The first question to ask when setting up a study is 'Is it research?'.
Not all research conducted within the UK requires approval from an NHS Research Ethics Committee (REC). The HRA have developed a decision tool that will help you to determine if your study requires this type of approval. http://www.hra-decisiontools.org.uk/ethics/
if your project is research then you will need to:
Who to contact in Research and Innovation
indicates who the best person to contact is at various stages of your research project.