Planned budget for the new Health Research Authority is £10.1million

Posted on September 12, 2011 by

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I’ve just spotted that Nicholas Soames has asked a question about the planned Health Research Authority and how big it’s going be for starters. We don’t know much about the government’s plans for this authority and what it will look like at the moment so this is interesting…

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the (a) duties, (b) budget and (c) key personnel are of the Health Research Authority. [71111]

Mr Simon Burns: The Health Research Authority will be established this year as a Special Health Authority with the National Research Ethics Service as its core. It will be responsible for appointing, supporting and managing research ethics committees. It will also work closely with other bodies, such as the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, to create a unified approval process and promote proportionate standards for compliance and inspection within a consistent national system of research governance. The planned budget for the Health Research Authority is £10.1 million. It will have 25 head office posts and approximately 100 further staff in National Research Ethics Service regional centres.

Background

The Academy of Medical Sciences reviewed the regulation of health research in the UKand recommended how this could be improved. Their recommendations included establishing a single regulator of health research. In the Plan for Growth published by the government alongside the 2011 budget, the government committed to setting this up as the Health Research Authority (HRA).

They have said that they plan to set this up as a special health authority in the first instance, introducing primary legislation in the next parliamentary session to make it an official independent body.

The Academy’s report also recommended other measures  to make the process of getting permission to do a research project easier, including streamlining the process of getting separate permissions from multiple NHS trusts.

We are currently waiting for the government to introduce a statutory instrument to parliament, which is needed to create a special health authority, and give us more detail on what the Health Research Authority is going to look like and their vision for how it will work.

The Academy’s recommendations to improve the system are widely supported and we’re concerned that the new Health Research Authority can deliver these.