Clinical research is, and has always been, core business for the NHS. However, whilst 98 per cent of NHS Trusts undertake some level of clinical research, not all service areas within each Trust are fully embracing research, and more could be done to offer patients the opportunity to participate in high quality studies that may lead to better treatments.
Last November, the NIHR Clinical Research Network sponsored the Health Service Journal "research culture" award, to recognise NHS organisations that had taken steps to develop their clinical research offer to patients, and embed research as part of their core business at institutional level. The award attracted a high number of entries and was assessed by a panel of judges which included representatives from the Department of Health and the NIHR.
Now the NIHR Clinical Research Network has launched an online publication, entitled "News from the Network - Building a Research Culture", which features case studies of the eight NHS organisations that were short-listed for the "research culture" award. The case studies look at how seven Trusts and one GP practice approached research development, and the benefits it brought to their operation.
Dr Jonathan Sheffield, Chief Executive of the NIHR Clinical Research Network, said: "The NHS needs to embrace clinical research at all levels and across all areas, if it is to keep improving patient treatment and meet the challenge of delivering the best possible service within limited resources. By publishing these case studies we wanted to show that you do not have to be a large teaching hospital to make research a core business activity, and I hope they will provide inspiration to others."
Professor Dame Sally C. Davies, Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Adviser, said:
"Clinical research is of vital importance to the health and wealth of the nation, and we applaud any initiative that encourages NHS Trusts to look long and hard at increasing the opportunities for patients to engage in appropriate clinical trials."
Download a PDF of the magazine or view the interactive e-magazine by clicking on the image below: