Performance in Initiating and Delivering Clinical Research

The Government wishes to see a dramatic and sustained improvement in the performance of providers of NHS in initiating and delivering clinical research. The aim is to increase the number of patients who have the opportunity to participate in research and to enhance the nation’s attractiveness as a host for research.

Our latest figures can be viewed at the following link.

The Government’s Plan for Growth, published in March 2011, announced the transformation of incentives at local level for efficiency in initiation and delivery of research. In May 2011, the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) launched the NIHR Research Support Services to facilitate consistent local research management and greatly improve performance. NHS Trusts which use these tools to agree what research they can do, assess study feasibility early and standardise procedures will be able to improve their performance.

For clinical trials, the NIHR publishes outcomes against benchmarks including the benchmark of 70 days or less from the time a provider of NHS services receives a valid research application to the time when that provider recruits the first patient for that study.

We understand the imperative of supporting the Life Sciences industry in general and in late-phase commercial research and already work with multiple pharmaceutical companies to undertake late-phase commercial research with excellent feedback. This has led to year-on-year increases in commercial and non-commercial studies being offered to BTH and a large increase in patient recruitment (1451 patients recruited into portfolio studies in 2017/18 vs 1598 in 2018/19 vs 1758 in 2019/20) with over 280 patients recruited into commercial studies this year to date. We consistently achieve excellent late-phase commercial research time to target figures (NIHR HLO 2a) with rates of 88% and 82%, respectively, for the past two years, well above the 2018/19 national average of 69%.

Initiating Clinical Research:

The NIHR current recruitment to time and target metric are for commercially funded studies is 80 days from receiving a full document set to first participant recruited.

The metric for non-commercial studies 62 days from receiving a full document set to first participant recruited.

In 2020, Blackpool won the NIHR North West Coast Clinical Research Network Research Team of the Year award.