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Clinical Research Grows in England

The new Research Activity League Table from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network (CRN) shows all National Health Service (NHS) trusts or hospital groups in England are delivering clinical research and over 60% increased their research activity last year.

Commercial research activity is an added feature for the 2015/16 league table, which found that 36% of studies were new commercial contract studies last year.


“This year’s league table results highlight for the first time the growing importance of commercial research for the NHS in England,” said Dr. Jonathan Sheffield, Chief Executive Officer of the NIHR CRN. “Commercial involvement in clinical research speeds up the development and availability of new treatments, therapies and diagnostics for NHS patients. The U.K. is a destination of choice with 35,000 participants recruited to studies sponsored by the life sciences industry in England last year.”

Barts Health NHS Trust in London came top of the league table for the amount of commercial studies delivered (114 studies), and also had the biggest increase in studies from last year (279 to 335), along with Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust (365 to 421).

The following NHS trust types were ranked top in terms of the largest quantity of research for 2015/16:
• Acute: The Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (537 studies)
• Mental health: South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (94 studies)
• Clinical commissioning groups: NHS Oxfordshire (51 studies)
• Care: Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust (50 studies)
• Ambulance: South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (8 studies)

The top five trusts achieving the biggest step-change in research activity (study increase) were as follows:
• Barts Health NHS Trust  [56 study increase] and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust [56 study increase]
• Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust [52 study increase]
• Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust [51 study increase]
• Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust [44 study increase]
• Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust [41 study increase]

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is funded by the Department of Health, and is the research arm of the NHS. It was established in April 2006. To view the full league table, go to www.nihr.ac.uk/nihrleaguetable.

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