Ethical Review of Multi-Centre Research: A Survey of Local Research Ethics Committees in the South Thames Region
Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of London. 1998 May-Jun; 32(3): 238-241.
OBJECTIVE: To generate baseline data about the standards of practice of local research ethics committees (LRECs) in order to describe accurately the situation of ethical review procedures prior to the establishment of multi-centre research ethics committees (MRECs). DESIGN: The LERECs in the South Thames NHS Region were asked to describe their current practices, and to send us a copy of their application forms and guidance notes for researchers. RESULTS: All of the 27 LRECs approached for the survey responded. The results indicate that there are generally high standards of practice, and that most LRECs work in accordance with published guidelines. CONCLUSION: The problems that researchers face in seeking to obtain ethical approval for multi-centre research (pages 242-5) do not seem to have been caused by substandard LRECs. Hence the new system needs to sustain the high standards of practice whilst confronting the difficulties.
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