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Research and high standards of patient care

Research projects, recognising potential new ways of working and developing high standards of patient care are an important part of the NHS. We are committed to offering patients in our communities the opportunity to take part in research studies that are appropriate for them. We do this by bringing national trials to our patients. We also work with academic university colleagues to produce research projects initiated by our own clinical staff. Evidence suggests that people who receive care in research active institutions have better health outcomes. The main aims of research are to:

  • improve patient care
  • provide the best advice and treatment for our patients
  • improve the quality of life for people living with illness
  • prevent disease and reduce the number of people who become ill
  • make sure the treatments we give are effective.

Our clinical research relies on help and support from the people who use our services. If you wish to take part, you may be asked to participate in a research study or clinical trial. It’s up to you whether you want to do this. If you decide not to take part it will not affect your treatment in any way.

Getting involved in research

Being a participant in a research study can vary from filling out a simple questionnaire to trialling new treatments, depending on the study. You will be given plenty of time and information to help you decide if you want to be involved and you can leave a study at any point, without giving reason.

Watch Pat Conneely, patient rep for research, talk about his involvement.


Watch Stephen Grice Deputy Head of Sexual Health Services talking about the service’s participation in the HipVac trial a portfolio study on genital warts.


What are the benefits?

Taking part in research may benefit you and others in some of the following ways:

  • by giving you earlier access to new treatments, interventions and medicines
  • your treatment and progress may be monitored more closely with more frequent and longer appointments, meaning problems or changes can be picked up and acted on more quickly
  • the opportunities to learn more about your medical condition may help you to manage it better
  • you would be helping to identify and try more effective medical treatments for yourself and others
  • you would be helping the NHS provide people with the best possible standard of care.

As a Trust we work with patients to understand which areas need researching further and those that would benefit from a newer and more innovative way of working. If you are interested in a research study in a particular area of health or social care, then please do let us know. Alternatively, have a look at the list of studies we are recruiting people to at the moment. If you are interested in being a potential participant or would like to understand more, please give us a call. You can talk to a clinical or research nurse, in the strictest confidence.

What is health research?

For anyone who is interested in finding out more about health research, FutureLearn have created a free, online course looking at ways people can get involved in research and the benefits that research brings to healthcare. The course can be found at and is available to everybody.

Research studies you may be interested in joining

At the moment, we have the following studies running that are looking for volunteers:

Bispectral Index monitoring for intravenous sedation in dentistry

The purpose of this study is to investigate the usefulness of a piece of equipment (bispectral Index Monitor) in helping to monitor patients with a disability having intravenous sedation for their dental treatment. Four sticky tabs placed on the forehead of the patient will be the only addition to their normal sedation treatment, in order to monitor their level of sedation.

The study is being delivered through the Community Dental Services at Canterbury Health Centre and the Rainbow Mash in Ashford.

Evaluating insoles for children with idiopathic symptomatic flexible flat feet (OSTRICH)

A study in children aged between 6-14 with flat feet. As a child grows, the shape of their feet changes and form an arch. For some children this does not happen and can cause discomfort and pain. The aim of the study is to determine which of the two most common treatments; insoles and exercise along with footwear recommendations, are most effective.

The study is looking to recruit 478 children from various sites taking part in the study.

Sponsor is the University of York.

Positive Voices

Positive Voices is a national survey of people living with HIV. It aims to capture the lived experience and met and unmet needs of people receiving HIV care in the UK.

This is a survey study taking place across five clinics in KCHFT; Canterbury, Thanet, Ashford, Folkestone and Chatham.

VenUS 6

A randomised controlled trial recruiting 675 people with one or more venous leg ulcers, to investigate the clinical and cost effectiveness of compression wraps.

Participants will be randomised to one of three treatment arms: evidence-based compression, two-layer bandage or compression wraps.

The study will compare compression wraps with evidence-based compression for time to healing of venous leg ulcers.

The study is being delivered from two sites: Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital, Herne Bay and Deal Hospital.

The Sponsor is Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust.

Evaluation of HIS-UK (Brighton and Sussex Clinical Trials Unit)

HIS-UK is a condom promotion study that aims to make using condoms more enjoyable.

The study provides education and training either face-to- face by a professional (proHIS) or online (eHIS) on topics including how to use condoms safely and finding the best condom and lubricant for the participant.

During the study, participants will test a variety of condoms and lubricants at their own home and then rate online the ones that were tried.

DEVA (Nottingham Clinical Trials Unit)

A randomised control study running within the sexual health services of whether a new antiseptic treatment, dequalinium chloride, is as good at treating bacterial vaginosis (BV) symptoms (such as an unpleasant smell or discharge) as antibiotics. Participants will be randomised to either Dequalinium Chloride or Usual care treatment and will then evaluate the treatment using questionnaires at set time points.

