UK-wide plan to boost clinical research

Last updated on 1 Jul 2022

We have been working with our partners across the research system to plan how we will deliver the next phase of the vision outlined in Saving and Improving Lives: the Future of UK Clinical Research Delivery. Now the partners across the UK have published a plan for how we will implement the vision over the next three years.

The UK-wide plan will enable innovative research to be carried out more quickly, helping patients access cutting-edge treatments sooner, speeding up diagnosis and helping to clear research backlogs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Throughout the last year, we in the HRA have worked with the other partner organisations in the programme to make vital progress towards achieving the vision and tackling health inequalities, bolstering economic recovery and improving the lives of people across the UK, including:

  • Reducing and streamlining approval for studies through a combined review process for new Clinical Trials of an Investigational Medicinal Product (CTIMPs). Close working between the HRA and the MHRA streamlines the route through the regulatory journey for researchers.
  • Agreeing a shared commitment to public involvement in research to ensure involvement is built into study design, delivery, and dissemination. Ensuring that research is done with and for everyone.
  • Reducing the time, cost and resources needed to set up commercially-sponsored studies by publishing two new model agreement templates. These templates reduce the need for negotiation, speeding up the feasibility and site set-up phase of commercial contract research.
  • Developing joint guidance for study set up with the MHRA to remove barriers to delivering studies across boundaries.
  • Increasing research transparency and creating a clearer picture of all research underway in the UK by allowing automatic registration of CTIMPs on the ISRCTN registry.
Dr Janet Messer

‘We’re proud to be part of this strong, cross-sector partnership, which will secure the future of clinical research.

‘The work we have done through this programme over the last year is central to the HRA’s strategy to ensure health and social care research is done with and for everyone, and to enable research findings to improve care faster because the UK is the easiest place in the world to do research that people can trust.

‘Over the next three years we will make further strides to accelerate research and include people in all aspects to ensure that research continues to save lives.’

Dr Janet Messer, Director of Approvals Health Research Authority

The 2022-2025 implementation plan is supported by additional funding of £175 million from the National Institute of Health and care Research and the other delivery partners. Key activities in the plan for the HRA in the next three years, include:

Streamlined and efficient

  • More model agreements, for innovative study design.
  • Working with partners to roll out the National Contract Value Review
  • Working with the Experimental Cancer Medicines Centres to pilot rapid study set-up for early phase trials.
  • Developing an aligned UK wide approvals service with partners in the devolved administrations to standardise the trial approval across the UK.
  • Improvements to IRAS making it easier for researchers to take the steps needed to make their research happen.

People centred, innovative & diverse – making it easier for more people to take part

  • Recommendations and good practice for people-centred clinical research
  • Delivery on our commitments for public involvement.
  • Guidance for the researcher community on improving diversity and inclusion in research

Read the plan to find out more about what the partners will deliver.

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