Clinical research in the NHS is thriving, according to new figures published by the National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network.
Funded by the Department of Health, the role of the Clinical Research Network is to provide an infrastructure to support clinical research delivery in the NHS. It does this by funding thousands of research nurses across the country to recruit suitable patients into studies, carry out clinical research activities, and manage the delivery of research studies to time and target. The spread and scope of its work means that the Clinical Research Network is best placed to provide an accurate picture of the state of clinical research in the NHS in England.
The new statistics, which are based on England-wide NHS study delivery data for the April 2011 - March 2012 year, indicate that clinical research activity in the NHS is strong. and opportunities for patients are increasing.
The figures show that:
- Research culture in the NHS is expanding: 99% of NHS Trusts offered research opportunities to patients during the year
- More patients than ever before are taking part in research studies: 595,000 patients were involved last year - a 5% uplift on the previous year
- The number and spread of life-sciences industry research studies is growing, which means more patients are able to get early access break-through treatments
Commenting on the statistics, NIHR Clinical Research Network chief executive, Dr Jonathan Sheffield, said: “Our ability to deliver clinical research studies in the NHS efficiently is vital to the economy, and to the development of better treatments for patients. It is fantastic that so many patients have taken up the opportunity to participate in research, and we'd like to thank every single one of them for helping the NHS to keep improving its service.”
The National Institute for Health Research - Clinical Research Network: delivering research to make patients, and the NHS, better.