The Future of Clinical Research Delivery in the UK

Last updated on 23 Jun 2021

The Future of Clinical Research Delivery implementation plan is the first step in delivering the bold and ambitious Saving and Improving Lives vision, published earlier this year. The detailed implementation plan provides the launchpad to propel UK clinical research into the future.

The Health Research Authority is working in partnership with organisations from across the UK through the Clinical Research Recovery, Resilience and Growth (RRG) programme - which includes representatives from all UK health departments, the NHS, regulators, the NIHR, charities and industry - to deliver the plan and help make the UK one of the best places in the world to conduct cutting-edge clinical research.

The plan sets out the steps being taken over the next year, backed by over £64 million of government funding across the partners, to begin to turn the UK vision for clinical research delivery into a reality.

In addition to an immediate focus on the managed recovery of the research impacted by COVID-19, the implementation plan is built around seven key areas of action:

  1. Improving the speed and efficiency of study set-up
  2. Building upon digital platforms to deliver clinical research
  3. Increasing the use of innovative research designs
  4. Aligning our research programmes and processes with the needs of the UK health and care systems
  5. Improving visibility and making research matter to the NHS
  6. Making research more diverse and more relevant to the whole of the UK
  7. Strengthening public, patient and service user involvement in research.

At the HRA we are working with our RRG partners to deliver on the key commitments in the plan by streamlining and developing our systems, reducing bureaucracy and enhancing our support and advice services.

In March our Chief Executive Matt Westmore and Director of Approval Services Janet Messer wrote about the main themes of focus for the HRA as part of this project.

Dr Janet Messer

‘While we will lead on some areas, we will also play our part in ensuring that there is a system-wide approach to development, change and improvement for clinical research delivery across the research ecosystem.

‘By continuously listening, evaluating and improving our systems, policies and services we will drive forward on our vision for high-quality health and care research that improves people’s health and well being whilst protecting and promoting the interests of patients and the public.

‘This is an exciting opportunity for the whole of the clinical research community to build on our progress and successes during the pandemic, and to move ahead as a collaborative research system for the UK.’

Dr Janet Messer, Director of Approval Services at the Health Research Authority

You can read more and access the full plan on the website

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