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During the 2013/14 financial year, the National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network is planning changes to its organisational structure.
There are three parts to this:
1. We are simplifying our geographies so that we have 15 Local Clinical Research Networks to cover the whole of England. These Networks will be responsible for delivering clinical research studies in their patch, across the full breadth of specialties.
2. We are reshaping the way in which we engage with health professionals in different clinical specialties, to make sure that we maximize the opportunities for clinical involvement with research delivery
3. We are restructuring the way we manage research delivery, to give us more flexibility to deal with changing research priorities and NHS structures
The plans to simplify geographies are already in process, and come into effect on 1 April 2014.
The purpose of this Information Sheet is to provide some details on the changes to our clinical engagement and research delivery structures.
The changes in a nutshell
At present, the NIHR Clinical Research Network comprises:
- Six “topic” Networks (cancer, dementias/neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes, mental health, medicines for children and stroke) and a primary care research network
- A comprehensive research network, which incorporates 23 specialty groups covering non-topic areas
Over the next six months we will start to move towards a reconfigured structure, and from April 2014 the NIHR Clinical Research Network’s our structure will:
- 30 specialties for clinical engagement, represented at top level in the Clinical Research Network by 12 NIHR CRN theme directors
- 6 research delivery divisions, plus a team for RM&G and other cross-cutting activities
More about this new structure
In relation to clinical engagement, the Clinical Research Network will structure around specialties and themes.
Each Local Clinical Research Network will determine how to configure its local specialty groups – the groups of clinicians who drive delivery of the local research delivery portfolio. However, the groups that they set up must report up to the relevant NIHR CRN National Specialty Leads.
There will be 30 NIHR CRN National Specialty Leads, with oversight of the national clinical research portfolio for that specialty. They will report into the 12 NIHR CRN Theme Directors.
The 30 NIHR CRN National Specialties are:
|Ageing ||Oral and dental health ||Haematology ||Metabolic and endocrine disorders ||Public health|
|Anaesthesia, peri-operative medicine and pain management ||Dermatology ||Health services and research delivery ||Musculoskeletal disorders ||Renal disorders|
|Cancer ||Diabetes ||Hepatology ||Neurological disorders ||Reproductive health and childbirth|
|Cardiovascular disease ||Ear, nose and throat ||Infectious diseases and microbiology ||Ophthalmology ||Respiratory disorders|
|Critical care ||Gastroenterology ||Injuries and emergencies ||Children ||Stroke|
|Dementias and neurodegeneration (DeNDRoN) ||Genetics ||Mental health ||Primary care ||Surgery|
The NIHR CRN Theme Directors will each represent a group of related specialties at the highest level of the Clinical Research Network’s governance.
The twelve NIHR CRN themes, under which the specialties are grouped, are:
• Diabetes, metabolic and endocrine disorders, renal disorders
• Stroke and cardiovascular disease
• Reproductive health and childbirth, genetics, haematology
• Dementias and neurodegeneration (DeNDRoN), neurological disorders
• Mental health
• Primary care, Ageing, Oral and dental health, health services and research delivery, public health
• Dermatology and musculoskeletal disorders
• Anaesthesia peri-operative medicine and pain management, critical care, injuries and emergencies, surgery
• Ear nose and throat, infectious diseases and microbiology, ophthalmology, respiratory
• Gastroenterology, hepatology
In relation to research delivery, the Clinical Research Network will structure around divisions.
At both national and local level there will be six research delivery divisions, each covering a set of related specialties.
A key division role at local level will be the Research Delivery Manager. In very broad terms, a divisional Research Delivery Manager will plan the allocation of research delivery resources for the specialties in their division, facilitate day-to-day study delivery, and develop local stakeholder relationships to support the Clinical Research Network’s objectives.
At national level management will be driven by Research Delivery Directors. Again, in the widest possible terms, Research Delivery Directors will take national responsibility for performance of the division, working with the 15 Local Clinical Research Networks, and develop national stakeholder relationships to support the Clinical Research Network’s objectives.
The six research delivery divisions are:
- Diabetes, stroke, cardiovascular diease, metabolic and endocrine disorders, renal disorders
- Children, genetics, haematology, reproductive health and childbirth
- Dementias and neurodegeneration (DeNDRoN), mental health and neurological disorders
- Primary care, Ageing, Oral and dental health, Health services and research delivery, public health, musculoskeletal, dermatology
- Anaesthesia/peri-operative medicine and pain management, critical care, injuries/emergencies, surgery, ENT, infectious diseases/microbiology, ophthalmology, respiratory disorders, gastroenterology, hepatology
How the specialities/themes and divisions fit together
A companion document to this Information Sheet is a “map” to show how the specialties/themes and the research delivery divisions relate to one another.
The map should be read as a general visual guide to the new structure, not a detailed organogram with reporting lines.
A downloadable copy of the map is available on this page.
Timing of implementation
The Local Clinical Research Network structure will come into effect on 1 April 2014, and we plan to do as much as we can to move to our new specialties/themes and divisions structure by that same date.
Effect on research delivery
We are making these changes to clarify our structure, and make it easier for researchers (both commercial and non-commercial) to use our service. The core work of Clinical Research Network will not change, we are not downsizing and our funding remains stable.
Throughout the change period we will maintain business as usual, and so you should continue to work with your usual Network contacts. We anticipate there will be minimal effect for our customers and stakeholders, and such change as does occur will be gradual and communicated well in advance.
If you do have any questions about how these changes to our structure will affect you, please contact our Transition Programme office at: firstname.lastname@example.org