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Figures show "new high" in NHS patients participating in clinical research

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A report released last Thursday by the National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network (the clinical research delivery arm of the NHS) shows that more than 630,000 NHS patients in England took part in clinical research studies last year - the highest level since the Network's figures began.

Clinical research is a vital part of the work of the NHS, and a commitment to conduct, promote and use clinical research to improve patient care is part of the NHS England Constitution.

At our Trust, research is delivered through our Research and Innovation Division, made up of just under 300 staff. We are listed in the report as being the third highest recruiting NHS Trust in the UK, recruiting 16,130 patients to clinical trials in 2012/13, behind only Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust. However, more up to data that has just been released shows that we are now in fact second with 17,064 patients recruited.

Director of Research and Innovation, Professor Colin Sibley, said: "Being the second highest recruiting NHS Trust illustrates our capability and innovative approach to clinical research. Our commitment to education, training and staff development means that now, more than ever, staff are getting involved in research across all our eight hospitals, and encouraging more patients to participate in trials. In the long term these trials will lead to increased patient benefit, which is one of the main priorities within the NHS."

Dr Jonathan Sheffield is Chief Executive of the NIHR Clinical Research Network. He said:

"According to our latest poll, 79 per cent of people think it is important for the NHS to carry out clinical research - whilst less than three per cent think it is unimportant. There is huge public support out there for research, but there also needs to be a good mechanism for identifying patients who are suitable for particular studies, and asking them if they would like to get involved. The NIHR Clinical Research Network's nurses provide that mechanism, and through their work we have seen the annual number of patients taking part in clinical research triple over the last six years. That is fantastic news, and I'd like to thank all the patients and carers who have taken part in research, and who have made a contribution to improving NHS treatments for everyone."

See the full report here: www.crncc.nihr.ac.uk/nhs-performance.

Learn more about our research and how to get involved here.