The Integrated Research Application System (IRAS) covers the NHS and a range of other statutory bodies. You should submit an IRAS application that will:
Involve NHS patients or service users, their organs, tissue or data, or their relatives or carers. Any research that is carried out on NHS property, using NHS facilities or NHS staff.
Research that involved NHS staff talking about their work in the NHS even if this is to be conducted off NHS premises.
Guidance is available from the IRAS website
Any proposals which involved people who lack the capacity to consent to take part in the research will also need to be reviewed by an NHS REC. Guidance on research involving participants who lack capacity to consent is given in the Mental Capacity Act 2005 Code of Practice.
You will have to send the application to your supervisor for approval. This happens automatically in the IRAS system if you follow the instructions. You will also be required to send this to the person who is authorised to sign off the application on behalf of the FREGC (sponsor). Normally this would be the Chair of FREGC (Professor Julie Scholes) or Hilary Ougham but the following people have been added to sign off REC applications in their absence:
- Professor Ann Moore
- Professor Val Hall
- Dr Julia Stroud
The procedure for sending the application for approval is on the IRAS guidance notes.
National Social Care Research Ethics Committee (SCREC)
A new national Social Care Ethics Committee was launched in June 2009. Proposals involving more than one County Council can be reviewed by this organisation. For guidance of when to submit an application see the Social Care Research Ethics Committee website