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What happens if I do decide to take part in a trial?

It’s important to remember that anyone who takes part in a clinical trial can leave it at any time if they change their mind.

If you are offered a suitable trial and do decide to take part, you will have to sign a consent form saying you understand what is involved and agree to take part. This is called giving “informed consent”. During the informed consent process, the research team, which is made up of doctors and nurses, will explain:

  • the purpose of the trial
  • the advantages and disadvantages
  • what’s involved
  • that you can leave the trial at any time.

There will also be plenty of opportunities for you to ask the research team lots of questions and discuss what’s involved. The informed consent form will include emergency contact numbers, details about what was discussed with you, and how the research team will protect the privacy of your medical records. But, even after you sign the consent form, you can leave the study at any time. You should have at least 24 hours to read the form before signing the consent form.

Screening tests

Before you join a trial you may need to have screening tests to make sure that you’re suitable. These tests will be explained in the informed consent document. They can include:

  • tests to check your blood, urine and other body tissues
  • scans, which produce pictures of the inside of your body
  • biopsies, which take tissue samples.

These tests will not be done unless you have signed the consent form. Speak to the research team and your consultant about these tests so that you know exactly what is involved. 


Published April 2016

Review date April 2018

Information Standard