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It’s OK to ask – the NIHR’s new patient empowerment campaign

The NIHR is launching a new campaign to empower patients and encourage engagement in clinical research – and we are calling on all NIHR-funded researchers to take part.OK to ask badge

The ”It’s OK to ask” campaign launches on International Clinical Trials Day (20 May) and is aimed at encouraging patients and their carers to ask their doctors about clinical research and whether it is right for them.

At present, patients are often unaware of clinical research opportunities unless they are asked to take part by a clinician.  Whilst the clinician-initiated approach to recruitment has been very successful, the NIHR also wants to empower patients to start conversations about research if they want to.  This could have a positive impact on the speed of recruitment to studies and the general research culture across healthcare providers, which would be beneficial to researchers.

Whilst the main part of the campaign will be patient-focused, the NIHR is calling upon individual researchers and research groups to show that they back the drive to empower patients in clinical research.

To show your support, we are asking you to take a picture of yourself with the “OK to ask” campaign badge and do one of the following:

Tweet it to @OfficialNIHR with the hashtag #NIHRoktoask
Email it to
Share it via the facebook page at

Be creative with your pictures - the bigger, brighter and more unusual the picture, the better!

You can find the badge and other resources to help you promote the campaign at


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The NIHR Health Services and Delivery Research (HS&DR) Programme is managed by the NIHR Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre (NETSCC). NETSCC is part of the University of Southampton funded by the NIHR, with specific contributions from the CSO in Scotland and NISCHR in Wales and the HSC R&D Division, Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland.

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