The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Local Clinical Research Network will distribute £280 million of NIHR funding per year to hospitals and surgeries across England to pay for research nurses, scans, x-rays and other clinical research costs.
The network will help to increase the opportunities for patients to take part in clinical research, and will be responsible for making sure that studies are carried out efficiently. It also supports the government’s strategy for UK Life Sciences by improving the environment for life-sciences research in the NHS.
Clinical research provides evidence about ‘what works’, and on how the NHS can provide better treatments for NHS patients across all areas of medicine. The promotion, conduct and use of clinical research is included in the NHS Constitution, which pledges that patients will be informed of research studies they may be able to take part in.
Last year, more than 630,000 patients took part in clinical research studies supported by the NIHR Clinical Research Network.
Dr Daniel Poulter, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health, said:
These changes will give patients around the country better access to clinical research. That means new treatments will be developed faster and available for patients earlier.
The UK’s position as a world leader in the field of research is something we are rightly proud of. The network provides a platform for exciting studies to take place and build on that reputation.