Suffolk Primary Care

NHS expected to participate in support health & care research.

All NHS organisations are expected to participate and support health and care research. Conducting high-quality clinical research helps us to keep improving NHS care by finding out which treatments work best. All the practices within Suffolk Primary Care are committed to clinical research. The dedicated Suffolk Primary Care research team may look at your health records to check whether you are suitable to take part in a research study before asking you whether you are interested or sending you a letter on behalf of the researcher. For more information about how your information may be used in research and your rights, please click here.

Suffolk Primary Care

Research in the NHS

helps us increase our knowledge about human health and wellbeing so we can:

  • Develop life-changing treatments

  • Diagnose disease earlier and more accurately

  • Prevent people from developing conditions

  • Improve health and care for future generations

  • Improve quality of life for all people

You may be approached by your GP practice about a study if you meet the eligibility criteria for the trial. We have undertaken studies for patients with a number of conditions including stroke, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) as well as for indigestion and reflux. If you do receive an invitation to take part in a study the research team at Suffolk Primary Care are very happy to talk to you about the study in more detail and provide further information if you are interested in taking part.


Research Suffolk Primary Care is currently involved in

The DIAMOND Study - Dietary approaches to the management of type 2 diabetes run by the University of Oxford.  Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which a person’s blood glucose levels are too high.  The aim of the study is to find out whether it is possible for GPs and practice nurses to support people with type 2 diabetes to change their diet so that they achieve remission from diabetes.  Patients with type 2 diabetes diagnosed within the past six years, who would like to use diet to improve their diabetes control, lose weight, or improve their general health, are being invited to take part in this study.  This study is currently being run at Brandon Medical Practice, Debenham Group Practice, Stowhealth and The Derby Road Practice.

Heartburn Health Check run by the East of England Cancer Alliances. Many people experience heartburn and acid reflux. These can usually be managed with medication and lifestyle changes. Having a Heartburn Health Check can help us to monitor your heartburn, or acid reflux symptoms. This is a quick capsule sponge test which involves swallowing a capsule the size of a vitamin pill. Heartburn Health Checks are currently being run at Combs Ford Surgery and Stowhealth.

STATIC: Stopping Aminosalicylate Therapy in Inactive Crohn’s Disease

The STATIC study, from the University of Nottingham, is aimed at people with Crohn’s disease who are currently in remission (not having flares) and who are also taking aminosalicylate medications (5-ASAs). The aim of the study is to demonstrate that it is safe to stop 5-ASAs when people with Crohn’s disease are in remission and that these medications do not have an effect on disease flaring or complications relating to their Crohn’s disease. Participants will be randomised to either continuing with their aminosalicylate medications or to stopping them. They will be followed-up for two years.

This study is supported by the British Society of Gastroenterology and will be taking place at Debenham Group Practice, The Derby Road Practice and Stowhealth.

PRODEMOS: Prevention of Dementia using Mobile phone Applications

PRODEMOS Prevention of Dementia using Mobile phone Applications is a research study run by the University of Cambridge using a smartphone app, aimed at providing evidence that making lifestyle changes could help reduce the risk of developing dementia in later life. A healthy lifestyle has been linked to a decreased risk of developing dementia and individuals can be supported to make lifestyle changes to try to reduce this risk. In this research we are inviting people who are interested in making changes to these behaviours. (eg: increasing physical activity, reducing (or ideally giving up) smoking, reducing alcohol intake, and making changes to what we eat.). This study is currently being run at Haven Health Surgery.

The Active Brains Study run by the University of Southampton is testing an interactive programme (called ‘Active Brains’) to help people aged 60-85 with lifestyle changes and brain training activities which may help with memory and thinking skills. The aim of the study is to find out if using Active Brains is useful for people aged 60-85 to keep their brain healthy and if it can help with things like memory, thinking skills, and quality of life. This study is currently being run at Oakfield Surgery, Brandon Medical Practice, Howard House Surgery, Combs Ford Surgery, The Derby Road Practice and Stowhealth.

ATTACK: Aspirin to target arterial events in Chronic Kidney Disease

The Aspirin to target arterial events in Chronic Kidney Disease study is a randomised trial run by the University of Southampton to assess the effectiveness of low-dose aspirin to prevent cardiovascular disease in adult patients with reduced kidney function who have not previously had a heart attack or stroke. The aim of the study is to determine whether the benefits of aspirin outweigh any risks in this group of patients. This study has come as a result of recommendations for research in the 2014 NICE CKD Guidelines and it is anticipated that over 25,000 people will be recruited to the study across the UK. This study is being run in all of our of Suffolk Primary Care practices in a rolling programme.

