In August 2019 the NIHR BioResource Centre Newcastle became the first project sponsored by Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals (NuTH) to begin using electronic consent (e-Consent) to sign up volunteers.
e-Consent is a platform for consenting volunteers using a computer-based consent form rather than traditional paper consent.
The BioResource collects and stores participant information on a secure system called REDCap. This system, managed by the Information team in Newcastle’s Joint Research Office, allows volunteers to read and sign consent forms on a computer, mobile phone, or tablet. By using e-consent the BioResource has made the process quicker and easier for volunteers and supports NuTH in their goal of becoming Paperlite.
Since launching econsent, the BioResource has signed up nearly 700 volunteers electronically, saving over 7,000 sheets of paper, and we have been proud to pave the way for other studies to use econsent for their research.
The BioResource now plans to introduce an exciting new method of e-consent, moving to an entirely virtual consent system. Recent improvements to the system will allow volunteers to join the BioResource from their own homes. In this way, the BioResource volunteers can still continue to support vital research during this difficult time.
The NIHR BioResource is a collaboration between 13 different sites across the England with the aim of building a panel of research-ready volunteers. The aim is to make recruitment to clinical research and trials of new drugs or treatments more efficient. Improved access to research volunteers will ensure that research can be completed quickly and effectively, making it easier to bring new treatments to market
The BioResource Centre at Newcastle is funded through Newcastle University’s NIHR Biomedical Research Centre (BRC). Newcastle University’s BRC is internationally-recognised for research into ageing and health, with a focus on bringing together scientists, healthcare professionals and industry to find new ways to improve the quality of life for older people.
Contact our local BioResource team for more information on volunteering or about how they can support your research: Newcastlebioresource@ncl.ac.uk
If you would like to use electronic consent to support your research, contact the Information Team: firstname.lastname@example.org