2kcal PlantBased Tube Feed Study (Nutricia)

Is a prospective, longitudinal, 28-day intervention study running within the dietetic service to evaluate a nutritionally complete, plant-based, high energy, high protein, enteral tube feed in adults. During the 28 day study the participant will trial the product as prescribed by their dietician using the pre-existing enteral tube. They will then evaluate the new feed by completing questionnaires at set time points in conjunction with reviews from their dietician.

Hypo-RESOLVE (University of Sheffield)

This is a quality of life questionnaire study for diabetic participants so as to understand the impact hypoglycaemia has on people living with diabetes. This information will then be used to produce a valid and robust preference-based measure (PBM) that can be used to assess the dimensions (themes) of quality of life that are most likely to be affected by hypoglycaemia in people with diabetes (PwD).

Sexual health - Medicines burden on people with HIV

This study is looking at the experiences of what it is like for patients with HIV to use regular long-term medications. Participants will complete a survey and also be invited to take part in an interview. This study is run by the Medway School of Pharmacy at the University of Kent. If you would like to find out more please contact our Research team at

Community Nursing - TICC - Transforming Integrated Care in the Community

Transforming Integrated Care in the Community (TICC) is a study aiming to change the face of community care and provide services better suited to our ageing population. It is guided by the principles of the Buurtzorg model of care.

Buurtzorg focuses on maintaining independence and autonomy for the patient for as long as possible. It involves small self-managing teams of care staff working at community level who handle every aspect of patient care and business. This model of care has been used in The Netherlands and has shown to be very effective at improving outcomes for patients, carers and staff.

The research involves answering questionnaires to assess the impact of this new model of care. We are also recruiting staff, patients and carers using the standard model of care in the Tunbridge Wells area for comparison purposes.

If you would like to find out more information about this study please contact Daniel Dacosta on 01233 667776 or email

Diabetic foot ulcers - Midfut

This study is looking into the best way to treat chronic diabetic foot ulcers. There are a number of treatments used in the NHS but there is limited evidence on which combination of these works best at helping to heal Diabetic Foot Ulcers. This is a joint study with East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust.

To take part in this study, patients must have a Diabetic foot ulcer that is not healing well.

If you would like to find out more information about this study please contact our Clinical Studies Officer Charlie Marlow on 01233 667776 or email

Covid-19-ISARIC/WHO Clinical Characterisation Protocol for Severe Emerging Infections in the UK (CCP-UK)

A selection of patients admitted to community hospitals with Covid-19 are enrolled into this study and data is collected on their symptoms, treatment and outcomes. This data contributes to global efforts to provide information on those most at risk on Covid-19 as well as to help find common signs and symptoms of Covid-19 and to help establish treatments.

Recent studies

We have recently carried out these research projects:

RETAKE-RETurn to work After StroKE

This study involves patients who have suffered a stroke and who were in work before the stroke took place. The study aims to test an enhanced therapy package to see if it improves the likelihood of patients returning to work after a stroke, compared to if they receive usual care. This is a joint study with East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust.

If you would like to find out more about this study or are interested in taking part please contact our Clinical Studies Officer Charlie Marlow on 01233 667776 or email

CRE-SLANG-Centre for Research Excellence in Speech and Language Neurobiology

This study is trying to find out if people who have difficulties with speech or language have genetic changes to their DNA, or have some very subtle differences in their brains.

If you would like to find out more information please contact Sarah Chapman, Clinical Studies Officer on 01233 667776 or by email

Children’s Speech and Language therapy - Palin

The study aims to explore how effective a stammering therapy (Palin STSC) is when delivered by speech and language therapists trained in the programme, compared to the treatment they would usually receive. This study is suitable for children who stammer age 8-14 and have been referred to the speech and language service.

If you would like to find out more information please contact Sarah Chapman, Clinical Research Practitioner on 07876 218138 or by email

Covid-19-Berry Study

This study involves trialling the use of Sambucol Black Elderberry liquid in patients who are being treated for coronavirus. Participants in the study will either receive the black elderberry liquid or a placebo.

If you would like to find out more information please contact Charlie Marlow, Clinical Research Practitioner on 07900 713027 or by email

Continence Care- Survey of practitioners’ education and attitudes regarding continence care (SPEAC study)

This is an online survey to gather opinions on continence care. All healthcare staff, any grade, any discipline, any setting are being invited to complete the online survey, which should take about 15 minutes to complete on your computer, laptop, smartphone or mobile device. The study team are keen to hear from as many members of staff as possible, and would be very grateful to hear your opinions on this fundamental area of care.

COPD-Non-interventional Study Related to Fixed LAMA/LABA/ICS Triple therapy (TriOptimize)

This study is being run in collaboration with Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust. It aims to measure the health-related quality of life of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) when they are taking a fixed LAMA/LABA/ICS triple therapy (Trimbow). The study also aims to see if participants take the medication as prescribed.

Publications resulting from studies KCHFT has been involved in