Feasibility

A feasibility review ensures a proposed study has an improved chance of being successfully completed. It considers the tasks and the activities outlined in a clinical research protocol, which describes the patient population, recruitment, trial timeline, study procedures and involvement of human subjects. The aim of a feasibility review is to confirm that the Trust can deliver the study prior to research governance commencing, and should be considered the first step in setting up your project.

Why is a feasibility review required?
Many clinical studies fail to recruit sufficient numbers of participants, which can prevent outcomes from being assessed. This wastes valuable resources and time, and can delay treatments for patients. Conducting feasibility assessments can help to ensure that studies are well designed and likely to deliver to time and to target. The Trust is committed to maximising the efficiency and impact of research and requires the conduct of feasibility assessments prior to research submission.

While there are financial penalties levied by the NIHR and grant awarding bodies for failure to deliver on approved research, there are also the wider moral and ethical issues to consider. Studies that prove unfeasible in practice waste public sector resources, as well as participants’ time – and possibly even risks their safety. Conducting feasibility reviews explains more about the process.

Support services
There are a number of support services that can help you improve the feasibility of your protocol. Please discuss with the Research and Innovation team about how to liaise with the following departments and services:

  • Pharmacy
  • Pathology
  • Imaging
  • Cardiac Services
  • Respiratory Services

Public involvement in research
To ensure that patient benefit is not simply based on the views and opinions of research professionals and clinicians, the Department of Health’s national strategy highlights the importance of involving patients, carers and the public at all stages of the research process as advisors/consultants (as distinct from being recruited participants).

Some departments already have public involvement groups in place. If you wish to find out about existing groups or setting up your own, please contact the Research and Innovation team. Further information is available on the public involvement page.

Conducting a feasibility review
The Investigator or study team must complete a feasibility review.  Please contact the R&I team for information about who to contact.

All new studies, sponsorship requests and grants must have a feasibility review.  Every project is different so departments and leads may have additional questions which will need to be addressed. The review can be conducted in parallel with preparing the study documents and submission.