Promoting research

We work with the Clinical Research Networks to help provide practical help in identifying and recruiting patients for Portfolio studies with use of our tool FARSITE, so that you as a researcher can be confident of completing the study on time and as planned.

FARSITE feasibility

By using FARSITE Feasibility the protocol created by researchers for the recruitment of patients to a trial is run over an anonymised data set, patients matching the protocol are anonymously flagged in GP surgeries. With use of docmail (NHS approved supplier) invitations to trial can be sent directly and securely to the GP to reveiew the patients highlighted as eligible. 

Why use FARSITE?

Being able to recruit patients to time and target is a pressure felt by the clinical research network, the faster trials are recruited to, the quicker medications get to the right patients. FARSITE Feasibility has allowed researchers to recruit to a number of trials at any one time in moments. GMCRN since the implementation and usage of FARSITE now recruits to time and target with an average of 90.7% which is the highest of all of the Clinical Research Network in the UK.  

How is data used?

FARSITE has been reviewed by the National Information Governance Board (NIGB) and the system is currently in use in over 250 GP practices across the North of England. All identifiable records are seen only by the GP, as the data controller.  As a researchers you would only see de-identified records. We have technical safeguards in place to stop out of date data being used in recruitment. We don’t want false representations of recruitable patients for researcher, unnecessary work for GPs or for the wrong patients to be contacted.

Amy Barratt 

FARSITE encourages the collaboration between primary and secondary care, helping GP practices to get involved in clinical research, whilst giving patients the opportunity to participate in research trials.

Amy Barratt  - Facilitator/Research Nurse - Greater Manchester CRN

Patient confidentiality

Patients in participating GP practices should be informed of the potential uses of their data, in line with the fair processing requirement of the first DPA principle. NorthWest EHealth recommends that GP practices follow best practice guidance on fair processing, and consult their CSU/VIADUCT HEALTH/Trust/NHS host organisation if unsure. 

Basic patient demographics (including a pseudonymised NHS number) and clinical event data (i.e. read-coded data and numerical values, but not free text) are collected. The demographics dataset and the clinical events dataset are stored separately.

Data is never collected for patients who have opted out of electronic record sharing and have a read code flag on their record.

The data collection process is automated and refreshed once a month. Data can be collected directly from a GP practice using accredited third party Apollo Medical Systems Ltd, indirectly from a GP system supplier (EMIS, Vision) or via the local NHS data host (CSU/VIADUCT HEALTH/trust/NHS host organisation) if data is hosted centrally.

Data is transmitted to FARSITE and stays within the NHS firewall on the N3 (NHS) network at all times. Data is immediately encrypted before it is transferred securely to the host environment at Salford Royal Foundation Trust. FARSITE has been reviewed by the National Information Governance Board (NIGB) and the system is currently in use in over 250 practices across the North of England. All identifiable records are seen only by the GP, as the data controller.

Useful information

For further information about how you can use FARSITE to help you recruit to studies please get in touch.

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