OK to Ask

OK to ask header


We know that clinical research is thriving in the NHS with more than 600,000 patients taking part in clinical research studies in 2013/14. We also know that it’s mostly through a clinician-led approach that these patients are recruited into studies, and that research overall has a low visibility in the NHS. We want this to change and to ensure that patients are more aware that research takes place in all settings of the NHS. The “OK to ask” campaign is designed to help this.

What is the “OK to ask” campaign?

OK to ask aims to encourage more patients or carers to ask about research opportunities that could be available to them or their loved ones, if they have a medical condition they are receiving treatment for. That essentially it is “OK to ask” about research opportunities.

Whilst the campaign is primarily aimed at encouraging more patients to ask about research opportunities, it’s also about reminding all healthcare professionals from consultants and GP’s to nurses and midwives, whether research-active or not, to be research-aware.

What happening in this year’s campaign?

To celebrate the NIHR's tenth anniversary in 2016, this year’s ‘OK to ask’ campaign gives us an opportunity to thank the millions of those who have already helped us change lives through research.This partnership – from participating in trials to helping to design world-class research studies – has been key to the NIHR’s success. By recognising the millions of people who have participated in healthcare research over the last decade, we also want to encourage both healthcare staff and patients to see it and make it available as a routine part of clinical care. 

Last year over 130 NHS trusts took part in the campaign doing everything from setting up information stands in hospital reception areas to holding open days or having displays in shopping malls and on the high street. 

We will be using Facebook to share events taking place this year and will be using #NIHRoktoask on Twitter. Please let us know what events you are planning this year by emailing details of your events and activities to oktoask@nihr.ac.uk.

You can order a range of campaign materials (including leaflets, posters, banners and stickers) from our online shop to support your OK to ask campaign.

Get involved in clinical research

Want to know more about what research is happening locally to you?

How research makes a difference...

Research makes a real difference to peoples lives and a vital contribution to the NHS. Take a look at a selection of case studies and videos to find out more: