The Department of Health (DH) and the Health Research Authority (HRA) have been working together to review the standard DH contract for NIHR funded research. From today research funded by an NIHR research programme will be able to receive payments for start-up in advance of ethical approval. This enables more rapid, efficient and streamlined set-up of research and quicker translation of research into patient benefit.
This change will enable the appointment of skilled research staff earlier in the project leading to better quality applications for HRA Approval, fewer protocol amendment applications early on in the project, and a quicker and more efficient start up process.
Janet Wisely, Chief Executive of the Health Research Authority, said:
“This is a welcome change that supports researchers as part of the HRA’s system wide approach to work with its partners to streamline research in the UK.
“This is ultimately to the benefit of patients and the public who will get earlier opportunities to participate in research and improved care from the results.”
A number of research teams with project contracts let before 4 August 2016 who have yet to receive HRA Approval will benefit from this change. The NIHR will be sending letters to all teams in this position outlining the changes made to the DH contract.
Professor Julia Brown, Director of Leeds Institute of Clinical Trials Research and Director of the CTU Network commented:
“This important change is welcomed by the CTU community as it will enable CTUs to assemble the multidisciplinary team required to deliver clinical trials research at the start of the set-up process so facilitating the approvals process and hence impacting on the timely and efficient delivery of clinical trials research.”