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Information for Patients

Scanning the barcode on a sample tube

What is a biobank?

A biobank collects, stores, processes and distributes biological materials, such as blood and tissue, and associated data for the purposes of medical research. The ORB refers to these biological materials as 'samples'.

A biobank requires input from many individuals with specific expertise, for example in pathology, laboratory techniques, information technology, law and ethics. This combined expertise contributes to the following key biobank activities:

Can I help?

If you are receiving treatment within the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust you may be asked by a doctor, nurse or a member of ORB staff whether you would like to help by donating samples to the biobank. Your decision will not affect your treatment or care in any way.

What will my samples be used for?

Your samples may be used by researchers from hospitals, universities or commercial companies. Research can take several years, so although you may see no direct benefits, samples can help in the development of new methods of diagnosis or treatment in order to improve the care of patients in the future. Samples and data will only be given to projects that have been approved by the ORB Committee, along with approval from a Research Ethics Committee. This ensures that only researchers who have proven the methods and scientific value of their research will have access to your samples and data.

If you change your mind about the use of your samples and data you are free to withdraw at any time. Some of your samples may already have been used in research but we will destroy any unused samples.

Patient Information Sheet

If you are asked whether you would like to donate samples to the biobank you will be given a copy of the Patient Information Sheet to read which gives more information about the biobank and what would be involved should you decide to participate. If you agree you would be asked to complete a consent form.