UCL Human Tissue Biobanks


Information Governance and Data Protection

It is equally important that staff and students are aware of the rules governing the confidentiality around information about patient and volunteers involved in research.

Courses and online training in information governance are provided by SLMS:

Access to clinical information for research purposes is only permitted with informed consent from the patient. Access to human tissue without informed consent can only be permitted in certain circumstances and must be specifically approved by a recognised ethics committee.

View further information about the UCL policy on Data Protection and the Data Protection Act.

Honorary Contracts and Observerships

For UCL students and staff to undertake research with patients in the NHS, they must have an honorary contract or observership status with the NHS Trust with which they engage; this includes UCLH. Such research includes any direct patient contact, direct access to patient medical records, taking informed consent from patients, interviewing patients or completing patient questionnaires and/or taking tissue samples directly from the patient, such as blood, sputum, urine etc.

Obtaining an honorary contract or observership status with an NHS Trust should be through the human resources department of the relevant NHS Trust. The process would generally be initiated with the clinical lead of the unit in which the patients of interest are based. Compliance with local NHS governance standards is required.