NHS Research Ethics Committees safeguard the rights, safety, dignity and wellbeing of patients and volunteers taking part in medical research. They review applications for research and give an opinion about the proposed participant involvement and whether the research is ethical.
Professor Heasman said:
“To say that this honour was a surprise is something of an understatement. It is an immense honour to receive such recognition. But the real appreciation goes to all those colleagues that I have worked with so closely over the last 20 years: REC members and managers, colleagues, trainers and all those at the HRA. It really has been an absolute privilege.
“The ethics service (and indeed all clinical research in the UK) would not prevail without those who volunteer their ‘ethics’ time in abundance. None of us can call it our ‘day job’ yet we become involved possibly out of curiosity but also because we want to contribute to the safety of UK research, and upholding the dignity and rights of research participants. We do this neither for reward nor recognition, but when something like this comes along it makes one feel incredibly proud.”