Who’s leading on which bits of the growth plan?

Posted on May 3, 2011 by


Chi Onwurah asked a few interesting questions about the health research actions the government set out in their plan for growth – particularly clarifying who is leading on what. They got answered just before the bank holiday.


Alongside the budget on 23 March, the government published a plan for growth, outlining actions they are going to take to build growth in the UK. This included lots of actions in healthcare & life sciences. I’ve summarised the main actions in my previous blog here.

Chi’s questions

Chi asked a couple of questions, one exploring which department is leading on which of the actions in the plan for growth and most importantly has the budget to pay for it. There is a lack of clarity over this as the issues span the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department of Healths remits…

NHS: Finance

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to page 98 of The Plan for Growth, what proportion of the actions on health care and life sciences are to be funded by his Department. [52485]

Mr Simon Burns: The Department has lead responsibility for 12 of the 16 actions listed on page 98 of the Plan for Growth document (actions numbered one to seven and 12 to 16). Provision has been made in the Department’s spending review settlement to take forward these actions. Action 14 is jointly being taken forward with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and the Technology Strategy Board is providing £18 million for an assisted living technology investment programme.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has lead responsibility for the remaining four actions (actions numbered eight to 11). Provision will be made, where appropriate, within BIS’s existing budget to take forward these actions.

And she also explored progress on one of the specific actions outlined in the plan. The government plans to drive up standards in initiating and delivering research by making public funding for research conditional on achieving certain benchmarks. These new requirements include making sure that within 70 days of receiving a valid research protocol, the first patients can be recruited for a trial. According to the plan, these requirements are due to come into force in Autumn 2011.

National Institute of Health Research: Finance

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he has set benchmarks for the performance of the National Institute of Health Research as conditions for securing public funding. [52488]

Mr Simon Burns: From autumn 2011, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funding will become conditional on organisations playing their part in the national research governance system. The Government will launch a framework of standard procedures and good practice for local health research management-the NIHR Research Support Services framework-by May 2011. Recipients of NIHR funding will regularly publish metrics on their performance in initiating and delivering health research. When deciding on funding, the NIHR will take account of performance against public NIHR benchmarks, including an initial benchmark of 70 days from receipt of a valid research protocol to recruitment of the first participant in a study.

Posted in: Policy