The future of health and social care depends on today's research.
As the most integrated clinical research system in the world, they drive research from bench to bedside for the benefit of patients and the economy under a number of themes
transforming research in the NHS
increasing the volume of applied health research for the benefit of patients and the public
driving faster translation of basic science discoveries into tangible benefits
developing and supporting the people who conduct and contribute to applied health research
attracting investment by the life sciences industry through their world-class facilities for health research.
To improve the health and wealth of the nation through research.
To provide a health research system in which the NHS supports outstanding individuals working in world-class facilities, conducting leading-edge research focused on the needs of patients and the public.
Establish the NHS as an internationally recognised centre of research excellence
Attract, develop and retain the best research professionals to conduct people-based research
Commission research focused on improving health and social care
Strengthen and streamline systems for research management and governance
Increase the opportunities for patients and the public to participate in, and benefit from, research
Promote and protect the interests of patients and the public in health research
Drive faster translation of scientific discoveries into tangible benefits for patients
Maximise the research potential of the NHS to contribute to the economic growth of the country through the life sciences industry
Act as sound custodians of public money for the public good.
They were established in 2006 to transform research in the NHS. They are a ‘virtual’ organisation which means that although what they do and the research they fund is very real, they are not a corporation or a legal entity or a ‘bricks and mortar’ enterprise in the traditional sense. Rather, they are an overarching entity which collectively represents all publicly-funded research in the NHS. they are now known as ‘the research arm of the NHS’.
Since comprehensive records began in 2009, the total number of patients taking part in, and benefiting from, clinical trials has tripled, rising from under one million to more than five million. In 2014, more than 630,000 people took part in studies hosted by their Clinical Research Network, a 7% increase on the previous year, and 100% of NHS Trusts are now involved in research and are running studies. They established the UK Clinical Trials Gateway
to make information about ongoing studies available to patients and the public.
They are the first research organisation in the world to establish a national advisory group, INVOLVE, to make sure the views of patients and the public are an essential part of the processes through which research is identified, prioritised, commissioned, designed, conducted and disseminated. This ensures that NHS, public health and social care research has patient concerns at the heart of all research activities and is relevant, reliable and usable. A recent important development has been investing in young people taking part in research activities through a Young Persons Advisory Group and a Children’s Non Executive Board as they are the future of public participation and involvement in research.
As well as investing in research to help the NHS and care providers meet the major health and social challenges they face, such as long term conditions, inequalities, poverty and ageing, they have responded rapidly to national research priorities, for example, establishing a wide range of activities to meet the Prime Minister’s dementia challenge
and the Chief Medical Officer’s concerns over Antimicrobial Resistance
. As well as this, a number of themed calls to meet urgent needs have been issued including for Mesothelioma, Pandemic Flu, Compassionate Care, Antimicrobial Resistance, Very Rare Diseases, Long-term Conditions in Childhood, Primary Care, Healthcare Associated Infections and Obesity.
They are committed to making research faster and easier for industry and other funders. The introduction of a 70 day bench-mark for enrolling the first patient into a trial by participating NHS Trusts will ultimately lead to faster translation of research into improved treatments, interventions and services for patients and means more studies are likely to be carried out in this country.
By 2015, nearly £3.5 billion of additional research investment from the Government, charities and the life sciences industry has been attracted through their centres and facilities for experimental medicine in the NHS, with a year on year increase in funding from industry and charities of at least 40%. Over 100 national and international patents have been granted and nearly 200 licensing deals conducted.