Research and innovation
Infection physicians are very active in research, from basic science through to large-scale clinical trials. The UK is a leading centre for research into several infectious diseases such as malaria, HIV and tuberculosis. Infectious diseases departments participate in multicentre studies that trainees and consultants can be involved in, and, as the majority of units are linked to academic departments, there is also the opportunity to develop local research projects.
Many trainees apply for out-of-programme time to support research degrees, and increasing numbers of NHS consultants undertake research during their supporting professional activity (SPA) allocation.
For clinical studies, patients with acute or longer term infections can be highlighted in day-to-day clinical practice and brought to the attention of the relevant research team. For longer term infections such as HIV, patient participation in research is vital and actively encouraged with the help of patient support groups.