GLoW: Glucose-Lowering through Weight management

The University of Cambridge GLoW (Glucose-Lowering through Weight management) trial is aimed at people who have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes within the last three years. The GLoW trial will evaluate two programmes which support people with Type 2 Diabetes to improve their diet and physical activity to improve their health. The evidence is that people who lose weight, improve their diet and increase their physical activity reduce the risk of developing health problems associated with diabetes such as heart attack and stroke. The aim of the GLoW study is to determine which programme is the better way for the NHS to improve patient’s health. This study is now closed to recruitment and currently in follow up.

SAFER: Screening for Atrial Fibrillation with ECG to Reduce stroke

The SAFER Trial - Screening for Atrial Fibrillation with ECG to Reduce stroke run by the University of Cambridge. Atrial fibrillation is a common irregular heartbeat, and is a major risk factor for stroke unless treated with medication. The aim of the study is to find out whether a national screening programme for atrial fibrillation is possible/achievable, will prevent strokes and is good value for money for the NHS. Patients aged 70 years and over are being invited to take part in a research trial that aims to answer these questions. This trial is currently being run at The Derby Road Practice, Combs Ford Surgery, Oakfield Surgery, Debenham Group Practice and Haven Health.

The Immune Defence Study: Reducing respiratory infections in Primary Care

This University of Southampton study is looking at the effectiveness of commonly available nasal sprays and a brief physical activity and stress management intervention in preventing and reducing the incidence, severity and duration of respiratory tract infections among patient at risk of serious infection in the COVID pandemic. This study is being run at Brandon Medical Practice, Combs Ford Surgery, Debenham Group Practice, Howard House Surgery, Oakfield Surgery, Stowhealth and The Derby Road Practice.

APPLE-TREE: Active prevention in people at risk of dementia through lifestyle behaviour change and technology to build resilience

Whilst there is no current disease modifying treatment for any common dementia there is evidence that lifestyle and psychological interventions can help to delay and prevent cognitive decline. APPLE-Tree, a study run by University College London, is trialling a low intensity, personalised, tailored prevention programme to reduce the risk of developing dementia in people over the age of 60. Patients from Stowhealth will be invited to take part in APPLE-Tree.

Do e-cigarettes help smokers quit when not accompanied by intensive behaviour support? This study, run by Queen Mary University of London and supported by the National Institute for Health Research, is looking at whether face-to-face support is important when using e-cigarettes (EC) to help smokers quit. Smokers who are aged 18 years and over and who want to stop smoking can take part in the study. All SPC practices will be taking part and invited via text message and practice advertising. English speaking smokers at SPC practices can also contact the study team directly on 0207 882 8230 or email for further information.

INTERACT: Measuring Loneliness (INTERACT) Study.

This Imperial College London study aims to investigate the prevalence of social isolation & loneliness (SI&L) in the community setting in England, and what interventions can be put in place to tackle this rising problem in society. Patients from Debenham Group Practice, Howard House Surgery, Stowhealth and The Derby Road Practice will be invited to take part via text message.

Suffolk Primary Care

Patient research

Our patients tell us they like being part of research. Here are some examples of comments that have been received from our research participants from the 2021/22 CRN East of England Participant Research Experience Survey :

  • It’s worthwhile and helps future research

  • Not only will it potentially help me but many others and will reduce NHS costs

  • I felt my participation was valued

  • The intent of the trial, the need for volunteers and the appreciation of my stepping up made it a positive experience

Suffolk Primary Care

Clinical Practice Research Datalink

The Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) is a comprehensive research database that collects and stores anonymized health information from various primary care practices across the United Kingdom. It serves as a valuable resource for researchers and healthcare professionals to conduct studies, monitor health trends, and investigate the effectiveness of treatments and interventions.

Suffolk Primary Care and all its affiliated practices have successfully become part of the CPRD programme. This means that our organisation is actively contributing to this vast repository of medical data, which will ultimately lead to advancements in medical research, improved patient care, and a better understanding of various health conditions. By participating in the CPRD, Suffolk Primary Care is demonstrating its commitment to fostering evidence-based practices and supporting the advancement of medical knowledge for the benefit of our patients and the broader healthcare community.

More information.

Flu Vaccinations

We are reminding all of our eligible patients to book their flu vaccination at their GP surgery to help protect themselves and their families from the illness this winter. It may be possible to receive your Covid vaccination at the same time.