What are the challenges for clinical research networks?

Posted on June 17, 2011 by


A shiny copy of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) clincial research network newsletter popped into my inbox this morning and there’s a great interview, worth a read, with the chief executive of the network full of interesting insights into all the changes afoot…

On all the planned changes to the NHS he focuses on the challenges for research as healthcare services are provided by new organisations – will they understand the importance of supporting clinical research and how can we make sure they do?

…it does seem inevitable that there will be major changes to the architecture of the NHS, and we will have to adapt to them. One of the key aspects of the Bill is the idea that the provision of healthcare services will be opened up to ‘any willing provider’, so we’re going to have to be very flexible in the way that we work, to ensure that new providers understand the importance of clinical research, so we can continue to give patients every opportunity to take part in a study, no matter who carries out the treatment. I don’t say it will be easy, but in some ways it does present some new and interesting opportunities.

He mentions the focus on investment in clinical research in the October 2010 spending review and the plan for growth published alongside the 2011 budget.

He talks about making sure research really is a core role of the NHS, the goal outlined by the government in the health white paper:

we need to form partnerships with the NHS at all levels, to make sure research really is seen as core business

and streamlining the process of doing research – actions to do this were outlined in the plan for growth:

The whole Clinical Research Network is now directing its effort towards a common set of objectives, based around speed of study set-up and achieving study targets for patient recruitment.


Posted in: Policy