

We have been able to conduct research into the usefulness of COVID-19 drugs treatments and shown what works well and what does not.

This all meant the people most likely to benefit from treatments and vaccines were identified in time to benefit and this saved many lives.

You can review these outcomes at our website: https://isaric4c.net/outputs/

How is the data collected kept safe?
We make sure that the data on our database is as secure as possible. The database is only accessible by approved colleagues with passwords, and is run by IT systems with very high standards of security. The physical notes that research nurses  complete before transferring the information to the database are kept in locked rooms accessed only by hospital staff, or on hospitals’ secure electronic healthcare record system. We make sure the data is as confidential as possible by using unique participant IDs rather than names. The data collected (including date of birth, NHS number, and postcode) is only accessible by members of the study team, and is not disclosed beyond this. We intend to retain the study data (including date of birth, NHS number, and postcode) indefinitely. We have undertaken to review this retention every 5 years with oversight from the Confidentiality Advisory Group of the UK Health Research Authority.

It is possible that survivors of new diseases and exposures may go on to develop problems that we can’t imagine at present. It is impossible to understand the long-term health and social effects among survivors of new diseases or exposures unless studies are made of these survivors in the future. For example, we are now using the data from severe COVID survivors to understand “Long-COVID”. Having access to the NHS numbers allows researchers to understand health outcomes over many decades. This could be incredibly important particularly for children and the unborn children of pregnant women who are infected by new diseases or are potentially exposed to other harms of public health importance.

How can I opt out of having my data collected?
If you have opted out of your data being used for research via the National Data Opt- Out (https://www.nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters/), we will remove your data from our database if you have been recruited.

If you have not opted out of your data being used for research via the National Data Opt-Out but you would like to opt out from your data being used for our study, you can contact the study team to request this at ccp@liverpool.ac.uk. If you want to opt out please send us an email including your name, date of birth, NHS number and postcode. You do not need to give a reason for why you want to opt out. We will look for your details in our data and if we find it we will delete it. In any case we will email back to you within 14 days to tell you if we found your data and if we did, to confirm that your data has been removed.

You can also telephone the study team to request that your data be removed by calling 07506 653560.

Data protection regulation provides you with control over your personal data and how it is used. Further information about your rights with respect to your personal data is available at https://compliance.admin.ox.ac.uk/individual-rights or by contacting the study team. The University’s data protection officer can be reached at data.protection@admin.ox.ac.uk.

If you would like to learn more about our study and how patient data is collected, used and protected, please visit https://isaric4c.net/privacy/

How to Use the Service

There are several ways you can be involved in research: as a participant if you are being treated for a particular medical condition; as a healthy volunteer; as a relative or carer of a patient. If you are a member of staff, you may be part of a research team, or you may be asked to participate in a study about your role.

When being treated in our hospital, you may be invited to take part in one of the many research studies we are undertaking. You may be approached by your consultant or specialist nurse, or by another member of the research team. Please note that Stockport is a research active trust and research is a key priority for the hospital. We actively support health and care research to expand the options available to our patients.

You can also actively contact the team to take part in a study even if you are not a current patient, and we welcome volunteers. Just contact the team via phone on 0161 419 5893, or e-mail research.development@stockport.nhs.uk

You will be given information about the study and a member of the research team will discuss this with you. You will be given time to read/ review the information and the opportunity to ask questions.

For some studies you may need to attend extra visits. This will be explained to you.

Participation in research is always voluntary, and if you decide not to take part you will always receive current standard care.

The NHS National Institute for Health Research is a source of a wealth of information relating to clinical research. To find out more, please visit: https://www.nihr.ac.uk/.

Participant Information and Health and Care Research

Please visit the Health Research Authority website: https://www.hra.nhs.uk/information-about-patients/. This provides details around how participant information and data may be used for research, how information may be kept for future research and your choices about health and care research.

At Stockport, the Research Delivery Team is made up of Clinical Research Nurses and Practitioners who are seen as part of the clinical care team at the Trust. They may be involved in screening your medical records to ensure our service users and patients are offered any research opportunties that are relevant to them.

If you do decide to participate in a research study at Stockport, we will also collect your year of birth data to report to the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), part of the Department of Health and Social Care. This information is not part of a research study and is not reported at an individual level. The data will be used to evaluate equity of access to research, like the recording and review of patient information for other services provided by NHS organisations. The collection of this data also supports the NHS and NIHR`s responsibility to ensure Equality, Diversity and Inclusion to all aspects of healthcare.


© Stockport NHS Foundation Trust 2024. Stepping Hill Hospital, Poplar Grove, Stockport, SK2 7JE. 0161 483 1010